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Top talent is rarely advertised. Instead the responsibility for finding talent usually resides with an executive search firm or head-hunters. For executive candidates, understanding how to work truly effectively with head-hunters and get yourself noticed by the right ones can seem a daunting task.

Large organisations track the progress of top graduates from the moment they leave university. They make a move to acquire the services of individuals from this talent pool when they’ve got positions they need to fill. It’s generally a long term process and your career progress may be being tracked without you even knowing it. However, for the vast majority of us, you need to be remembered and in demand. Below are a set of rules if followed can lead to the right job

Be ready – fine tune your CV with appropriate managerial skills. Your CV is still the first impression, however, here, instead of giving the CV directly to the organisation, the head-hunter will first make the pitch on behalf of the hiring firm and you in turn need to be prepared with the right skill sets and experience.

Raise your profile – attend networking events. Volunteer yourself as a speaker and a panelist. Make sure you attend all important meetings and seminars. Opt for a membership in your community in your chosen field.  Introduce yourself to important people and exchange business cards.  Another way to raise profile is through your alumni network. Head-hunters might look for recommendations from your former classmates.

Join jobsites – let people know that you are looking for a job – although it is highly advised against putting in full details about job/organisation for middle and top management, it will help if you put your brief profile on career websites.

Use a permanent e-mail account as your contact. Even after you leave your current job, you can keep track of all the other offers and stay in touch with the head-hunters. Talk to head-hunters, even when you are not looking. If you make a good impression, such as offering names of other potential candidates, a recruiter will remember you and talk you up when your dream job comes along.

After the sell pitch has been made and you are ready for the interview, don’t allow yourself the natural sense of satisfaction you will feel by getting approached. Never make snap decisions as to whether or not to accept an offer, or verbally commit yourself to something you might later regret. Treat it like any other job offer.

Remember that there are big bucks for the head-hunter, take what they say with a pinch of salt. Do your own research. Discuss it with friends and colleagues. Only take it if it’s absolutely the right thing for you at this moment in time. Remember, if this person has noticed you, you can be sure that he or she is not the only one.

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