Vivo’s Sandra Brown serves as panelist for the RAL Associates, Executive in Transition Meeting

Vivo’s Sandra Brown serves as panelist for the RAL Associates, Executive in Transition Meeting

Insights on how to get that job

Yesterday our own Sandy Brown, Executive Business Development Manager, served as a panelist on the  RAL Associates: Executive in Transition Meeting. The crowd enjoyed a lively dialogue on the recent trends in executive hiring.

 Some themes from today’s event:

Cover letters are no longer relevant. Interestingly, almost no one bothers with a cover letter any more. Unsurprisingly, if you are going to attach one, it should be highly tailored to the exact position for which you are applying and should be extremely brief with three to four bullets at most.  The “ten second” rule applies here. 

 How to stand out among the pack? Audience members asked, what to do when constantly hearing they are in the “Top 3 candidates”. The panelists recommend, “know your CEO. Know his/her vision.” Also,  they suggest, “ask yourself, ‘where can I add value?’, then show your interviewers.  Bring your 30, 60 and 90-day plan.” This was met with some initial skepticism from the crowd.“Why would I give away my secrets?” one audience member asked.  The panelists agreed that this is a risk you should take.  Companies are looking for risk takers right now. Coming to the table with this level of detail shows your planning skills. It shows you are proactive, decisive and did your homework. One panelist recounted the story of the candidate who refused to provide such a detailed plan, because it felt like what he should do after he is hired. “What if the company is just picking my brain, and not looking to hire me”, he worried. So, the company hired another candidate – the one who brought such plans to the interview.

Economy-prompted changes in executive hiring? Right now, the panel agreed you need very specific skill matches. Companies are not as willing to take near matches, or those with generalized skill matches. Companies are being picky in industry, exact same roles, titles, team sizes, etc. Hiring managers want everything on the resumes and oftentimes want a laundry lists of skills

Job boards? The panelists’ views differed greatly on the subject of whether there is value in posting jobs on Monster or the Ladders. One panelist noted that she would be inundated with resumes if she were to post – so she does not. Another panelist reminded that there may be a gem hidden in those 500 resumes, making it worthwhile. Also, he reminded, this is a great way to build his network and have candidates lined up for the next opportunity.

While not exactly new, the panel also urged people to feed and nurture their networks, today moreso than ever before. I guess that’s what makes events like this all the more relevant as we look forward to 2011.

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Marilyn Weinstein About the author