Executive job search and transition strategies mean that many job seekers need to change industries or progress in their current industry. Changing industries in particular requires both the executive and the company to recognize transferable skills. You also need to be willing to totally market those skills through a number of different mediums.
First, assess your own talents and strengths, including your core competencies, your needs and wants. Do not forget to focus on your own values and mission statement for your career.
After you have done that you need to ask yourself more tough questions:
What do I need to make and exactly what kind of compensation/benefits package would work?
Where will I like to be based so I can conduct a more focused search? Be very specific about where you want to be based. If you will be based or be willing to be based out of certain cities then name those cities. Many executives and other jobseekers say “it depends upon the opportunity” and “I would move if the opportunity was right” but you should generally know where you would want to live to conduct a better, more specific search.
Will you need relocation assistance? If relocation matters to you be specific on the amount or least amount you will take to relocate. If you are self-funding a move then be very sure that you craft this and communicate this potential advantage to an employer.
How much travel will you be willing to do? Be very clear to yourself what 20% or 50% or whatever level of travel that you will accept. Know what you will do and communicate this clearly. If you are willing to compromise your position to “take a job” then be very clear how long you would be willing to do the work.
Determine the size and stage of the organization you will join. If you are interested in working with companies, non-profits, early stage or other types of companies in a certain industry you need to have line and verse research on each one. You also need a plan of action on how to interact with those organizations whether they have a position or not. That clear Networking Plan with a Purpose will help set the stage to discuss and form your search criteria.
None of these general rules will be helpful to you unless you prepare completely for your executive search.
Several quick notes on what you should have ready before you start to network include:
1. Introductory Correspondence. A brief cover letter, networking letter and introductory letter material. This material should be shaped to the recipient and catered to each individual. You may take just a paragraph from one letter and write a brief introduction on Linked In or through email.
2. Think in Value Propositions. Always think this way before you correspond with anyone. What is in this relationship for them? How might you help the company or organization overcome problems? Your transferable skills from one industry to another will be dependent upon your ability to transfer your skill set and rather immediately solve problems. Be clear even early in your networking about how you could help the person you intend to network with and the companies you intend to target.
3. Communicate Your Brand Through Multiple Means. A lot of jobseekers think you only need a general cover letter and a resume. But you may need a lot more. Here are just some of the ways executives in transition prepare for the networking stages and job search: Pictures of Their Work, PowerPoint/Keynote Demonstration, Executive Biographies, Achievement Profile, Thank-You Letter, Linked In Custom Profile, Technology Addendum, Training Addendum, Written Publications Brief, White Paper, Other Professional Publications, Video Profile, Video Resume, Video Highlight Reel.
The bottom line is if you are asking a company to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in you over time you need to be completely prepared to market your direct and transferable skills to their fullest.