Why Executive Recruiters Are Not Returning Your Calls
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Most professionals and executives recognize the value of
working with executive recruiters, but many do not fully understand how
the process works. They may be unclear about how to engage
executive recruiters, or they may have unrealistic expectations about
the level of support they will receive.
Here are five reasons executive recruiters are not returning
are not a fit for a current position
Contrary to popular belief, recruiters are not focused on
finding jobs for candidates. They are paid by their clients
to find the best candidates to fill strategic, and often high-level,
positions. As a result, they are searching for very specific
skill sets and experience.
If you have submitted your resume to an executive recruiter
and have not received a response, you are likely not a match for a
position they are currently trying to fill. You may, however,
be added to their database and considered for future opportunities.
are not targeting a specific opportunity
If you are simply looking for new career opportunities in a
particular field, but are not clear about your target, it may be
difficult for the executive recruiter to work with you.
Because they are paid by the client, not the candidate, they are not
motivated to analyze your resume to determine the types of
opportunities that would best match your skills and experience.
It is, therefore, critical that you have a clear career
direction. If you are unclear about the types of positions
you would like to pursue, take some time to clarify this before
approaching recruiters or applying for new career
opportunities. Particularly in today’s job market, not having
a clear target can put you at a competitive disadvantage.
recruiter does not specialize in your industry
Most executive recruiters specialize in particular industries
based on their own backgrounds and client relationships. If
you are interested in finding a position in the high tech industry, for
example, a recruiter that specializes in the legal industry is unlikely
to respond to you.
Before contacting executive recruiters, spend some time
researching their websites and understanding their specific focus
areas. It can also be helpful to talk with friends and
colleagues in your industry about recruiters with whom they may have
worked in the past. A personal referral can improve your
chances of connecting with an executive recruiter.
are not qualified for the position you are targeting
You may have skills and industry experience that align with
the recruiter’s focus, but you are not qualified for the specific
position you are targeting. Some professionals hope that,
even if it’s a long shot, they may be considered for a higher-level
opportunity. Others fail to carefully read the posting to
understand the requirements. Because executive recruiters are
searching for candidates that best match the client’s requirements, you
are unlikely to be considered if you are not visibly qualified for the
If you are interested in taking your career to the next level,
there are strategies you can employ to do so. Creating a
development plan, finding a mentor or coach, increasing your
visibility, and gaining relevant experience can all help you advance
your career. Approaching a recruiter prematurely, however, is
unlikely to be effective.
lack a powerful executive resume
Often your resume is your first introduction to an executive
recruiter, so it must powerfully reflect your skills and
experience. A poorly written or disorganized resume is
unlikely to attract the recruiter’s attention. Similarly,
your executive resume should align with the position you are
targeting. If it is not immediately clear to the recruiter
why you are a fit for the position, he/she does not have the time or
motivation to connect the dots for you.
If you are not confident that your resume best represents your
brand, and clearly conveys your career direction, consider working with
an executive resume writer to craft a powerful career
portfolio. You will not be a fit for every position you seek,
but don’t allow weaknesses in your resume to limit your career
If you’ve been struggling to get the attention of executive
recruiters, pay careful attention to these five challenges.
You may also find it helpful to engage a career coach to clarify your
career direction, research new career options, and strengthen your
value proposition. This process will effectively prepare you
to successfully work with executive recruiters and pursue new career
opportunities in the future.
About the Author
Kim Meninger works with professionals who are feeling stuck in their careers, struggling to reach higher levels, or navigating challenging career transitions. Kim helps professionals clarify their career vision, identify career options that best align with their skills and interests, and apply job search strategies to more quickly and effectively find new opportunities and achieve their unique career goals.
Prior to coaching, Kim had a highly successful corporate career managing strategic business partnerships at EMC Corporation and Monster Worldwide. She attributes much of her success to her strategic approach to career management. Kim is passionate about helping other professionals use similar strategies to reach their full potential and maximize their career success.
Kim is a certified career coach and founder of Great Heights Coaching. She has a BA in psychology and an MBA with a concentration in organizational leadership from
Boston College. She also holds certifications in career and life coaching from the Life Purpose Institute. Kim is a CCE Board Certified Coach and an authorized facilitator of Now What?®, a Life Blueprint program. For more information, visit www.GreatHeightsCoaching.com. Authors Google+
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