Find a Job that Matters

How Headhunters Hunt

Posted on by Arnie Fertig

Recruiters, often known as headhunters, have a mystique all their own. Some people find their unsolicited calls to be an annoyance.

Other people can’t figure out how to get a recruiter to pay attention to them and help them get a job. They are perplexed by the apparent unwillingness of recruiters to respond when they send them their resume.

Who Recruiters Serve

Job hunters need to understand that a recruiter is not a career counselor. Their primary obligation is to the client company that is paying them to quickly and effectively find people with a narrowly defined set of skills and accomplishments.

Portland area recruiter Brett Harwood, the owner of G4Recruiters, receives 10-20 unsolicited resumes a week, but barely looks them over, and rarely calls in response. “If you take the initiative, and pick up the phone and call me, I’ll talk,” he advises.

Be Proactive

Harwood says he’s noted a significant uptick in calls recently from corporate clients who want him to initiate new searches, particularly in the leading economic indicator areas of the mortgage, building, and construction industries. Many in the recruiting industry rely on social media sites like LinkedIn to find candidates, but Harwood is from the “old school,” and proud of it. He makes upwards of 50 calls a day to people he’s dealt with over the years.

Harwood’s number one tip for job hunters: be pro-active and don’t rely on emails or online resume submissions alone. And if you want recruiters to help you, help them by providing a list of the top 20 companies where you‘d like to work and explain why.

Put Yourself on YouTube

While Harwood is a social media contrarian, he advises that if you are hunting for a job you make a two-minute video of yourself. Post it on YouTube, and provide a link to it at the bottom of your resume.  By doing so you can communicate why you should be taken seriously, and present your accomplishments, skills, and value. When recruiters and hiring managers view your video, they will have the ability to judge how you present yourself: your voice, enthusiasm, body language, and overall personality.

The bottom line: regardless of today’s technologies, nothing beats the tried and true methods of displaying creativity and a hunger to succeed than picking up the phone and making human to human contact.

Have you been successful in working with a recruiter? Tell us your story below.

Happy hunting!

Contact Arnie directly at JOBHUNTERCOACH.COM

Arnie Fertig
Arnie Fertig is the head coach of JOBHUNTERCOACH.COM, where he utilizes his extensive background in HR Staffing and as owner of a recruiting company to help mid-career job-hunters land their next job. Arnie provides one-to-one coaching services to individuals throughout the U.S. in all aspects of the job hunt, including: resume writing, personal branding, utilizing social media, enhancing networking skills, preparing for interviews, and negotiating compensation. He writes a weekly column for the Careers Blog in the Money section of USNews & World Report (, and is available for public speaking on a wide range of topics related to job hunting and the hiring process.
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  • Donald Watkins

    Great advise here, I’m going to follow it as soon as I get home…

  • Jessica

    Wow, this is great advice! I’ve been living overseas working as an English teacher and I’m looking for an opportunity to move back to the NW. I wasn’t sure how to market the professional and life skills I’ve gained to potential employers. The Youtube video isn’t something I would ever have thought about.

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