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An Executive's Guide to Attracting Career Opportunities




Executive recruiters have been instrumental in my career progression. For every single executive role I held, I was tapped on the shoulder by an executive recruiter. I wasn’t looking for a new role in any of these situations nor did I think I was the right fit based on the advertisement. 


When I shared this experience with an executive colleague a while ago, he was utterly surprised. Many people don’t realise that once you are at a senior level, diligently checking job advertisements is not necessarily the best way to get ahead. Senior roles are not as abundantly available as mid-level roles. It is easy to miss the right vacancy when you are busy, and sometimes a role doesn’t get advertised at all. In my case, career opportunities I never even considered were presented to me. Believe me, if you don’t have a recruiter approaching you at least a few times a year, you might need to rethink your current career strategy.


So how can you increase the likelihood of attracting the right senior leadership opportunities for you? I will share some tips based on my experience as an executive leader and as a recruiter.


1. Shape your executive value proposition

While demonstrated leadership skills are important, establishing yourself as an industry expert and strategic thinker will significantly increase your executive value proposition. Contribute to articles, participate in webinars or panels, and present at industry conferences. This will boost your visibility and credibility within your field. Do you need lengthy expert comments on LinkedIn? Probably not. A comment should be short. Choose the right platform for the right message. 


2. Invest in authentic relationships

Prioritise building genuine connections with people in your target industry, both within and beyond your current network. Focus on mutual value and knowledge exchange, not just career advancement. Participating in industry events and conferences provides more than an opportunity to swap business cards.  Actively connect with attendees and build real relationships that are personally rewarding and can serve as potential stepping stones in your career progression. Executive recruiters often ask their network for recommendations for a role. So having a quality network is invaluable.


3. Be strategic about your online presence

A meticulously curated online presence is the most powerful tool to get the attention of executive search agencies. Do not underestimate LinkedIn. A good LinkedIn profile is probably your number one priority. Get a professional photo, put some work in outlining your experience, and write a powerful career statement in the 'about' section. There is debate about whether a general statement or your current position in your headline is best, for example ‘Seasoned professional in the accounting industry’ vs. your current position. I like to keep it simple. And make sure recruiters can actually engage with you. Add your contact details, but manage your privacy settings to restrict public visibility. Do you know what others see of you online? Audit your online presence regularly and remove or restrict access to anything that can undermine your professional reputation. 


4. Connect with executive search agencies

Engage with reputable search agencies, specialising in executive placements. These agencies maintain extensive networks and can connect you with unadvertised roles, vacancies you missed, or career opportunities you had never even thought about. You don't have to be on an executive level yet, to establish these connections. A good relationship with an executive recruiter is invaluable for managing your career. Be prepared to listen to their advice and adapt your approach and value proposition accordingly. So send us an email and click the follow button on our LinkedIn page and we will look out for you.


5. A career is a journey

Building a fulfilling career is not a race to the finish line. Prioritise opportunities that offer a cultural fit, long-term growth potential, and a clear path to making a meaningful impact. Finding the right place to thrive, where your talent is appreciated, and where you have the opportunity to further develop yourself should be the ultimate goal. Happiness and confidence are the best assets in crafting a long and successful career.


If you would like to have a confidential discussion about your career, feel free to reach out to info@westgatesearch.com.au. We are always happy to connect with talented and motivated professionals. Follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn for regular leadership insights and job opportunities.



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