Executive Job Search Essentials In A Rapidly Changing Environment
The Three Things You Absolutely Must Do.
If you think executive job requirements are changing faster today than ever before, you’re right. And, assuming you are (still) rational about your job search, you’ve accepted that this change is not only here to stay, but that its tempo is going to increase.
So the question is, what are you doing to overcome the challenges this presents to finding a desirable position?
Here are three things you absolutely must be doing if you’re going to compete for a senior management position in today’s world.
1. Build Out Your Accomplishments Library.
Accomplishments are abbreviated case histories. These two-liners are each a thumbnail summary of one particular incident, a building block in your career successes. An example:
Eliminated 264 small parts suppliers by re-allocating assembly contracts among sub-contractors resulting in 34% reduction of manufacturing cycle time and finished unit cost savings of 36%.
Notice the abbreviated “prose.” The objective here is to sum up the problem, your action and the resultant savings in as few words as possible. What are the advantages of this format?
- It shows your reader or interviewer you respect their time.
- It carries more authority than if this case history were spread out over several sentences.
- Finally, the more Accomplishments you can present, the better the chance that an interviewer might find one of particular interest and ask for elaboration.
How many of these vignettes do you need? That depends. The longer you’ve been working (i.e. the more senior you are), the more you’ll want to have. As a mid-level manager, 50-60 might be a good number. As a C-level executive, you probably want at least 100-150 to draw upon as the situation dictates. And continue building with current accomplishments, even as you are searching. Your value wasn’t all established 20 years ago!
2. Master Power Networking – Informal, but Decidedly Not Casual!
Networking with a clear purpose involves careful planning and execution. You need a reason for being in the situation or event. You must know whom you want to connect with and who can help you make the connection. Networking also requires that you have an appropriate repertoire of Accomplishments at the tip of your tongue (or brain) for use when the conversation requires it. And since different events or opportunities may require different Accomplishments, having a large list to pull from is a distinct advantage, if not a requirement.
3. Treasure Referrals as the Magic Key to The Kingdom.
It’s not unusual for a high-level job search to sift through a hundred or more candidates. But when someone comes in with a referral from an associate of the hiring executive, that candidate bypasses human relations and goes directly to the front of the line. Knowing how to ferret out referrals to a desired target company’s management is a skill enhanced by social media, and one you can learn.