Job hunting can be tricky enough without having to navigate preconceived ideas about your loyalty and longevity (or lack thereof) with employers at executive recruitment levels.
The question is, is your resume working hard enough at convincing recruiters that you are right for them?
Does the length of your tenure really make a difference to recruiters when they’re screening your resume to see whether your skills are a match?
Well, actually, it does.
And you must learn how to sell your executive resume if there’s a possibility that your background can be questioned or misconstrued.
The average worker today spends 4.4 years in a role before moving on, according to surveys. Recruiters and hiring professionals have been known to place negative perceptions around both staying in a role for too long (i.e. stagnation, fear of change and complacency) or not long enough (lack of ability, conflict with peers and lack of focus for job-hoppers).
That doesn’t mean you’re out of the running if your resume shows that you’ve stayed at the same organisation for the last 20 years, or that you move from one executive role to the next every 18 months or so.
By presenting yourself in the right light, these perceived ‘negatives’ can be turned into positives and could actually give you an advantage over other candidates.
How, I hear you ask?
5 Ways To Convince A Recruiter That Long Service is Not a Bad Thing.
Ensure you include a cover letter.
This is your opportunity to explain all of the positive aspects that your experience has given you. Be clear in linking your experience to competencies and attributes that would be required elsewhere.
Some examples are:
- Your CV screams loyalty, especially if you have moved up through the ranks to an executive position! Make sure your executive resume and cover letter show why loyalty is a good thing by listing your key achievements;
- Competent people don’t get fired, do they? In this economic climate, it’s your results that define you. If you are delivering results, it stands to reason organisations will want to retain your talents;
- Ever managed a dissatisfied employee? If so, you know how draining it can be on staff morale. Staying loyal to a company generally indicates that you’ve been satisfied with your job – meaning you are easier to work with than those who don’t rate their role;
- How many changes have you seen in your time at your current employer? Continuing to perform throughout significant changes to technology, culture and people shows resilience and flexibility;
- Use the opportunity to show off non-work roles in the community or professional associations, showing that you are able to perform in different environments and with different people.
6 Ways To Persuade a Recruiter That You Are Worth The Investment.
Do you have a list of job roles and companies on your resume as long as your arm? Worried it makes you look fickle or disloyal?
A resume showing change, innovation and enthusiasm can easily be looked upon favourably by recruiters – as long as it is presented the right way.
- Align your job changes with new skills you have picked up along the way. Show the recruiter what benefit the changes have brought in developing your competencies;
- Use the current economic climate to your advantage and be direct in saying that you changed companies for improved benefits, if that is why you have moved. Recruiters will appreciate honesty and it may help in package negotiations later down the line.
- Focus on your broadened knowledge and expertise across sectors and industries and highlight how you have found it easy to integrate into new cultures and working practices;
- Do you perform well under pressure? Make it clear that you thrive on new challenges and want to expand your skills. This suggests that you’ll push yourself to higher levels of performance to ‘prove yourself’ in a new role;
- Pitch yourself as a ‘problem solver’ who is able to swiftly analyse the status quo before quickly resolving issues and moving organisations forward;
- Describe your long-term career focus and be ready to show how your job moves are supporting you in achieving it. Explain how working for your next organisation will not only support you in achieving your end goal, but also the organisation in reaching its objectives.
Whilst the above shows two sides of a coin, the theory remains the same: take your experience and make it work for YOU.
Everybody’s situation is different and there is *always* a silver lining to every cloud.
Support your job hunting endeavours by applying for roles that align with your skills and attributes and turn those negatives into positives.
By finding ways to exhibit congruency with what the organisation is looking for, you will find yourself on an equal footing with the 4.4 year gang.