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Ways To Approach Headhunters

Nov 3, 2007
There are many ways to approach headhunters, but unfortunately sending resumes that have been unsolicited can result in no response as the majority are now working based on referrals only.

The best start is to find out who is who in the area of headhunting by looking at headhunting directories. Then follow these important steps:

pick out the most reputable headhunters who deal with industry specific positions

call the headhunter with a list of general questions about the industry of interest

ask the headhunter things about the current state of that industry

ask the headhunter about salary averages for executive positions in the area

ask the headhunter about the numbers of top executive positions that have appeared in the area

get into a casual discussion and answer all questions regarding your own background

if offered a chance to meet and discuss this further, then do

Approaching a headhunter is all about making oneself visible to them as most of them now belong to professional or trade groups or associations. Their directories are a powerhouse of information, including in most cases a list of reputable members and what they offer.

Another approach to headhunters is to become a good resource for information. It is possible to contact a headhunter and pass information about people that you know that are in the industry they deal with and give some recommendations. The headhunter will be grateful for the tips and very interested in your background as well, adding you to their potential contact and candidate list.

When getting a call from a headhunter, the best way to deal with this is to get as much detailed information about the job position as possible. Most headhunters reveal little about their client's identity, but are quite willing to discuss the company's location, industrial type and size.

Next, interview the headhunter for more information. Make a list ahead of time of all the questions needed regarding the position one is looking for and the industry itself. It is a given that even the best headhunter does not have all the information that one requires and will most likely be glad to find out and get back to you. However, it is important to be careful to not be too pushy.

Then, if the headhunter agrees to researching the information for you, offer to call them back another day. Most headhunters will be glad to give out their contact details. However, if the gist of the conversion seems very loose and there is a total lack of interest from the headhunter, then this is a sign of a less reputable recruiter and not worth pursuing.

Alternatively, make a visit to the headhunter's office to get a visual look at the day to day operations. A real professional headhunter is dependent on repeated business, so the office will be very organized and maybe even busy.

Once inside, do the same routine as would normally be done on the phone. However, if contacted by another headhunter after initially contacting the first, be prepared for a possible job discussion. It is important then to get specific job details, and note how the headhunter got your details, but under no circumstances offer a resume or send one in at this point. Note that decent headhunters will respect this and be quick to respond.

If the headhunter suggests it, then you may arrange for a meeting, at which point it is important to have an up to date copy of your resume on hand. During this meeting, the headhunter will willingly reveal more detailed information regarding the job and client. If they offer to arrange an interview, make sure that you do background research about the client before going in.

Approaching a headhunter can be both easy and hard at the same time. Most decent ones no longer accept resumes without the first contact and interview steps. However, they do appreciate a call for more information.
About the Author
Greg Heslin is a best selling career advice and "street smart" tips author on how to survive in the 21st Century workplace.To learn more about FREE cutting edge career tips and techniques, you can visit his web site at http://www.My-New-Career.com
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