Executive recruiters are busy these days – receiving massive numbers of resumes from unemployed or ‘recently displaced’ professionals. To effectively work with recruiters, you must understand how they work and who they work for.
First of all, recruiters are not the same as employment agencies who, generally work with people in non-management roles placing them in temporary or permanent positions. If you are looking for a non-management role, you should target an agency not an executive search or recruitment firm.
Secondly, executive recruiters are paid by companies to recruit talent for their organization; they rarely ‘find a job’ for someone unless that person has an exceptional background.
Finally, an executive recruiter prefers to recruit employed talent away from their client’s competitors. Unsolicited resumes are not often reviewed or responded to. Don’t take it personally. They will keep your information on file and contact you if your background matches a search they are conducting.
Having said the above, if you would like to approach a recruiter as part of your job search, here are a few tips:
- Recruiters are on a good option if you are looking for a job in a similar industry/function to those listed on your resume. Generally, they won’t consider you if you are changing careers – unless you are exceptional at what you do, i.e. a sales executive can more easily change industry than other functions.
- Use a chronological resume vs. a functional resume. Make sure that you can account for any gaps in your resume and include your education credentials. Recruiters must check and verify your information before introducing you to their client.
- Include company information of previous employers on your resume (including size, product and/or service).
- Highlight your responsibilities and accomplishments. Make it easy to understand how you impacted the organization.
- Cover letters with recruiters are optional. Generally, recruiters are more interested in the resume. Emails are preferred over a hard copy.
- In your email to a recruiter, clearly document what type of role you are looking for. Include types of companies that may be a good fit and if relocation is or is not an option. . The more information you provide, the easier it is for them to match you to searches they may be conducting.