Sunday, March 28, 2010

How to get HeadHunted ?

Many managers polled claimed that employees are being tempted to shift jobs by headhunters and recruitment consultants. Social media’s proliferation and the recession mean search professionals could be re-designing their approach, with some widening their search area.

In the past, search executives relied on a small network of contacts but the recession has pushed recruiters to look further afield. But the market’s not so buoyant that the recruiters can afford to sit back and wait for the call. Thus, for the job hunters, those wishing to be head-hunted need to refine or polish their CVs before someone come knocking at your door….

Your CV is still your calling card, but headhunters looking to fill management posts may look closer and with a more critical eye because they will be looking for specific qualities and skills.

Try to avoid hackneyed phrases or make sure if you say that you’re a ‘people-person’ or are ‘strategic and commercially-minded’ you can back that up with specific evidence. It maybe tough for you to try explain during an interview with the bosses to be, if they start to challenge your points.

An unusual career trajectory can work in your favour if it demonstrates a breadth of experience – like overseas attachment, projects outside of your main work area and even volunteering will show you’ve got commitment and breath. Headhunters also may like to see you are capable of putting the time in at a role – another reason for having an 18-month timetable in mind.

Raising your profile among your peers is the most important thing to concentrate on if you want to get noticed by headhunters.

• Your alumni network: Headhunters may look for alumni recommendations for candidate leads or to get information on someone they already have their eye on, so it helps if you are in contact with former classmates, professors, lecturers,etc. Joining online alumni groups on social networking sites such as LinkedIn will put you in touch with other alumni.

• Networking: Identify seminars that look interesting to you, and stay for a drink and a chat afterwards. Or best still is to get yourself involve as a speaker or presenter. Be specific about what you can offer in terms of area of expertise. You can also try approaching an event’s organisers to offer yourself as a substitute speaker where case of last minute speaker’s absence.

• IT networking: What information comes up when you type your name into a search engine? Note that your online presence will be “carefully examined” by headhunters, so it’s worth checking your LinkedIn page is up-to-date and your Facebook profile. Do be careful with words that you use on these sites and not be pre-judge as either “childish” or “lacking professionalism” in dealing with such networks.

• Join trade or related industry bodies: Industry bodies such as IMAREST or SNAME ( Marine societies ) relating to your company work are a great starting point for events and networking. It’s always possible you might meet a headhunter there, too. Membership organisations and conferences aren’t cheap, though, so invest wisely. Be sure the people you want to meet are going to be there.

• Try to Get noticed: Industry magazines and websites look for comment or contributions. Aim for publications that are considered their industry’s ‘bible’ —in offshore, marine related if you are from such industry. (If you don’t know which one should be your target, search the name of a high profile business leader in your industry and see where they’ve been quoted.) Blogging and micro-blogging (via Twitter) can also help you set out your reach to a wider audience.

While you’re maintaining an industry and public profile in the net: what else? A few headhunters suggest you become one of their contacts for information about peers. Being able to put forward potential candidates for a job demonstrates your own expansive network – and you’re helping them do their job. Very likely, they will be considering you for a post because your name is always the first one that springs to mind, hopefully.

The saying’s never been truer — you won’t get a second chance to make a first impression. It may be worth investing in some presentation coaching — two or three sessions should be enough to iron out any creases in your personal brand. It could brush up your weaker link somewhere which you might not see in yourself. Like it or not, dress also matters — an illustration of how critical headhunters can be.

Watch what you transmit as well as receive. Listen carefully to what you’ve been asked and complete the thought in your head before answering. Stick to the point — treat it as if you were a senior manager reporting to the board. Do some research on the headhunter who is interviewing you – check out their company website or their social media profile. It’s flattering if an interviewee has made the effort.

Once you’ve got yourself noticed, you’ve handed over an impressive CV and you’ve passed muster at an initial interview, don’t congratulate yourself too early. The real work begins when you are actually put forward for that power role you were after. You might be faced with a lot of challenge in the new working environment. One area of usual concern and weary, office politics at the higher level.

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