Does it feel like your membership career has plateaued? Searching for the right role to build your career can be overwhelming and tiring, becoming a full-time job all on its own.
If you’ve been struggling with those career blues feelings, working with a specialist membership recruiter might just be what you need to take your career to the next level. In addition to knowing about positions that aren’t widely advertised, a specialist can offer valuable insight into current hiring trends and salaries for particular membership roles.
However, using a recruiter won’t automatically guarantee you’ll easily land your dream job; there’s a lot more involved than just handing them a CV and hoping they’ll do their best to get you that amazing role. Finding the right recruiter and knowing how to work with them to get the best results for your career, will require some effort on your part.
With that in mind, here are five tips for finding a membership recruiter who’s right for you and how to get the most out of the one you choose.
1. Do Your Homework
Identifying and connecting with recruiters who specialise in membership organisations is essential. However, niche recruiters aren’t always easy to find, so you might need to think outside the box.
You can start by tapping your own network; by asking experienced professionals in your field, you may be able to get referrals to the recruiters they know and trust. You can also search for recruiters’ profiles online; many recruiters have profiles on networking sites such as LinkedIn, which you can find them through keyword searches or by asking fellow members for referrals.
Before sending your CV to membership recruiters, make sure that your LinkedIn profile is optimised to stand out for the role that you want; then you can try following up by phone to gauge your rapport with them. If you’d like more help with this, TopResume offers some great advice on exactly how to contact recruiters on LinkedIn.
2. Put Yourself In Their Shoes
A recruiter’s primary allegiance is to the companies that hire (and pay) them to find great candidates. In other words, a recruitment consultant may work on your behalf, but you are not their boss. Understanding and appreciating this is crucial for forging a successful and mutually beneficial relationship with a recruiter.
It’s also important to realise that recruiters want to work with well-qualified candidates who have great prospects, as they often get paid only if they can fill an employer’s opening. Understanding this goes a long way in helping them help you; being able to convince your recruiter of the benefits you bring and the value you can add to their clients, will help you stand out from the crowd.
You can do this by giving them a breakdown of your achievements, including a list of the places you’d love to work and why, along with as many fantastic references as you can get. For example, if you’re looking for a role as a Membership Coordinator, you might want to cite examples of your experience working with committees in other membership organisations. A good recruitment consultant will use all this information to help differentiate you from the other candidates and secure you that coveted interview slot for your dream job.
3. Have a Goal, but Be Flexible
A polished pitch to recruiters is just as important as a polished pitch to employers. Clearly conveying your professional goals to your recruitment consultant helps them to help you. Once they know exactly what you’re looking for, they can more accurately make career suggestions that suit you. However, no matter how stellar your credentials or polished your pitch, making demands or ultimatums will turn a recruiter off, so remember to be understanding of their position.
While it’s important to be as specific as possible when describing the type of role you’re looking for, you still need to leave some room for negotiation; in other words, be flexible. Rather than being rigid in your expectations of what you’re willing to consider, be willing to keep your options open. This might open up opportunities you hadn’t previously considered.
For instance, maybe you have aspirations of one day becoming a great Business Development Director and think that the road to success is paved by getting a role as a business development executive. However, a good recruiter might see that your experience, skills and aptitude make you a perfect fit for a current opening as a sponsorship and partnerships executive, knowing that you’ll be able to parlay the skills and experience you gain in that position into attaining your dream role down the road.
4. Offer Up Referrals
Once you’ve found a recruiter you want to work with, a good way to stay on their radar and establish a rapport with them is to suggest names of prospects you know for jobs the recruiter is seeking to fill, even if you’re not qualified for them. By offering qualified referrals to a recruiter, you will stay in their good graces and at the top of their list for future job openings for which you are qualified.
Even when a recruiter calls you about a position that you’re not interested in, you can still put a positive spin on the situation. Thank your recruiter for reaching out, remind them of the type of role you are interested in, and then offer to put them in touch with someone from your network who would be a better fit for the current opening.
5. Maintain Contact
Even after you’ve landed your dream job, don’t neglect to nurture the relationship you’ve established with your recruiter. After all, if they’ve succeeded in helping you land one great job, chances are they’ll be able to help get another, even better one in future – but only if you keep in touch!
In fact, a good recruiter could become your lifelong career advocate. Working with recruiters can be a very rewarding experience if you think in the long-term. You never know when you might be in search of a new job, so it’s always a good idea to stay in touch with a recruiter who’s helped you. This can be as simple as an email every six months to remain on their radar – maybe let them know that you’re still open to helping them with referrals when you can, which might enable you to also help one of your colleagues – a win-win for everyone!
A good recruitment consultant can help you navigate an increasingly competitive job market, and these tips will enable you to create a partnership that will help you land your next dream job, again and again.