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Job Hunting Tips

We are a Retained Executive Search Firm.  That simply translates to the fact that we are working on behalf of our clients (hiring organizations) to fill their senior-level positions.  Senior-level is commonly defined as Director, Vice President and C-Suite roles.  That means we know of and are working to fill open positions.  As a result, we are approached daily by people looking for a new or different role. 

We want to be ‘of-value’ to people who are job hunting, but our role is to serve our client – the hiring organization.  That said, as a past owner of an outplacement/career management firm, there are a few best practices that job seekers should follow.  Please note – that we genuinely appreciate your outreach.  We want you to do it well (professionally and effectively).  Let us help you with the following tips.  

Reach out with an e-mail that is not cut/pasted. 

There are days we get the same identically worded e-mail from multiple job seekers.  There is a template out there that is being widely (and wildly) used by job seekers and career transition firms.  It could be used to reach out to any search firm anywhere in the country. 

  • If you are looking for an executive-level position and want to be in our database, we are going to need more.  How did you find us?  Why are you reaching out to Abeln, Magy, Underberg & Associates specifically? 
  • On a related topic, address your e-mail to me (if you are reaching out, you have my email address). 
  • Use your subject line to explain how you found us.  A subject line that says ‘Introduction’ or ‘Resume’ or ‘Your Next Hire’ looks like Spam or Phishing.  We won’t open it. 
  • Don’t send your e-mail to multiple firms at once – using the ‘Bcc’ function.  It is simply not professional from someone wanting an executive level position.   
  • If you reach out through LinkedIn, add a note to your invitation.  How did you find us – were you referred or did you simply find us through your search efforts?  If you were referred, prominently mention the referral name.  (I recently received an invitation stating that the person reaching out was referred by ‘a friend’.  It took three InMail messages/responses from me to get the name – it was another job seeker who knew of us from over three years ago.)
  • Remember, we work on specific openings that often require very specific industry and functional backgrounds.  You may be a great CFO from a Fortune 100 company, but our CFO needs may be from a small privately-held employer or a completely different industry.  The client’s needs direct our search. 
  • Stating that our getting to know you would be a help to us is also a bit presumptive. 

LinkedIn invitations are NOT an automatic yes. 

We need context.  And not every search professional accepts invitations from candidates. 

Don’t assume that we will call you or meet with you. 

Suggesting times to talk or Zoom-meet is a bit presumptuous. 

Executive Search Firm Databases

You do want to be in the databases of search firms that work in your industry, function and geography.  Work to get referred to us AND use that referral appropriately. 

Approach your outreach in the same way you approach your work – with an executive-level professionalism.  We will respond in-kind and confidentially as well.