Job Hunting tips from a Headhunter

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Pay it forward. Some of you will have it easy. Executive search firms will hunt you down and offer you amazing roles. If they aren’t a fit for you, recommend a friend. Don’t just ignore a lead that could really help a colleague with your stamp of approval. You can scan your network by title and check the “open to work” feature LinkedIN has recently added.

No Air Balls. Don’t apply to everything. It’s not a numbers game except for the numbers you put on the board actually interviewing for roles where you meet all of the requirements. The rest is just noise.

References work.  Request testimonials from at least 5 colleagues, supervisors or clients for every position on your linkedIN profile. The best to get them is to give them.

Divide & Conquer. Split your search between these categories:

  • Identifying which companies you want to work for and why. Research for other companies that might answer the why outside of your heat map.
  • Identifying LinkedIN network connections currently at, or formerly employees of those companies, and make new connections with thoughtful introductions.
  • Study relevant content for those brands—press releases, financial disclosures, linkedIN profiles, twitter feeds etc.
  • Private message representatives in talent acquisition, human resources, and hiring managers only if you see a role you’re absolutely a match for. Otherwise you can DM your resume and just ask them to take a look if their schedule’s permit.
  • Apply only for roles when you meet required skills, and approach or exceed desired skills.

Balance in all things.  Don’t spend 50 hours a week on your search. Spend some time on a hobby, work out at least 30 minutes a day and develop a wellness practice like meditation, yoga or even reading a good business book or listen to podcasts by leaders in your field. Don’t burn out and get frustrated.  Improve your mental and physical condition and you’ll perform better.

Be ready to call for backup.  Make 2-3 edits of your resume so you can have them ready when roles skew emphasis in one competency you have rather than another or with different Objective Summaries if you’re a bit of a polymath.

Dial them don’t file them. Call old colleagues on the phone and network the old fashioned way.

Use the new features on LinkedIN implemented during the pandemic. Scan your linkedIN network for anyone who says “I’m hiring” band ask them if their X team has anyone you think they should call just to get introduced/network? If that’s a no go, you can ask if there might be any new hires in the coming quarter that they’re aware of.

Trust but verify. Know your numbers; have them backed up with spreadsheets and presentations when possible. That comes to metrics on your success and quantifiable wins and losses. Be prepared to discuss any topic on your resume in detail and to talk about your wins and losses.

Ryan Brogan is the founder of Brogan Search Partners–A boutique Executive Search firm with clients across the United States.

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