Executive-Level Job Seekers: Are You Really Ready?

By Robert Half August 26, 2014 at 7:00am

Today’s executives often have a long track record of success and direct reports, from other executives to an entire department. But many of those contacts, as high-ranking or well-networked as they may be or seem, probably aren’t going to help a senior-level finance executive make a career jump to his or her next position.

Even the most seasoned, senior-level professional can climb the corporate ladder a little higher and access the often unseen, or even unpublicized, job market. Consider if any of these situations sound familiar:

  • You haven’t made a career move in awhile.
  • You’re one of a kind at your company.
  • You don’t know as many people as you did when you were a senior accountant.
  • You don’t go out to after-work functions and networking events as often as you’d like.
  • You’re as high as you can go in your current role but aspire to become a controller or CFO and have the experience to take on the job.
  • You’re ready to make a career change but don’t know where to start.

So what are your first steps to make that executive-level career jump?

1. Spread the word by networking

Now is the time to approach networking outside your company like a second job. This doesn’t mean you should go out and join 20 professional networking associations, but consider joining one such association and being active in it.

2. Get up to speed on technology

Attend a webinar if needed to boost your technical skills. Build your personal brand and business relationships by using making the most out of LinkedIn.

3. Connect with people you know

Draw up a game plan. Taking a personal, targeted approach, and write down the names of 10 to 15 people you’ve known a long time and could email and call to make aware of your situation. Ask if they have one person they could connect you with who might be interested in you and your background.

4. Create a captivating resume

Tailor your executive-level resume to increase your chance of being considered for high-level accounting and finance jobs. Remember: Details matter, and employers will want to know how you've made a difference and solved problems.

5. Consider the consulting path

Robert Half Management Resources offers project and interim work opportunities with our vast network of clients, which range from start-ups to large companies across all industries. We leverage our industry expertise and personal service to find you projects that fit your background, skills and interest.

Search our job site to see what types of finance consulting opportunities are available in your area.

The saying goes that the best time to look for a new job is when you already have one, but what about when the job, hiring manager or recruiter comes looking for you? You may be happy in your current position, but when an opportunity arises, it can’t hurt to be ready.

You never know where your next opportunity is going to come from, and knocking on one door could be the key to opening additional doors.

Editor's note: This post was updated recently to reflect current information.

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