It’s common for employers and candidates to “check out” just a bit during the month of December. The year is winding down, budget planning is complete and active recruiting has come to a virtual stand still. But due to low unemployment and a real shortage of mid and senior-level administrative and front office talent in the Atlanta area, now is actually a GREAT time to upgrade your job.
4 steps to take now if you’re ready to make a professional move.
Step 1: Update your resume and cover letter for the job you aspire to. You know what they say? Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. If you’ve been a mid-level administrative assistant for the past 10 years, and you’re ready to move up to the C-suite as an executive assistant, then make sure your resume and cover letter reflect that.
What measurable improvements did you make in your current role? Did you reduce expenses by bidding for new vendors? By how much? Did you contribute to revenue by updating a proposal process that won more business? What inspired you to do that? It’s important to understand that as you move up the administrative ranks, C-suite leaders are looking for someone who can serve as a junior executive. You must demonstrate that you understand their role and responsibilities.
Also, honesty at this level is key. As a recruiter, I’m amazed at how often people withhold information that if disclosed early in the process would have been a small speed bump. But when the discrepancy is discovered during the reference and background-checking phase, it becomes a deal breaker.
If you have a gap in employment, don’t fudge the dates. Just explain what happened. If you’re a few credits short of earning your college degree, admit it. The truth always has a way of coming out, and even if you do get the job, trust is forever compromised.
Step 2: Modify your professional LinkedIn profile. Just as your resume should reflect the role you want, so should your LinkedIn profile. Take the time to detail your accomplishments in measurable terms and use a professional headshot. Ask colleagues to give you an official endorsement on your profile. And, review and connect with the leaders of the companies for which you’d like to work.
Step 3: Contact Atlanta administrative recruiters who specialize in your industry. It’s true that most recruiters prioritize their relationships with employers. After all, that’s how they get paid. But what many fail to realize is candidates are their product. Without immediate access to pre-vetted, top talent, recruiters struggle to fill unadvertised, and often confidential, job orders. But that doesn’t mean you should bombard recruiters with your resume, emails and phone calls. Simply draft a cover letter explaining your strengths and accomplishments, detail the role you want and the company you would like to work for and ask for a brief time to talk. You’ll find that most recruiters appreciate the respect and will respond to you in kind.
How do you find recruiters who specialize in placing administrative assistants, front office staff and executive assistants in Atlanta? Use Google, contact the Better Business Bureau, look at your county’s Chamber of Commerce and search the National Association of Personnel Services website.
Step 4: Write an “out-of-the-box” letter to presidents of companies you would like to work for, even if no job is posted. Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands and give leaders cause to create a job for you. With the labor shortage getting worse, more employers are taking the stance that if the right person appears, its good business sense to hire while they can.
Think of yourself as a sales person doing business development. Research the company and its leaders. Know what they do, who their competitors are and what they’re trying to achieve. Then determine how you fit, draft a letter explaining why you’re the ideal person to assist them and ask for an opportunity to meet. Your initiative will be respected and it shows go-getter, C-suite-types that you’re someone who is going to get the job done.
Networking, professionalism and research are required to move from a mid-level assistant to an executive assistant role. A professional recruiter can guide you through the process and alert you of roles that you might be interested in. And, with most people coasting the rest of this month, now is the perfect time to inch out other candidates for the best jobs.
Looking for a new opportunity?
Email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need help finding qualified candidates?
Let’s talk. You can reach me at 404.822.9392 or email me at email@example.com. For 30 years, I’ve been dedicated to helping companies, medical practices, law firms and creative agencies in Atlanta thrive by staffing them with the very best talent. I fill a variety of positions including executive assistants, receptionists, medical front office billing staff, as well as legal staff just to name a few. I look forward to helping you reach your goals.