Category: News and Press Releases

Five effective career search strategies for a slower economy

Career movement reached an all-time high in 2021, a phenomenon referred to as “The Great Resignation.” During this candidate-driven market, there was no shortage of opportunities for job seekers to consider.

There are still great opportunities to be had today, but as the economy has slowed down, there are naturally fewer of them. For those inclined to proactively take their job search into their own hands, we’ve outlined a five-step approach that has proven to be highly effective during a market downturn:

1) Define your scope by answering the following three questions: a) What industries do I want to work in (no more than two)? b) What size company am I comfortable working at (startup? mid-size? large corporation?)? c) Where geographically do I want to live?

The classic mistake that many job-seekers make is defining a scope that is too broad. Remember: “You can’t boil the ocean.” Narrow your scope aggressively and know that you can expand later if necessary. By narrowing the scope, you will dig deeper in the space, which will allow you to find hidden opportunities (which are always there), and you will have a better and more convincing story for hiring authorities.

2) Create an exhaustive list of all companies that meet your scope. A manageable scope is anywhere from 15 to 50 companies that align with your career goals. Any less and you’re unlikely to find a good opportunity. Any more and you’ll spread yourself too thin. There are multiple ways to find this information. If you have access to pay services such as ZoomInfo, those are best. You can also Google your scope for free. For example, Googling something such as “chemical companies in Chicago” will get you started.

3) Research and prioritize your list of companies. Simply go online and review the websites of each company in your scope. Force yourself to rate each company as either a) high interest, b) some interest or c) no interest. It’s easy to fall into the trap of prioritizing companies based on the open positions they list on their website, but don’t make that mistake. This is not about what positions a company has listed publicly (which is never an accurate reflection of a company’s hiring needs). Instead, you’re simply trying to prioritize which companies you want to work for, regardless of who you believe they are looking to hire.

4) Identify and reach out to the appropriate hiring authority at your top target companies. The hiring authority is effectively the person to whom you would report if you were to join the company. This is NOT human resources (unless you desire to be in a human resource role). Leverage LinkedIn and classic Google/internet searches to identify who that person is.

How you reach out to this person and what you say to them is clearly important. Start with an email or a LinkedIn message, but you should plan to follow-up with a phone call as well. Whether you’re sending an email or leaving a voicemail, a simple, straightforward message is best. Your email and voicemail script (which you should write out and practice) should include the following topics: a) this is who I am, b) this is what I do (or have done), c) I have no idea if you’re looking for someone like me (this provides a nice disclaimer which allows the hiring authority to drop their guard) and d) I’m interested in you and I would appreciate the opportunity to set up time to speak with / meet with you.

Note that when calling you will likely get this person’s voicemail. In this case, your message should be largely the same as what I’ve listed above, just in an executive summary format. If you’re calling a very senior person, it’s possible that you will get their assistant on the phone. In that case, you should communicate with the assistant almost in the same way you would with the hiring authority, as they will be passing your message along to their boss (the alternative is to wait until after 5:00 p.m. when the assistant has left for the day and you will go straight to voicemail).

Many of you may be asking, “Why call a hiring authority if they don’t have a job posted?” The reason is two-fold: a) Many companies don’t post every role they’re looking to fill. b) Hiring authorities are always looking for great talent, even if they don’t have an open requisition. I’ve heard countless executives say: “I don’t have an opening, but I’ll create one for this person.”

5) Be highly appreciative to those who help you. Be sure to get the email address of everyone you speak with and send a brief thank you note. In your email, be sure to list your career goals (in two sentences or less) and don’t hesitate to attach your résumé. You’ll be surprised by how many calls you get from people who received your résumé from a colleague you sent it to.

The key to this approach is polite persistence. Don’t just email and call the hiring authority once and give up. These are busy people, and there are a lot of things vying for their attention. Our rule of thumb is to email the hiring authority and then place your follow-up call no later than five days after. Rinse and repeat no less than three times. It shows that you’re serious, and companies only want to engage with serious candidates.

As I mentioned above, this five-step approach is not easy. However, we’ve found it is by far the most reliable way to identify multiple career opportunities if you invest the time.

Visit the  Candidate Resources webpage of the US InterSearch member – Charles Aris for more information on how to land your next life-changing career opportunity.

Pivoting industries or roles

Article by InterSearch Romania, (Pendl & Piswanger Romania).

Pivoting industries isn’t a sign of inconsistency, but an indication of adaptability, a trait highly valued in today’s dynamic market. It requires hard work but offers great rewards. Being flexible and open to taking risks can help increase the chances of success in a new industry or role. Make this transition smoother by following these easy steps.

  1. Continuous learning. Consider your pivot an expedition and don’t rush. Take the time to meticulously research and prepare for your new industry/role. You should deeply understand its trends, key players, and expectations. If possible, offer to shadow a professional in the field. Read, attend webinars, network, and soak in as much information as you can.
  2. The power of transferable skills. Your previous experience is not voided by a pivot. On the contrary, it equips you with unique perspectives and skills. Draw parallels between the skills you currently possess and those required in your desired role or industry. Present them strategically in your resume.
  3. Market yourself. Update your LinkedIn profile, CV, and cover letter to reflect your new direction. Showcase not only your transferable skills, but your eagerness to learn.

Finally, have a contingency plan. Pivoting is risky, and it might not always go as expected. A backup plan provides security and reduces anxiety.

When our clients ask the executives must have experience in their own sector, we, as Executive Search Consultants, always ask if they’d consider someone from an ‘adjacent’ sector i.e. one that has a similar theme but is still slightly different.

The arguments for our case are:

  1. Executives who were exposed to multiple industries and type of roles had expanding scopes which will allow them to recognize changes faster and would avoid getting stuck in already known models that might not be the best fit for the actual context. Those who moved between industries and roles are prone to identify patterns, trends faster and understand disruptions and their consequences and develop suitable adjustments.
  2. Especially for Board and Executive roles, it might not be needed the expertise in the sector but rather an ability to recombine knowledge and adapt faster to changing environments. For this type of role the ability to drive either fast growth, a turnaround or repositioning of the business, addressing challenges and spot opportunities are more important than pure expertise in the industry. As we say, they see faster the tree from the forest.
  3. And the last, but not the least argument, is the orientation of executives with diverse backgrounds in driving innovation, being, in most cases, much more adaptable.

After presenting our case most clients always say, ‘sure’ and those non-same sector hires often work out to be a roaring success.

Here’s a worked example of the adjacent sectors open to someone with 25 years in retail banking. What could be the transferable experience? Highly regulated industry, financial products, volume transactions, multi-channel, complex pricing modelling just to name a few. Adjacent sector to pivot to? Insurance, wealth management, financial products, brokers, treasury, payments, telco, pharma, energy sector.

Remember, pivoting is not about discarding your past, but leveraging it to create a prosperous future. It’s a journey of self-discovery, resilience, and growth.


About InterSearch Romania (Pendl & Piswanger Romania)

Pendl & Piswanger (P&P) is a retained executive search firm, one of the leading boutique consultancies in Romania, focusing our service on leadership advisory and recruiting executive and non-executive board members, general management roles and C-suite executives, as well as high-end experts through-out a broad area of industries. With a presence of 40 years in CEE and 25 years in Romania, they are committed to their clients who gain a competitive advantage by hiring great people. To maintain their edge, they operate across all major industry sectors, learn, diversify permanently and avoid specialization by limiting their client portfolio to a particular industry.

Unlocking Talent and Insights: The Dual Role of Executive Recruiters

In a prior InterSearch news article, you may have encountered a discussion on the primary value that head hunters bring to organizations commented by the Board of Directors of InterSearch Worldwide. Today, we delve deeper into the reasons why executive search consultants closely monitor industry developments within their areas of specialization, enhancing their ability to provide optimal service to clients.

“Executive search consultants play a multifaceted role beyond talent acquisition; they serve as invaluable sources of market intelligence. Beyond identifying top talent, they provide clients with critical insights into industry trends, competitive landscapes, and emerging opportunities. This dual function helps organizations make strategic decisions and maintain a competitive edge in the ever-evolving business world. At InterSearch Ireland, we prioritize our commitment to the Life Sciences sector, which is why we maintain a vigilant watch over industry developments, including noteworthy events such as the recent approval of Amgen’s $27.8 billion (€25.8 billion) acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics, based in Dublin.” – says Micheál Coughlan, Managing Partner of InterSearch Ireland, initiator of Life Sciences & Healthcare Practice Group of InterSearch Worldwide.

Let’s see the reasons, why an executive search consultant shall follow the news of an industry:

Industry Knowledge: Staying informed about industry news and trends allows the consultant to develop a deep understanding of the sector they are serving. This knowledge is crucial for identifying top talent, understanding the specific challenges and opportunities within the industry, and making informed recommendations to clients.

Identifying Top Talent: Being up to date on industry news helps the consultant identify high-potential candidates who are making significant contributions or advancements within the sector. This can lead to more effective and targeted searches for executive talent.

Client Trust: Clients rely on executive search consultants to provide valuable insights and expertise. By staying informed about industry developments, consultants can build trust with clients, demonstrating their commitment to delivering the best possible candidates who are well-suited to the industry’s current and future needs.

Understanding Competitive Landscape: Knowing what competitors are doing, industry disruptors, and emerging technologies or business models allows consultants to advise clients on how to stay competitive in the market and recruit executives who can drive innovation and adapt to changing landscapes.

Cultural Fit: In addition to industry-specific skills and experience, executive search consultants often need to assess cultural fit when matching candidates with organizations. Understanding industry dynamics and corporate cultures helps consultants make more accurate assessments in this regard.

Targeted Networking: Keeping up with industry news also helps consultants identify key players, influencers, and industry associations. This can be invaluable for networking and building relationships with potential candidates and clients.

Market Insights: Consultants can provide clients with valuable market insights, including salary trends, compensation packages, and other competitive factors that can affect recruitment and talent retention.

Niche Specialization: Some executive search consultants specialize in specific industries or niches. Staying informed about industry news is essential in such cases because the consultant’s expertise and reputation often hinge on their in-depth knowledge of that particular sector.

Adaptability: Industries are constantly evolving. Staying informed ensures that the consultant can adapt to changes and shifts in the industry’s landscape, making them more agile and effective in their search efforts.

Keeping abreast of industry news isn’t just beneficial; it’s a crucial part of the role of executive search consultants. It enhances their ability to provide valuable insights, identify top talent, and help clients navigate the complexities of their specific industry.


“InterSearch Worldwide, through its 11 Global Practice Groups, empowers its executive recruiters and researchers to remain well-informed about various industry sectors and facilitates the exchange of global market insights”. – adds Leslie Cooper, InterSearch Board Director responsible for Practice Groups.

Follow our social media channels on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter not to miss the industry insights.

Unlock limitless opportunities with a compelling CV

Imagine your CV as the passport to your dream job. It’s a snapshot of your career journey, an emblem of your growth and achievements. When it comes to making the first impression, your CV must stand out within a few seconds.

Article by InterSearch Romania, (Pendl & Piswanger Romania).

Start by creating a powerful first impression. Your name, LinkedIn profile link, and contact information should be crystal clear. Go for a professional email – your name with a standard domain. No funny business! Just the city and country of your residence will do.

The next step? A strong, concise summary of no more than 6 lines or 3 paragraphs. Mention level of experience and scope of responsibilities (individual contributor, manager, director, VP…) + domain (market or field of expertise) and few key job functions, highlight relevant skills.

Structure your CV chronologically, and emphasize your job titles and achievements. Let the recruiter know the industry sector and the size of the companies you’ve worked for (turnover, number of employees). Recruiters don’t just want to know what you did. They want to see the value you added.

Here’s the secret of success – emphasize results over responsibilitiesCustomize your CV to resonate with the job you desire. Show that you’re not just looking for ‘a’ job, you’re looking for this specific job. Highlight the growth and changes you’ve broughtDefine your managerial prowess, if any, by stating to whom you reported, how many people (and their functions) you managed directly and total headcount under subordination.

Sometimes, it is possible to gain an advantage by using the right language. Start sentences about your accomplishments with verbs in the simple past tense (“Achieved”, “Sold”, “Created”, “Solved”, “Designed”…). Be clear and be specific. Avoid using generic phrasing, being another “Results-Oriented Professional with a Proven History of Experience Working in The Industry” who uses meaningless language and jargon. Use numerals, they catch the eye, but context captures the heart. Don’t just throw out numbers. Show how you achieved them.

And finally, remember this: your CV is more about content and less about design. Avoid tables or complicated designs that ATS can’t read. Keep it simple and clean, keep it organized.

To sum up, your CV is the first impression you make. Make it count. Start building your compelling CV today!


This article is part of a series of articles meant to support candidates in their career change process. To view the previous article, click here. 

Crafting an engaging LinkedIn profile using Chat GPT

Article by InterSearch Romania, (Pendl & Piswanger Romania)

Why LinkedIn matters?

With 20 years of existence and a continuously growing rate of their potential reach, LinkedIn is now “the world’s largest professional network with more than 950 million members in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide” according to their About section. LinkedIn has around 117 job applications submitted every second, and about 8 people are hired every minute, so if you are not using LinkedIn to your advantage, you’re undeniably missing out!

Understanding how to optimize your profile is the best way to improve hiring performance, while extending your network and being up to date with your industry’s news. Your LinkedIn profile is a powerful representation of your professional identity and accomplishments, so you should take the time to keep it relevant among your peers.

Make your profile stand out in a competitive market using Chat GPT

Chat GPT is a large language model AI chatbot trained to provide a detailed response based on a given prompt in a conversational manner. Therefore, the better quality of the data given, the less you will have to further tailor the response in order to stand out.

Start with your headline and about me section. Briefly define your professional identity and ask chat GPT for examples of attention-grabbing headlines. If you already have a LinkedIn profile, you can copy paste it and even ask for it to mimic your style and suggest improvements.

For example, use the following prompt for your About section“Craft a clear and engaging headline that showcases my current role and key skills based on my Linkedin Profile:*copy paste your profile here” . Example resulted below:

Use AI as a brainstorm partner, find out what phrases best suit you and edit the results to add a final personal touchHighlight the accomplishments and experiences that are most important to your current career aspirations and the positions you are currently targeting. Chat GPT helps you present your achievements and impactful projects in a concise manner, showcasing growth with quantified results.

Generate top skills in high demand for your previous and current roles using AI to get easily discovered by recruiters and headhunters. Make sure to include 3 to 5 key skills suggestions. For example, the following prompt: “Give specific keywords for Executive Search industry to include in my LinkedIn profile in order to become more searchable” generated 20 terms which can be added to various sections of the profile (headline, summary, skills) in order to increase visibility.

An useful prompt for optimizing your profile is: “I want to land a new job in the same career path OR in a new career path (specifying role and industry). Give me a short summary showing why I am qualified for the role based on my LinkedIn experience: *copy paste your profile here*”. This will showcase a short summary of your experiences, useful for recruiters to understand your career path.

If your goal is to build a strong online presence within your industry’s community, extend your network and get more views, Chat GPT could be the perfect tool to generate impactful post ideas. Always back up your posts with real-world examples and data if possible. Keep the content relevant to the challenges and opportunities that companies are facing in your sector and don’t forget about visuals and infographics.

Additional Readings

If you want to dive deeper, you can check Teal Hq’s article and videos here or go to EnhanCV for various prompts examples. For free AI resume builders, we recommend: .

Once you’ll better define who you are and your specific areas of expertise, your profile will accurately describe your background and recruiters will start selecting you for appointments, and, don’t forget you can even use Chat GPT to help you prepare for interview preparation!

As technology continues to revolutionize our world and organizations, AI-driven tools gain more and more popularity. Learning how to master the prompts you are introducing chat GPT for leveraging your profile, might be beneficial for your future work as well. Staying agile and adaptive is the way to survive in a very competitive market.

Good luck!

This article is part of a series of articles by meant to support candidates in their career change process. Stay tuned for the next one that will be published the upcoming week.


About InterSearch Romania (Pendl & Piswanger Romania)

Pendl & Piswanger (P&P) is a retained executive search firm, one of the leading boutique consultancies in Romania, focusing our service on leadership advisory and recruiting executive and non-executive board members, general management roles and C-suite executives, as well as high-end experts through-out a broad area of industries. With a presence of 40 years in CEE and 25 years in Romania, they are committed to their clients who gain a competitive advantage by hiring great people. To maintain their edge, they operate across all major industry sectors, learn, diversify permanently and avoid specialization by limiting their client portfolio to a particular industry.

We can place cookies on your device when you use this website. In order to place any cookies on your device other than cookies that are strictly necessary, we need your prior consent. Detailed information on the cookies we use and their purposes can be found in our cookie statement. However, we already clarify that on this website we make use of the categories of cookies set out below.

If you agree to the use of all categories of cookies set out below, click on ‘Accept all cookies’. If you have certain preferences, click on ‘Cookie and Privacy Settings’ to enable and disable cookies per category. If you don’t want us to use any cookies that are not strictly necessary, click on ‘Decline’.

Privacy Settings saved!
Cookie and Privacy Settings

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are strictly necessary for the proper functioning of this website, for purely technical reasons or to provide you with a service that you explicitly requested. Since these cookies are necessary for the proper functioning of this website, you cannot refuse their use.

Preserves user session state across page requests.

Decline all Services
Accept all Services