Changing Jobs and Looking for Counsel and Advice
Search firms, in many cases, will review your credentials to see if they match with a specific assignment that may be available at the current time. In some instances the firm will keep your information on file for future searches that may be received during the next six to twelve months. However, search professionals do not usually circulate resumes to client firms as it is contrary to industry practice. Friends and friends of clients often ask for advice or counsel on what to do when beginning a career search; following are some ideas or concepts that could be utilized in this effort.
Search Firm Broadcast Letter
When contacting search firms remember that many firms’ offices operate independently of each other, and it is best to send a “shotgun blast” of information and materials to each location. If the materials sent are addressed to “Dear Executive Recruiter” and a chronological resume is attached, recruiters will utilize this to review against their current assignments. Other approaches are to use Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) list of search firms or the Directory of Executive Recruiters. (The directory offers mailing labels that can be purchased for addressing envelopes.) Remember: there are approximately 1,500 search firm locations.
You may wish to increase your exposure to quality retained executive search firms by submitting your career information to the AESC at www.bluesteps.com. By registering with BlueSteps your information will be accessible by all retained executive search firms who are members of the AESC.
Association of Executive Search Consultants
500 Fifth Avenue
Suite 930 New York, New York 10110-0900
The Directory of Executive Recruiters
One Kennedy Place, Route 12 South
Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire 03447
The Personal Network
Over the years you have probably developed a personal network of contacts. They might be noted in your telephone directory, an old calendar, or relate to general friendships developed over your years in business. You should go back to these individuals and network with them on the changes you are planning to make in your career. Also make sure you send a copy of your resume, since you may not have had any contact with many of these individuals in a long period of time; therefore, they are not aware of your current credentials. While you are networking, keep a diary or log of who you are contacting, what you send to them, and the date the information was sent. A “soft” follow up from time to time is also a good idea.
Listed below are a number of executive networking services:
If you are planning to make a career change, it is probably best to do a nationwide search or position evaluation as opposed to a localized effort. Your opportunities are greater if your focus is national, (and if you have the financial means to do so). Since you are planning to move, why not pick five locations where you and your family would like to work and live. After deciding on these five locations you may want to do the following:
Subscribe to the Sunday edition of the local paper in order to get the business and classified sections. These sections will help you with determining the companies and opportunities that are available in the area as well as housing, etc. Contact the Chamber of Commerce, Board of Trade, Greater Business Committees, etc. to locate the companies that may have their regional headquarters in your specific geographical area. The Dun and Bradstreet Million Dollar Directory is also a source you can utilize to locate the headquarters of companies in your immediate area of interest.
When you have gathered all of the information you need on the specific region in which you are interested, it is probably best to send a soft letter to at least thirty of the companies you have identified. In this letter, indicate that you are exploring this area and are looking for opportunities and would welcome the occasion to visit the company. This is a very soft sell approach in evaluating the area to determine if you should have further contact with companies in that region.
If you have been in a given industry or association for a substantial period of time it may be beneficial to network through these individuals and organizations and with the companies involved with them. To network an industry or association contacts, it is important to maintain a certain level of confidentiality in order to protect yourself during any conversations. Also, in many instances competitors will be interested in speaking with you, and these discussion can help you determine the “lay of the land.” Many of the individuals in your industry and association area are the network people you have probably noted above.
The National Employment Weekly from the Wall Street Journal lists positions in the U.S. and is another excellent source for your search.
Listed below are a number of on line job sites where you can post your resume.