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Be Your Own Headhunter

In this article, we are going to look how you can be your own headhunter and do the things head hunter would normally do, especially in an employer driven economy.

The reason it is important to know how to be your own headhunter in an employer driven economy is because when times get tight employers tend to stop using headhunters and hire on their own.  They avoid the fees recruiters charge and with such a large worker pool, employers have a lot of options.

So how does one learn to fish instead of just accepting the fish someone else gives you? In an economy where only 25- 35% of all open jobs are public knowledge, with 75-85% of the available jobs hidden, it is vital and helpful to learn how to reach the hidden job market.

What this means in real life is that those people who are well liked, well known or easy to remember are the people most likely to hear about the available jobs in that hidden job market. Even more important is to be the person that hears about the job before the job is even open.

So how does a recruiter find out about these hidden jobs so they can fill them and how can you do the same? First of all you have to ‘cold call’ companies to uncover these hidden openings and in so doing you have to “pitch” yourself. The following is a variation on a recruiters marketing call that you can do for yourself.

“Hi my name is Joseph A. Doe and I am calling regarding any needs you might have for an experienced software engineer with a background in C+, C and more. I have a masters in computer engineering and a short learning curve. I have integrated an AIX UNIX system with a Windows 95/NT, Ethernet TCP/IP. Is this the kind of software engineer you might be looking for?”

This is a typical marketing call for any recruiter. Your odds on getting someone interested are about 1/10. For every ten calls you make there will be one open job. If you don’t want to do this yourself, then you need to work with recruiters as much as possible. Perhaps develop an agreement with a recruiter who is not so busy right now that they would market you for half their normal fee.

Don’t send your resume to more than one person in a company. If you market yourself to the Director of Software Engineering don’t send your resume to the head of hardware and systems even if you have skills in that area. They will share your resume internally if one does not hire you. Make sure you stay in touch with the person you sent your resume to. If it was a department head stay in touch with them not with Human Resources.

Follow these guidelines and you will be acting as your own headhunter.


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