5 Tips for Competing with Internal Executive Job Applicants

August 16, 2020

One significant challenge in an Executive level job search is that many senior level positions are filled internally.  Current staff members may have years of tenure at a company, and are already in line to fill top positions.

In some cases a company may not want to risk bringing in an outsider to fill a crucial position within the company.  The hiring team may want someone they know is loyal to the culture or focus of the company, and may not be willing to look outside the current employee ranks.

There is also the possibility that a company may not want to allocate significant amounts of money to conduct a senior executive job search and instead may favor just pulling from internal candidates to keep job search expenses contained.

Regardless of the reasoning, this challenge in the search for an executive level position is a significant one, but can be overcome with some strategic solutions.

1. Take some time to establish the strengths that “being from the outside” can bring to a senior level position.  As an outsider you may be able to “broaden the gene pool” at the company and bring fresh and needed new perspective to the position and company in general.

2. In your search, focus on companies that either appear to be more open to bringing in outside people to their positions, or find ones that have done it successfully before and highlight those successes and how you can be part of that continued successful record.

3. Another strategy is to target companies that may be facing troubled times and could benefit from your fresh point of view and specialized skills.  The fact that you may be from outside their existing structure could be a very positive situation to highlight.

4. Leveraging your professional network and contacts for individual companies may enable you to position yourself above even internal candidates.  Contacts within a company can be one of your biggest assets in executive level job searches.

5. Finally, personal marketing and discovering how to best position yourself in relation to the way a company’s internal structure is set up is key.  Do your research and make sure you are well versed in the structure of your target companies.

All these tactics can help make your executive job search more successful regardless of how much internal competition exists for the positions you may be seeking.  

If you find you need some additional perspective, OnPoint Job Search Solutions is here to help with every step of your Executive Job Search.

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