Let’s face it – your dream job isn’t just going to fall into your lap. If you want to land it, you’re going to have to work for it.
Landing your dream job doesn’t just happen. Moving your career forward to achieve your ultimate objectives takes planning, effort and time, and the planning needs to start well in advance of when you actually want to make the move.
Understand what your ultimate goal is and the role you are targeting. Take a good look at your experience and be honest, are you ready for it? Are there gaps in your experience that will ultimately mean there are stronger candidates right now?
If so, take responsibility and make a concerted effort to gain the additional experience needed. This could be areas such as broader industry experience, team leadership, international exposure or a wider set of categories.
If you feel you are ready, at least 6 months before you want to make the move, start to get to know the people that can help you. The right role will take time to come to the market so you will also need to be patient.
Ready, Steady, Go!
Make sure your CV is up to date. Ensure it is concise, fact and evidence based with achievements, not just bland personality statements.
It needs to be the right balance of detail that you can back up at interview, but not so long and winding that your achievements get lost in the 5 pages of narrative. Two to three pages maximum is ideal. Page one should make the greatest impact, otherwise pages 2 and 3 may never get seen!
Then you need to find out who the recruiters are that are most likely to help you. If you know them already, drop them a line and let them know you are open to hearing about new roles. Think about asking to catch up for a coffee.
Ask them for their advice on the market generally, how your skill set compares to their clients’ needs, and what do you need to be doing to ensure you are credible candidate. If you don’t know them, you need to!
Many senior roles are not advertised and are run by executive search firms. You need to make sure you are on their radar. Try to go for a face-to-face introduction if possible.
Use your network of contacts, as well as previous colleagues and bosses who have moved to new companies. They may know of opportunities that again are not advertised. Trusted personal networks are a valuable source when looking for your next role; let them know you are open to new opportunities.
Social media is a vital tool used by recruiters and in-house talent teams to identify potential candidates. Make you sure you have a visible online profile that is professional, and an accurate reflection of your career and achievements.
The recruitment process is a long one – be prepared for this. There are usually at least 3-4 rounds of interviews before any offer is made, often more. In addition, psychometric assessment can also form part of the process.
You need to be committed and flexible to put the time in. Hiring organisations, whilst they understand everyone is busy, can get a little nervous of a candidate’s motivation if they are very difficult and inflexible when it comes to interview availability.
We all know the basics. Be on time, smartly dressed, polite to everyone (I always ask our receptionist as well as my researcher and assistant for their impression of the candidate I’m interviewing), and well read on the company and the individuals you are meeting.
Use your network to find out information that may help you be more informed at the interview. Shape your answers to be relevant to the challenges the new company is facing.
Make sure you are concise with your answers, answer the question that is asked, and provide the relevant amount of detail and evidence in your responses. Woolly, unspecific answers create doubt.
Overall, be honest, be yourself and be authentic.
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