New Year, New Role, New You?
As 2018 draws to a close many of us will personally be reflecting on the last year and considering what we achieved and what we could do better or more of in 2019. For many, this will include setting ourselves objectives to progress our career or stretch ourselves further.
At EMA we recruit to a significant number of Executive and Non-Executive positions each year and add a substantial number of candidates to our talent pool database. This assists us in supporting people in progressing or broadening their careers as well as helping us meet our clients’ needs when looking to fill a vacancy.
At this time of year there is a rise in new opportunities coming to the market and also in people applying for new roles, so how do you stand out from the crowd?
If you’re looking for the next career move or considering a Non-Executive role as a way of ‘giving back’ or broadening your experience, then the following steps should help support you in achieving your objective.
- Think carefully about what is important to you and what you want to get out of your next move. What is your motivation? Are you unhappy in your current role, do feel that you’ve hit a ceiling or do want to take on a whole new challenge? Is location and flexibility important? Would you be willing to relocate? Have you got particular salary / package expectations? Be targeted and purposeful in your hunt for that new role and know what you want before you start.
- Start early. If you want to be in a new role or taking on a Non-Executive position by the Summer, then you need to start now. Executive and Non-Executive recruitment processes take time, often as long as 3 months start to finish, and if it’s an Executive role you’re seeking then you need to add on your notice period, so now is the time to start!
- Get you CV in order. A well-crafted CV will help you stand out from the crowd but ensure that you tailor this to each role you apply for and keep it tight and focused. CV’s need to be output focused and demonstrate achievements and impact, not just a list of your current or past roles and responsibilities lifted from your role profile. Your Executive CV will look very different to your Non-Executive CV as you will need to demonstrate a different set of skills and a different motivation for a Non-Executive role. Your CV should showcase any previous Non-Executive positions, experience of working with Boards, Committees or Trusts, or any transferable skills. Most Non-Executive advertisements will clearly show the skills they are seeking to attract, so focus on what you can bring that meet these criteria.
- Take time to draft your covering letter or supporting statement. Try to get under the skin of the organisation to which you are applying and what is important to them. Do their mission and values meet with your personal and professional drivers? Acknowledge what they have achieved and tell them why you want to contribute to THEIR organisation (either in an Executive or Non-Executive capacity). A tight focused summary of how you meet the criteria for the role and add value is far more effective than a lengthy, detailed monologue of all of your successes.
- Use all available networks. Make sure you use social media and your contacts to help you find your next role. Make sure your LinkedIn profile ties with your CV and ask contacts to recommend you and talk about your achievements. Raise your own profile by being active on social media, share useful articles and write and publish some yourself. Also contact recruiters (such as us here at EMA) and ask about up and coming opportunities and ask if your CV can be added to their talent pool database. If an Agency is manging the vacancy, call them and chat through the role with the lead recruiter and get your name on their radar.
- Consider taking on a Non-Executive role. Taking on a Non-Executive post can really help develop your skills, broaden your experience and increase your chances of taking that next step in your career. If you are aiming to secure a role at Executive level, then experience on the other side of the Board table can pay dividends. There is a lot to be gained through sharing your experience and ‘giving back’ through a Non-Executive role, and it will help broaden your contact base too.
- Mind you P’s and Q’s. DON’T cut and paste another organisations name / job title into your application. All recruiters and employers know that candidates use previous documents as a template, but don’t make it obvious. Also, if you get through to the interview stage then make sure you use the right company name, or names of those on the panel. There’s nothing worse than sitting through an interview process where a candidate continuously mispronounces a company’s name or even worse refers to a panel member by the wrong name….. and this does happen!
- Prepare, prepare, prepare. If you are invited for interview or to a selection centre then preparation is the key. Research the organisation thoroughly. Check out their accounts, annual reports, their regulatory standing (where relevant), their mission and values, who sits on their Board and who makes up their Senior Team. Find out some useful facts about them and get a feel for them as a business. Also make sure you are prepared to provide evidence regarding your achievements and ability. The more you can evidence the better. Go through the role profile and try to predict what questions they might ask you about each key area, and think through what would your response be. A bit of role play can also be helpful if you haven’t been through a process for some time.
- Ask for Feedback. ALWAYS ask for feedback, even if you are appointed to the role! Feedback is always useful but not always offered. At EMA we always offer feedback to candidates at the end of a process, and those who take up the offer find it very useful. Schedule this in for a few days or so after the event, as the day you find out you have been unsuccessful isn’t always the best time to have a feedback call. Who knows, you may apply for other roles with that organisation or through that recruiter again.
- Enjoy the process. It may sound odd but every process you go through gives you an opportunity to grow and develop yourself so take away the positives. It also gives you the opportunity to expand your network. Some of the best appointments we’ve made have been people who have been unsuccessful in a process we’ve conducted for one role, but they have gone on to successfully secure another.
So, if you’re thinking of taking on a new Non-Executive role, or seeking to progress your career with a new Executive position then why not get in touch and share your CV with us? Who knows, your next role might just find you.
To register your CV with us for Executive or Non-Executive opportunities then please email a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org . Alternatively, to find our more please call the office on 01926 887272 where one of the Team will be happy to assist you.