Gaining Exposure

Personal referrals are executive search consultants' preferred source of candidates. Use your network to find leads to the headhunters in your field of interest.

Finding job opportunities through Executive Search firms is not as simple as expressing your interest to a few recruiters. There are thousands of executive search consultants who focus on very specific market segments; some work independently and others are part of very large firms.

To learn more about the executive search industry and potentially gain exposure to recruiters, we recommend: 1) AESC/BlueSteps and 2) John Lucht’s and book Rites of Passage, each described below.

The Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) is the worldwide professional association for retained executive search firms. With over 4000 members, the AESC is recognized as the official representative body of executive search, and acts as the voice for the industry in its communications with search firms, client organizations, the senior executive community, government and the media.

BlueSteps is the career service provided by AESC. BlueSteps’ paying members can maintain a lifetime career profile and resume visible to the AESC retained executive recruiters; members also gain access to the AESC directory of thousands of Executive Search Consultants. Darden has partnered with BlueSteps to offer our alumni an exclusive discount of 30% off a lifetime membership as well as a waiver of the annual fee for Premium Services. Contact Darden Alumni Career Services for the Darden Alumni code to use. Click here to find a complete description of BlueSteps member benefits. Bluesteps provides this guide: How to Work with Retained Executive Search Consultants.

Rites of Passage at $100,000 to $$1million+ by John Lucht (revised in 2001) is an excellent source of information on working with Executive Search firms. Through Mr. Lucht’s website, members can have their personal email and resume sent directly to 500+ “rites-honored” firms, the executive search firms considered essential for executive search by Mr. Lucht. Rites-Honored search firms are listed on the site here. Membership at is $94 (lifetime fee) which includes access to the full directory of these executive search firms as well as inclusion in a resume database searchable by recruiters.