Make Yourself Visible
If you want recruiters pursuing you for jobs, instead of you haranguing them, you have to make yourself visible, says Fairlie. This means becoming a thought-leader in your industry or area of expertise. When you become a thought-leader, recruiters have an easier time finding you.
For example, if Fairlie is conducting a search for a vice president of business intelligence, she says she'll find out who's speaking at BI conferences and heading up BI-related professional organizations to find potential candidates for the job. The executives who are speaking at conferences and who are elected to boards of professional associations have made themselves visible to recruiters.
Obviously, you can't become a thought-leader overnight. The quickest thing you might be able to do to establish yourself as an expert in your field is to start a search engine-friendly blog and update it every day. But even that will take time.
Another way to make yourself visible: maintain a strong presence on the websites recruiters use to find and screen candidates, such as LinkedIn and ZoomInfo.
Offer Something in Return
You can distinguish yourself from the rest of the job seekers contacting recruiters for advice by offering something to them, says Sam Gordon, a director of Harvey Nash Executive Search's CIO practice. You could offer the recruiter a lead on an employer who's either having trouble filling a high-level position on their own or who's looking for a retained search partner. You could offer a contact from your network who might be perfect for a job the recruiter is trying to fill. You could share an article relevant to the recruiter's business or some other market intelligence you've picked up while networking.
Recruiters like job seekers who try to help them. They appreciate the help and they remember it.
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