Business

Headhunters # Friend or Foe?

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Peggy Harris could just be your next best friend. With her extensive job contacts and connections, she may land you your new job. Known in business circles as a #headhunter,# Harris#s firm, PHC Consulting (providing sales, marketing and service professionals in the biotech, diagnostic and life science industry), is one of many outfits throughout the United States that specializes in recruiting for clients# open job positions.

What can a headhunter do for you?

Hired by companies seeking qualified candidates for their openings, headhunters scour the nation, looking for potential employees. They have contacts throughout their industries and are continually making new ones. In Harris#s case, she attends industry trades shows once a month, all over the United States, calls people she meets, asks them for references # she finds out who is available and qualified for her client#s needs.

Bob Rodgers, president of Quantum Search (an executive and medical recruiting firm in Duluth) said, #Professional recruiters get you noticed. They have the attention of the hiring authorities at many organizations and also bring a welcomed and objective perspective to what can be a very time-consuming and sensitive process.#

How to get a headhunter#s attention

Headhunters may recruit you, or if you#re on a job search and need some help, you may want to contact one directly. According to Harris, the best way to market yourself is to get your resume in front of her. Emailing is usually preferable, since faxes don#t always reproduce well. Make sure you include something about yourself that shows you are unique, something that will get their attention. If you can#t include it in your resume, put it in your cover letter.

#Recently, I received a resume that didn#t grab my attention. But as I was discarding it, five words on the cover letter stood out and made me stop and read it # #two out of 100 interviewed.# I inquired into the story and recruited him,# said Harris.

She recommends following up on your resume with a phone call. With any headhunter, time is valuable and your resume may not be on the top of their list. A headhunter can get you #face time# with the company and negotiate the highest salary possible. But ultimately, whether or not you get the job is up to you.

Rodgers believes that the best way gain a recruiter#s attention is not to chase them, but, rather, to have them pursue you. #You should be among the best at what you do, network continuously, increase your industry visibility and exposure and refer others to the recruiter as often as possible # it#s the age-old law of sowing and reaping.#

Should you use a headhunter?