Essential Requirements for Senior Executive Jobs

Looking for a new job as a senior executive is more challenging than hunting for an entry level job. Your salary and benefit expectations are higher. You are probably employed and looking for something better to step into, which makes you selective.

This privileged position gives you more time for your job search which you may need as attractive executive jobs don’t appear all the time. This also means you have to be prepared to put more effort into the hunt. 

One of the things you can do when waiting for a perfect job posting is review your skills and resume. Making sure that you meet the current essential requirements for senior executive roles is crucial to your success. Here’s what your future employer could be looking for:

One. Proven Leadership Skills

Being a team player is a phrase used on resume for lower level jobs. When you apply for senior executive positions, you need to be able to prove your expertise as a leader. You should stress your managerial achievements at every stage of the recruitment process.

Remember that as a leader you want to stand out and clichés won’t get you where you want to be. Your resume should mention what kind of executive duties you’ve taken on. A cover letter, on the other hand, is a great opportunity to speak about your leadership style. You can find more tips on writing a winning cover letter for an executive job by clicking on the link.

Two. Industry or Role Expertise

It’s possible to change your industry as a manager. However, you have better chances of landing a job within your area of expertise or in related fields.
Your industry experience is a strength. You should underline it whenever possible. Using industry vocabulary will also make a positive impression on people reviewing your resume or interviewing you.

If you’re applying for a job in a new industry, your expertise within a given role is more relevant. Don’t underestimate the requirements mentioned in the job posting. 5 years experience in the role of CFO may be a non-negotiable.

When many jobs seem to require more years of experience than what you can currently offer, you may want to put the job search on hold. In this case, wait it out and focus on working on other senior executive skills.

Three. Excellent Stress Management

Being able to work under pressure is a common requirement in job postings. For senior executives, stress is just a part of reality. All decisions you make are high profile.
You need to be able to handle pressure well so that it doesn’t affect your job performance. Another reason why you want a clear mind is to be able to make strategic decisions. Short-term thinking is a non-starter for a leader.

The ability to overcome challenges and deal with problems are essential skills for top executives. You can show off your stress management skill set by explaining what you’ve achieved when circumstances have been far from perfect.
In your new company things will inevitably go wrong. Your new employer needs to be convinced you can handle it.

Four. Long-term Thinking

Long-term thinking goes hand in hand with excellent stress management. When you don’t panic in the face of problems, you’re capable of remembering the company’s strategy.
You can’t act impulsively or change long-term plans just because something doesn’t go as planned. Panicking may be a natural tendency but a leader must know better than that.

In executive jobs long-term goals are often a priority. If the way the company operates doesn’t serve them, adjustments are necessary.

Your subordinates may react poorly to change. You may get criticised for the decisions you make, particularly if initial results aren’t positive. At the same time, your long-term thinking skills are what you need to persevere.

Five. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is another crucial skill for senior executives. First, you need to be able to communicate your vision, tasks and feedback to your subordinates. At the same time, you should be able to recognise their reactions to what you’re sharing.

The same is true for your interactions with other members of the executive team and shareholders. In particular when you represent the company, knowing how to communicate what you want to say is key.

Emotional intelligence comes to some people naturally, while others have to learn it. If you’ve heard negative feedback about your listening skills or empathy, you should look into ways to improve that instead of taking it to heart.

How to Get an Executive Job

You’ve learnt the essential skills you need when applying for senior executive positions. If you lack any of them, now is the time to address any potential shortcomings. 
Having the right competences isn’t everything. You also need to feature them adequately on your resume and within the cover letter.

At the executive level you have to be prepared for detailed questions about your experience. You should display your confidence, problem-solving skills and fast thinking. Have your biggest achievements ready so that you don’t take too long coming up with them, when prompted.

Last but not least, you could be a bit out of practice when it comes to applying for jobs. Senior executives often hold their positions for many years. While interviewing people may be a part of your job description, being on the other side of the fence is a whole different story. It never hurts to review the basic rules of interview etiquette.

Get the help of an Executive Recruitment Agency

As mentioned before, great executive jobs only appear every so often. That’s why it’s critical to keep an eye out. Asking around and looking for jobs via networks such as LinkedIn is a good start.

You can achieve even better results by getting help from professionals. At CS Executive Group we match the best candidates with the most attractive executive vacancies. Are you ready for a career move? Get in touch and let’s find the job of your dreams together!

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