I have the distinct honor of advising many top executives from around the world on executive job search strategies. You see, networking and “job searching” for a top executive does pose unique challenges. A C-level executive in a job search typically isn’t going to get much traction from calling up their friends and asking if their company might need a new President or COO.

Historically, executives have relied on executive recruiters to bring them opportunities – or networking; a painfully slow process at the top executive level. Recruiters can bring the occasional opportunity, but it usually comes with built in competition. Truthfully, executive recruiters only receive a certain amount of President and CXO job search orders to fill each year.

So here are some additional tips and alternatives for your executive job search as you strategize on the best method for yourself.

Direct Mail for High Visibility Executives

I have seen many high visibility executives successfully conduct direct mail campaigns. (I have a reputable direct mail service so if you want a personal introduction to the president of that company, please call me at 830-331-9398.)

If you are a highly visible key executive who is presently employed, you are probably interested in protecting your interests and identity. There are many ways I advise my senior level clients to do this. If you have your own website (yourname.com), you can password protect it. You can also use a mediator when sending letters to targeted companies in your industry of interest, hiding your identity and vetting interested party calls through a trusted third party who doesn’t mind screening calls on your behalf. Once the company and opportunity are known, and provided you are interested, you may divulge your identity at that time.

Private Agents

There are two companies in the US that I know of who are both reputable and work to represent clients (meaning you, the executive job seeker). In other words, the difference between a “private agent” and a recruiter is that the company pays the recruiter (thus, they represent the company, not you in terms of their interests). YOU pay an executive agent, and that agent will actually make calls and work on your behalf to get you interviews. They will help you develop your marketing strategy, develop your marketing collateral, prep you for interviews, and act as your private sounding board as you are negotiating your compensation package. They can help your leverage yourself in the market and your return on investment can be very, very lucrative. However it is expensive to hire someone who is qualified to perform all these duties on your behalf, so consider this fair warning. *INSERT SMILEY* Many executives use these services with great success. If you want me to connect you to my sources, just give me a call.

Top Retained Executive Recruiting Firms

I have a list I give to my executive clients of top recruiting firms. There are two ways I generally suggest that you reach out to them:

  1. If you are conducting a private, passive search, then call the top 10 firms (like your “Korn/Ferry’s”) and let them know you are considering moving and would like to speak to one of the firm principals confidentially. Do this, one by one, with each top firm on your list.
  2. If you are less concerned about privacy issues, you can set up an email distribution and send your resume and a value proposition letter to a wider group of retained recruiters that place top executives. I have a large list that I send out for my clients for $249. It’s a painless and relatively inexpensive way to cover a lot of ground at once with the reputable recruiting firms both in the US and if needed, internationally.

I hope this insight empowers you and ignites your enthusiasm for your job search! There are many ways for executives to keep control of the job search process and many strategies from DIY to DFY (Done-for-You), depending on your time and budget, that can yield powerful results.

Read the original article, Best Job Search Strategies for Executive Level & C-Level Jobs.