One of the things executive job seekers most often ask me is where and how to find executive recruiters.
I caution them not to rely entirely on recruiters to get them into a job. Too many executive job seekers think all they have to do is connect with several recruiters, sit back, and let them do the work.
It would be great if it were that easy . . . but it’s not.
They forget, or don’t understand, that along with working with recruiters, they need to work hard on networking, which will open them to the so-called “hidden” job market.
These are the jobs that are never advertised . . . or jobs that are carved out to accommodate a potentially valuable candidate.
More opportunities will come to those who network their way into companies, which starts with working on personal branding, and targeting and research to identify employers who will be a mutual good fit.
IMPORTANT: Before you move ahead with my list below, do these things:
⇒ Optimize your entire LinkedIn profile with the right keywords, to help recruiters find you.
Executive recruiters and other hiring professionals source candidates by searching LinkedIn (and other search engines) using relevant keywords.
You’ll uncover the right keywords for you in your target companies and industry research. These keywords typically represent your top areas of expertise or hard skills that your target employers most need.
Pay particular attention to packing your profile headline with your very most important keywords.
⇒ Get your executive resume in order.
Update it . . . Target it . . . and Brand it
My post will help you, What Is the Perfect Executive Resume?
7 Places to Find Executive Recruiters in Your Niche
1. Re-connect with the executive recruiters you’ve used in the past.
See if they’re still around and if they’re still a good fit for you.
My clients often tell me they had good luck with certain recruiters or recruiting firms. But they’ve lost contact with them over the years they were employed. I suggest they send these recruiters a brief email to re-introduce themselves, mentioning they’ve worked together in the past.
2. Ask your network(s) for recommendations.
Your closest network of people may be the best resource for all things job search and career. They’ve probably had similar experiences, and can offer support and advice. Same goes for recruiter recommendations.
If you have in your network various careers industry/job search professionals, seek out their advice.
3. Search LinkedIn for executive recruiters.
LinkedIn is a haven for recruiters. They’re busy networking there, posting updates, and sourcing and assessing candidates.
Here’s how to find recruiters on LinkedIn, as of this writing (LinkedIn tends to move things around often, so you may have to look elsewhere on the site to access this):
- Place your cursor in the search field at the top of your profile.
- Type in “recruiter” and click on “recruiter in People” in the drop-down.
- A second menu appears below the search field. Click on “All Filters”.
- Narrow your search by ticking off filters (Location, etc.)
- Scroll down to “Industry” and tick off “Staffing and Recruiting”.
- Click on “Show results” at the bottom of the page and a list appears.
Take a deeper dive with my post, How to Find and Connect with the RIGHT Recruiters on LinkedIn.
4. Check your trade or industry associations for referrals.
Your network of colleagues and other professionals in your industry you’ve met through associations are an excellent resource for recruiters and other career professionals.
5. Check out Forbes “Best Executive Recruiting Firms” for a list of the big firms.
Updated each year, this list includes the giants like Korn Ferry, Egon Zehnder and Heidrick & Struggles.
6. Check out these various Kindle guides.
You’ll find dozens of directories of executive search firms and recruiters by position, industry, some states and some cities at CustomDataBanks.
Each directory seems to be around $10.
7. Check out these other free executive recruiter directories.
You should be able to find even more lists with a simple Google search for “executive recruiters”.
What do you do once you identify the right executive recruiters for you?
Reach out to them via email.
Send them your nicely formatted Word doc resume, and be sure to also send your ATS-friendly, or text, version for their database.
To get all the details on how to do this and avoid the typical emailing blunders too many executive job seekers make, read my post How To Get Executive Recruiters’ Attention With The Right Email Messages.