We talk to dozens of sales and marketing candidates every month as we perform executive searches for top technology manufacturing companies. As we talk to these individuals there are a few things that we see that candidates can do to improve their chances as they’re out networking and interviewing for job opportunities.
The first idea I’m going to talk about is “knowing what you’re looking for”. Everybody wants to help a potential candidate with their networking and to improve their job search possibilities. But frequently, when people come to me looking for a job, they aren’t able to clearly articulate what it is they love to do and what it is they’re looking to do. In other words, they really haven’t developed a clear understanding and profile of what it is that they’re looking for in their next job, and as a result of that, it’s more difficult for people like me to help them, to get them what they want.
So, if you’re a top sales and marketing candidate and you’re looking for a new position, before you even start to talk to people who you think might be able to help you, take some time to focus on developing a clear profile of the exact job that you would like to have, or the exact types of jobs that you would like to consider. You will find that your networking will become a lot more productive, because people who you meet will have a clear sense of how to help you.
It’s real easy to do this. Take out a clean sheet of paper and write out a clear set of parameters about the kind of job that you’d like to have. What sort of position should it be? Is it a VP or Director level? An individual contributor position? Do you want to manage people or do you want to work as a lead salesperson? Which industries are you interested in, and how do they map to your previous experience? It’s very important for you to be able to show how the industries that you want to work in relate to the industries where you already have experience. If not, then you’ll need to focus on your transferable skills.