When we feel like we’re stuck in a job, it can be very frustrating. Especially if you feel like you should be earning more or working for a more exciting company. But, with a few clever tips you can actually get headhunted for your ideal job.
Yup… That’s right. Your ideal job can come to you!
OK, so we’ll take it as read that you’re already a professional in your chosen industry, and you’re looking for an upgrade. If that’s not the case then, well, you’ll need to have a speciality first.
We’ll also take it as read that you are good at what you do. Of course you are, right?
Now, to get headhunted you can use several channels. In general though, any headhunting is done by professional recruiters, or, on occasion, a HR department or in-house hiring managers. I’ve even been found by startup founders, CMO’s and agencies – so there are many ways to get found by recruiters online and in the real world.
Within this article, we’ll look at how to get headhunted on Linkedin, and how to get headhunted via normal job sites. In fact getting headhunted can be a key part of the modern online job search.
Let’s get stuck in.
Identify what you want to achieve
Before you start working towards being picked for you next epic job, you’ll need to understand what your goals are for work.
Are you happy doing the role you’re doing, but feel you should be earning more?
Or do you feel like you could specialise and perhaps work in a more profitable niche?
Perhaps you’re just not enjoying the business you work for and you want to move to a better role?
All of these are common reasons to want to move jobs. So, work out what you want because you’re going to need to optimise several things to get headhunted.
Once you’ve worked out what you want from your job, it’s time to move onto the crucial step…
Fix up your CV
If you’ve been working for a while, chances are your CV might be out of date or just non-existent. Having a well constructed and laid out CV is critical to getting found by recruiters online. And getting headhunted for your ideal job means presenting the best version of your CV and your online personality.
You might find you need to start from scratch. And, with any CV, it’s important to make it obvious what your key skills are and get this point across succinctly.
If that sounds obvious, you’d be surprised how often people miss this important step.
Under each role, summarise your professional experience with a brief explanation. For example, if you’re a sales person, your CV might have a section like this:
COMPANY NAME / SALES PERSON – DATE FROM/DATE TO
- B2B Sales – Generating over $50,000 per month by securing new clients via outbound calls.
- Up selling Champion – Presenting opportunities to clients and regularly exceeding my upsales targets
- Sales Targets – Exceeded my sales KPIs in 8 out of 12 months, putting me in the top 2% of sales people at company
You’ll notice in the example above, I don’t just say what I did, but what the results were in a very simplified way. Anyone reading this CV will be able to see that KPIs have been hit or exceeded.
If you don’t quite have that level of experience, that’s fine. You can also focus on career goals, relevant professional qualifications and even your transferrable skills (horrible term, but one that is very useful to recruiters).
Get someone to check your CV over. If you have a contact in recruitment then use that knowledge. If not, a friend can take a look and check for errors. You can also hire professional CV writers online. This could be a worthwhile investment if your CV is not up to scratch.
How long does a CV need to be?
Ideally a CV, or resume, should be two pages or less. This doesn’t mean you should cram all your experience into these two pages, but that you should optimize your resume to contain the best and most relevant information about you and your professional skills.
Recruiters can get through hundreds of CVs every day looking for potential candidates – so make yours easy to skim read and extract the essential information.
*DO YOU NEED A PAPER CV?*
No probably not. It’s always a good idea to keep your up to date CV stored in an easily accessible cloud location such as Google Drive or DropBox. This way you can quickly and easily share it with anyone who may ask for it.
How to get headhunted on job sites
Now you have an excellent CV, time to get it seen.
The best way to get headhunted for any job is by being visible. This means you will need to be relatively active on jobs portals online.
Upload your CV to as many of the job hunting sites as you can. Popular options are sites like Indeed, TotalJobs and Monster. There may be others in your region or city, so run a search for find a job and see what pops up.
You should also complete your recruitment profile as much as possible.
Add you location, desired salary, any extra details that might swing a recruiter and create a simple cover letter.
Most recruitment sites allow you to make a template cover letter. This should be optimised and tweaked for every role you apply for, but having a template is a good way to get started.
Now that your recruitment site profile looks good, here is the trick….
The secret trick to getting headhunted via recruitment sites is….
Apply for a job every week, or every few days. Ideally one that you want.
If you don’t see anything, simply logging in and updating your profile occasionally will improve your visibility.
Recruiters often see candidates on these websites by recent history, or can filter the search by location, keywords or other elements within your CV. Be active on job sites, at least monthly, ideally daily or weekly.
This is one of the most important steps in getting found by recruiters online. And if you’re looking to get headhunted for your ideal job, visibility is half of the battle.
Another reminder is that recruiters often know good potential candidates at a glance from their CV. If something isn’t working for you, update it. Often this means optimizing your CV to be more specific to a role or industry.
How to get headhunted on Linkedin
As the world’s premier and best professional social media platform you should be active on Linkedin. Wait, you are on Linkedin, aren’t you?
If you’re not then do yourself a favour and set up a Linkedin profile. I’ve written about using Linkedin to find a job in the past, which has details about how to set your profile up to check that article out.
To summarize, set up your Linkedin bio with:
- A good quality, ideally professional headshot
- A headline stating clearly what you do and your expertise. For example: Corporate Fund Manager For Over 6 Years | Qualified Business Management
- A bio that summarizes as best as you can exactly what you do in a scannable way. Think punchy short paragraphs highlighting your skills and expertise
- Include relevant work experience. Don’t worry, this isn’t your CV (although it kinda is) so if you’ve got gaps, don’t sweat it
- Add your skills – don’t go crazy but 10 or so would be perfect
- If you can, reach out and ask for testimonials on your page. These can go a long way!
That is the basics. But once you’re set up, be sure to start adding people to your network and engaging with posts. Keep it professional!
The truth is that if you want to get headhunted, Linkedin is where most savvy recruiters look these days.
Bonus tip for Linkedin
Once you’re setup on Linkedin, you have the option to set your profile as ‘open to work’. You can either select visible to ‘everyone’ (which means a banner appears on your profile saying ‘open to work’), or simply open to recruiters.
I choose only open to recruiters – but if you’re angling to be a freelancer, it’s not a bad idea to be open to everyone.
There is a whole world of tips to get found and potentially get headhunted for your ideal job on Linkedin. But I would make a point of posting as often as you can, weekly at the very least, and engaging on people’s posts regularly.
This last tip is a timeless one, and one that works amazingly well for a lot of people. If you want to get headhunted for your ideal job, get out there…!
Go to trade shows, conferences, business networking evenings, lunches with company founders – whatever it is that is relevant to your target role.
Make sure you have a good quality business card. I’m a big fan of MOO who make great looking business cards – mine always get admiring nods.
You never know who you might meet at these things, so be prepared, keep smiling and keep on going.
And that, my friend, is the end of our tips to get headhunted for your idea job… The TL;DR?
- Setup your CV and post to job boards – be visible and apply for jobs regularly
- Have a good Linkedin profile and be active
- Attend networking events and keep a business card to hand
If you’re looking to build a network and following on Linkedin, which I can strongly recommend if you want to get headhunted, check out Justin Welsh’s Linkedin OS course. It’s an affordable and very informative way to get the essential skills… Highly recommended.
Got your own tips for getting headhunted or finding your dream job? Got questions about how to improve your job search? Share them in the comments below!