If you’re a top performer and well-respected in your particular industry, you may be headhunted by a third-party recruiter for a job. It’s not only flattering when you get a call from a headhunter, it can also be a life-changing experience for you and your career. Being the best isn’t a guarantee that you’ll attract the attention of a headhunter though, so there are a number of ways to give yourself the best chance of being headhunted.
1. Networking on LinkedIn
With the rise in professional and social networking sites, there are now many more networking avenues to explore than just meeting people face-to-face. LinkedIn is the best social network for business contacts, so make sure your LinkedIn profile is as relevant as possible and that you make plenty of connections with others in your industry. The aim of your LinkedIn profile should be to gain exposure, so how can you achieve maximum coverage?
- Use keywords - Headhunters will search by keywords when they’re looking to approach someone, so the more appropriate keywords on your profile, the easier it will be for them to find you.
- Join Groups - Search for groups that are relevant to your field and join them, sharing useful information and your expertise in various discussions to gain exposure through the right network of peers.
- Complete your profile - Be sure to add a professional photo of yourself to your profile and fill it out completely to give potential viewers as much information as possible. Be thorough in your description of your past and present roles, including all achievements – there’s no room for shyness when you’re looking for connections and opportunities.
2. Attending Conferences
Industry-specific seminars and conferences are great places to go to if you’re looking to attract the interest of a headhunter, as they’re often the first place they’ll go to find a suitable qualified individual. If you have the opportunity to speak at one, even better, but don’t just wait to be asked. Offer your services as a guest speaker and you may get a great response from the organizers.
Blogging is another fantastic way of getting your name known, so get yourself out there and become well-known as an expert in your field. Look for websites and blogs that relate to your field, as they’ll always be looking for expert guest bloggers to contribute to their content and reputation. Contact the webmasters of business and industry-specific blogs and offer to write guest blog spots. If you can cultivate a good relationship, then you may even be asked to be their regular expert.
4. The Media
Doing interviews with the press related to your industry will certainly get your name out there, but it isn’t always easy to achieve. Make yourself available in your current role for involvement in any activities and new developments that are likely to receive media coverage. If you’re the expert in your area as well as in any exciting new initiatives, you’re more likely to be approached for an interview. If there are publications that specialize in your field of expertise, writing articles and reports for publication is a good way to increase your reputation and coverage.
If and when you get to the stage where a headhunter is calling you, by all means feel flattered and confident that you’ve been selected out of the multitude of potential candidates out there, but remember to remain alert and professional at all times. You still have to give the best first impression possible when you meet them for the first time, as their job is to impress their client by sending only the best candidates their way. If you’ve been approached by a headhunter, and you wow them when you meet, you may already be well on your way to a golden new job opportunity.
Georgina Stamp works in the executive recruitment industry for Marble Hill Partners. She helps to find candidates for management roles and hopes that this article will help you with your career development.