Transformational Leadership

How and When the Modern Executive Should Seek a Job

Federico Guillermo Mauro asked:

Besides a good résumé, the modern executive should have the skill to understand how his market behaves and the capacity to adapt speedily to its transformations. Only thus will he have the possibility to survive in a scenario of globalized economy, in which the speed of decisions is directly proportional to the velocity of the information.

If we could write a “Manual of the Modern Executive,” its first chapter would be “How and when to seek a job.” This is where the ability to understand the market begins, to perceive its movements and anticipate them. Years of experience in the selection of executives shows that the simple task of preparing the résumé already gives indications of the professional’s profile. Through it, we know whether the candidate is objective, strategic, bureaucratic, etc.

Companies that recruit and select executives receive hundreds of résumés per day and the consultants, no matter how great their good will, do not have the required time to read them in full. Thus, the candidate who assembles a sheaf of papers to talk about his professional career may lose the chance to be indicated for a vacancy simply owing to the consultant’s lack of time.

Therefore, the résumés must be succinct, direct, setting forth in two or three pages what the candidate has to offer, his skills, competencies and his objectives, stirring the curiosity and interest of the consultant. It is important to show in palpable terms the knowledge of the business and his achievements. Thus, if the candidate is a sales professional, for instance, it is important that he show what he has sold, the results achieved, what was the quota, how much he exceeded the quota, what he did to access the customer, etc.

It is also part of this concept to understand the market, perceive the most appropriate time to break into it, whether for a first opportunity or for a new challenge in another company. Statistics based on data obtained in the industrial segment over the past five years show that, in general, there are two yearly peaks in the contracting: the first in the period of March/April/May, owing to the natural expectation of a boost in the economy early in the year and, the second, in September/October, owing to the correction of course of projects and the projection of goals for the following year.

This data also shows that companies usually plan their actions of admission and dismissal with an average advance of four to five months, always with an eye on the economy’s performance. This means that when the companies begin to hire, they expect a peak in the market within the next four to five months. In the same manner, when they stop the admissions it is because they foresee a decline in the business within four to five months.

Since those who occupy the top of the corporate pyramid prepare these policies, a good network of contacts acts as a thermometer of the professional scene, enabling a good overall notion of the panorama.

The modern executive also has to know which qualities the market seeks for its future players in accordance with the hierarchical level to be filled, and somehow qualify to develop them. It is interesting to know that according to the demand perceived in the most significant segments of the industry in the past five years, there are qualities which are held to be indispensable in all the hierarchical levels: ethics, emotional intelligence, adaptability to the environment and tenacity.

For the functions at the top of the corporate pyramid—CEO, Managerial Committees and Upper Management—the companies seek in their future employees negotiation skills, strategic vision, leadership, capacity to build teams, capacity to delegate and encourage subordinates, orientation towards results, management of changes and fluency in other languages.

With this data in hand, the professional in any segment of activity can begin to prepare the career in the search for a first job, or modify his course, with the aim of rising through the levels not yet reached.

The modern executive should achieve the objectives proposed by the company, but he must not forget that as a professional he is an individual company and must go forth in search of his objectives.

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