How to get headhunted
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Getting headhunted: How to find a job, while still in a job

21 Feb 2017

When you’re already employed, you can’t exactly put ‘Hire me’ on your LinkedIn profile. So how can you get headhunted without telling the whole world?

You will often already be in a job when you’re looking for a new one. So how can you subtly tell the world you’re on the lookout and available for new challenges without letting your boss know?

You could wait around for your dream job to be advertised, apply for it and hope for the best. The problem is, you could be a long time waiting and even then, not all roles will be advertised widely.

To combat this, you need to make yourself appear willing and open to new opportunities. You need to be visible to those who might want to hire you, without letting your current employer know that you’re unhappy or ready to move on.

Orla O’Kane, senior recruitment consultant at Hays Banking said there are several ways you can put yourself out there that will help you get headhunted.


When you want to make yourself noticeable to recruiters, LinkedIn will be your first port of call. You will want to make it easy for recruiters to find you and recruiters live on LinkedIn. O’Kane had some advice: “Replicate your CV on your profile and then ensure you turn on ‘Let recruiters know’ and ‘Share your profile’ within the job section.”

O’Kane said these features will highlight your profile to professionals who are hiring across all industries.

Job websites

Job websites should be your next stop if you’re hoping to be headhunted. O’Kane said websites such as, and are essential tools for jobseekers, and not just for available roles.

“Not only do they present a multitude of available roles from which to pick from, they also allow you to create an online job profile,” she said. “This profile is essential as it means recruiters can browse CVs and contact those who fit their search criteria.”

Go mobile

This might seem obvious, but it’s so easily overlooked, especially when you’ve been working on your CV on a desktop. O’Kane warns jobseekers to make your CV mobile-ready.

“Make sure you have an updated copy of your CV in your email account so you can access it readily and apply for a job on the go.”

Friends with benefits

Another way to put yourself out there is to use your contacts. “We all know people who work in companies that we would like to work in,” said O’Kane.

“Leverage these connections to discover what companies are hiring and see these friends as discreet recruiters working on your behalf.” Just make sure you put the feelers out with the right people and keep it in the strictest confidence.

Use recruiters

If you’re looking for new opportunities in a more general capacity, recruiters are going to help find the right job for you.

O’Kane said: “They will give you an overview of the current employment market and can highlight relevant roles. If they have a role that suits your skills and experience, they will guide you through the interview process and will fight your corner.”

Be discreet in your pursuit of new roles, but make sure all the tools at your disposal are working as hard as they can for you in the background.

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Updated, 1.43pm, 21 February 2017: A previous version of this article mistakenly attributed quotes to Philip Bourke from Hays. It has been amended to confirm that the quotes were from Orla O’Kane of Hays.

Updated, 11.17am, 22 February 2017: A quote was removed from this article after receiving clarification from Hays.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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