New Year New Career – 5 tips to become your own business developer
The recruitment landscape has significantly changed over the last five years. We’ve all heard the saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know” thrown around in the job hunting game for a long time. It’s a saying for a reason – a high percentage of positions are filled via referral. But now, more than ever, we have the tools at our disposal to get proactive, take control, “know more people” and open that hidden door to the next role.
1. When you apply to a job advertisement, it’s probably already too late.
Candidates need to appreciate how fruitless the online job application process will most likely turn out for them. On a recent executive role my organisation undertook, we had 200+ applicants for a General Manager level position. A high proportion of these were accomplished business leaders. Being the ‘first choice’ in that environment is extremely difficult to achieve, particularly when the employer, or indeed a third party recruiter, may have an established relationship with a candidate whom they already know is a good operator.
2. Change your mindset – target the employers ahead of the jobs.
This is where an executive job seeker needs to focus on the ‘long game’ – establishing the relationships BEFORE a job is advertised. Instead of chasing a job opening and playing it reactive, you get on the front foot and connect with those who work for your employers of choice.
We have the tools at our disposal with LinkedIn and the internet to identify key decision makers in those companies where we see ourselves adding value. This means you need to…
3. Identify, research, and engage
You know you’re a good candidate, you know you can add value to an organisation, but which one? Do some research. Get a list of 15-20 companies who you feel align with your experience, culture, and aspirations. Understand what makes them tick, their performance, their value proposition. Then, find out who an employee at your level would report to, or who makes their hiring decisions.
Then, engage. Open the dialogue, set up some coffee meetings, ask questions and for advice and built some rapport. You want to ensure that when that opportunity arises you are the person that first comes to mind. You want them to know your skills and value.
4. Be persistent, proactive, and patient
This is key. People are busy. It might take a few weeks to get a coffee meeting or even have a phone discussion. This is why it’s important for you to have done your extensive research and have a good list of people to contact.
It may not happen in a week. In fact, there’s a very good chance it won’t. So be patient and don’t get disheartened.
5. Have your personal brand in order
Perception is everything and the first impression you make in engaging with these people is important. It’s likely your contact will lead them to checking out your Linkedin profile or doing some Google searches on you. Make sure you stand out, and in the right way.
If you would like to discuss how Arete Executive can support your career in 2015 through our executive coaching programs then email [email protected]