Mark Lawson-Jones

More than a simple headhunting service, Page Executive offers diverse solutions to increase your chances of a successful career move. Mark Lawson-Jones draws upon his personal experience to outline eight ways a strong relationship with our Principals and Partners can significantly bolster your leadership career. 

By Mark Lawson-Jones, Partner

How working with Page Executive differs from other recruitment avenues

At Page Executive, we connect you with a single point of contact who oversees the entire project from start to finish . We know that trust and relationships are at the core of executive search, and build our reputation on quality connections between a candidate and organisation, rather than playing a numbers game. 

With a deeper, more personal understanding of your skills, character and aspirations, we can focus on a broader spectrum of opportunities that you may not have considered before. Therefore, whatever the outcome of your current application, a close, productive relationship with your consultant is a solid move for your future career. 

Pinpoint what you’re looking for and reap the benefits

Understanding what you’re looking for is the first step to finding it, so take time to picture what your next career move will look like. 

Start by making notes about what drives you, what your passions are and what you want to achieve. Then, consider what your ideal company looks like. Do you want to join an established team , or are you more interested in taking an exciting startup to the next level? Don’t neglect the company culture either. It’s one thing to embark on a learning curve when you’re switching industries, but if a business doesn’t align with your values, it will be extremely hard to thrive.

My advice to candidates is to be as vocal as possible with what you want (and what you don’t want) for the next step in your career. Tell us where you want to be, whether you’re geographically mobile and your ideal role. We can take care of the rest. 

The benefits of knowing what you’re looking for include:

> Discovering potential roles you may not have considered

In addition to the support of a dedicated specialist, your relationship with Page Executive allows you to tap into a wealth of collective experience and the latest insights from our team.

We cross-reference your job preferences with our market knowledge to find roles in line with your experience, but also less obvious positions that nevertheless fit your profile and capabilities. In addition, we don’t advertise all of our open roles, so many are unique to the Page Executive network, unlocking new opportunities. 

> A successful relocation experience

Executives relocate for several reasons, such as professional growth, family commitments or simply to experience a new way of life. At Page Executive, our global teams are in constant communication and happily pass candidates on to local experts who can open up a wide range of new opportunities. 

> A smooth transition to a new industry

Like our international presence, our Partners and Principals span all practices, sectors and functions, so we may be able to facilitate career crossovers. Drawing on years of experience in executive search, we help to highlight transferable qualities that make you stand out for roles in new sectors even if you don’t have direct experience.

To give an example from my own experience, I recently guided a candidate from a B2C role in the tobacco industry to a B2B position in the car and commercial tyre industry. Although these two sectors look worlds apart, we managed to find strong synergies between the roles and turned it into a win-win situation. 

You need to be realistic when making significant career changes as you’ll be going head-to-head with other quality candidates. Successful applications take a lot of preparation and a convincing rationale, so be sure to bring personal interests and passions to the surface as early as possible. 

Understand your reasons for change — and justify them

Before you make any big decisions, it’s crucial to know the “whys” behind it: 

●    Why you feel the need for a change
●    Why you’re interested in a specific company
●    Why now?

Companies take great interest in the reasons behind your application as it helps form an idea of whether you’re a good fit. It’s not  enough to have a personal understanding of your motivation — you need to communicate your motivation to future employers

Each Page Executive consultant has been through this process  with previous candidates, so we are ideally placed to guide you. We draw on executive search best practices, industry trends and our past experience to guide you. However, this is essentially about your personal journey, so the better we get to know you, the more impactful your pitch will be. 

We’re well-versed in the employer’s perspective too. Speaking directly to decision-makers on a regular basis gives us a clear picture of their priorities. This isn’t a box-checking exercise of course, but we can guide you on what to prioritise and highlight when answering important questions on your reasons for change.

Make your profile stand out

As we’ve previously mentioned, you have the best chance of getting the role you want by being crystal clear about what you’re looking for. Naturally, your CV and LinkedIn profile should be your first port of call. We’ve already written an in-depth article on How to Write an Executive CV, so we’ll just cover the basics here. 

Your consultant will help you reinforce your expertise by highlighting any examples of thought leadership, speaking opportunities and membership in professional or voluntary associations. Don’t forget to really sell your role in overall organisational success as well as your personal achievements and awards. This puts us in a great position to create an elevator pitch to present to our colleagues further afield.  

Grow your network with Page Executive

It really goes without saying, but connect with us on LinkedIn and follow the Page Executive LinkedIn account. We share a lot of content related to our specialist fields and of course, we’ll post the latest job opportunities. We also run events for which you can reach out for speaking opportunities or to suggest topics for future conferences. 

At the same time, it’s also great to hear your experience. Between everything else on our plates, we’re always looking to sharpen our knowledge of what’s happening on the ground. Therefore, we’ll likely reach out to get a better understanding of your experience and aspirations, as well as your first-hand insights into how your industry is performing.

Stay at the cutting edge of your sector

Keeping up to date on the latest trends and movements is always time well spent — even if you’re not on the job hunt. Although it’s more of a self-service element, you can access a lot of content and event information on the Page Executive LinkedIn page and our website. 
Activate job alerts on LinkedIn and through your Page Executive dashboard to get the latest opportunities directly to your inbox. When the technology is in place to keep you on top of your game, you’ve got to take advantage. 

Turn missed opportunities into future successes

In the first round of evaluation, we look for candidates who best match the very clear brief we have outlined with our clients. We usually receive a high volume of applications, so it’s very difficult to respond to every unsuccessful application individually. 

Therefore, if you haven’t heard back, but feel you’ve got the right skill set, trigger a conversation. Reach out to us with an email and we’ll be happy to discuss why it didn’t work out and what you or we can do differently. Whether it means better aligning your CV with the job description, boosting your interview performance or adjusting your expectations, your consultant can increase your chances of securing your next application and success. 

So, if you’re coming to the end of a strategy cycle or feel like it’s time for a change, why not reach out to one of our Principals & Partners for expert advice on your next steps? 


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