Approaching Headhunters Is A Lot Like Dating

Approaching Headhunters Is A Lot Like Dating

Approaching headhunters is a lot like dating. This is what I found out during the recent webinar I hosted with Dubai Headhunting Specialist and Executive Coach, Isabelita Castilho.

Drawing upon her previous experience as a headhunter and talent acquisition consultant, Isabelita discussed strategies that Senior and C-Level Executives can execute in order to successfully approach Dubai headhunters.
Here’s what I learned from our insightful discussion.

Approach networking like you would a first date

This makes a great deal of sense when you think about it. When going on a first date, your obvious aim is to impress. Chances are you’ll put time and effort into your appearance to make a good first impression.
The same rules apply for networking. Whether doing so online or in person, it’s important to ensure that you are presented professionally – this is the first step to making headhunters and recruiters wanting to know more about you.
Ensure that your LinkedIn profile is presented well, not just your profile picture (which should be professional and inviting) but also the text you use – having several typos or errors throughout could create a negative impressive.

The Executive job market is a lot like an iceberg – only a small amount of jobs are visible, while the majority remain hidden beneath the surface

Around 80-90% of senior executive roles are unadvertised so if you’re relying solely on the advertised job market to gain a new role, you’re missing out on a huge number of opportunities.
By successfully forming relationships with headhunters, you’re exposing yourself to a whole new job market, which you probably didn’t even know existed.

Do your research

According to Isabelita, the moment a company is expanding, they are hiring. This is one of many signs you can look to when searching for new opportunities.
It’s important to do your research on companies within the various industries you are interested in and find out the best contacts to approach in order to create a connection.
An advanced LinkedIn search can be a useful start – search industries and locations you are interested along with the key word ‘headhunter’ and you’ll quickly find the right people to connect with.

Desperation can kill your chances

Coming off too eager or desperate will hurt your chances with headhunters. Drawing back to the dating analogy, if you come on too desperate when approaching a potential date – going on about how much you want a boyfriend/girlfriend – chances are they’ll be scared off.
Keep this in mind when approaching headhunters. Instead of telling them you’re looking for a position straight up, make a valuable connection with them and tell them a little about yourself and your background.
This will put you on their radar and make them work for you – not the other way around. In a sense, I suppose you could call this is the networking equivalent of playing hard to get!

For further advice on successfully approaching headhunters in the Dubai job market, and to see how Isabelita tackles topics such as age, CV gaps and more, please visit this link to view the full webinar.
I’d love to hear about your experiences or frustrations when approaching headhunters in Dubai (or beyond!). Either book an appointment with Isabelita on her page, or upload your CV to our database for a free CV appraisal.
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About the author

Jamie McDermott

Involved in Business Development and Technologies at Career Intelligence. Based in the Fleet Street, London office since the start of 2014.

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