Job Searching with RecruitersUnemployment.  Under-employment.  These terms are used frequently these days, often in the context of illustrating that economic recovery remains slow and that many highly qualified individuals continue to be out of work or in jobs that do not allow them to fully utilize their education, background, and training.  Looking to acquire a job or change one is very difficult in such an environment.  Simply relying on traditional job searching strategies is no longer going to get you the job you want.

Job searching today requires more than combing the Classifieds and sending out the latest popular form resumes in bulk.  Although online job sites are plentiful, simply pursuing the opportunities they present does not constitute a truly effective job search.  In order to avail yourself of maximum employment opportunities, you need to get noticed by recruiters.

Recruiters are more integral than ever to job searching efforts.  As reported in the Execunet Executive Job Market Intelligence Report for 2012, executive recruiters are expecting double-digit growth in 2012.  Interestingly, while increased business is expected, the recruitment industry also expects greater challenges because employers are intensifying their efforts on keeping their key personnel.   If that indeed comes to pass, the market for those jobs will become even more competitive.

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The good news is that 51% of employers are anticipated to leverage the current uncertain economic climate by seeking new personnel to fill existing executive positions and 75% are expected to engage in some form of executive hiring over the next 12 months.   Again, recruiters will play a substantial role in assisting those companies to meet their long-term staffing goals.

The question, then, is how can you get on the radar screen of recruiters?  To answer this, let’s look first at how recruiters work, how they recruit. We’ve all heard the adage that “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.  That, in a nutshell, describes a successful recruiter.  Networking, both formally and informally, is the very foundation of effective recruiting.   The more expansive the network and more connected the recruiter is, the more she has, as the saying goes, her finger on the pulse of the market.  It’s crucial to your efforts, then, for recruiters to know who you are, what you do and how you can contribute to helping them meet the needs of their clientele.

You can make recruiters part of your job searching process by doing any number of things, including:

  1. Identify the recruitment firms active within your industry/the industry in which you’d like to work.  Visit their website.  Register with them.  Learn who they communicate with, what the company specializes in and see if they add value (newsletter, advice column, etc.) to their clients or the marketplace in general  If so, determine if you can contribute to that value (e.g., submit an article, joining in online discussions, etc.).
  2. Create a LinkedIn profile. Do it right.  Review and edit, have it reviewed by professionals you trust, and then review and edit some more.

  3. Review your social media pages.  Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and the like.  Be absolutely certain that you maintain a consistently professional presence across all online platforms that are publicly accessible.  If you don’t want potential employers (or their agents) to delve too deeply into your private life, keep it private by locking down your social media pages.
  4. Peer communication. Stay abreast of what’s going on in your industry and stay in touch with people of note.  Remember, the name of the game is networking.  Many an opportunity arises because someone recommends a colleague to a recruiter.

Want to maximize your career prospect?  Flying under the radar is not an option.