How to... get headhunted

In the property sector, as in most other industries, successful careers are frequently built on a carefully planned approach. While you will find people who say: "I am not sure how I got here," they will, at one point or another, have used their contacts to progress from one position to another.

The challenges of the past few years have thrown a spanner into the works of most people's careers. While I speak to a lot of people who have been travelling, taking some time out, or run their own consultancy, the old adage that "who you know is better than what you know" is seldom wrong.

This applies now more than at any time I can recall, when it comes to achieving the transition from one role to the next rung on the ladder.

If we agree that planning and contacts are the keys to career nirvana, surely knowing a good headhunter is essential. The question remains, however: how do you get a headhunter to call you?

When considering your relationship with the headhunting community, there are three main areas to consider.

1 Knowing the right head-hunter is the essential first step. Do your homework and find out who specialises in your sector and is likely to have the right types of opportunities at the right level.

2 Work with them. Look for ways to build a relationship with your headhunter. Call them to register your interest if you hear about that one perfect job. Then, when they call asking about who you may know for other mandates they are working on, offer names. Ideally, if you can provide them with a mandate for your team, you will be in prime position.

3 Have a clear vision. When speaking to the headhunter about your next career move, be clear about what you want to do, and ask them how to achieve it.

Jonathan Krogdahl is head of real estate with headhunting firm the Curzon Partnership and a columnist for the Daily Telegraph

EG Feature (03/07/2010)

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