Written by: Ken McIntyre-Barn, Managing Partner, AIMS International Ireland

Career transition at senior level is difficult as there are fewer opportunities and plenty of tough competition. More and more executives are using career coaches to gain competitive advantage. Many of the best business leaders engage executive coaches. Career coaching can help executives navigate career transition quickly and effectively. Engaging a career coach will substantially improve competitiveness, marketability and ultimately the success of your job search and long-term career.

If your strategy is to send out multiple copies of your Curriculum Vitae and hope for the best, you will quickly discover that this doesn’t work.  Even if you have the best LinkedIn or Xing profile, it is not a guarantee of success. 

A good career coach will help you articulate with impact your highest and best use to a prospective employer and develop an effective job search strategy to identify the best target companies and secure your ideal position.

There many benefits of hiring a career coach:

  1. It can significantly reduce the time it takes to find your ideal position by helping you develop a comprehensive job search strategy. Many executives are unsure how to articulate what value they can bring to an organisation and as a result how to pitch themselves effectively. Many are also unsure what exactly they are looking for in terms of both position and type of company and this can be a significant disadvantage. If your vision is not clear, then you cannot develop an effective strategy to achieve it.
  2. Get help to create a Vision. Vision guides you! In simple terms, if you are going on a business trip or holiday, you would not arrive at the airport without knowing where you were going. Your destination guides your choice of airline and ultimately which terminal to arrive at. Your career transition journey is no different.
  3. A career coach can help you create an impactful Curriculum Vitae (CV) / Resume and LinkedIn profile. Many executives forget that the purpose of a CV / Resume is to get the interview and not the job, and as such this document must be carefully constructed to articulate just enough information to create interest and impact and encourage an employer or recruiter to reach out. BUT…. not too much information! In AIMS International we sometimes see CV’s / Resumes that lack impact, are poorly written and in many cases are simply a cut and paste of a job description with little attention given to achievements. Remember that the attention given to each CV / Resume by a recruiter or potential employer is very short so making an impact quickly is essential!
  4. Develop your networking skills. Some experts say that 70 percent of people ended up in their current position thanks to networking. Others say it’s more like 80 percent or even 85 percent. Either way, this is substantial and as such Executives need to incorporate a comprehensive networking strategy into their job search strategy as it is one of the most important actions they can. Effective networking provides a focused way to talk to people about your job search and can help you obtain leads, referrals, advice, information, support and most importantly uncover hidden executive jobs. A good career coach will help you review various opportunities, networking events, existing contacts, developing new contacts and how to prioritise those that could generate the best results.
  5. Preparation for interview and the overall assessment and selection process. Most organisations now have comprehensive recruitment and selection processes consisting not only of competency-based interviews, but also psychometric assessments as well as situation-based presentations. Having someone help you prepare for this puts you at a distinct advantage versus your competition. In our career coaching practice, we help Executives identify and segment their achievements across their entire career and then help them articulate them in a structured and impactful format. This process alone greatly assists Executives in interview preparation. Remember …. 90% preparation = 10% perspiration. 10% preparation = 90% perspiration!
  6. A good career coach will hold you accountable for the goals you have set, offer valuable advice and expertise, and help you acquire different perspectives. Inevitability, there will be setbacks throughout your job search journey and your coach will be there to pick you back up and encourage you to keep focussed and face your next challenge with renewed confidence and enthusiasm.
  7. Onboarding into your new position. Depending on the terms and duration of engagement, some career coaches provide onboarding coaching. The first six months of any position can be critical for both the organisation and the new Executive. On the one hand the hiring organisation will need to see evidence of added value from the new Executive. On the other the newly appointed Executive will need to feel that he/she has made the right career decision. Various sources of research have shown that the average executive failure rate within the first 18 months is approximately 40%! A career coach can help with embedding and securing the success of the new relationship and provide a confidential environment to discuss goals, objectives and any potential issues that may arise.

In conclusion, you must remember that the role of a coach is to facilitate you to acquire different perspectives to get more out of work and life. The true value of the coaching process is gained from the work you put in between sessions.

At AIMS International we provide 1-2-1 coaching for executives who are in career transition or planning to change jobs. We tailor a structured programme appropriate for the needs of each individual which results in a professional and effective job search campaign and improved confidence. Our career coaching service can include:

  • Skills and competency assessment
  • Psychometric Assessment
  • Curriculum Vitae / Resume preparation
  • Development of a Comprehensive Achievements Profile Document
  • Development of a Job Search Marketing Plan
  • Effective networking
  • Engaging effectively with Executive Search Consultants
  • Interview training
  • Job contract and salary negotiation

For executives looking for an improved alternative to the traditional outplacement program, our Career Coaching programme provides unique and highly customised support on how to conduct a professional job search campaign. Our experience in Executive Search means we can also provide unique perspectives, advice and expertise given our active involvement in search and selection processes with major multinational companies. This keeps us up to date with what potential employers are looking for in the ideal candidate.

For a free no-obligation consultation please contact any of our offices around the globe.

Please note: Although most AIMS International partners have career coaches working in their organisation, some of our partners have teamed up with external partners to be able to deliver the best possible service for you – please enquire with your local AIMS International representative.

Written by: Ken McIntyre-Barn, Managing Partner, AIMS International Ireland