My 2012 is coming to an end in much the same way it began, at least according to my email, with questions regarding career management, the resume and how to deal with recruiters.
Career Management – My email is balanced between people who are concerned about losing a job, or those already in transition. Very seldom do I hear from an employed executive who is seeking to maximize career management effectiveness since the vast majority in this group do not think about managing their career until they are ready for a promotion or they hear about a job they really want. That can lead to a bad surprise along the way.
- Everyone, all the time, should be thinking about managing their career, or, at the very least, their personal career brand. Organizational changes occur, sometimes rather suddenly. Once you are going over the cliff, it is really too late to catch up. Networking is for everyone. Building and nurturing a robust, focused network of contacts is a very important asset in the career management universe
- Do not take a big step back financially, even if the new job will expand your portfolio of skills
- Social media sites like LinkedIn are important tools to build a network and to look for jobs. If you have not mastered this platform, do so ASAP
Resumes – For some reason the resume is the career management tool that confuses or intimidates even the most accomplished of executives. Just remember these two overarching themes: the resume is your personal brand document, and it is the FIRST interview with a potential employer.
- Keep your resume up to date. Store it someplace besides your office computer. The same goes for your networking list. Having to rebuild a resume after 5 to 10 years in the same job is an invitation to make mistakes on dates of employment, titles and, more importantly, your scope of responsibility and accomplishments
- There are no ironclad rules regarding resume length. It should be proportional to your years of experience and accomplishments. If you have been employed as a healthcare executive, it is a safe bet you cannot successfully cram those 20 years of increasing responsibility and accomplishments into a two-page document. If you are an early careerist, please do not expand your resume to appear to be someone you are not.
Recruiters – How do you connect with recruiters is another frequently asked question. The answer is that it varies, depending on where you are in your career, and the type of job you are interested in. For the most part, the senior level executive positions are handled by retained search firms, or in-house recruiters. Lower level supervisory and management positions more typically are handled by internal recruiters, contract sourcing firms or contingency search consultants.
- Always take a recruiter’s call, and try to help them even if you are not interested. Recruiters appreciate that a great deal. If the recruiter is a jerk, do not take their calls in the future. They are not someone you or the client needs
- Regardless of your level in the job food chain, do NOT waste your time with a recruiter who does not know, or will not divulge, the starting salary for a job. If you cannot get that basic bit of information, then walk away. It is better to frustrate a recruiter on the front end than to make the client frustrated on the back end. This happens frequently
- Failure in a new job is almost never about skills or qualifications. Culture, style and performance expectations are more often than not the issues that trip up even the most successful of managers and executives who move into a new position. Do NOT take anything for granted
So, here we are again preparing to say goodbye to another year. 2012 was a great year for JGSA and 2013 appears to be starting with a boost of energy, two facts for which I am very grateful.
To my clients, candidates, friends and family, best wishes for a Happy New Year and a successful and prosperous 2013.
© 2012 John Gregory Self