Transition Management Consulting, Inc.

The Dos and Don'ts of Working with Executive Recruiters

by Jackie Eder-Van Hook | Dec 01, 2008
There’s a good chance association executives will be working with an executive recruiter at some time in their careers. Recruiters are the gatekeepers to getting job interviews, so it’s a good idea to make a good impression. Here are 10 tips for creating a successful relationship with executive recruiters.

The Dos and Don'ts of Working with Executive Recruiters

Here is my top-10 list on the dos and don'ts of executive searches based on my experiences working with association executives.

1. Tell the truth. People generally don't like surprises. Make your words reflect who you are and what you value.

2. Think about what you want to say to the different audiences‚ recruiter, search committee, board members, and staff‚ and practice your talking points. Don't hesitate to work with an interview coach who can give you appropriate feedback.

3. Be prepared at every step of the way; know what the organization does, understand its competition and products. Don't think of it as winning the championship game (job), initially, rather focus on moving forward in the process.

4. Don't assume that you can fit or even succeed in every association. Be strategic. Interview and assess how you might fit with the organization culturally.

5. Don't focus on what you did in your previous jobs. Translate how your skills, experiences, successes, and failures apply to this organization and what its needs. Organizations want you to answer the question, "What are you going to do for us?"

6. Associations are in the relationship business, so network, network, and network. Don't wait until you want or need a new job.

7. Generally, organizations hire people they like and want to work with, so divulge enough of private self so that they get a sense of who you are.

8. Be selective about the positions you pursue. Don't apply for every position and each time say, "This is exactly the job I've been looking for."

9. Find a way to stand out from the crowd. Keep learning and retooling yourself. Don't forget that literally hundreds of people are looking for jobs, and they all think they are well qualified.

10. The best way to find and keep a great job is to be clear about who you are and what you like doing. People who love their jobs are infectious.

Jackie Eder-Van Hook, is the Principal and Co-Owner of Transition Management Consulting, Inc.

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