Most middle and senior executives experience how hard it is to find a job despite their admirable careers as a cold shower. They get no feedback on their applications and are barely invited to even get a job interview. In this article, I will share some tried and tested tips to call for many more job interviews and find a job faster!
Why aren’t managers coping with job search, and what could be the solution?
Let’s first list the well-known and lesser-known reasons why middle and senior executives have a harder time finding a job:
Obviously, due to the upwardly narrowing pyramid, there are fewer positions that correspond to this level, as opposed to, for example, subordinate jobs. This is well known.
Most of my middle and senior clients are past 40-45-50 years old and due to their age or lack of negotiation level English language skills they are starting to be excluded or already excluded from the circle that multis are happy to employ.
There are quite a few who have spent too much time in a single job (up to more than 10-15 years), so their experience is a bit special, tied to the specifics of that particular company, and therefore seems less immediately applicable to another employer.
Most have somewhat neglected to build their personal marketing more precisely in their careers. Despite the great experience, they try a very weak, outdated resume and cover letter that doesn’t show what they are really good at and why. Because of their hard work, their relationship system is relatively narrowed, and most of their relationships come from work relationships that are related to work within the company or on a daily basis.
Many middle and senior executives focus on people management (“I could already lead any department/organization”) and so it is often unclear to them what kind of activity they want to be involved in. As a result, they do not necessarily apply for the jobs they would be most suitable for or are unable to communicate clearly why they are best suited for the job.
If you’re also middle or senior manager and have a harder time finding your chin, I’m sure it will affect at least 2-3 of you from the list above. The good news, though, is that if you look for a job more consciously and manage your job search more professionally, you’ll soon get the recognition and job you deserve. Let’s see how!
What do you need to be able to sell yourself as a leader in the job market?
Since job searching seems a bit of a black box for managers – even if they’ve interviewed a lot in the past and hired a lot of staff – let me draw a business analogy!
Take, for example, how your imaginary company wants to bring a new product into the country, and let’s see together what business strategy you can use to successfully sell that product. You will need three important steps:
1. Market research = career orientation
Market research is the mapping of product strengths as well as the market situation (supply and demand). You need to be aware of what the key advantages of the product are compared to the competition, and in what industries, what types of companies will be your most likely customers.
The job search should also start with market research – although most people skip this step altogether or run it through only superficially. List your strengths (but not primarily your personal skills, but your expertise and work experience) and see what industry, companies, and jobs you could make the most of.
The key here is to think more broadly than before. For example, if you’ve worked for multinationals so far, in addition to listing other potential multinationals, look at how capital-intensive smaller companies might be.
For example, many people do not even know that 73% of the employees working in companies in Hungary are employed by SMEs, and a company with a turnover of seven billion and 200 employees is certainly an SME. However, these lesser-known companies are often not on the radar of middle and senior executives.
2. Marketing = resume + cover letter + job search techniques
Once you are aware of the key benefits of your product – what you can communicate – and have defined your target audience, marketing can come. In the life of a business, the most important task of marketing, in addition to branding, is to get potential customers to know about your product and come into your business or to get your stakeholders more easily into a meeting.
In a job search, your marketing is based on your resume or your level of motivation and your activity as you deliver these well-written, engaging, and clearly communicating marketing materials to your target employers. Either through job advertisements, or through acquaintances, or through employment agencies, or direct contact.
As I mentioned, the marketing materials of most middle and senior executives (e.g. resume, Linkedin profile) are significantly below the desired level – and I was very finely worded back then.
The litmus test is very simple: if you are typically not invited to a job interview for which you consider yourself 100% suitable, then you should definitely revise your resume and motivation letter significantly.
3. Sales = job interview + salary negotiation
If we turn back to our imaginary product, it’s obvious that you’ll usually sell it at a personal meeting. You need to present the benefits of the product, deal with any objections that arise, and present the price.
However, it is very important to keep in mind that not every sales meeting will be a business, and not immediately. Even with a healthy 10-30% overall sales conversion, your imaginary business will only be successful if you can bring in a relatively large number of sales appointments or if your marketing brings in a relatively large number of potential customers to your business.
In a job search, this stage is represented by job interviews. According to a comprehensive survey, job seekers need to attend an average of 14-15 job interviews in order to find a job with a 95% probability. (This includes multi-round interviews). So it’s important to accept that it won’t be enough for 2-3 companies to get into an interview, and don’t take it very seriously if a promising job doesn’t come together. This is simply the nature of things – both in job search and in sales.
Thus, for most middle and senior managers, the biggest difficulty is clearly not getting enough job interviews. This is the biggest obstacle to their location, and you have to work harder or smarter on that too.
Rethink your career orientation, use alternative job search techniques to target hidden jobs, and create a punctual resume, cover letter, and more. Linkedin profile. For the vast majority of my clients, this is enough to find and win their new job in 3-4 months, and I’m sure it will also boost your job search significantly.