How to tempt the hunters

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The Independent Culture
Learn a language that is in demand, the more unusual the better. Russian and other Eastern European languages are helpful if you want to work in emerging markets. Difficult languages such as Chinese or Japanese display just how clever you are.

Get an MBA: it is impressive and head-hunters have plenty of access to alumni. But make sure it's from a top-notch, highly regarded institution such as Cranfield, London Business School or, better still, somewhere abroad such as Harvard or Insead - MBAs from old polytechnics are 10 a penny.

Improve your appearance. Get slimmer, buy the most expensive suit you can afford and shave off the student goatee - facial hair is still anathema to many companies.

Become visible. Speak at industry conferences, or, if you can't persuade anyone to let you speak, ask witty and pertinent questions. Get quoted in the trade press or try to write opinion pieces and make sure that your name, job title and the company you currently work for are credited. All this makes it much easier for head-hunters to spot you and track you down.

Network, network, network. Befriend the glitterati of your particular field. These are the people whose brains head-hunters will pick.

If you can, join a board - any board. Whether it's for a company or the local operatic society, it shows that you can handle responsibility.

Do not have a beautifully prepared CV - it makes it look as if you are always desperately looking for jobs. Much more impressive is to jot down a few details to show how cool but busy you are.

Try to persuade your existing employer to send you abroad, even if it's only for a couple of months - it shows that you are adaptable and can work in global organisations.

Don't have a partner or spouse who has a geographically restrictive job. If your other half is tied to a particular location it may hold you back.

Always be polite and helpful to head-hunters who call you for information, and don't badmouth your peers - what goes around comes around and next time it could be you.