Companies don’t hire headhunters to find them average people – the people that are just ‘good’ at their job, the ones who enter the office at five-to-nine and leave at five on the dot. They don’t hire people to trudge into meetings and sit quietly, or those that coast along for the ride without ever making any waves.

Companies hire headhunters to find them the best; they want a shortlist of the industry’s top talent; the ones who go out of their way to get noticed and stay connected. Being on the radar of a headhunter or two is the best way to ensure that you don’t miss out on the hidden opportunities in your sector that can transform your career.

Be Great at Your Job

It goes without saying that unless you are in a very specialised role, a headhunter won’t come knocking if you’re just average at your job. To get noticed, you need to be great at what you do and that means really putting the work in.

Make a splash at work by leading the next big project, volunteer your expertise and write for a trade magazine on behalf of your company, make an effort to go to industry seminars and relevant networking events. If you put yourself out there, the right people will notice.

Be Professionally Visible Online

It’s no secret that Google and LinkedIn are the standard ‘go to’ hunting spots for headhunters. If you’re not visible online, you may as well not exist. These days, trying to protect your own privacy by remaining hidden on social and professional networking sites, just looks like you’ve got something to hide.

We know plenty of professionals and executives that don’t like LinkedIn or don’t use Facebook and Twitter. Our advice is – get over it. If you want to get headhunted, one of your most essential tools is your LinkedIn profile. And your Twitter feed will be indexed by Google faster than Lewis Hamilton on a race day, so use it.

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However, you do need to be careful about what you share with the public. Don’t allow your friends to post that picture from Saturday night (you know the one…), and be mindful about your comments on social media groups – they will inevitably end up attached to your name in a Google search.

It’s wise to do your own due diligence with vanity searches against your own name every now and then. Our general rule of thumb is keep it clean, keep it professional, and don’t ever post anything that an employer can later use against you.

Be Contactable

Even if you are not actively looking for a job, if a headhunter calls then accept the coffee invite – the worst that will happen is Starbucks may get your order wrong. You can always politely turn down an offer, but the headhunter will remember you for any future opportunities.

Don’t be shy about giving out your card, as the old saying goes, “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” You never know where that quick chat and card exchange will lead, or who’s connected to ‘that guy’ you met at last week’s convention. Don’t forget to pay a visit to your own LinkedIn profile once in a while to make sure your contact details are not only visible but up to date. There is nothing worse for a headhunter than emails that bounce back or phone numbers that are disconnected. 

As well as being contactable, don’t forget to pay it forward. If an opportunity isn’t right for you right now, then pass on the name of someone else that you know will fit the bill. Referrals are good deeds that headhunters will always remember.

And finally, it’s important to remember that one of the first things a headhunter will ask for when deciding on your suitability for a role, is your CV. City CV are award-winning CV writers who know what it takes to help you compete in the discerning corporate world.

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