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It is amazing how so many otherwise good candidates are frustrated because they do not get calls from recruiters.

They are playing hard to get (read: find).

If you are one of these people in transition and actively seeking a new leadership position, or if you are a passive candidate — happy and successful in your current position but would entertain a new challenge, advancement and increased compensation — there are some easy steps to improve your visibility in life.

  1. Keep your ACHE membership (or other professional development group) up to date.  Search consultants rely on the ACHE database, for example, to quickly find contact information.  Do not make it harder for recruiters to find (contact) you when your name pops up on their search radar.
  2. Be sure your various on-line and professional profiles are up to date including current email and personal cell phone number.  Believe it or not, this is a common mistake.  It is not impressive if your profile is months, or even years out of date.
  3. Take recruiter calls.  When a recruiter calls, even when it is about a job you are not interested in, take the time to return the call and, now this is very important, offer to help them identify candidates within your professional network.  If you ignore recruiters, they will probably ignore you.
  4. Allocate time for networking each week, including building your professional network with people who will be able to help you when you enter the world of career transition.  If you wait until you are laid off or terminated, consider yourself six to eight months behind in the job search process.
  5. Create, or update, your LinkedIn profile.  If you think it is not important to justify the time and investment, suit yourself but consider this: most internal recruiters, and many search firm researchers, use LinkedIn as a tool for identifying and tracking current candidates, or executives they feel might be a good fit in the future.  Unless you enjoy sitting at home with no one calling, do it now.
  6. Establish a PROFESSIONAL online profile.  You should have a good photo, not some silly selfie pose with your girlfriends, a shot of you and your “posse” manning it up in a bar, or one of you looking like a doofus sitting behind the wheel of your car.  If you are among the thousands of guilty executives who fall into one of those photographic no-no categories, stop what you are doing and immediately invest money in a great photo. Don’t even think about being cute — please forget substituting your photo for one of your dog or cat.  You may think it shows a certain cool independence but actually it shows a high level of silliness.  One reason I can be so specific here is because I have seen these and other brand killing photographic mistakes.
  7. Never tell recruiters — or say publicly — that you are taking time off to look for an attorney to sue your former employer. That is a sure-fire ticket to long-term unemployment in your chosen field.  Yes, I have encountered that from time to time.

You don’t want to be invisible, nor do you want to be seen as silly or irrelevant.