From MVP to MPA: The 7 Rules of Engagment with Head-hunters

In his article The Odds of Getting A Job With a Recruiter,  John Sumser says that , "the overall odds are about 1 in 28,520 (.0035%) that your conversation with a headhunter will land you a job." HR Examiner job-hunter-issue-cover-v218

I disagree.

The odds are far worse – mostly because John's math is more generous than it should be.

But you can beat the odds if… you understand the 7 Rules of Engagement.

Most job hunters have no idea how to interact or what to expect from a real  head-hunter like Skip Freeman or myself for that matter.

BUT – headhunters can be a great ally in your job search if you know the Rules or  Engagement – which we will start talking about right now. 

1st Rule of Engagement: Act like an MPA…

Yesterday I asked if you wanted to be paid like basketball MVP Steve Nash? Steve has been chosen multiple times as the NBA's Most Valuable Player.  The recruiting industry has an equivalent designation – that you either have or don't have – and it will determine whether you are successful with a recruiter.  That designation is MPA or "Most Placeable Applicant" or "Most Placeable Candidate"

By acting like the perfect candidate you are more likely to get a recruiter to pay attention to you AND market you to their client base.  And it all starts with you and your behaviour.  when a recruiter/headhunter calls, be prepared to tell the recruiter why you deserve to be designated an “MPA”. 

To be an MPA you need to have a well-honed and rare skill set.  Being a C++ programmer isn’t rare.  Being a mainframe Java programmer with 5 years of real-time experience might be.  Likewise, most financial people are “vanilla”.  Unless of course you have US GAAP experience and/or have done an IPO on NASDAQ.  I am sure you get the idea. 

What do you do if you aren’t as rare as the next guy? 

Have a great personality and co-operate.  If you actually look like you can follow instructions and will partner with the recruiter, they may just invest a few days in marketing you. 

If you're really a good sport and follow up and follow through on with their guidance they may map out your entire career with you.  After 25 years in business as a head-hunter I have helped more than a few people ascend from programmer or salesman to President and CEO through the careful management of their opportunities.

1st Rule of Engagement: Act like an MPA even if  you're not!

Until tomorrow.

Want more ideas like these?

You can listen in on an hour’s worth of unconventional, Guerrilla secrets and judge for yourself by grabbing a copy of our Free Audio CD.

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