Most people wait until they are unhappy or lose their jobs before they start making themselves more marketable and start job hunting. Executive Coach Penny Holburn says this is a mistake as no individual career or business will succeed in reaching their potential without deliberate strategising and planning.
“You cannot just sit and wait around,” she says. “You need to be thinking about what is next for you. When you are proactive and strategise about your career you get to create the career path you want. Jobs won’t come to you if no one knows who you are.”
She adds that the first step is to build your personal brand, which is a statement about who you are, what you are about and what you stand for. In the career domain, it lets people know more about your experience, talents, values and principles, and future career ideas.
READ MORE: Why you need a career plan
Holburn says: “If your personal brand fits with the profile of someone a company wants to hire, you are half way there.”
She recommends the following strategies to improve your chances of being headhunted:
Become an expert in your field
Make sure that people in your industry know who you are. Blog or be featured in articles to demonstrate your knowledge and the contribution you can make. Join social media groups that target your industry and engage with like-minded people by posting informed comments and new ideas.
Many jobs aren’t advertised so it’s important to meet people in companies you would like to work for and with people who are in positions you would like to be in. Go to industry events and socialise with people in your field. Networking isn’t a once-off activity, so ensure that you maintain your connections and keep in touch.
Create a LinkedIn profile
Lots of reputable companies and recruiters use LinkedIn to headhunt, particularly for senior positions. Ensure that you keep your profile up to date and relevant for the job you are looking for.
Find a mentor
A good mentor is someone with experience in your field, who has done what you want to do, and is good at it. Get solid career advice from your mentor and ask them to introduce you to relevant people to build up your network of contacts.
Give back to society by working for or starting your own charity, which is a great way to get publicity in local newspapers or on social media. Most organisations view potential employees who contribute to a better world very positively. This could also be a way to meet new people.