It’s no secret that executive level positions are often times given to internal employees. They’ve been with the company a while, they know how it works and the company already feels comfortable with them.
This can present some unique obstacles to an outsider trying to get in. However, it’s not impossible to make a move to an executive level position in another company. All it requires is learning how to leverage the obstacles to your advantage.
Explain How Being From the Outside is a Strength
Research suggests that when people are trying to find a creative solution to a problem it oftentimes requires that they find an outsider. Simply put, the outsider has no preconceived notions about the situation, they also aren’t completely involved in it, whereas insiders may be a little too invested and therefore blinded to solutions.
The ability to see a situation from the outside enables a person to find solutions easily. They can see holes where others can’t. They can also think outside of the box. This is a huge strength to play on when vying for a position within another company.
Here’s another strength: you may know more about the market and the competition than they do. Being from the outside enables you to see the company as a consumer. This a whole new way of looking at it that can be extremely beneficial when implementing marketing campaigns, revamping customer service or addressing product development issues.
Reach Out to the Right Contacts
Your best bet to getting any position (externally or not) is to come in with a personal referral in hand.
Connect with individuals within the company you’re looking to get into. You could start with your personal network and then expand outward with a LinkedIn search. You can also find many of these individuals partaking in LinkedIn groups.
The key is to find individuals who have enough clout within the company to help sway high level hiring decisions.
Please keep in mind that just as with in-person networking events there is etiquette to follow when networking on LinkedIn. Customize your connection message, have a genuine interest in this person, and get to know them on a professional level.
Look for Companies That Are Open to Outside Management
Not all companies have policies in place that allow them to hire outside management. You don’t need to worry about them.
Instead, find companies that are flexible about opening up management positions to outsiders. This is easier than most people would think. Chances are that if they are posting an ad publicly then they are open to it, otherwise why would they bother when they can just look internally?
Big job boards can get convoluted easily. Instead try specific searches on LinkedIn or go straight to the company’s Careers section on their website.
You should also stay open to recruiters. Take their unsolicited calls and hear what they have to say. They’ve been hired by companies to search the candidate pool and find the best people.
By leveraging your skills and being strategic you can move up by moving over and get the job as an outsider.
Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer