Seven questions jobseekers should ask themselves to optimize career talks

by Mark Sapienza and Joe Opaleski , InterSearch member in the US, Charles Aris

Putting yourself on the job market can be intimidating, even for top talent, but laser-focusing your career goals will help your network of allies efficiently narrow down possible opportunities – especially the recruiters.

While the team at Charles Aris Executive Search is always happy to provide open-ended career advice, coming to us with as much detail as possible will help any of our specialized recruiting practices quickly point you in the right direction. To help you prepare for your next big career move and have effective meetings with recruiters along the way, our team found these are the seven most important questions to answer first:

  • What industry do you want to be in? While the candidates we speak with at Charles Aris are often seeking opportunities based on their function (strategy, finance, etc), knowing what industry you prefer to work in will slingshot you ahead of the curve.
  • What title or level of responsibility are you seeking? Come prepared by knowing the title and/or scope of responsibility you’re looking for in new roles; this will often align with the seniority you prefer and help recruiters gauge your ideal career trajectory.
  • What type of organization do you want to work in? Are you looking to leave a small organization for a bigger one, or vice versa? Wanting to make the switch to a private equity backed company? In what type of culture will you thrive in? These questions are essential as a recruiter looks to pair you with new opportunities.
  • What size is your preferred team? Managing a large workforce is a very different day-to-day experience than working in an intimate team setting. Knowing what’s best for you helps us refine possible roles.
  • What is your desired location? It will help all parties to know whether you’re interested in relocating, have a specific city in mind or are firm in staying put.
  • What is your ideal compensation? Showing up with specific compensation expectations will show recruiters and hiring authorities that you’re a serious candidate.
  • What is your timeline? Our recruiters are often in charge of filling mission-critical roles, which puts some searches on a tight deadline. If you have deadlines of your own, sharing this early on will be a useful tool for recruiters to gauge your compatibility with certain opportunities.

Many jobseekers fear that being too narrow in their ideal career requirements will cause them to miss a worthwhile opportunity, but we find the exact opposite to be true. If you’re thinking about going on the job market, we urge you to answer these questions before reaching out to your network, potential new connections or a recruiter; this will ensure we can support you to our full capability.

The vast majority of people are willing to help others, but being as focused as possible about how your network can help you will dramatically increase your chances of success.

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