When you think about using the services of an executive recruiter, do you think of it as a “here today, gone tomorrow” transaction? If so, perhaps it may be in your best interest to view it instead as building a long-term relationship with a professional that has the resources to help you step through your career. An executive recruiter should be thought of as your partner.
Your executive recruiter takes the time to get to know you, your experience, preferences, and history. When he represents you to a potential employer, he wants you to do well. Together, as partners, it is in both of your interests to do your best. While your next opportunity may be in his hands, his reputation is also on the line if he doesn’t represent the best candidates.
Working with a recruiter isn’t just about forwarding your resume and hoping for the best. For you to land that winning position, you need to put forth some effort and work with your recruiter by coming to the table prepared. The following are some things you can do to make sure the partnership with your recruiter leads to successful results:
Take a personal inventory:
When you first meet with your executive recruiter, you are not only going to have to discuss your work history, but you’ll also need to communicate a bit about yourself because this plays a large part in figuring out whether or not you are a good fit for certain positions. The best way to do this is to work on a personal inventory about you and communicate this to your executive recruiter. The following are some items you should contemplate:
– your likes and dislikes in terms of work duties, work environment, company culture
– skills you have that you want to use, skills you may want to learn or sharpen
– make a list of the companies you’d like to work for (when doing this you should strongly consider their type of work environment, culture, and location)
– what are absolute deal breakers? (things you won’t consider at all!)
Update your resume and references:
Make sure your resume is updated to your most current position. Rather than just listing the duties you performed; emphasize how your work made a positive difference for your team, company, or client. Also, don’t forget to update your references and contact them ahead of time to let them know they may be contacted soon.
Always make a good impression:
When you present yourself on a job interview, you always put on your best to make that good first impression. Don’t stop there, it is also in your best interest when you meet with your partner, or executive recruiter for the first time whether over the phone or in person. Present yourself as though you are meeting with a hiring manager. Your good traits will be embedded on your recruiter’s mind when he is marketing you to a potential employer. If he views you as a “top-performer”, he’ll make sure to give you the “top opportunities.”
Put everything out on the table (good or bad):
You can’t enter into a successful partnership by hiding information that could come back to haunt you and your recruiter down the road. It is best to put everything out in the open-whether positive or negative.
This includes being honest and open about any interviews or pending offers you may have on your plate, reasons for job hopping, any concerns you may have including those related to background checks or drug screening, what your needs and preferences might be in terms of salary range, benefits, or whether or not you would be open to relocation.
Your executive recruiter needs to know important information so he only spends time working on opportunities that are suitable for you and your needs.
Don’t misrepresent your skill sets; be honest about your abilities:
A professional executive recruiter spends years building long-term, trustworthy relationships with hiring managers, HR professionals, and their companies. The information a recruiter passes on to a potential employer regarding your skills and abilities is only as good as the information you communicate to your recruiter. When your executive recruiter markets your skill sets to a hiring company, they’ll take his word for it-but if you don’t deliver down the road, this makes him look bad. Now, his integrity is in question not to mention the relationship he’s built with the hiring company over the years.
You are the conduit to your recruiting partner and the industry you serve. Build a relationship based on sharing. Let your partner know what you are hearing in the industry. Share trends and market information. Be a friend all the time, not just when you are in need. Expect the same in return. Ask to be kept in the loop. Be a willing participant.
This may be the most important issue of all. Once you enter into a recruiter candidate relationship communication is the key to success. Delaying the delivery of requested information causes delays in presentation of your skills to the client. Follow up every interview with a quick debriefing call. This prepares the recruiter to understand where the deal may be heading. Clients often measure a candidate’s level of excitement by how fast they call their partners back. Above all, don’t forget to express your appreciation for whatever effort is extended on your behalf.