Tips on how to get the attention of headhunters if you want to get a better job
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A Talent Shortage Survey conducted by ManpowerGroup last year showed that 38 per cent of employers globally had difficulty filling positions last year. The main reasons were due to an inadequate number of applicants, as well as job seekers who were lacking in technical competen- cies or hard skills, experience, and workplace competencies, or soft skills.

Increase your odds of being headhunted with these handy tips.

1. UNDERSTAND WHAT HEADHUNTERS LOOK FOR
Headhunters recruit on behalf of companies. Ms Lynne Roeder, the managing director of Hays Singapore, said headhunters often seek qualities desired by an employer, such as a strong track record of achievements, stability in a job, and a good professional network.

She said: “Headhunters seek out high-performing professionals who are often happy with their current roles to discuss a vacancy in which their skills and experi- ence are considered a good or better match. They often establish long-term relationships with job seekers, and add value by approaching professionals with suitable opportunities as they progress in their careers.”

Ms Roeder added that candidates approached often have relevant experience and do not mind keeping their options open. Maintaining long-term relation- ships with recruiters allows them to be aware of suitable opportunities in the future when they are ready to move on.

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2. HAVE AN IMPRESSIVE CURRICULUM VITAE (CV)
Be the ideal candidate in person and on paper. CVs that are clear, concise and accessible will catch the attention of headhunters.

Ms Roeder said: “Your CV allows you to get your foot in the door so you can proceed to the next step of the selection process. Distinguish your CV from others by putting together a personal statement, and providing facts and figures illustrating achievements relevant to the role you are applying for.”

Have you conceived groundbreaking ideas that were applied to push frontiers or revamp business models? If so, update your CV and include details of these highly valued skills and achievements. 

3. BE PROMINENT
Be visible and well known in your industry to raise your profile. Ms Roeder recommends making sure you have an attractive brand and respected name by being good at your profession, and getting your name out there. For instance, you could write regular columns for industry journals and trade publications, build your network, and be proactive in making contact with recruiters.

Ms Roeder said: “Networking certainly does help. Attend forums and seminars regularly to be visible. While such events are designed to help you build your industry knowledge and networks, recruitment specialists often participate in such events, which means these are good opportunities to meet them.” 

Be prepared to spend time and effort on this. It takes years to build meaningful relationships so you can make use of your contacts to reach the next stage of your career, speed up your problem-solving and decision-making abilities, and brainstorm for ideas.

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WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU ARE HEADHUNTED?
1. Do not be too quick to reject the offer. Assess it and gain a thorough understanding of the role and company. Find out more about how the company is performing, the internal job progression pathways and working culture.

2. Being headhunted does not mean that you automatically get the job. You could be one of the few candidates up for consideration. If you are keen on the offer, demonstrate that you are indeed an ideal candidate.

3. Do some research on the headhunting firm. Is the company an established name in the industry? Is it genuinely interested in you as a potential candidate for a specific position, or merely scouring the market for candidates to fill its general databases?

This article was first published in The Straits Times Classified. Download The Straits Times Classified app available free at the Apple App or Google Play stores.

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