How to Make Yourself Tasty For Headhunters

Last Updated Nov 18, 2009 4:52 AM EST

There is movement in the City and around the country. Recruitment company Morgan McKinley recently announced that new position seekers were up 6 per cent on September's figures. If you're in the market for a new job and want to get on the radar of City headhunters, how are you going to do it?

Here are a few tips on being at the head of the queue when there are interesting jobs going, and how to be on the headhunters' lists when they're looking.

If you're not visible, you don't exist

How's your personal brand? Are you marketing yourself and your expertise in such a way that headhunters will find you?


Then if they find you, will you be saying on your page the sort of stuff that impresses? Persuade them you are in complete control of your online brand with a clear demonstration on your online pages of your 'project, action, result' successes. It's no good being too modest about your achievements when headhunters are actively looking for people who can do what you do.

How's your networking?

Don't ever consider networking to be a waste of time, it is a powerful aid to your chances of success. The more people who know you the more chances you have of the thought leaders influencing others on your behalf. You are also far more likely to be recruited or to hear of potential opportunities when you network, your network alone can be deemed sufficient to have you on board, and is often perceived to be more powerful than your qualifications.

Think Long-term and be patient

Develop long-term relationships with headhunters who will grow to see you as reliable with great integrity and authenticity. Don't expect to achieve great results if you start to connect with them just when you feel you want a new job, that'll stand out like a sore thumb.

Keep the two-way respect going, be a source for them to find out what's going on in your industry and be prepared to wait a while until they find a match for you while at the same time keeping a proactive profile.

Be reliable

Saying 'yes' to a headhunter's request to put you on the short-list as a candidate, then changing your mind at the last moment after that list has been submitted to the client isn't just poor PR for you but will surely damage that headhunter's reputation with his client â€"- he hasn't judged the talent well. Ensure damage limitation to your own reputation by being absolutely honest about your thoughts on any job offers.

When you are one-to-one with a headhunter, don't treat it like an 'interview'. It is a business meeting, he/she has a client with a problem and you may be the solution to that problem. With that in mind you will be able to keep the meeting balanced and not feel too much the supplicant.

It is probably better, in most cases, not to discuss salary at the first meeting, you can assume they are looking for the answer to their problem and will pay for that solution. Deal-making comes later.

(Pic: moriza cc2.0)