Resource Centre Job Search Advice How to Position Yourself to be Head Hunted

How to Position Yourself to be Head Hunted

get head hunted

The higher up you go on the corporate ladder, the more likely you will get a call from a head hunter. At this point, your employment needs have morphed over the years and your priorities have shifted. A head hunter knows this, and when they call their offer might have all the important factors you want in the next stage of your career you grow into. 

A head hunter sounds like someone you would like blowing your phone, right? You need to get their attention when they are searching for someone who fits your profile. 

get head hunted

Here is the Ultimate Guide to Getting into a Head Hunter’s Radar

Be Visible

Put yourself out there. Headhunters find people who want to be found. They scour job sites with public professional profiles to get ideal candidates. Make an effort to be visible in places they frequent. Go to forums and conferences where recruiters are present and talk to people. Create professional networks that expose you and your skills. Make a point of introducing yourself and what you do in professional settings and where possible give out your card. Understand the keywords in your specific industry and update your profile on sites the recruiters frequent like BrighterMonday to ensure your profile gets recommended to recruiters and employers when they type certain industry-based keywords. 

Become an Active Networker and Maintain Professionalism

get head hunted

Networking the right way requires commitment and consistency. Make a commitment to keep up with what’s going on in your industry and seek to interact with peers in your industry. Build valuable face-to-face relationships where you can and create professional rapport. Treat everyone with respect and be careful not to burn bridges. Networking can start with your current and former colleagues, as well as creating new contacts. When going to professional events, ensure your name, professional role and contacts is on the attendee list. During such events, ask organizers to introduce you to valuable attendees and ensure you have up-to-date business cards with you.

Keep Working

It may sound unfair, but you are more attractive as an employed job seeker than one who isn’t. A head hunter will find you a more attractive target if you are already working. It is psychological in the sense that it is believed people who are not currently working are a bit desperate and may take anything. Desperation is not desirable.

Define Your Personal Brand

It is important for you to solidify your personal brand in the industry you’re in. How do you want the head hunter to perceive you? For instance, if you want to be perceived as a marketing expert with years experience, that is how you should portray yourself. Ensure that this is reflected in your online profiles, business cards and other communication.

Say Yes 

get head hunted

When a head hunter asks you for a meeting say yes. Even if you’re not really interested in the job they are offering, hear what they have to say. This is an opportunity for you to gather important information on salaries and the industry. It might also be opportune to create a new member of your professional network. 

Remember What’s Important

The headhunter is actively pursuing you and it feels flattering. This feeling of giddiness makes you forget to ask the important questions. Do not be overwhelmed by the emotions of the moment. Take your time to ask important questions about the job and all the factors important to you. You are in a secure job and aren’t actively looking for a job. This fact gives you an automatic upper hand in the negotiations.

Doreen Mueke
Doreen is the Senior Content Marketer at Ringier One Africa Media.
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