Straight Answers to Real Questions
Question: I’m the VP Finance of a mid-sized CPG manufacturing concern in Mississauga. I just learned that the company’s owner-managers have decided to look for a strategic buyer so I think it’s about time to start looking at the job market again.
I haven’t done any active job hunting in about fifteen years so I really don’t know if the method of looking for a job today is much different than how it was done back in the day. What do I need to know to effectively market myself these days?
Answer: Any marketing person would tell you that your first step would be to look at your packaging. As you start the process, ask yourself the flowing questions:
What will be your touch points with the job market?
What kind of first impression are you going to make?
How specifically do you want the market to perceive you?
Your obvious touch points with the job market are going to be headhunters, job postings, your LinkedIn profile, your professional network and your personal network. And the first impression you make will be the result, either singularly or in combination, of your resume, your networking efforts and your LinkedIn profile.
There’s tons of information on how to write a good resume on the internet so there’s no excuse for having a bad one. My first rule of resumes is that they have to be readable, meaning they tell a brief but coherent story of your career to date. Keep it to two (three at the most) pages and don’t overuse bullet points.
Don’t try to be all things to all people. If there are twenty companies currently on the market for a CFO, you’re not going to appeal to all of them. If you’ve got lots of experience in CPG manufacturing, make sure that it comes across loud and clear in your resume that you’re an expert in all things financial in consumer goods manufacturing. You’re not going get a call from most of the twenty companies looking for a new CFO, but if one of those companies is in CPG manufacturing, you’ll be the first person they contact.