The career world is rife with misconceptions about what headhunters do and don’t do. The reason is simple: People hate having to go find a job. It’s distasteful. It’s painful. It’s difficult. They’d rather someone else find them a job — headhunters.

One of the greatest frustrations job hunters face is headhunters who won’t cooperate:

  • You send your resume to ten headhunters, but none call you.
  • A headhunter calls you once, but never returns your calls.
  • A headhunter recruits you for one position, but doesn’t recommend you for others.
  • A headhunter gets you an interview, but doesn’t get you hired.

What headhunters do

It all sounds pretty nasty and rude, doesn’t it? Not when you realize that headhunters aren’t in business to find you a job.

What do headhunters do? Headhunters are paid by companies to:

  • Track down
  • Find
  • Cajole
  • Seduce
  • Steal
  • And otherwise recruit the best people to fill a particular position.

What headhunters don’t do

Headhunters don’t find jobs for people.

If you are a good potential candidate for a specific job, the headhunter’s job is to find you. Otherwise, he literally has no time for you because he’s busy doing his job. It’s nothing personal.

When a headhunter finds you, remember that your relationship is based on mutual need. He needs to fill a position, and you want a job. However, the headhunter does not rely on any one candidate to complete his assignment. That’s why relying on headhunters to find you a job is a fool’s errand. It’s not what headhunters do — no matter how much you wish it were.

Remember that and you can benefit from working with a headhunter without feeling mistreated.

For more on this topic, please see: They’re not headhunters.

Want an alternative to headhunters? Learn how to find your own job using methods headhunters use themselves: Ask The Headhunter in A Nutshell: The Short Course.

If you’re going to work with headhunters, learn how to do it right. See: How to Work with Headhunters: 62 myth-busting answers for fearless job hunters.

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