In a recent blog post, “Interviewing: The Professional Dating Scene”, we likened executive recruiters to relationship matchmakers. While it is indeed an art form inspired by the bonds of networking and professional relationship building, executive recruiting is ultimately powered by the information that clients and job seekers provide. Without clear objectives, expectations, and communication, executive recruiters are unable to understand the needs of their clients, and are less able to identify the necessary skill sets, personalities, and work ethics that will meet the company’s goals.

To leverage an executive recruiter effectively, we recommend coming to the table with these 3 items:

1) Clear Goals and Objectives

At the end of the day, the executive recruiter’s job is to find “the” perfect candidate for a client’s job opening. Many companies leverage third-party recruiters when searching for applicants with very specific backgrounds or professional qualities that are not easily found in the general talent pool. To help recruiters cut through the “noise,” be extremely honest about the type of job you’re looking for, your short-term and long-term career goals, and any job or organizational elements that you are not willing to consider (i.e. working weekends, no insurance, or no long-term career opportunity). Sometimes knowing what you don’t want, can be even more powerful than knowing what you do want.  This can require some soul-searching on your part – the better you know yourself and communicate that with your recruiter, the more effective that person will be for you.

2) Any and All Professional Resources

Whether it be professional references, proof of completed certifications, or past work samples, the more information you have ready and at your disposal will make your recruiter’s job more seamless. It will also ensure you capture every possible opportunity to showcase your potential to interested employers. But this work that you do on your own behalf on the front-end of the job search, can have a definite payoff for you in the final analysis.

3) Patience

Recruiting is a marathon, not a sprint. Phrases like “the ideal candidate” or “the perfect job” take time, research, and even trial and error before they can be brought to fruition. So aside from setting clear expectations and providing all the professional resources you have available, time and patience are two of the most important elements you can provide your executive recruiter. Be sure to stay and touch and follow up as necessary but don’t stress if the phone doesn’t ring off the hook the minute you submit your resume.

By building a rapport with your recruiter, you are further strengthening your professional network. Executive recruiters like Burchard & Associates have long-standing relationships with local, national and global firms. So even if you aren’t placed right away, fostering recruiter relationships will ultimately work in your favor and broaden your professional horizons over time.