Managing Your Job Search: Working With Recruiters

Managing Your Job Search: Working With Recruiters

Great career opportunities at the senior executive level don’t appear everyday, and with the unadvertised job market on the rise it is harder than ever to discover your next career move. However, there are many ways to tackle this issue and just because a job isn’t advertised doesn’t mean you can’t be the one to find it. Learning how to manage your job search is essential and understanding where to look is just the first step to making your next career move.

Whilst the recruitment model has changed in recent years, as discussed in our article ‘Why are you not being headhunted anymore?’, moving from the more traditional external recruiter and headhunter model to the more modern internal recruiter model, there still are many external recruiters, headhunters and agencies out there finding prospective employees for top positions. Third-party (external) recruiters play a big role in the top end of the job market, helping companies to fill senior level positions and anything that is considered more niche. Therefore, as a senior level executive you must ensure that you have every angle covered, and knowing where to look for these recruiters and how to deal with them is imperative if you are to succeed at landing your next job.

In this article we will discuss the ways in which you can locate the right recruiter for you, how to connect with them and how to manage them and your job search to get ahead of the career game.

Finding the right recruiter for you

Sometimes the best contacts are the ones you’ve already got. It’s so easy to overlook the power of your address book (whether it be a physical one, the one on your computer or the one in your LinkedIn profile) and sometimes a simple search through your contact list can provide you with a list of contacts that can help you on your way to securing your next job.

Don’t be afraid to ask your contacts who they know. The majority of senior executives have worked with recruiters in the past, specifically niche recruiters, so your potentially long list of top executives might well produce a similarly long list of niche recruiters. You might also have worked with such recruiters or agencies yourself in the past, so don’t forget to refresh your memory of those connections too.

A recruiter always wants to be found. The more high end the recruiter or niche the industry they work in the easier it will be to find them after a little digging around on LinkedIn or through the business press. Oftentimes recruiters are quoted in the news media or mentioned by a senior executive discussing a recent career move or addition to the companies executive workforce. Therefore, make sure you make a note of these new names and be sure to search for these individuals, feel free to contact them and express your interest in conversing with them about your career move.

You really have to recruit your recruiter. Be sure to check to see which are the best for you and your objectives, make sure they are responsive from the beginning and don’t fall into the trap of contacting every recruiter you can find, it’s counter productive to your job search and won’t allow you to manage your job search efficiently.

How to work with recruiters

Once you’ve found a one or a small number of recruiters to work with it is important to highlight your requirements and objectives to them from the outset. Michael T. Robinson, president and founder of says you should already have a sales pitch in your head for a recruiter, “You need to give them your 7-second elevator pitch”, he says. “Make it quick, memorable and practice it until it rolls off your tongue.”

Top end and niche recruiters will often work with a select few companies, providing some of the biggest positions to the most senior executives looking for a career move. Therefore it is imperative that you react to the recruiters (and any potential job offers) in a timely fashion. Such recruiters will not want to do anything to jeopardise their relationship with a company, so anyone who doesn’t manage their time or their job search well will be left behind and not offered any future job openings.

With so many jobs going unadvertised it’s important to not just sit back and rely on your recruiters to find you a job and get you that job. You must be sure to be proactive when managing your own job search too – jump at good opportunities straight away and really communicate your requirements and feedback with your recruiter(s).

How to manage your job search

Finding new opportunities can be a very long and involved process and it requires a careful plan and lots of attention. You must be a savvy job seeker, adopting intelligence search techniques and managing your job search in an effective way.

As mentioned, you must know what you want your end result to be. Make sure you have clear answers on the following questions – What kind of job do you want? Where in the world do you want to work? What will you accept from a job offer and what won’t you accept? What time frame are you realistically working with? What are the right employment opportunities for you?

Once you have answered these questions you can appropriately manage your job search (and your recruiter(s)) without wasting precious time or getting a bad reputation as being a difficult job seeker from the recruiter.

It is essential to respond to job openings that you like straight away, just as it is with any follow-up communications between you and the recruiter or you and the company.


Finding the right recruiter(s) is key. Networking is the best way to achieve this important step, and sometimes the people you know will provide you with the best results. Don’t overlook the power of your address book, your LinkedIn profile (and contacts), Twitter chats and updates, and be sure to identify key individuals through blog and industry news articles.

Sometimes LinkedIn groups can be the best place to start a conversation with like-minded industry professionals and recruiters. Sharing your knowledge via an update or comment on an article can sometimes be the best way of demonstrating your experience of a topic or industry, and sharing such thoughts with other senior executives or recruiters can be the best opening for you – from there you can pitch yourself or request an introduction to another key individual.

Anything that you can do to showcase yourself as an experienced senior executive and highlight yourself, allowing people to find you online, is one of the most productive things you can do in your job search. Don’t forget to utilise your social media accounts effectively by updating your LinkedIn profile, comment on interesting blogs and LinkedIn articles posted by influencers. Be selective and make interesting points with your responses and soon the right people will start to notice you in your industry.

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About the author

Jamie McDermott

Involved in Business Development and Technologies at Career Intelligence. Based in the Fleet Street, London office since the start of 2014.

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