Promote your career

How to Find the Right Headhunter

So, you want to use the momentum and motivation of the beginning of the year to give your career a real boost? Then you shouldn’t make yourself comfortable on the sofa, but instead be active! Our tip: Contact a Headhunter! But not just any headhunter, one who really fits with your career goals and can drive you forward. Unsure how to do that? Read on and we’ll reveal how to find the right headhunter for you.

If you want to promote your career, contact a headhunter!

Not all headhunters are the same. As a result, not everyone can fit what any given headhunter is looking for. When you address a headhunter, there are usually two motivations. Either you have targeted a specific position that the headhunter wants to fill, or you want him to look for a new job for you.

No matter the reason you’re addressing a headhunter, you should prepare carefully for the first contact, because you never get a second chance for a first impression!

Proactively contacting a headhunter

When asked whether it is worthwhile to proactively contact a headhunter, expert Dr. Ing. Peter Schiwon, of Pentagon AG, gives a classic and wise answer: “It depends on what focus and outlook the personnel consultant has. If he typically only becomes active when he has been hired by a company to fill a vacancy, then chances of success by proactively contacting him would be slim.”

Many recruitment consultants have excellent candidates stored in their databases. In the case of an appropriate vacancy, they first check whether a suitable candidate exists in said database. But Schiwon warns of too high of expectations on the part of the active seekers depending on this method. “A lot has to come together, including a bit of luck, for this way to work out. CVs are included in our database, but the short term result of receiving concrete job offers through dependence on this method is more of an exception. ”

How to identify the appropriate headhunter

Your first step to finding the perfect headhunter for you is detailed and careful research on the Internet. View and read all information with a critical eye. If possible, get references, opinions and ratings. This quickly reveals a pattern of how the consultant works and performs.

Thomas Friederichs, of Tröger & Cie, advises not to disparage all providers, because there are serious differences between an “executive search consultant, a CMC-based personnel consultant, a full-on-success mediator and a home office personnel all-rounder” especially in the methodology, which decreases or increases the likelihood of success on a case-by-case basis.

Peter Schiwon adds: “Check out what the focus of your favorite headhunter is, in terms of industries and positions. It might make sense to start talking about a potential future vacancy.” These steps increase your chances of identifying the “right “contact person in the HR consultant jungle for you. Of course, you are not immune to failure, but without courage and risk you will only remain on well-trodden paths.

How to arouse the interest of your “perfect” headhunter

  • Carefully maintain your profiles in the important and relevant portals and job boards, such as Experteer, this is your “digital calling card”, after all.
  • Use exactly those keywords tailored to your abilities and skills – this makes you easier to find
  • Pick up the phone to get in touch with the consultant directly – this shows initiative
  • Send your CV and your application only if you are really interested in the position – this way you show your specific motivations

What makes a good consultant?

Thomas Friederichs sees a good advisor in a double role: “He is your service provider and at the same time your career coach. In the course of cooperation, the consultant is the interface between you and the company. He knows both sides best. He asks the right questions, pays attention to nuances, and is an expert in topics that are normal for him.”


Proactively contacting a headhunter can make sense, if you proceed correctly. You should definitely take the following steps:

  • Question the methodology and core competences of the consultant.
  • When contacting a headhunter, prepare before your phone call.
  • Clarify which industries and/or companies are suitable for you.
  • Clarify what “added value” you can generate for the company.
  • Get qualified, up-to-date and meaningful profiles, relevant blog posts and group contributions.

Jörg Peter Urbach is the author, editor and blogger of Sprachleidenschaft. He has been writing for more than 25 years, for print and online. Concepts. Stories. Journal articles. After studying musicology and German language and literature, Jörg Peter worked as an editorial manager in the classical music business. As long-time chief editor of the portal, he knows how to inspire readers with clever topics.

If the native Kieler is not writing, he is walking through the Alps. Or listening to the opera. With mindfulness.

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