Date posted: 21/11/2017 5 min read

How to get headhunted for your dream job

How can you get noticed by the right people in the job market and land the job you have always wanted? Two careers experts reveal how to do it.

In Brief

  • Highlighting value-added skills and tangible achievements will get you noticed.
  • Showing you are a good cultural fit and can align with the business is of huge importance.
  • When it comes to finance roles, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.

Getting headhunted is a great way to advance and progress in your career. Often recruiters offer jobs that aren’t advertised, so it can be the perfect opportunity to land your dream job – even if you didn’t know it was available.

Christine Montgomery, Director of Finance and Accounting at Pacific Talent Partners, and Anthony Magro, former Customer Success Manager at LinkedIn are two experts in the field of career progression. Here, they offer their best advice to get you on the path to success: 

1. Highlight tangible achievements

Hard evidence of progress and accomplishments is a great way for job candidates to catch the eye of employers. Businesses are on the hunt for people who bring value and highlighting your tangible achievements is a way to demonstrate you can do that.

(Pictured: Christine Montgomery)

“Achievements on a resume are important and are key in securing a face-to-face interview with a business,” says Montgomery. The highlights need to be tangible, showing improvements and savings in time or money achieved through a project or initiative. “It is also very important that these achievements are relevant to the role being applied for.”

Adding rich media samples of previous work will also boost your LinkedIn profile, advises Magro. “Multimedia is a visual add that complements your profile.” If candidates claim to speak at conferences and events, they can showcase this by attaching videos, photos, articles and presentations.

2. Keep it professional

When you have a professional photo, your chances of profile views and response rates soar and you are more likely to be viewed as a credible prospect. “You have a significantly higher chance of having somebody view your LinkedIn profile and trust you if you have a professional photo that complements your role,” says Magro.

(Pictured: Anthony Magro)

3. Highlight specialist skills

Specialised skills are always high in demand, so make sure to include them where you can. “If you have specialised skill set, highlighting that as frequently as possible is going to be key,” says Montgomery.

4. Build personal networks, but be selective

Having a strong personal network is a way of hearing about off-market opportunities for roles that aren’t actively advertised or are outside the recruiter process. “Personal networks can also be useful in terms of referees.  I would strongly suggest candidates build and capitalise on their personal networks throughout their career,” says Montgomery.  

Magro’s advice is to be selective when it comes to your network. It’s about quality rather than quantity. “Your network helps you stay front of mind of your customers, prospects, and potential employers. If there are companies or teams that you want to work in, reach out to the hiring manager or team leader and find out what skills, knowledge and culture they look for when hiring.”

Related: Stay curious this summer

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5. Include a brief synopsis of your current role

It’s important to show what your day-to-day role involves to give a better idea of what your job exactly entails and where your skills lie.   “Key things that can help you stand out are putting in an overview of your role and achievements that you’ve had and to really separate your day-to-day responsibilities from your achievements,” says Montgomery.

6. Be an excellent communicator

Getting communication right can be critical to success. It’s the most popular personal quality employers are searching for, says Montgomery. 

“The most sought-after personal quality is an ability to communicate and influence at all levels, from graduate through to executive and board level, and the ability to communicate to non-finance professionals.” Companies tend to favour candidates who possess the technical skills they are seeking and who are able to engage and influence as required by the role.

7. Keep an eye on who’s viewed your profile

You can see the last five people who looked at your profile, so it’s important to check who they are. An employer or headhunter may have come across your profile via a search, someone recommending you or from content you’ve shared.

“Reach out to find out why they looked at your profile and how you can help them. You never know where the conversation might take you,” says Magro.

Related: Think like a headhunter

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