Author: Peter Fennah Category: Leadership Transition
Are You Trapped By Mediocre Thinking?
People often trap themselves in a cycle of low-level success by following conventional job search strategies and typical CV promotion techniques. Understandably, recruiters are not impressed. Conventional people are only credible for small shifts in job responsibility.
Achieving a new job with significant managerial responsibilities or in areas outside of your previous experience first requires a revolution in your mindset. Change how you approach job hunting and your competition evaporates! By thinking like an executive you ask new questions of both yourself and others attaining unconventional insights that excite the recruiter. In short, generate executive impact!
Here are five ways to spark your executive thinking revolution:
1. What Got You Here Won’t Advance You
Your approach to generating success in your current role has no doubt been hard won and is familiar to you. Therefore you may think that’s what other people want to hear in your CV & job interviews. Wrong! The recruiter wants what will meet their specific needs in the new role. It may be a version of what you have done before but it will not be a mirror image.
If you don’t know what is required to perform the new role well (there are enough people doing it to an average level) then acknowledge this gap needs to be filled if you are to be successful. Don’t waste your time putting in an application for a highly competitive role hoping that the reader will see your potential. The internal candidate will already be one step ahead of you.
2. Search For Insight Not Data
Everyone has the same job description. Your advantage lies in how you interpret this information and what additional information you can discover. You could read everything about the company on its website but all you are doing here is building a data mountain. It is true you need a certain amount of data to gain an understanding of the organisation and the role. But, most people lose perspective of what is useful and what isn’t.
When your anxiety levels are high it is hard to tale stock and see all your hard labours have created is a mountain of useless data. What questions are you asking of the data in order to derive insight? More information is provided in The Elite MBA CV: Executive Impact
3. Think Suitability Not Eligibility
Eligible candidates have the requested education and minimum work experience. This allows them to enter into the recruitment race but this is not sufficient to win it! The recruiter wants more than this and the successful candidate will show that they can make profound contributions in multiple ways, such as:
4. Impact Eats Intention For Breakfast
So many people get this the wrong way round. For recruiters scale matters, they want to understand your impact on the organisation. If you have a heart attack passengers and bystanders may have good intentions but they commonly get in the way of those offering direct medical assistance. Recruiters are like most patients; they want confident doctors who know what they are doing.
This is the reason why you must define the result of you efforts. Don’t stop there though as a 300% impact trumps a 10% improvement! Think about the wider consequences of your actions. E.g. were there any systemic benefits that your involvement created for others? Executives look at the bottom line impact not the amount of effort invested. Ensure you quantify and qualify your actual or potential impact.
5. Beware Of Stranger Danger
Internal candidates are likely to have some of the eligibility factors and they at least are known risks compared to an unknown external. Your goal is to present yourself in the cover letter, CV and interview process as someone who shares similar experiences to your future line manager. This may come from shared network connections or if you have worked in the same industry. Equally you may have had exposure to the new organisation and its customers/suppliers. Failing that you may have similar experience of operating within the same market regulations, legal, technical or operating procedures as well as facing similar challenges (restructures, new change initiatives, technology updates, shifting from a product to service culture, etc.).
Being explicit about what you have in common may help you to be perceived as one of them. Note this will take time and more than one meeting for them to begin to trust you.
For more information about how to break out from mediocrity and revolutionise your job search approach, contact us for a free copy of The Elite MBA CV: Executive Impact.
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About The Author
Peter Fennah is a very approachable Accredited Executive Coach (APECS), Chartered & Registered Occupational Psychologist, and former Careers Director for a top global business school. As a director of an international leadership; career development consultancy (www.careersynergy.com) he provides regular thought leadership webinars on navigating career and leadership transitions.
This blog was originally published on Bookboon.com