Turning an Incredible Executive Career Into the Interim Career You Want: Networking 101
Keys for Successful Interviewing and Networking
In our ongoing blog series, we explore ways to grow your interim career and secure the opportunities you want. In this blog, we offer tips from Jan Molino (President and CEO, Aspire-Ascend) to help you make the most of networking opportunities in today’s hybrid world.
What’s happening: Landing interim opportunities is becoming increasingly competitive.
Interim executive careers are becoming a mainstream option these days, and there are more interim executives than ever before. To secure any opportunity, you’ll likely need to compete with others going after the same role. Therefore, you’ll need to differentiate yourself—and clearly communicate why you are the right choice.
Networking 101: Strategies to Stand Out and Make a Lasting Impression
During a recent conversation with Jan Molino (President and CEO of Aspire-Ascend), we learned several ways to make a memorable impression at a networking event—whether virtual or in-person—and truly stand out.
- Arrive at the event with some great questions. If it’s an in-person event, find and approach the most talkative person (or group) in the room—those are the leaders you want to meet. If it’s a virtual event, use the chat room to connect with the members who are highly engaged and set up time for a personal follow-up afterward.
- Know who will be there. Before you attend an event, review the list of attendees and formulate ideas on who you might want to meet. Look up their backgrounds, devise a question for them, and make a point to set up one-on-one meetings.
- Make eye contact with everyone. It’s an outstanding way to connect and lead into an introduction.
- Introduce yourself to as many people as you can. Be ready to share your elevator pitch—but make sure it includes, specifically, what makes you different from others. Give some thought to what they would want to know about you; or consider asking a question that will generate a memorable answer.
- When crafting your pitch or “story”, try to answer these three questions: Who do you work for? What do you do for them? And who is the end user (who ultimately benefits the most from your work)? Try to define a compelling example of your work in four succinct bullet points.
- Keep it short. Nobody has time to listen to a long story. You’ll grab more interest by keeping your introduction and pitch short.
- Let your passion show through. As an interim executive, share information about your specific functional area and why you love supporting this work. Be prepared to share some of your best results.
- Listen for connection points. While others are introducing themselves, think about how your work might be able to support theirs. Listen for clues to their pain points or toughest struggles. This insight can help you tailor your introduction, communicate your value and create a clear link for potential future work or referral source.
- Stay visible. Whatever the type of networking event, be actively engaged and participate in discussions. In virtual events, use breakout rooms to introduce yourself and get to know others. Share your insights, examples of how you add value to the topic, and look for ways to demonstrate your authority or expertise.
- Use the chat room and instant messaging feature. Make introductions and get LinkedIn contacts so you can connect with participants later.
- Share on social media. Communicate both before AND after networking events to share what you’re looking forward to or what you’ve learned.
Want to keep growing your interim career? Implement tips from our entire blog series, and stay close to Cerius Executives to land the roles you want.
More in the Series: