With little time to spare from their demanding roles, senior level executives searching for the next move in their career have a choice. Either they wait for the stars to align and the perfect opportunity to arise or they can focus their efforts on attracting the attention of an executive search consultant.
The first option can prove challenging –the best executive jobs aren’t always advertised in job boards. Instead, organisations call on the market knowledge and extensive networks of professional head-hunters to connect them with the right talent. Capturing the attention of an executive search consultant can seem like an intimidating task, but there are certain steps that you can take to boost your chances of getting noticed:
1. Build your personal brand
Building a strong personal brand is the key to asserting yourself in a competitive market and getting on the radar of senior level recruiters. After all, your resumé may look good on paper, but executive search consultants seek candidates with a reputation for getting results. Having reached senior level, you should actively be sharing advice drawn from experience to position yourself as a key figure in your industry.
2. Be visible
Unlike standard recruiters, executive search consultants don’t solely rely on traditional methods of sourcing candidates. Instead, they tend to specialise in a particular sector and strive to build a network of hard-to-find talent. Attracting their attention requires executive candidates to make a name for themselves in their industry by regularly attending events and making valuable connections. Beyond simply attending, executives seeking to build their profile should try to snag speaking slots at trade shows and conferences where they can showcase their expertise to any head-hunters in attendance.
3. Maintain a strong online presence
In the digital age, proactive executive search consultants take advantage of social media channels to build deep networks of high-calibre talent. With this in mind, your LinkedIn profile should be a shop window of your leadership qualities and specialist knowledge. Once complete, sharing relevant content with your connections will undoubtedly help to bolster your personal brand further.
4. Have something to say
Getting noticed by people as an authority is critical in differentiating yourself from the competition, and while most executives have no trouble offering solutions to overcome challenges, many shy away from the spotlight rather than voicing their point of view. For executives to be influential in the digital age and become a target for specialist head-hunters, they must keep up to date with industry news and have a voice on topics of interest. The more value they add to their network both on and offline, the more their reputation will grow as a key voice on a particular subject.
5. Make the first move
An industry-wide reputation and a fully-fledged professional network of key contacts is a must, but there’s nothing to stop you reaching out to an executive search consultant to let them know you’re in the market. Bearing in mind that head-hunters will typically receive a high volume of introductory emails, it’s important that you take the time to customise your email and make it genuine so that it aids in creating a memorable image of the unique value you can offer an organisation in a leadership role.