Here, Emma Robinson, founder and managing director at Red Diamond Executive Headhunters, offers her advice to women looking to develop their career and how to take the next steps successfully.
Deal with the distance
As a global company, we were using videoconferencing tools long before the pandemic hit so we know what can go wrong – and how to make the most of the opportunity of a video interview.
Video calls are here to stay, both in the recruitment process and the world of work in general, so make sure you’re on top of your game. Ensure your tech is up to date, functions well and that your broadband won’t let you down in the middle of the interview.
Make sure you’re well presented when you do join the call – from the waist up, at least. Off camera, anything goes!
Those who are proactive and are willing to embrace these new ways place of recruiting will put themselves in a stronger position and are more likely to catch the eye.
Be prepared and do your research properly. For senior or director roles in particular, you need to play to win. It’s about going the extra mile – anyone can read a website or look up something with Companies House.
Consider the critical issues for the sector and for the business in particular and make suggestions on how you would provide a solution. Outline the opportunities you would take and explain why. The company is investing in you as a person so make sure you tell a compelling story about what you would do and why.
During the interview itself, be mindful of how the interviewers respond. Keep an eye on their body language to check you’ve not gone off at a tangent and lost their full attention.
Has the job changed?
Over the past 12 months or so, we have seen job titles and responsibilities evolve faster than ever before. There has been a subtle shift in requirements with innovation and agility among the most sought-after qualities in executive roles.
In procurement, for instance, it’s no longer about simply finding the cheapest supplier, there’s far more emphasis on securing a robust supply and taking a wider view of what’s available. Businesses that have thrived during the pandemic have been those that are agile and can change their offering or way of working to respond to changing demands – and to do so effectively requires agile leadership.
Make sure that the post you’re applying for is appropriate for your skill set. Be realistic about where your strengths lie; you might be able to convince yourself you can do a certain job but if you’re going to struggle, the company you join will need to spend more on training you than they would have paid to take on a more experienced candidate.
When writing your CV, remember that one size does not fit all. It’s your shop window, your sales document, so tailor it to the post each time you apply.
Social media checklist
Don’t be that candidate who isn’t hired because of a foolish social media post. Have a look at your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts from the point of view of a potential employer. Google yourself to make sure there’s nothing out there that you wouldn’t want your boss to see.
At this time in particular, don’t post about doing something that constitutes breaking lockdown rules or that’s overly political – be mindful of what other people may think. Your friends might know something is tongue in cheek but a potential employer may not.
About the author
Emma Robinson is founder and managing director at Red Diamond Executive Headhunters. The business has a global client portfolio and since it was founded more than a decade ago, Emma and her team have placed candidates into C-suite roles across the world in a wide range of industries, from aerospace and pharmaceuticals to health and beauty, defence and financial services.
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