How to Get Through to Headhunters & Key Decision Makers – Agony Aunt

How to Get Through to Headhunters & Key Decision Makers – Agony Aunt

We’re back with another Agony Aunt article, and this month we’re looking at how to get through to Headhunters and key decision makers.

One of our Senior Executive clients contacted Emma Foster, the Senior Client Relationship Manager and London office manager at Career Intelligence to ask this months featured Agony Aunt question.

How to Get Through to Headhunters & Key Decision Makers


“Dear Emma,

I appreciate that with a job hunt I need to make direct contact with the top headhunters, recruiters or key decision makers.  I have done my research and have found names and numbers but I never get further than the PA or they just tell me they are busy and call me back but never do. How do I get over this hurdle as I do not understand why they do not want to speak with me?”


Dear Ahmed,

Many thanks for getting in touch with me I can definitely sense the feeling of frustration that you have.  The first thing that I wanted to say was that you are not the only one and there are ways that you can change this.  You have rightly identified that making direct contact with headhunters and key decision makers is vital to any job hunt and indeed strong networking skills are vital to any successful career but you do need to know how to get around the ‘Gatekeepers’!

I have two main tips for you here.


1. Build a relationship with the Gatekeepers

Never underestimate the power of a PA – no matter how frustrated you are getting always be positive, professional and polite to the PA’s. Take an interest, ask how they are, if they are having a busy day, try to make them smile.  If they enjoy speaking with you they may eventually say to their Boss that they should speak with you even for two minutes – it could be all you need.

[Tweet “Build a relationship with the Gatekeepers. #headhunters #jobhunt #jobsearch”]


2. Perfect your elevator pitch

Once you have someone on the phone this is only 30% of the battle – now you have to capture their attention.  These guys will be busy so you want to ensure that before you even try connecting with them you have done your research and you know exactly what needs to be said.  An Elevator Pitch is one of they key components to any successful job hunt, it is an idea that you should be able to promote yourself at any time in about 30 seconds to 2 mins in a clear and concise manner that ends with an possible further conversation.  Before you start approaching people you need to make sure you are very well trained on your elevator pitch so that you make the most of every second on the phone to someone who could potentially make a difference.

[Tweet “Get Through to #Headhunters & Key Decision Makers. #jobhunt #executive”]

Make sure you’re ready to to take your career to CEO level and succeed. Sign up to the CI Executive Career Management programme and get access to a Career Coach to guide and coach you through your journey to board level. Also don’t forget to keep a lookout for the top roles that become available in emerging markets.

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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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