Recruiting The Headhunter: Part 2

March 18, 2009 at 2:44 pm 2 comments

By Carol A. Metzner, President, The Metzner Group, LLC and
Managing Partner, A/E/P Central, LLC home of 

How can you get a headhunter to help you?

Headhunter, recruiter, third-party recruiter, recruiting specialist, executive search consultant…all are acceptable titles…in my humble opinion… 

Bottom line is: you want or need a new job.  You have posted your resume on, hit social networking sites, alerted all your contacts and are trying to get a headhunter to help you network.

You have to identify a recruiter to work with.  Ask your employer which recruiters they have utilized in the past to find staff (of course you don’t want to do this is you are still employed 🙂 ), ask friends for headhunter names, read an article written by a recruiter in your industry. Finally you find one or more to call. Keep the number of recruiters you work with limited. And, make sure you advise them to tell you what firms they want to present your background to.  You need to communicate this to other recruiters so they are not stepping on each other’s toes or doubling their efforts. Now, how do you work with them and get them to help you with your goal of a job?

Do keep in mind, a headhunter’s role is to work for companies who hire them, pay them,  to fill jobs.  Their job is not to work to find people jobs. They will not and should not take any money from you to help you find a job.  If a recruiter or headhunter asks you for money – hang up the phone!

So how do you get them to help you?

  • Call or email them. Ask for their help.   Many recruiters/headhunters will tell you that they can’t help you. After all, headhunters are not miracle workers…we cannot create jobs where none exist.  Ask the headhunter if they can offer any ideas or suggestions. Be forewarned: Many may not return your call or email.  As hard as this sounds: DO NOT BE OFFENDED!  I will tell you that this is not acceptable…I admit, I too have been at fault in the past and am trying to acknowledge everyone…for those I missed I am sorry: please call me or email me again!  As overwhelming as it is to make all the calls to companies and recruiters, it is equally overwhelming for those of us who get literally hundreds of calls and emails a week, to return each one. Again, no excuses from me or others.  Try us again. 
  • Whether by email or phone, do introduce yourself and tell them how you got their name. Was it from a search engine, friend,  colleague, your employer?
  • Give a brief background on your employment history, why you are open to a new opportunity, where you have applied, where you are in your job search and where you want to work (location).
  • Offer to send your resume and provide references, if needed. Some headhunters may not even want you to send a resume for their files. (If they don’t even want you to send a resume for future use –  wipe them off your list!)  If a recruiter asks you to send a resume for their files, believe that they will call you if something or anything appropriate becomes available.
  • Follow-up with a quick email if you haven’t heard back.  Just touch base with the recruiter and let them know you are still looking…or that you found a job! 

Recruiting is about relationships…always has been and always will be.  When you are happily employed, it is always good to have an ongoing relationship with a recruiter you trust so they can keep you informed of opportunities.  When you are ready for a new job or in need of one, find someone who can, if they don’t have any client needs, point you in the right direction.

civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering industry blog :: civil engineering discussions 


Entry filed under: Headhunters, Recruiting, The Workplace.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Catalino Lansangan  |  April 11, 2009 at 6:22 am


    I appreciate your great article on recruitment. Frankly speaking, I have joined LinkedIn to explore job opportunities and gain some upgrades on civil engineering profession as well as friends from the civil engineering society. Although I am Filipino and most of your discussions are based in the US, I did not hesitate to join the group to share my valuable experience as well. In fact, I am already 55 years old and feel that I am already over age to be qualified by recruiters in the Philippines.
    But I am still healthy and plan to work until my energy expires.
    If you see my profile, you can determine that I have all the experiences in all domains of civil engineering practice and yet sometimes, I find it difficult to convince other people. I have received numerous performance awards to include my award with the US Air Force, 3d Civil Engineering Squadron, Contract Management Section in the Philippines when I was just barely six months with them. I have executed a marine construction project in Singapore, even without prior experience, I was awarded with two consecutive years of best performance.
    Thanking you for this opportunity, and wish you more power.

    God Bless You.


    Catalino Lansangan

  • 2. hintonhumancapital  |  March 19, 2009 at 11:09 pm


    This is a great article. Keep it up.


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