How to find your next role?
We receive a lot of requests from executives asking for advice on how they should find their next career opportunity. Unfortunately we cannot deal with these requests individually so here we have collected some general advice on job hunting that may be useful. Also look at our Useful Links page for extensive links to helpful websites, review the relevant sections under Useful Articles and see Books We Like under "Career Transitions" and "Networking".
- Think carefully about what type of role is best for you. What are your own personal values and strengths, the more these are reflected in your job, the more satisfied and successful you are likely to be. Ideally look for roles where you will be doing what you enjoy, what you are better at than other people and fulfilling a role for which there is a sustainable demand in the market.
- Consider what roles you are likely be offered. Generally companies want to recruit executives who have demonstrated success in roles very similar to the role they are recruiting for. If you aim to change sector or discipline (e.g. from finance to sales) you are probably going to have to find a job through someone who already knows you and trusts your skills, so networking will be very important.
- Approach reputable recruitment firms and register your CV details with them. Remember that their job is not to find you a job, they work for companies and may not have time to meet with you unless and until they are working on a relevant role.
- Do as much networking as possible, broaden your network of contacts, and raise your profile by speaking at conferences, writing articles and contributing to the knowledge in your sector. One of the best ways to network is thinking about how you can genuinely help other people, and build a relationship in the process. Most jobs are found through networking, not through formal processes. Join relevant sites such as linkedin.
- Approach companies directly if you think that they may have a suitable role for you, explain briefly what you have to offer and how you might add value to the organisation.
- Remember that companies generally want to recruit people who are already working. If you do find yourself between jobs, then consulting, either formally or informally is a good way to keep yourself up to date, and to broaden your range of contacts.
- When you approach companies or recruitment consultancies always try and put yourself in their shoes and position your message and approach according to what is interesting and important to them.
- When you send your CV to someone, always add a brief relevant cover note, explaining why you are sending it.
- Finding a new job is a job in itself, and needs to be carried out systematically. Be patient, proactive, positive and persistent.
- Even if you are not looking for a role now, it is important to keep your contacts up to date and be aware of what opportunities may exist for you. It is much easier to build and maintain a network when you don't need it urgently. Imagine that you lose your job next week, who are the first ten people you would contact? Contact them now.