10 November 2016

Tips from a corporate headhunter #2: Know how the career advancement game works


Whether you are actively seeking a new role or not, you need to make sure you are aware of every relevant opportunity in your speciality and location—advertised and unadvertised.

To continue from my previous blog, where I outlined what is involved in knowing ‘how the career advancement game works’ as part of a sound career management strategy, here is how you do it through smart preparation tactics.

  • In this blog, let’s talk about how you could keep yourself informed of available roles.
  • In Blog 3, we’ll cover how to leverage your online presence and the people you know.

Here are the first two tactics for staying up-to-date on where the demand exists for the expertise you supply.

Research advertised roles

To achieve this Do this
Gain a broad overview of roles available. Sign up for job alerts on general Internet job boards.
Know what’s available in your sector and keep abreast of trends and developments. Visit specialist websites and search for relevant roles.
Be informed of local or national roles. Check the appointment or recruitment pages in newspapers.
Know exactly when roles come up, and track recruiting patterns. Check the recruitment pages on websites of companies of interest.
Hear about role-related announcements firsthand. ‘Follow’ or ‘Like’ target companies and recruiters on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media.

In addition, take advantage of sliding door moments when seemingly insignificant actions could make or break an opportunity. There are at least six things you could do which are spelled out in my book Career Karma.

Tactfully remind recruiters of your existence

Organisations like to leverage the time, expertise, and networks of recruiters because bad hires can incur huge losses in earnings, staff morale, and business reputation.

You could be the perfect person for a role, but recruiters won’t know unless you make your presence felt.

Be tactical and tactful about making it worth a recruiter’s while to become your advocate.

What’s in it for them? Staying up-to-date on a potential candidate who comes across as proactive, progressive, and pleasant.

How to be a favourable contact, whether you're looking for a job, or not:

  • Check in without pestering by providing updates or asking for advice
  • Connect by phone, not email, which is less personal
  • If you ask to meet, be respectful about work hours
  • Practise your job interviewee skills during that meeting
  • Never forget your manners even if there is a bad job match
  • Follow up with a ‘thank you’ note to show appreciation
  • Connect with them online and add value to their network

I shall cover the next two tactics for winning the game of career advancement in my next blog.

Velpic and I share an interest in empowering more people through education, with knowledge formerly available only to a select few due to cost or other limitations. The world can be a complex place, and both Velpic and I love to help make things easier, for people to achieve more with what’s available to them.

While Velpic primarily does it through their innovative cloud-based learning management system (LMS) that comes with an authoring tool, mobile lesson viewer and experts marketplace, we are also collaborating to bring you tips on maximising your career potential through a free 45-minute webinar.

We welcome you to watch our 45-minute webinar ‘Maximise your career potential: Tips from a corporate headhunter’ by clicking on the button below.

Watch Recording NowAbout James Fairbairn. An executive search, selection and retention expert for over 21 years, the author of ‘Career Karma’ and 'Resume Karma’, and a sought-after public speaker, James has advised and acted on behalf of ASX 200 corporations, privately-owned family businesses, government trading entities, and not-for-profits to appoint senior professionals and executives in these organisations. In this time, James has read around 50,000 resumes, interviewed at least 5,000 people, and drunk enough coffee to fill Sydney Harbour.


James Fairbairn

James Fairbairn

Partner at Lester Blades - Executive Search, Selection & Retention