How to get scouted by a headhunter: expert tips to get noticed

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We outline how to get scouted by a headhunter, with expert tips to make sure you get on their radar and boost your prospects.

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In some career paths, being spotted and scouted by a headhunter is a sign that you are doing all the right things: being noticed, being a desirable commodity for industry leaders, and being talked about in the C-suite (the group of executive offices that customarily start with C: CEO, CFO, CIO etc!). But how can you get yourself onto the radar of a headhunter if your specialism is fairly niche, or if there is a lot of competition for the attention of the best headhunters in your field.

How to be scouted by a headhunter: top tips

Be Bold!

Introduce yourself! Make an appointment with the headhunter, take along a short but succinct CV and tell them in which industry you are looking for recognition. While some managers might not appreciate the overly bold approach, recruiters, especially those working at the high levels at which headhunters tend to operate, are a different kettle of fish. They have risen to the top of their own profession and enjoy meeting an equally determined and ambition client, especially someone who is well aware of their own worth and who is determined to achieve their goals in a timely fashion.

Skill Up

Think of your dream job. Now think of the skills you will need to be able to do that job to the absolute best standards. While you might be able to do a competent and workmanlike job with your current skills, if there is a large gap between current skills and those that you will need to meet the demands of that dream job, start taking courses and laying down those skills that you will need. While working for free should be avoided whenever possible, if you can gain valuable experience by work shadowing or offering a few voluntary hours in departments that can give you skills that you need, then you could consider that, especially if paid courses are too expensive or out of your remit. Quite apart from then having useful skills this will prove to the headhunter – and prospective employers – that you are very serious about pursuing the position.

Be Honest

This point cannot be reiterated enough. Honesty is so important, especially when you are dealing with people who do not know you. While a long-term friend, or even an employee who has grown up, so to speak, with the company, might get away with white lies or omissions, as a stranger who is relying on a headhunter’s contact to gain them a foot in the door, any dishonesty reflects terribly on you, but also makes the headhunter and their agency look foolish too. There is little that will get you removed from lists of possible quicker than biting the hand that you are begging to feed you!

Do Your Homework

Finally, make sure you choose the right headhunter before making your case for their attention! A headhunter well versed in the financial industry, and easily able to name the CEOs of every major bank in the city will struggle to get anywhere if your specialism is biomechanical engineering! Once you have found the recruitment experts in your field, such as Eagle Headhunters, make that appointment, then go in there, tell them what you are looking for and follow that up with an excellent reason for them to help you get it!