How to stand out from the crowd and win your next Executive job opportunity in the South West – An alternative view.

Following a recent survey by King Executive of over 100 executive professionals who have looked for a career move in the last 2 years in the South West; over 80% of our respondents felt that it was ‘challenging’ to find the right position in this region.

It’s very hit and miss down in the South West. I was very cognisant of this when thinking about my next career move”

So, how do you stand out from the crowd and ENSURE that you win that next career opportunity?

Here is King Executive’s alternative 10 point guide to help you maximise your success:

1) Globalise your search.

The obstacle has become the way! In other words, Covid-19 has changed the way we work forever. You could be working out of your house in Devon for a global business based in Tokyo, Dallas or Melbourne. A bit of an extreme example, but you get the idea. If you’ve exhausted the South West, expand your search far and wide. Whilst we’re not suggesting there aren’t great Executive / C-Suite positions here in the region, there has been a distinct migration of people in the past 18 months, and more than ever executive professionals are vying for the same opportunities.

2) Go viral. The CV is dead.

Why not go one step further with your personal brand, and create a great ‘onboarding’ video of yourself. It doesn’t have to be video excellence, just 2 or 3 minutes of you, your background, skills and unique selling points. Attach it with all of your job applications or if you are even braver and ‘actively looking’ on LinkedIn, pin it to the top of your profile. There are over 40,000 Head-Hunters on LinkedIn looking for senior talent. Be bold, think ‘how can I stand out from the crowd’? If you want to use subtitles, this is a google powered site with a high degree of accuracy…

3. Optimise LinkedIn.

With a global database of 810 million+ It’s an absolute ‘no-brainer’ to optimise getting found and noticed on LinkedIn. Improve your profile through keywording, list as many job title variations and skills as you can, improve your profile picture – we’re begging some of you to remove that picture of you at a wedding, and simply get your smart phone out and take a decent photo of yourself!! Don’t be afraid to say ‘looking for opportunities’, or list yourself as open to work, join groups, comment on relevant posts. Increasing your network connections and followers in your industry can also be extremely worthwhile.

See our blog about ‘Getting Hired’ via LinkedIn

4) Design a knock out CV.

In writing this, it’s surprising really that applying for jobs still requires a good all traditional CV. But it doesn’t have to look tired and black and white. Our key principles are:

i) The first third is the ‘pièce de résistance’, your soundbite, your PR. It should not only convince the reader strongly that it’s worth reading the rest of your CV but that they should interview you, even if you don’t have every box ticked. You’ve impressed them that much. How? Give them your achievements, give them your personal ROI, if you’ve saved your previous business £20m shout about it, tell them how you delivered that campaign that won awards. If you haven’t bragged before, isn’t it about time you did?

ii) Make it ascetically pleasing. We compel you to reach out to the multitude of CV cites that help you deliver a colourful, well designed and digestible format. Please ditch the black and white old school style CV using word and use PDF to achieve your personal brand. Please see a great site here that will help you….

iii) Our last request. ‘Please, please, please match your CV content to your LinkedIn profile’. I would be rich if I had a pound for every CV I received that didn’t match the LinkedIn profile in terms of dates, job titles, and so on.

Isn’t it about time that you spent the time designing an amazing CV that stands out from the crowd?

See our full blog on ‘How to survive the 30 second CV scan’

5. Multiple projects lead to multiple successes.

Simply, increase your lines of enquiry. Be targeted yes, but whereas before you needed to apply for 3 or 4 positions, consider increasing your chances and increasing that to 10 or 15. Of course, you will have done everything we’ve suggested about standing out from the crowd, but you will be meeting stiff competition out there, and you’ll need to expand your search if you haven’t done already. So, ask yourself this question; Am I doing enough of the right activity to achieve results and land myself with interviews?

6. Network. Network. Network.

Fact: 75% of job seekers gain a new position via their own network. The old adage of referrals and ‘who you know’ still absolutely works and it’s the best way of getting introduced to the right contact at the right business. Don’t overlook your aunty, uncle, cousin, friend’s husband, ex-colleagues or old class mate – the six degrees of separation has become two degrees. Networking for networking’s sake is also alive and well, and there are scores of online networking and webinars taking place every day. Check out Eventbrite and LinkedIn. Ask yourself, have I been overlooking people in my network?

7. Follow-up that job application and make a call.

It may sound old school, but there are still a very large number of people working from home / operating a hybrid model. Picture the hiring manager, sat at home just like you and I, perhaps more than ever, needing some human interaction with someone else – imagine how you could stand out from 50 applicants just by a phone call follow up?

8. Get video interview savvy!

We have dedicated a blog to this, and it’s easy to overlook the importance of practising how you will come across in a video interview. Things like facing left or right rather than centrally, having an ironing board in the background, Wifi disturbance or still worse, not dressing the part are all things to consider. For many roles, it will also be important to practice presenting via video, so why not use this time to practice delivering your own masterclass in presentation skills?

See our blog on ‘Acing the Video Interview’

9. Demonstrate your AQ!

Just when you thought it was enough to have strong IQ and EQ, in walks AQ, in other words adversity quotient or to you and I, resilience.

Never before have we needed to have the ability to be resilient in the face of adversity and change.

  • So when have you bounced back?
  • Can you demonstrate when you have applied agility and resilience?
  • How have you managed leading change in people, business direction and working conditions?
  • Can you demonstrate all of this in the first third of your CV, your PR video and your LinkedIn profile?

10. Enlist a pro-active and supportive Executive Search partner.

Of course we had to mention us. But I’m also speaking for all of the fantastic recruiters out there. As a community, we are hugely resilient, and hugely resourceful. At King Executive 30% of our hires every year are as a result of targeted introductions, where a role previously didn’t exist. Meaning, we influenced the creation of a brand new role and hire for both the client and the candidate.

So there you have it, 10 ways to stand out from the crowd and win that amazing next job opportunity!


King Recruit joined forces with James Caan CBE and award-winning investment firm Recruitment Entrepreneur in July 2021. Recruitment Entrepreneur is one of the most successful private equity investors in start-up to scale up recruitment businesses.

King Executive is our Executive Search proposition and we help businesses to expand by finding game-changing leadership talent.

For your next executive career move contact our CEO Helen Plumridge. T: 07808 537696 |