Q: I'm looking into making a change after 15+ years in my current company. I now have over 20 years of experience and I'm looking to get into a VP/Director level position in my industry. Any recommendations on where/how to find the executive type positions, any recommendations on recruiter? I don't want to post my resume on a job site.
A: Congratulations on your tenure with your current company. It sounds like you have enjoyed a very stable employment history.
I know very little about you, your professional work history, your industry or educational background. In general though, I can share some broad recommendations for job seekers at your level.
- Network, network and then network even more. Networking still is the most successful job hunting technique. Most job seekers land new roles through a contact. This contact might be a former colleague, a neighbor or someone you met at your church or temple. Establish a networking goal. One contact per day? One contact every other day? Only you know how much time and energy you can invest in your job search.
- Update your resume. Make sure it is crisp, error-free and current (especially since you have worked for 15 plus years at the same company).
- Have professional references typed up and ready to share in a one-page document that looks and feels like your resume (same font, layout, etc.) Include email addresses, their relationship to you (i.e., former manager) and telephone numbers.
- Get active on LinkedIn. Connect with former co-workers, managers, supervisors, etc. LinkedIn doesn’t replace in-person networking but it is a helpful shortcut to connecting and re-connecting with others. Additionally, more and more companies are posting jobs on LinkedIn.
- Recruiters are best found through “word of mouth” referrals. Ask trusted colleagues, former co-workers. Make sure that the recruiter you work with has experience in your industry. This is increasingly important at your level of work experience. You should “kick the tires” before you engage a recruiter. You want to ensure this is a person that can work for your best interests, not just their best interests.
- Job boards are worth visiting but checking job boards should not be your sole job search technique.
- Think about ways to use social media in her job search. Twitter and Facebook are also ways to find out about opportunities.
- Professional associations related to your industry or profession are also worth exploring. Many have job posted on them regularly.
I agree with you that posting your resume on a job site is probably not a wise idea. Especially if you are currently employed, you will need to be professional and discreet in your search.
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Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.
Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.
Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.
Tracy Cashman is a partner and the general manager of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.
Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.