Headhunters are a great resource when it comes to finding a job. Here are some easy tips to help headhunters find and help you.
You might've come into contact with a headhunter before. Unlike the traditional type of hunter you might be picturing, these hunters aren't clad in camo, so they're easier to spot in the wild (and by wild, we mostly mean LinkedIn).
Headhunters might also be referred to as recruiters or hiring specialists, and they work on behalf of a company to fill open positions with top talent. Think of it like this: They're a middleman, connecting potential candidates to a hiring employer. So, it's simple to see how headhunters can become a job seeker's best friend.
But the question now becomes: How do you get headhunters to find you? How will a headhunter know you're looking for a job? Here are six tips to help you get on a headhunter's radar.
1. Make your presence known
If you've already got a LinkedIn profile, you're off to a great start.
Aside from referrals and internal hires, recruiters reported that social media networks serve as a top source for talent, according to the 2017 Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report. That means if you don't yet have a personal connection or already work within a company, your next-best bet is to tap into a social media network like LinkedIn.
Once you've perfected your LinkedIn profile, navigate to your dashboard. Find the “Career Interest” section and update your status to “Actively Applying.” This will let headhunters know you're open to offers. While you're exploring your preferences, be sure to update to reflect job titles and industries you're interested in, location preferences, type of work, and preferred company size. This will help headhunters easily determine if you're logistically a good fit.
2. Turn your LinkedIn profile into a target
Now that you've let headhunters know you're interested, give your LinkedIn profile some extra juice by optimizing it with keywords. There's no exact science to determining the perfect keywords to include in your profile, but think about experiences and skills recruiters might be searching for. You can also look through job descriptions in your desired field to find some hot-button buzzwords.
After you put this work in upfront, you'll want to update your profile every six months or so with new job titles, promotions, or responsibilities.
Related: 10 Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out
3. Take stock of your surroundings
While you wait for headhunters to flock to you, feel free to do some headhunting of your own. By that, we mean seek out headhunters who might be able to help you. Finding and selecting the perfect headhunter can be time-intensive, but for now, just focus on making the right connections.
There are a couple of ways to hunt down headhunters.
First, if you want to work for a specific company, use LinkedIn or other tools to check and see if they have internal headhunters or recruiters. For example, if you dream of working for Bosch, the engineering and electronics company, search Bosch on LinkedIn. Click over to “employees” and then filter the 20,000+ results by typing in a keyword like “talent” or “recruit” in the title section. You'll quickly find talent acquisition consultants and hiring specialists for the company.
Second, if you're more interested in a general industry, such as media or marketing, consider turning to external headhunting agencies and firms that work with a variety of companies. You can connect with a national agency or see if there's a local firm nearby.
4. Make meaningful connections
Whether headhunters are reaching out to you or you're reaching out to them, it's important to make meaningful personal connections.
One rule of thumb for job-seekers? Always respond!
A headhunter might reach out with the “perfect” opportunity for you, but upon reading the job description, you realize that it's just not what you're looking for. Instead of ignoring the inquiry, respond. Thank the headhunter and enlighten them on your career goals. You never know — there could be another position that is perfect for you.
If you're itching to reach out to a headhunter on your own, follow the same etiquette. Simply introduce yourself, share your experiences, and make your intentions known. Consider offering a get-to-know-you phone call or a coffee meet up. The more personal you can make it, the more likely they'll remember you when the right job comes around.
5. Take a step back and survey your situation
Like anything, there are pros and cons to working with recruiters, so make yourself aware of them.
One of the biggest things to keep in mind? While, a headhunter can be your best friend when it comes to searching for a new job, remember that they still make money when they successfully connect a candidate to a company. That's why it's essential to take a step back every now and then to make sure your best interests are front of mind. Sure, a headhunter made that job position sound amazing, but is it amazing for you? Don't be afraid to ask questions and do some digging on your own.
6. Continue to flex your networking skills
Practice patience, job-seeking friends. Just because you're not immediately approached by a dozen headhunters doesn't mean you've failed. Be persistent and take initiative. Keep your LinkedIn updated and follow up like it's (almost) your job.
More often than not, it'll pay off in the end.
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