Insider Secrets on How To Work With A Headhunter

Young woman in job interviewWhen you are a candidate looking for a new job you want to identify all the recruiters who specialize in your sector. While some recruiters are generalists, the best recruiters specialize in a sector or function.

Do your research and find out the names of the recruiters who specialize in your function or sector. They are probably the same recruiters who have been calling you over the years. You can also ask your colleagues (or friends in the industry) which recruiters they hear from as well.

Functional recruiters immerse themselves in a particular function.

Examples:
Recruiters who specialize in Accountants
Recruiters who specialize in I.T.
Recruiters who specialize in CEOs

Sector Exports will recruit for a variety of functions, but within a defined sector.

Examples:
Recruiters who specialize in Consumer Packaged Goods
Recruiters who specialize in Advertising
Recruiters who specialize in Telecommunications

My firm, The Landolt Group, specializes in recruiting in pharma & biotech.

LinkedIn-Connect-featureOnce you have identified the appropriate recruiters, send them a LinkedIn request. Good recruiters will always say YES to your LinkedIn request. It’s in their self interest to have a large network. You don’t have to elaborate with a long message. Just say “I work as a ______ and think it makes sense for us to be connected on LinkedIn.”

Once you are connected on LinkedIn you should have access to their e-mail address. If not, you can send them a message and say that you would like to send your resume to them. Ask for their e-mail address. While you can send attachments through LinkedIn, don’t do it. It will be harder for the recruiter to upload it to their database.

SENDING YOUR RESUME

Try to avoid sending your resume at night time or on the weekends. If the recruiter isn’t watching their e-mail, it will end up on the bottom of their new e-mail list when they view it and it’s very easy for them to miss it.

The BEST time to send your resume is during business hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

The Subject Line should say:

YOUR NAME – RESUME – YOUR PROFESSION.

Ex. Sally Smith – RESUME – Market Access Manager

Do not just put “My Resume” in the subject line. It makes it hard to find your e-mail.

COVER LETTER?
Don’t put a cover letter. Most recruiters don’t read them. Save the good stuff for your resume. Instead, in the body of your e-mail write a very short note. Make it 3-5 sentences at the most.

Ex.

Hi John,

I work as a product manager for P&G and wanted to connect with you about my job search.

You can reach me on my cell phone at 416-123-2456.

Looking forward to speaking with you.

Best,

Your Name

Portrait of a handsome man having phone conversation

WHEN SHOULD I FOLLOW UP?

While this may sound counterintuitive, my advice is to follow up with a phone call within 10-minutes of having sent your resume. Why? Because your resume will be right there in their inbox. If you get voicemail don’t leave a message. Just hang up and call again 20-30 minutes later. Keep calling until you reach them.

WHAT DO I SAY WHEN I CALL?
When you call say this:

Hi _______,

It’s John Smith. Do you have a quick moment for me? (Pause and see if it actually works for the recruiter to talk at that moment.)

I just sent you my resume and wanted to see if you received it. Did you get it? (Usually the recruiter will click on the e-mail and will open the attachment.)

Great! I understand that you recruit in my area of expertise. What’s the job market looking like for someone with my background? (Let the recruiter talk).

Do you happen to be working on anything that could be a good fit for me? (Listen)

I would love to sit down together for a coffee with you so that you can get to know me and my background. How is your schedule looking over the next week or so?
(Book the interview.)

WHO PAYS A RECRUITER?

Recruiters are paid by their client companies to find a candidate that is as close to a perfect match to their job description and culture as possible.

If you are a superstar candidate – meaning you are one of the best in your field and are currently employed, the recruiter might try direct marketing you to see if they can proactively book you an interview. This also happens when you work in an area where there is a shortage of available talent. While this does happen, it is less common because the recruiter will only get paid if someone chooses to hire you.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I FOLLOW UP WITH A RECRUITER?

1x per quarter is frequent enough. If you want to keep yourself top of mind with a recruiter, just send them a news article or forward something that you saw that may be of interest. When you call you can ask them what the job market is like and if they are seeing many opportunities for someone with a background like yours.

YOU’VE MET WITH A RECRUITER AND THEY ARE SENDING YOU OUT FOR AN INTERVIEW

Ask the recruiter if they are working on this mandate exclusively or if there are other recruiters working on the assignment as well. This will let you know whether you are a member of a short list of 3-4 candidates or are in a fishing expedition of multiple candidates represented by multiple recruiters.

COACHING
Ask the recruiter:
What can you tell me about the person I’m interviewing with?
What is the culture like at this company?
What are they looking for in an interview?
What other advice can you give me?

It’s important to ask the recruiter for their coaching. Many candidates don’t and they are always at a disadvantage compared to those who ask for advice.

FINAL ADVICE
The Average Recruiter who works at a middle management level and above will fill between 10-20 assignments each year. As a candidate, you should work with multiple recruiters as each recruiter will have a different roster of client companies that they represent. Think of it as a long term relationship. If the recruiter can’t place you immediately, they may have something available for you in the future.

Here’s to your success!