IT Management Slideshow: Working With Headhunters: 7 Secrets Revealed

By Tim Moran  |  Posted 09-15-2011

Working With Headhunters: 7 Secrets Revealed

Be findable to the right peopleHow you set yourself up to be found depends on what kind of headhunter you're trying to attract. If you feel a headhunter has wasted your time, it's probably because you were found by the wrong one.

Working With Headhunters: 7 Secrets Revealed

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Forget the keywordsGood headhunters aren't looking for keywords. They are looking for key people, in places such as discussion forums where the best and brightest are talking shop. Good headhunters look for substance, and seek out gurus to whom others turn for advice.

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Go where the headhunters really areFind good headhunters by going where they hang out (when they're not trolling social media sites). Attend industry events, seminars, and continuing education programs. Make sure you have a real life in your industry, not just a virtual one.

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Good headhunters don't gather dead resumes.Your "living" resume is represented by your chain of contributions to your field, by the people you influence, and by your circle of friends. This resume is often found in the pages of the industry press and within discussion forums.

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Know your breed of headhunterContingency headhunters get paid only if they fill a position. Retained headhunters get paid whether or not they fill a position. Either can do an excellent job; they just operate under different models. Judge headhunters by their behavior, not by how they bill their fees.

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Beware the job boardsThere are some legitimate niche job boards, but the business overall no longer has anything to do with filling jobs. Many job boards sell stale data to wishful employers and desperate job hunters. Some "upsell" that data to companies that make money from it in other ways (sometimes questionable, sometimes illegal). 'Nuff said.

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Create your circle of trustTo a good headhunter, substance matters more than sizzle. To communicate your substance, you need to be part of a circle of people who do the work you want to do. Headhunters will find you among the peers who know, trust, and respect you.

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