Friday, January 07, 2005

Working With Executive Recruiters - The 7 Commandments

When an executive recruiter hunts your head keep these 7 commandments in mind:

1) Take the recruiter's calls. You never know. Many happily employed executives have been surprised to learn that there are better career opportunities elsewhere.

2) Know who's doing what. Get to know the associate or junior partner who is handling your assignment - not just the big name partner who may have called you initially. Big search firms typically operate on a two-tier system with the partners handling the client. Unless it is a very senior position, junior associates handle the legwork.

3) Request the position specification. Always ask the recruiter to send you the written position specification before expressing interest in a search assignment. If the client is a public company, the recruiter should also send you the annual report, 10-K and marketing materials.

4) Never fax your resume on demand. You need to see the position specification to customize your resume for the position. Wait a day or two and if you are still interested, tailor your resume to match the job requirements.

5) Don't assume you are being offered a job. Many are called in the course of a search but few are chosen. Those appearing too eager reduce their desirability.

6) Be prepared. When you meet with a recruiter in person, have a firm fix on how to frame your background to best attract the recruiter's and the client's interest.

You're on stage all the time. Don't assume that recruiters or employers aren't listening if they stop taking notes. Keep in mind that recruiters are always gathering information about you. Never lower your guard!

These "7 Commandments" appear in The Road to CEO by Sharon Voros an ExecuNet recommended resource.


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