New Year, New Job

According to Inc. Magazine research, about 60 percent of us make New Year’s Resolutions and for one in six “getting a new job” makes the list. For most, this resolution is put into action with a call to an Executive Recruiter.


1. Recognize that retained recruiters are not ‘in business’ to help you get a job or to help you get job interviews. Retained executive recruiters are hired to represent client companies and work on their behalf to fill their key leadership positions. It is important to remember that retained recruiter’s represent client companies and only work on jobs that they have been hired to fill.

2. Most retained executive search firms and recruiters are specialized. This means that you are likely wasting your time as much as theirs if you do not have direct or significant parallel industry experience. They simply will not have opportunities that are a match.

3. The best relationships are the ones that are developed over time. The more a recruiter knows about you the more they will recall when they do have appropriate opportunities or the more likely they will be to refer you to a contact for positions that they may not be working on or just to help you make more connections.

4. If you are looking for a recruiter to play a more active role in supporting your ‘candidate’ job search strategy, then you should look for a more sales-oriented ‘contingent fee’ recruiter who will ‘market’ you to companies with the goal to help you get in front of the right people at the right time.
5. Take care not to over invest energy into this strategy as contingent recruiters are more ‘transactional’ in their approach and the ‘hit rate’ can be low. Your best bet is to take a balanced approach to drive your own job search strategy. 

Here are three job search strategies beyond working with a recruiter:

1. Maximize the effectiveness of your LinkedIn profile.

Key things to cover here are: have a professional-looking headshot, put a background image behind your headshot that speaks to your professional passion, write a great headline below your name, have an impactful ‘About’ section, and use keywords in your profile that help you show up in recruiter search results for the type of position you want.

2. Network like a pro.

This could mean within your company, at industry events, or online. One of the biggest mistakes I see is people making is trying to set up 30 minutes coffee meetings. Busy people don’t have time for that especially not with someone they don’t know. Start by trying to get 5 minutes over the phone with someone and build from there. And use LinkedIn for virtual networking! Be sure to send personal notes with your connection requests and consider building a target list. Excel is an easy way to keep track of companies and people you want to build relationships with.

3. Get ahead of job postings.

By the time a position is posted, there is typically already a preferred candidate in mind. Think about the long-game and how you can build relationships to set yourself up as the preferred candidate.

To develop a fully comprehensive job search strategy, we recommend Merryn Roberts-Huntley’s online course: “Made to Hire: Market Yourself for the Career You Want”. The course includes proven skills to build your personal brand, tools to master your first impression, and interview tips to accelerate your career.

Happy New Year and best wishes in your search!