How to be headhunted

How to be headhunted
Stephanie Livingston By Stephanie Livingston, Financial Services Practice, Rutherford Cross

5 March 2019

Social media has vastly improved the connectivity of business communities, but it has also resulted in the changing perception of what being headhunted involves.

It’s not just about a recruiter coming across your profile on LinkedIn and sending you an InMail. There is a lot more to it.

A headhunter is responsible for mapping out a market at a specific level to understand who holds what position in each company within a certain industry. The headhunter gathers this information not just from LinkedIn, but from their network, taking recommendations and testimonials along the way.

Evaluate yourself

It is important to first decipher what it is you would like to be headhunted for. Seek the guidance of a career advisor or recruiter who will take the time to get to the crux of what you want out of your career and why.

Go in with an open mind and the willingness to listen to what that really involves. You may already be equipped with the skills, experience and expertise to progress in your career.

Alternatively, you may find that you need to take a stepping-stone approach, identifying the sideways moves and additional qualifications that will help you achieve your final goal.

Consider your network

Once you have identified what the next step in your career is, you need to consider how you are going to position yourself in the market.

LinkedIn is an appropriate platform to document and present your relevant qualifications, experiences and interests, so make sure your profile is up to date and tailored to the role you want to go for.

You then need to think about your network and that doesn’t just mean how many connections you have on LinkedIn.

Your network can consist of individuals from your education, career or personal life. It provides you with the platform to interact with professionals and exchange information. In my experience, you derive the greatest benefit from these connections through face-to-face interaction.

LinkedIn allows professionals to add testimonials from relevant peers and seniors to their profile which can help. Remember, however, that because of its specialist nature financial services can often be perceived as a small world; many people have worked together at different stages of their career so the impression you make and relationships you build can, and will, follow you.

Build your brand

It is important to build a personal brand as it will enhance your opportunities. Building a personal brand can sound daunting, but it can start with something as simple as attending networking events and talks which will allow you to meet not only like-minded people on a similar journey, but professionals who are further along in their career.

By networking with these people, you will learn more about their experiences and obtain inside information into the company or position they are working in.

You can also take that opportunity to pitch yourself as a credible future employee to that individual or someone in their wider network.

Solidify relationships

Once you have been headhunted, remember that it is a two-way street. If the position you are approached about is not timely or quite right, try and think of someone you know who might be appropriate.

Being successfully headhunted requires more than just having an excellent LinkedIn resume. It relies on your network, experience, and willingness to interact and communicate with those who have access to the roles you desire.

The more you invest in building strong and trusted relationships, the more you will get in return throughout your career.

Contact Stephanie Livingston from Rutherford Cross for further advice or a careers discussion on opportunities available in 2019

Contact Rutherford Cross

This blog is one of a series of articles from our commercial partners.
The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of ICAS.


  • Career development
  • Financial Services
  • Leadership and management

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