Almost everyone has had this experience: You hear that your friend got a great new job, and they didn't even have to apply — they were contacted by a headhunter.
"It's completely human to get a twinge of envy when you hear a friend is being recruited," says bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch. It's easy to hear that it's happening for others and wonder, "Why aren't headhunters calling me?"
Welch tells CNBC Make It that if you find yourself pondering this dilemma, there are four simple steps you should take to increase your chances of catching a recruiter's eye:
Welch says it's absolutely imperative that you have a stellar LinkedIn profile.
"In fact, it needs to be so complete and descriptive that it achieves 'all-star' status on the site," she says. "Don't worry if you don't know what that means, LinkedIn will guide you there with tips."
In addition to building your "all-star" profile, Welch says you need to make it known to recruiters that you're interested in being looked at. You can do this by going to the jobs menu on the platform and clicking the box that indicates you're "open to offers."
"Have no fear about your current employer," she emphasizes. "This selection is private."
Headhunters often go after professionals whose work is seen and known in their industry. That's why, Welch says, it's important that you raise your profile, not just by attending conferences or networking, but also by pitching yourself to speak on panels. That way, you're able to bring greater awareness to the expertise you have to offer.
Additionally, she says, you should also "write for or get quoted in industry publications — or better yet, do both."
Outside of LinkedIn, Welch says you want to be sure that your other social media accounts "demonstrate a vibrant, mature presence." You want to show "that you care about trends and events in your industry, and you have intelligent, constructive views about them."
Doing this, she says, will show that "you're part of the conversation."
"I'm not saying you have to eliminate the cute dog pics, but your social feeds should be curated as if a headhunter is looking at them, and when she does, she's thinking, 'Here's a smart grown-up.'"
If you're really interested in making a connection with a headhunter, Welch says "there's no reason not to contact them by email, with a concise, persuasive letter about your skills and career interests — and of course a link to your profile on LinkedIn or elsewhere."
She warns, though, that recruiters usually don't like to be contacted by phone. In order to avoid seeming desperate, she says you should "keep all communication digital until they call you."
"Being headhunted is not just for top execs or superstars anymore," Welch says. "Plenty of companies are looking for talent. Use these four strategies to make sure you're on their radar."
Suzy Welch is the co-founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute and a noted business journalist, TV commentator and public speaker. Think you need Suzy to fix your career? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Video by Beatriz Bajuelos Castillo
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