It’s a cliché, but unfortunately true: looking for a job is itself a full time job, just without the camaraderie, commute and compensation associated with actual employment. If you eliminate the hassle of looking for work, you could have a lot of free time to spend meandering about in the sun.
How can you make top banking headhunters come to you? We asked some top headhunters, and some careers advisors. This is what they said.
1. Make sure your social media presence is impeccable
Most headhunters have their own proprietary ‘market maps’ which tell them who’s working where and what they do there. Nevertheless, they are also prone to scouring the web in search of potential hires. If you have a comprehensive presence on social media, they’re more likely to come across you and call you up.
“Whatever Google shows when people search for your name has effectively become your CV,” says Janet Moran of The CV House, a CV writing specialist which works with senior banking professionals. “You need to make sure that the information that’s publicly available about you on the web is comprehensive and accurate.”
2. Maximize your personal SEO
Just as companies spend fortunes on search engine optimization to ensure they rank near the top of Google searches, so you need to optimize your CV. Whether recruiters are searching an online CV database or the web, your CV is a piece of content and it needs to be as searchable as possible.
Moran advises that you spend some time studying advertisements for the kinds of jobs you’re interested in. Look at the skills they’re asking for and the words that are used to describe these skills. Weave these deftly into your online CV or profile.
“You need to know the skills and experience that your target audience is looking for and then target your CV towards that audience,” says Moran. “It sounds simple, but a lot of people don’t do it.”
3. Increase your visibility in every way possible
If you want jobs to come to you, you need to be visible. Having excellent personal SEO is one way of increasing your visibility, but it’s not the only way.
Headhunters will often talk to clients to get soundings about who the best bankers are in a particular market said Stéphane Rambosson, managing partner at search firm the Veni Group. “You need to make sure that clients will give you good references,” said Rambosson. “Do your job well and devote time to making sure clients say nice things about you.”
It will also help if you’re named in the press, or speak at conferences. In some instances, Rambosson said senior M&A bankers have been known to hire personal press officers to help manage their image in the market.
4. Get colleagues and ex-colleagues to recommend you
“The best way for a headhunter to find you is when you’re recommended by one or two respected people,” says Oliver Rolfe, managing director at the Spartan Partnership. “If any of us get a recommendation from a client in particular, we are likely to take a candidate more seriously.”
5. Resort to extreme measures
If you’re truly desperate and aren’t averse to possible humiliation, you can walk the streets wearing a sandwich board. This will take time, but will get out in the sun. You could also spend several hundred pounds on a conspicuously placed billboard advertising your availability.