7 Things That No Headhunter Will Tell You

In our last interview with Jorg Stegemann, a global headhunter, he provided exclusive insights into his work as a top recruiter. Stegemann shared his tips for anyone over the age of 40 who may be searching for a new job, and even compared looking over resumes to perusing a restaurant menu.

However, there are certain things that most headhunters would never admit to a candidate, but in a recent article for Forbes, he highlighted the top 7 things that no headhunter will tell you. Read on for more!

7 Things No Headhunter Will Tell You

Through our countless interviews with headhunters, we at Experteer have picked up on some of their practices and habits. One of the main things we’ve learned: like it or not, contacting and working with a headhunter can do wonders for your professional career.

So it’s helpful to prepare yourself and learn what the top headhunters are looking for, in a resume and also in a candidate. Our headhunters told us secrets they would never reveal to their potential candidates, so lean in and listen close…

#1: No, I haven’t read your resume or your cover letter.

On average, headhunters spend no more than 5-10 seconds looking at your resume. Time is money, so be sure that we can recognize your strengths and accomplishments at a glance. Summarize the characteristics and achievements that make you stand out, and make them short and punchy. Avoid banal and overused words like “team player.” Guess what? So is every other applicant in your pool of resumes.

#2: Education never ends.

A good education is your ticket to a great career. But this is about more than your university degree – it’s imperative to stay up to date. Think about attending seminars in your field, or taking online college courses to stay informed. It’s not just about the name of the school on your resume, but also what strengths and talents you can bring to the table.

#3: I’ll never reveal why you weren’t hired.

Unfortunately, if a headhunter doesn’t select you as their candidate, you won’t be able to learn from your mistakes. A headhunter would never tell you why they chose a different applicant – sad but true. Instead of looking for feedback and constructive criticism from a recruiter, ask your superior or your colleagues for advice on how to improve professionally.

#4: I probably won’t consider you for other positions.

True, headhunters are a great resource when looking for a promising new job opportunity. And yes, some positions are never publicly posted, just filled by headhunters and recruiters. But this doesn’t mean that just because you landed an interview with me, you’re guaranteed a top position.

Most headhunters interview 10 candidates for any given position, and from those 10, three names are passed on to our client. One candidate is chosen from these three. These statistics aren’t necessarily in your favor…

#5: I already had two great candidates in mind, and I needed a third.

All good things come in threes.. If we already have two candidates on our “short-list,” that leaves one position that must be filled. We call these candidates our “mavericks” or “challengers.” If you’re offered a final interview for a position that seems too good to be true, you just may be the maverick.

#6: You just didn’t impress me.

When it comes time for our client to select the right person for the job, it’s our goal to make that decision as difficult as possible. In other words, we want all three of our candidates to be amazing. If you leave me less than impressed, it would reflect poorly on me to recommend you any further.

Even if you’re well educated with a solid resume, you need to really dazzle me – or else you’re probably not getting a spot on my short list.

#7: Jack of all trades…

There’s no college major or established path to become a headhunter. We’ve all worked in different jobs before becoming recruiters. So don’t expect us to understand your specific industry. We prefer to be skilled in a specialized field, but the truth is that we usually deal with a broad base of clients, all with very niche industries. Please don’t expect too much detailed information from us about the company, or the responsibilities of this position.

So, do these confessions surprise or shock you? The truth isn’t always pretty, but by informing yourself about the reality, you can better prepare yourself for any nasty surprises that may come your way. It must also be said that headhunters are much more straightforward and direct than many other professionals in other positions. Try to research your headhunter too, before taking the next step in your career.

For more perspectives and information about headhunters, you can also read more of Experteer’s articles and exclusive interviews with the world’s top headhunters.

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