How to Get Noticed By an Executive Search Firm |

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
A simple strategy for getting on their radar.

Making Your Resume ATS Likeable

I received a message from someone today asking me how to get noticed by an executive search firm– The retained people, the ones who are looking for individuals at a very high level.

In days of old when I got into recruiting, it used to be very hard.  You need to be quoted in trade publications, the newspapers, and be referred by someonerecruiter who is already in their “Rolodex” in order to be considered. Sending a resume went directly into the trash. What they were looking for was someone whom they could find who came with “celebrity” to them, whom they could find who had “brand recognition,” Who was noticeable because they were already industry leaders.

Let’s fast-forward to today. How do you get noticed by these firms even though they are still not looking for resumes to be submitted to them? What they are looking for are people who are already perceived as leaders.  How do you get noticed as a leader?

All the old ways still apply.

You speak at conferences, you get quoted in the press, and you do a lot of different things so that if they Google yourself. They will be able to find you and see some quality information about you. Social make this a lot easier.  Social media can be a big catapult for a lot of you if you play your cards right. The key word in that last sentence was, “if.”  Let me explain.

You can’t just simply decide at the time that you look for a position, “Oh!  Let me decide to use social media and post a whole bunch of “stuff.” This has to be part of your professional repertoire for years in order to have the kind of notice you are going to want. You are kidding yourself if you believe that posts and search firms will be knocking down your door.

recruiterTo be clear, I’m not simply talking about blog posts on LinkedIn. Although those can be helpful, they start to notice That you’ve only had 2 or 3 and thus you are looking for a position and not part of who you are.

I Hate Cover Letters

Think long-term strategy.  Think big picture. What would cause you to notice someone online?

The answer is all the obvious things– You are online and posting content, publishing material that is attractive, interesting, and smart that gets engagement. You are a visible figure and known as a thought leader. When they call someone and they ask, “whom do you know who…” Yours is the 1st name that comes off of people’s tongues.

Why?  Because you carry that celebrity with you.  It doesn’t mean that you’re creating videos for YouTube or Facebook or anywhere else for that matter. Although it can help, of course. It does mean that you are a personality now, much more so than ever before.

Again, I want to make sure you hear this.  It is more important than ever before that you become a visible personality online in order to be noticeable.   Firms are still looking for exceptional people.  What often makes someone worth the contact for these firms, even for contingency firms, is that you are a visible individual, and when people research you, they will know a lot about you already.

Let me give you an example from my own experience.

I received a call recently from another recruiter I know.   We don’t know one another well but we’ve spoken a few times and he wanted to speak with me about how I do social media.  I responded with the standard joke (if I told you I would have to kill you). After all, he is looking to do the same thing I do in order to compete with me.

If you think about it from an employer’s perspective, if you’re on social media and they find that you are interesting, engaging,  smart, and present well, this can help make you salable to the client that they are representing to be considered for 1st interviews or to be thought of as the “safe bet,” the  “safe hire”  or the “smart hire” for the role.

Safe.  Smart. Two ends of the pendulum, but some firms look for safe and others look for smart.

Consider this part of your career strategy is building a social media presence for yourself where you become known as a go-to person in your field.

5 Tips to Using LinkedIn Better


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter | Job CoachJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2400 episodes.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? People hire me to provide No BS career advice whether that is about a job search, hiring better, leadership, management or support with a workplace issue. Schedule a discovery call at my website, 

My courses are available on my The courses include ones about Informational InterviewsInterviewing, final interview preparation, salary negotiation mistakes to avoidthe top 10 questions to prepare for on any job interview, and starting a new job.

I do a livestream on LinkedIn, YouTube (on the account) and on Facebook (on the Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter page) Tuesdays and Fridays at 1 PM Eastern. You can send your questions about job search, hiring better, management, leadership or to get advice about a workplace issue to me via messaging on LinkedIn or in chat during the approximately 30 minute show.

Classes On Skillshare 

Freelancing or hiring a freelancer: or Freelancer:

To set up your freelance business correctly: incorporate

Connect with me on LinkedIn 

Watch my videos on YouTube at, the Job Search TV app for fireTV or a firestick or for Apple TV, and 90+ smart tv’s.

Thinking of making a career change and need some ideas that fit you. CareerFitter offers a free test and if you want more you can upgrade for the paid version.

We grant permission for this post and others to be used on your website as long as a backlink is included and notice is provided that it is provided by Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter as an author or creator.


About the author

Leave a Comment, Thought, Opinion. Speak like you're speaking with someone you love.

%d bloggers like this: