As you advance in your career, you start to shift from going out to find a new job to letting the new opportunities find you. This is natural, and a good indicator that you are heading toward success. However, making that shift from going out and finding the job, to it finding you, can be one that people have questions about. Mainly, “how do I do that?”. Read on below for my tips on standing out to Executive Recruiters like myself, and get your next leg up in your career.
As a recruiter, I like to see well put together pieces of collateral from people. This often starts with your resume, as it’s usually one of the first things I see. Beyond a listing of your work experience I am looking for something that is well written and aesthetically pleasing. This shows to me that you put time and attention into this, and that you have the skills to make yourself stand out on a piece of paper. I also highly encourage that people run their resume past peers, and friends that may work in other industries. A fresh set of eyes is never resmiss, and if they find it appealing as well that is always a good sign.
Your next step should be to make your online presence is professional and relevant to where you want your career to go. This should mainly be reflected in your LinkedIn page. It should look just as good, if not better, than your resume. I also highly suggest that you tailor your LinkedIn page to careers you may be interested in. For example, take a look at job postings that interest you. Keep track of the phrasing and keywords that the job postings use, and put them into your profile. This will help recruiters filling these positions find you because they will often use job posting language in their search.
You also need to pay attention to the visual appeal of your page. Is your profile photo up to date and professional? If not, consider getting professional headshots taken. Is there plenty of content on your LinkedIn that is relevant to you, and your current career aspirations? All of these factors go into a recruiter making the decision to choose you as a good candidate.
Would You Hire Yourself?
The second tip I tell people is to present themselves like someone they’d want to hire. You would think this is a no brainer, but you would be surprised at what executives think it’s ok to do now that they are well, executives. Presenting yourself as someone you’d want to hire means to me a few simple rules. Responding to emails in a timely manner, sending necessary documents when asked, and showing up to any interviews or meetings preferably early but at least on time.
This to me shows that you are organized, cooperative, and that you care about other people’s time as well as your own. These are all very important things to potential new employers, as well as myself as a recruiter. Even if a placement doesn’t work out, if I like you and think you’re a good fit for another position, I’ll go to bat for you later. I find that executive level candidates often forget that these tenets apply to themselves as well as their potential hires. These are fairly easy, and pain free, ways to make yourself stand out above other candidates.
Make Yourself Someone You’d Want to Hire
My final bit of advice to standing out to executive recruiters is to let your personality shine through. Very often in recruiting I find myself looking over dozens of very similar resumes; Graduated from here, went to x job, got promoted, and they don’t give much else besides your cut and dry professional experience. I encourage candidates to include little snippets about themselves, especially in an “Skills & Interests” section on their resume. This can include anything from hobbies, broadcasting your Meyers-Briggs personality assessment score, anything that gives me a better idea of who you are. My personal favorites have been a candidate who included that they won their families pie baking contest at thanksgiving multiple years in a row and one who stated that they would drink an iced coffee at any time, day or night. Both of these said to me, “They don’t take themselves too seriously, and they have a sense of humor.” and often those people make the best culture fits into companies. Especially when coming in as a new executive.
These tips are by no means exhaustive, and I highly advise picking the brain of executive recruiters that you may encounter while networking. There are always specifics, and once you find the best way to represent yourself professionally, it will show with the job opportunities you are offered and sought after for. Executive recruiters, especially now, are always looking for qualified candidates, so start looking for your next career move today.
About The Author
John Schneider is the founder of Recruiterie and is an Executive Recruiter in Phoenix, AZ. For nearly two decades he has focused his career on one purpose: helping people find the right talent to build and grow their businesses. With over two decades of experience, he has worked with hundreds of clients from coast to coast, placing executives in their dream roles.