How to get Headhunted

Are you looking to take the first steps towards searching for a new role? As a successful Project Manager or Development Director, it’s possible that your next role may come to you via a headhunter or an executive search consultant, however that doesn’t mean that you can sit back and let the roles flood in. With a few simple steps you can get yourself in front of the best headhunters, with the most exciting roles.

You might be thinking, where do I start? Well, it’s not as difficult as you think and there are ways you can increase your likelihood of being considered for a role without having to initially apply.

Keep reading our ‘How to get Headhunted’ guide to find out more...

Let’s take it back to basics.

In case you’ve never been headhunted before, here’s what it entails:

Headhunting is when a recruitment or executive search professional identifies and approaches suitable candidates to fill a job role outside of their typical applicant pool. Usually, companies will engage a headhunter to find senior-level, exclusive candidates who are highly skilled.

Our guide will outline the ways that you can reach the headhunter organically and become a part of their network so when they are looking for a candidate with your skills and expertise, you’ll be at the top of their list.

Be Visible

This might be an obvious one, but you’d be surprised at the number of candidates who don’t make a conscious effort to put themselves out there.

To become recognised within your field as top talent, you must:

1. Be seen by others

2. Provide valuable insight (more on this later)

An easy and accessible way to increase your visibility is to be vocal on LinkedIn. Senior Consultant – Special Projects, Sally O’Sullivan here at Capstone says, “Many candidates don’t use LinkedIn effectively to create enough noise about themselves.”

Gone are the days in which the only way to meet other industry-goers was through networking events and conferences, although these are still great opportunities as we’ll outline further on, utilising LinkedIn enables you to connect with decision-makers daily, rather than just a few times a year.

We’ve created a checklist of things you can do to optimise your LinkedIn profile and the actions you can take to make sure you’re being seen by the right people.

  • Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date so any headhunters perusing your page will know exactly what your experience is and will be able to consider whether you are a suitable candidate for their role.
  • Profiles with an image receive 21x more views than those that don’t, so ensure you have a clear, professional profile picture uploaded to draw in those key individuals.
  • Make use of your headline and state exactly what you do so it’s clear and easy for headhunters to see.
  • Add a summary to expand on your headline. View your profile as way for headhunters to get to know you in as much detail as possible before having a conversation. This will ensure that if they do get in touch, it’s going to be with a role that is suitable, and it won’t be wasted time for either party.
  • Don’t be a lurker and instead contribute to conversation, ask questions, build your community, and collaborate with others to connect with their wider network. The more people you reach, the higher chance your profile will be shown to the right people.
  • Make use of the different post types to create engaging content, this not only favours the algorithm, but it also helps to keep your audience engaged – both will boost your profile to a wider network and more importantly, headhunters.  

Share your insight

If you’re a senior-level candidate, you obviously know a thing or two about your specialism. Showcasing your expertise is vital in attracting the headhunters who have the roles you want.

Get really clear on your USP and why you’re a leader within your field, and don’t be afraid to share this. As Sally said, it’s ok to make noise about your insight, experience, and skills, and this is one of the most important actions that will attract headhunters.

How to showcase your expertise:

  • Speak at webinars and conferences.
  • Share industry news on LinkedIn with your take on it.
  • Leave insightful comments on LinkedIn discussion posts.
  • Ask for your peers to leave recommendations on your LinkedIn page.


Whilst LinkedIn is arguably the most accessible way to network, there are other ways to build relationships with headhunters outside of social media. Attending, or even better, speaking at industry events is still a useful way to connect with peers and recruitment professionals. Webinars, conferences, and tradeshows, whether online or in-person, are great opportunities to carve your place in the industry and build genuine connections. Approach this as a long-term investment into your career relationships and not a quick fix for getting a new role.

Top Tip – Ensure your name and contact details are on all attendance lists so headhunters can easily find you after the event. Even if you don’t speak one-on-one, headhunters are constantly looking for key talent who may be ideal for a role they have presently or later down the line. Make it easy for them to find you.

Use a headhunter when you’re recruiting

Given your level, you’ve probably had to recruit for team members in the past. One of the easiest ways to connect with the key headhunters in your market is to engage them for your own recruiting needs. You can use this as an opportunity to build a connection with the executive search team so you’re in the forefront of their mind when a suitable role comes along.

Remember, recruitment is relationship driven and this is something you should be working on, on an ongoing basis, not just when you’re looking for a new role.

Key takeaways:

  • Don’t be afraid to showcase your experience and expertise through online platforms and networking events.
  • Utilise the tools that you have to meet key recruiters in the market.
  • Come from a space of genuine desire for networking and connection rather than just for your own gain.

If you’re looking for a new role and would like to chat about your next move, get in touch with Matt Cary – / 020 3757 5000.

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Matt Cary

20th July

Career Advice