As recruiters, both in K.M.Trust (our executive search & leadership consulting firm) and Key2Success (our mid-management recruitment firm), we receive almost daily requests from people considering a career move or in need of career advice.
Despite the fact that "one size does not fit all" there are some general steps I would recommend in such cases and thought of sharing them with you:
Planning & Preparation Phase:
- First, think about your long term goal and how it is linked to your immediate next role as well as to the following targeted role. (Of course taking into account personal context and goals too). Choose your moves accordingly and I mean here choose your next job thinking seriously about the next desired roles.
- Go for a thorough assessment / Talk to a good consultant to advise on a customized development plan and make some suggestions - there are some good recruiters in the market who could help but be advised that this is a paid service as it requires a significant amount of time from the consultant. (see our article here for more details)
- Think about the:
- geographies of interest,
- type of company you are targeting (be it multinational, family business/local or international, SME, etc.),
- about the sectors/companies you think you would like to work for based on what inspires you, motivates and attracts you.
For example, if you are looking for a more attractive work experience, look for purpose driven companies and before applying or going for a job, use LinkedIn, find friends you rely on or acquaintances from those specific companies and ask for references about the culture, climate, etc. Don’t just go for brands blindly as they could be deceiving in terms of the experience offered. Do your homework well before as it is your life we are talking about. Most of it you will be spending there, therefore careful analysis is advised.
- Research articles, YouTube videos and declarations of executives from those companies in order to understand if they are compatible with your values. It will matter a lot.
- Create a target list with all possible channels for getting the right exposure:
- Mass recruiters/recruiters/executive recruiters/depending on the level, both large international and top local ones in each of the countries of interest
- Investment funds have plenty of businesses in their portfolios and are not always using recruiters so – a high chance
- Online platforms/websites (Bluesteps, Notactivelylooking, Nurole, https://www.wintercircle.co/ , GatedTalent, Hunt Club - Referral recruiting service etc)
- Relevant networking events where you can be present but without selling. Go to learn and listen and send an email afterwards.
- Target companies directly and contact the internal recruiters. Tech companies especially but more and more others have strong internal recruitment divisions so find the right person and send a customized message to get their attention. Positively J.
- Make one or two models of CV using a consultant’s recommendations or online services such as www.enhancv.com. Marissa Mayer’s model is pretty famous.
- Make a simple yet to the point message for both the recruiters and for the companies if you apply directly. The message has to be clear and short, for the reader to understand quickly what you aim for.
Make sure it is without spelling mistakes and it looks clean and clear. As a rule of thumb, for 10 years of experience use 1 page, not more. Ideally all in 1 page.
Linkedin profile done well, without too many details but clear enough, is mandatory.
- Send your CV and customized message using each of the above channels or just the channels that fit your plans.
- Take your time to send individually the email as otherwise you might get disqualified before even having a chance of an interview.
Take into account you will not be alone in the race and other candidates with similar background will be your competition. In order to differentiate, self-development focus and proven actions will /could make a big difference, especially in senior roles. Consider executive programs, plenty of reading (especially the First 90 days of Michael Watkins which could be very helpful in any new start be it in the same company or outside), business clubs memberships/relevant networking, coaching, mentoring, online education, personal boards, etc.
For more meaningfulness ask around within your circle of trust about the NGOs that are doing great things and connect with one or few that resonate with your internal moral compass.
Good luck and hope it helps!