Are You Having Trouble Getting Noticed?
Someone recently asked me how to get noticed by an executive search firm, the retained people, the ones who are looking for individuals at a very high level.
In days of old when I got into recruiting, it used to be very hard. You need to be quoted in trade publications, the newspapers, be referred by someone who was already in their Rolodex in order to be considered.Sending a resume went directly into the trash. What they were looking for was someone who they could find who came with “celebrity” to them. They wanted to find people with recognizable personal and professional brands who were noticeable because they were already industry leaders.
Today, how do you get noticed by these firms even though they are still not looking for resumes to be submitted to them. What they are still looking for are people who are already perceived as leaders.
How Do You Get Noticed?
All the old ways still apply.
You speak at conferences, you get quoted in the press, you do a lot of different things so that if they Google you, they will find you on page 1 and see some quality information about you. Social media makes this a lot easier. It can be a big catapult for a lot of you if you play your cards right. The key word in that last sentence was, “if.”
Marketing yourself has to be part of your professional repertoire for years in order to have the kind of notice they want.You are kidding yourself if you believe that four posts in 2 weeks Will make search firms not down your door.
To be clear, I’m not simply talking about blog posts on LinkedIn (although those can be helpful, they start to notice That you’ve only had 2 or 3 and thus you are looking for position and not part of who you are).
Think Long Term Strategy
The answer is all the obvious things– You are online and posting content, publishing material that is attractive, interesting and smart that gets engagement. You are a visible figure and known as a thought leader. When they call someone and they ask, “who do you know who…” Yours is the 1st name that comes off of people’s tongues.
Why? Because you carry that celebrity with you. It doesn’t mean that you’re creating videos for YouTube or Facebook or anywhere else for that matter (Although it can help, of course). It does mean that you are a personality now, much more so than ever before.
Again, I want to make sure you hear this. It is more important than ever before that you become a visible personality online and offline in order to be noticeable.
What Firms Really Want
Firms are still looking for exceptional people. What often makes someone worth the contact for these firms, even for contingency firms, is that you are a visible individual, that when people research you they will know a lot about you already.
Let me give you an example from my own experience.
I received a call recently from another recruiter I know. We don’t know one another well but we’ve spoken a few times and he wanted to speak with me about how I do social media. I responded with the standard joke (if I told you I would have to kill you). After all, he is looking to do the same thing I do in order to compete with me.
If you think about from an employer’s perspective, if you’re on social media and they find that you are interesting, engaging, smart and present well, this can help make you salable to the client that they are representing to be considered for 1st interviews, or to be thought of as the “safe bet,” the “safe hire” or the “smart hire” for the role.
Two ends of the pendulum, but some firms look for safe and others look for smart.
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and leadership coaching.
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