Thinking about a change? If you are looking to explore opportunities outside your current business, ask yourself: How prepared am I to take this step? What am I looking for? Does my CV project who I am and what I am capable of? How do I ensure that my qualifications and experiences convey to the person in front of me that I will add value to not only to the position but also to their organization? What perceptions do I give during an interview - my choice of words, tone, body language, the examples I choose to highlight when asked a question?
This is one of the most frequently requested services from both my private and corporate clients, whether they are seeking new opportunities within their current organization or looking externally to take their next step. The starting point is usually gaining clarity on what position you are seeking for your next step. Unfortunately, there is no clear written rule that states because you have done X & Y in the recent past, the logical next step is Z. We are not "owed" the opportunity to take a given position, One needs to understand in a clear and honest way true capabilities and experiences that are translatable and can add value to a desired position, while at the same time, giving you the opportunity to grow and challenge yourself. Understanding your own personal drivers, the things that you see in your next position that energize you, is another critical element while seeking to make a change. As we mature in our professional careers, it becomes more and more important that we are fulfilling these needs and that this step is congruent with a longer term big picture that you envision for yourself.
With regards to presenting ourselves on paper, oftentimes we assume that everything is crystal clear just by listing a chronological account of our past positions, but frequently we overlook the fact that not all experiences are relevant or hold equal weight depending on the position we are seeking. Many CV's list responsibilities within the role without demonstrating the impact you have made while in that position. Impact can be both quantitative as well as qualitative, but regardless, this needs to be clear. The result of not having this is a cacophony of "facts" that do not clearly communicate who you are and what you are capable of contributing that is of value to a position and to an organization. Additionally, if you fail to highlight those skills and experiences that are translatable to the position and organization we are seeking, why would they take a risk to consider hiring you?
Last but not least, while we are accomplished executives, oftentimes we underestimate the value of preparing ourselves for the interview itself. Clean neutral observations of how we come across as we speak to the person in front of us can teach us volumes on how to be more effective in getting our message across. Whether it is our choice of words, our tone, body language or how we respond to questions. While we can never fully anticipate what will be asked of us, there are ways to structure your preparation of the key messages that you want to convey in advance. I learned this through many years of preparing for media interviews - regardless of where the interviewer takes you, you need to consistently be able to both respond to their needs and to also get across the points that you would like to make. It is also critical to be comfortable in explaining things that may come across as unusual to the person interviewing you. By working through these elements in advance is a safe zone, the results can be seen in your confidence no matter where the interviewer takes you.
If you are interested in learning more, contact me. Have a good week!