You’ll have heard the maxim that the really top jobs are never advertised, and its who you know… but what if you don’t know the right people? You do the next best thing – you make sure the right people know you, and make yourself a target to be headhunted. Try these simple tips:
Polish your resumé
It sounds obvious – but most people’s resumés (CVs) are barely edited from year to year. Look again at yours – does it ramble on? Make it short and pithy, no more than 2 full pages, and make it relevant. Don’t talk about your adolescent sporting victories, talk about you work – and make it a victory parade by listing your achievements. How you transformed your business, quadrupled sales or launched a new product. Use facts, especially numbers and make sure your area of responsibility is highlighted.
It’s all about the timing
Headhunters pay attention to the dates on your CV and notice candidates who jump from job to job. The best time to make the jump is just after a big success – you took on a brief or a project and you’ve just delivered it. You’ve never look so smart and it’s a logical time to move on to a new challenge.
Get a high profile
People love ‘trophy hires’, attracting those who have been visibly successful in their industry. So look successful – that includes actual delivery in your current job, of course, but being good on digital media helps too. You can also try writing in the press or on influential blogs, including your own, and always try to take up those invitations to speak at conferences.
Seal the deal
At some point, you’re going to have to meet the headhunter and the company you want to work for. Do the research on both – they will both be flattered that you know what they, and their company is about. So understand the specialisms of the headhunter and get to know the target company inside out. Know what they do, get a feel for what they lack – and understand what difference you could make.