Headhunters deserve, and appreciate, being treated with an appropriate level of professional respect. They don’t have time or interest in any cutesy comments in a cover letter like “test your skills by finding me a job” or “to accept the challenge of finding me employment”. These statements may amuse them momentarily before they put your resume and cover letter directly into the trash. So with headhunters, regardless of whether they are working for a local employment agency, a retained search firm, or a contingency, always be mindful of the two following rules, and you won’t go wrong:
1. Always tell the truth. Be truthful when answering questions, and they will likely assist you in any way they can. If you get caught lying, you will likely establish a career-long mistrust with someone who more than likely has an extensive, diverse, and prominent network of contacts. This is a sure way to guarantee that you will never have access to their contact list, or their assistance. The bottom line is DON’T LIE.
2. Get straight to the point. Again, these people look at resumes and cover letters every day and don’t have the time to deal with your little insinuated jokes. You will do much better with a headhunter or recruiter by explaining who you are and what you want from them. Here are some examples:
“I have sent a copy of my resume, because I believe you to be a specialist, representing employers in the field of ________.”
“Among your list of clientele there may be a couple of businesses who are looking for an experienced professional for a position as a _________.
“Please find my enclosed resume. As you are a specialist in the field of ________, I thought that you might have some interest in my skills as a __________.
Bear in mind that when you submit a cover letter to employment agencies or executive search firms, you should make reference to your salary and, if relevant, your willingness to relocate.
If you follow these rules, and always write to headhunters in a courteous, respectful, and concise manner, you are bound to get the best results. Headhunters want to find the right people for the positions they have to fill, but do not have a lot of free time for searching through cute and jokey statements. Always get right to the point, and you can’t go wrong.