You probably know that recruiters can help you land an investment banking job and you may have even worked with one. But in an amusing twist, the Financial Post recently revealed 11 ways to ruin your chances of getting a job through a headhunter. Ignore these at your peril.
First and foremost, remember than headhunters work for the employer, not the candidate. “Clients sometimes say: ‘I’ll just contact a headhunter who will get me a job.’ Headhunters aren’t career counselors…they’re motivated by earning the commission,” says Bettina Seidman of SEIDBET Associates.
Second, always be upfront and tell your recruiter when your company, position or compensation preferences change. Because bringing a change into the discussion at the last minute can be an instant deal-breaker. It also makes you look sneaky or untrustworthy.
Third, write clearly and go easy on the jargon. Talk in simple terms about what you’ve accomplished. Show specific and measurable results, if possible.
“Don’t make me as the listener/recruiter/prospective employer have to translate what you’re saying into how it will benefit me or fill my needs. Talk to me in terms of my needs and what you will do for me,” says Caroline Ceniza-Levine, a career coach and co-founder of SixFigureStart.
And maybe most importantly, don’t assume the headhunter is going to do all the work for you. And don’t put all your hopes in the headhunter basket.
A headhunter’s real job is to find the right candidate for the opportunity. Not to find a job for every candidate who crosses their desk. So if you don’t match a job description as well as the next person, they will gladly suggest another person.
And finally, be laser-focused on what type of job you want and what you are good at. Because it’s not the headhunter’s responsibility to tell you what you might be good at. “When the job hunter says that they are ‘open to new opportunities’ a headhunter hears, ‘I’m clueless,’” says David Perry, an executive recruiter and co-founder of Perry-Martel International.
You can read the full list of 11 ways to ruin your chances of getting a job through headhunters in the Financial Post. Meanwhile, are you using a headhunter as well as online job postings? What has your experience been? Add your comments below.