Want to be headhunted?
Imagine that it’s 4:30pm in the afternoon at the end of a busy work day. The phone rings and you answer to find out a headhunter is interested in recruiting you for a job. Maybe your job is a perfect fit, or maybe not. However, if this is a scenario that does entice you, then you may want to listen up. Organizations regularly utilize professional headhunters to help them recruit top-notch candidates for their client organizations. There are many ways to get noticed by a recruiter. If you are a skilled worker with an outstanding work ethic, you have the ace card to be headhunted.
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Table of Contents
Tips for being recruited:
- Again, first you need to self-evaluate and make sure you want to be contacted by a recruiter. If you’re happy with your current position, it doesn’t make much sense to make yourself a target for other positions.
- Everyone has heard it, but nobody likes to admit that there is great value to already being employed. Managers cite numerous reasons they only hire currently employed workers. Even if it isn’t a job you had hoped for, in the long run it has the potential to do more than put money in your pocket; it might help you land your dream job.
- Make sure your online presence is up-to-date. Are your social media accounts current and well managed? LinkedIn is a great tool with allowing you to locate the individual you need to get in front of to get hired, as well as recommendations, and references all in one convenient place. I do a lot of career planning workshops for organizations and their teams and one thing I often find is individuals complaining that they didn’t get a call back. But when I ask who they addressed their communication to, they reply “to whom it may concern”. With all the advents in technology, if someone didn’t take the time to know you, would you give them a job?
- On the other hand, although it is certainly important to have updated information online, it is equally important that it is valid, appropriate, and concise. Just as the case would be in applying for a job, recruiters only spend 5 to 10 seconds looking at your resume or profile, if they find flashy information, you will simply land in the disregard pile.
- Be visible within your field. Attending industry meetings and seminars is a key ingredient for being found by a headhunter. Headhunters often scan attendance lists of these kinds of events in search of ideal candidates.
- Make an impression with every encounter, be it at a workshop or at the supermarket. Have your business card available. Especially at business oriented events, exchange business cards like you would apply sunscreen on a sunny day. Even if it doesn’t lead to being head-hunted, networking is the necessary evil of good business practice.
- Be competitive in the labor market. If you haven’t been trained in the area you want to take your career, show initiative and take some classes. Companies care less about where you earned your degree and more about your motivation in continued learning and development. “Lifelong learning” is becoming an ever popular phrase regarding desirable employees.
- After you’ve made the effort to get noticed, don’t automatically turn a headhunter down if you aren’t immediately interested in their presentation. Professional headhunters always ask to meet with you personally and you would be wise to accept. Even if the job doesn’t make you jump with excitement, the meeting is an opportunity to learn more about the field and network.
- Don’t forget the importance of presentation, presentation, presentation. Your skills and social visibility have caught someone’s eye, but that doesn’t mean much, if you botch that first impression. Dress professionally and interact with confidence. Avoid the office gossip, and never, ever criticize a previous employer. You have already been picked out of the crowd, just take the sell home.
- Stay focused on your goals. You set out on becoming noticeable because you decided it was time for improvement. Be careful not to move in the opposite direction. You may not only be approached for a job that interests you, but there may be offers that really won’t improve your situation. Interview before getting interviewed. Organization and culture fit are the two biggest reasons, employees quite or get fired. Don’t be afraid to humbly decline if the key just doesn’t fit. Sometimes it is better to stay put than jump in head- first.
Now you’ve got the insider tips to get noticed. Now go out and shine, like the firework you are. That job you’ve been hoping for is not out of reach, especially for a motivated professional like yourself.