28 Oct


As an executive in a competitive industry, making a career change can surely be intimidating, and when you’re trying to stand out among fellow job seekers who all hold similar qualifications as you do, it’s not unusual to feel vastly overwhelmed.

The good news is that there are ways to stand out to executive recruiters in a professional and subtle manner, which is especially important when you’re vying for a top spot in a popular niche.

To help you do just that, here are a few tips on how to be a stand out candidate:


It seems as if the world of resumes is always shifting slightly, so take the time to make sure your resume fits in with modern best practices. Remember, executive recruiters are no strangers to reviewing resumes, and when they have a stack of them to sift through, you don’t want yours to get tossed aside because of a simple mistake.

Typos, vague statements about your experience and credentials, and failing to tailor your resume around the position and company you’re applying for are all common resume mistakes you want to avoid.

Don’t limit your scrupulosity to your resumes either; be just as attentive with all professional documents that a recruiter asks for. This is often your first opportunity to establish your eye for detail, something required in all top positions.


In today’s world, the majority of recruiters rely on LinkedIn to help them better evaluate a candidate as a potential hire. Because of this, it’s necessary to keep yours updated and optimized for the industry you’re in. Here are some quick tips to help your profile stand out:

  • Use keywords effectively. Recruiters will often search LinkedIn using the title of the position they are hiring for as their search terms. For example, if you were a senior civil engineer, you’d fare much better in search results for open positions if you cement that title into your headline as well as your summary, experience, and skills sections. You don’t want to flood your profile with search terms in an inorganic manner, but you do want to include them in as many places as you naturally can.
  • Post a professional photo. While a recruiter shouldn’t base their decision to contact you about a job merely on your profile picture, it always helps to look the part.
  • Complete your profile. If you don’t have the commitment to finish your LinkedIn profile, it can subtly send the message that you’d treat your work the same way. Remember, details make an important impression.
  • Build up a strong network. An impressive network of industry contacts and a long list of recommendations from past supervisors and colleagues help demonstrate your authority in the industry.
  • Show some personality. Remember that recruiters often screen for company culture compatibility in addition to the obvious experience and credibility, so while you don’t want to be over the top in your presentation, it helps to showcase a little bit of what makes you unique.

While LinkedIn is the biggest social media platform that recruiters screen, they often look at other major ones as well. If your profiles are public, try to keep your postings professional, and avoid posting about topics that you wouldn’t want a future employer to see.

Make It Easy for Executive Recruiters to Want to Hire You

As mentioned above, attention to detail is something you can successfully demonstrate in the interview process. By helping the hiring process move smoothly along, you’ll make things easier for the recruiters you’re working with, something they’ll truly appreciate. That being said, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Reply to emails in a timely manner. Reliability and strong communication skills are key in the business world, and if you take two days to get back to a recruiter’s emails, it can send the message that you are lackadaisical when it comes to time and responsiveness.
  • Show up to your interview(s) on time. Recruiters are busy people who often have multiple appointments in the same day. Showing up late to your interview is inconsiderate and can put them behind schedule. It can also adversely affect you if the interview needs to be condensed for time, leaving you with less opportunity to sell yourself. Of course situations can come up that can’t be helped, but call and communicate if something obstructive arises.
  • Send documents how and when recruiters ask for them. If a recruiter asks for additional information and/or documents, send them by or before the date the recruiter needs them by. Also, show that you can understand instructions by sending them in the requested format. Recruiters will ask for documents in the format that works best with their software and workflow, and respecting this results in a more streamlined experience.


Just as you want to impress the recruiters who are interviewing you, recruiters want to impress the company that has hired them. Their main goal is to discover job seekers that will do well with the company for a long time, as this benefits their reputation in their own niche.

To help demonstrate that you are a worthwhile candidate who cares about your work, take the time to research the company you’re hoping to secure a position with.

How long has the company been around? What is the mission statement on the company’s website? How does it stand out amongst similar companies in the same industry? Has it been mentioned on any authoritative websites or made any recent headlines?

Doing a bit of initial research will help you better engage with the interviewer, and it will help you better prepare what you’re going to say about how you can be an asset. Use specific examples of how you’ve succeeded in increasing profit, employee performance, client retention, etc. at past jobs, and relate that to how you’d help the current company-in-question be more successful. The clearer you can be about your eagerness and capability to be of value, the more confident recruiters will feel about showcasing you to their clients.


You can have the most impressive history when it comes to experience, credentials, education, and workplace achievements, but if you’re perceived to be unfriendly, arrogant, or terse, your highlights will quickly dim down.

You don’t have to be inauthentically outgoing if that’s not who you are, but work on being approachable and relatable. An interview is the chance to show you’re the best match for the company skills-wise, but it’s also a chance to show that you’re someone who would be pleasant to work with. Make the effort to thank and shake the hands of each person who was in the room during your interview, and call everyone by their names to personalize your gesture.

While it’s commonly accepted to follow up after your interview with a “thank you” email, sending a “thank you” card in the mail can add that extra personal touch.


If you have the experience, references, and credentials to fill an executive role, you already possess the foundation necessary to be noticed by recruiters. We hope these tips give you some direction on how to further stand out to hiring professionals for all of the right reasons–good luck!

S.R. Clarke Consulting Services, Inc. has over 41 years of experience helping employers find top talent necessary to grow their businesses and job seekers discover life-changing career opportunities. We are an elite, full-service national executive search firm, proudly serving the construction, engineering, and property development industries.

Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you.

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