How to Work with an Executive Recruiter to Find a Job

work with a recruiter to find a job

Today’s job market is more competitive than ever. This is especially true if you’re looking for a job as an executive or a C-suite officer. These highly coveted roles are rare, so you really have to stand out among your peers if you want to make an impression on potential employers.

That’s why you may want to seek the services of an executive recruiter. Executive recruiters are not your average headhunters or job recruiters. They have extensive knowledge in specific industries, strong connections with desirable employers, and resources that can help you land that executive-level position you’ve been dreaming about.

The good news is that it shouldn’t be too hard to find an executive recruiter to work with. There are currently more than 5,500 executive recruiting firms in the United States and that number is expected to rise over the next decade.

Top Reasons to Work with Executive Recruiters

work with a recruiter to find a job

Let’s explore the key reasons why you should consider working with an executive recruiter.

1. Access to a “Hidden” Job Market

Executive recruiters often know about jobs that are not advertised publicly. Think about it. When’s the last time you saw an ad for CFO on Indeed or President of Sales on Craigslist?

Companies work with executive recruiters and let them know which C-level or executive roles they need to fill. When you work with an executive recruiter, you’ll gain access to these open positions that you’d never find using traditional job search methods.

2. Immense Industry Expertise

Unlike traditional recruiters who may find jobs for people across industries and career fields, executive recruiters specialize in helping you find a job in a specific industry. For example, if you want a C-level position at a top engineering firm, then you’d work with an executive recruiter who works exclusively in the engineering field.

Executive recruiters know their respective industries inside and out. They know the hiring trends, the in-demand skills, salary ranges, and more. They’ll use their expertise and knowledge to help you align your career goals to the needs of the industry.

3. Personalized Job Recommendations

work with a recruiter to find a job

Executive recruiters won’t simply glance at your professional resume and start looking for jobs. They take the time to understand your unique set of skills, your education, prior work experience, and career objectives. Beyond that, they’ll take time to learn about your values, personality, management style, etc.

With a robust understanding of who you are as a person and as an executive, your recruiter can bring you job recommendations that they think are the best fit for you. You’re more likely to see job opportunities that not only match your skills and experience, but also excite you and have the potential to offer immense job satisfaction.

4. Credibility and Visibility

Executive recruiters have an extensive network that includes hiring managers, human resources officers, and high-level decision makers at companies within your desired industry.

If you work with an executive recruiter, then you have access to those people as well. You’re not simply applying to a position and hoping for the best. Your recruiter is advocating for you and presents you as a serious candidate for the role.

An executive recruiter’s endorsement will immediately set you apart from the competition and your chances of landing an interview will have skyrocketed.

5. Interview Coaching and Practice

work with a recruiter to find a job

Executive recruiters know a ton about the interview process and what hiring managers are looking for in candidates aspiring to be in the C-suite. They can help make sure that you put your best foot forward during an interview.

They’ll conduct mock interviews with you, help you develop your “elevator pitch”, and coach you on how to best answer common interview questions.

Executive recruiters can also provide expert guidance on how to handle more modern interviewing techniques you may come across such as digital interviews, virtual interviews, and even texting interviews

This personalized support will go a long way in helping you boost your confidence during interviews, which will increase your chance of a job offer.

6. Salary Negotiation Coaching

Let’s say you finally get the job offer. The next step is salary negotiation. Remember, executive recruiters know the salary trends within your industry and likely even the firm you’re going to be working at.

Your executive recruiter will help guide you through salary negotiation process to ensure that you’re getting the best possible compensation package, which in addition to annual salary may include bonuses, annual increases, stock options, paid time off, and more.

What Qualities to Look for in an Executive Recruiter

work with a recruiter to find a job

If you’re ready to work with an executive recruiter, then find one that has:

  • Stellar testimonials. Check out their LinkedIn profile to see what others have said about their services.
  • Ample experience. Don’t work with anyone who has less than 10 years of experience as an executive recruiter in your field.
  • Industry expertise. You certainly want to work with a recruiter who has extensive knowledge of your industry.
  • An impressive success rate. Find out how successful they’ve been at placing candidates. Ask about the most senior position they’ve filled.
  • Knowledge about specific job openings. The executive recruiter should be able to tell you why any position they are recommending you for is currently vacant, who the hiring managers are, and what expectations beyond those explicitly stated in the job description may be.
  • A desire to advocate for you. Executive recruiters should be ready to be your advocate to ensure you land in the best position possible for your career satisfaction and career growth. Don’t be afraid to ask them how they plan to advocate for you during the process.


Use Executive Recruiters to Gain an Edge

If you’re ready to jump to the C-suite or another executive position, then be sure to do it with an executive recruiter in your corner. They’ll help ensure you have the best chance of standing out amongst your competition and landing your dream job.

Empire Resume Will Help You Get Hired

work with a recruiter to find a job

We have greater than a 97% success rate landing our clients’ interviews!


Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.

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