This week, we will examine how the market differs depending on seniority and how your strategies must change.

MBAs and Executive MBAs graduates have anywhere from three years to 30-plus years of experience.

Occasionally, an EMBA will ask why the school does not do on-campus recruitment activities for them.

This is because there are differences in the job market for more senior candidates.

Let’s look at it in three broad categories: Firstly, junior roles, including entry-level positions; second, mid-level roles; and third, executive-level, which includes c-suite roles such as CEO, CFO, COO, Director, and C-minus-one roles that report to them.

Junior Roles

The most traditional routes for finding a job are through on-campus recruitment activities or job boards for junior candidates.

Job boards can come from conventional online sites or platforms like Telegram and WeChat.

Networking can still be helpful and is recommended. However, companies hire en-masse and filter bulk applications.

The critical assets in a job search are still your résumé, cover letter, elevator pitch, and interview skills.

Mid-career Roles

For mid-career, the landscape starts to shift. Please remember that there are fewer roles if your next move is into a supervisory or managerial seat.

Word-of-mouth, referrals, and networking are essential as you move up the organization’s hierarchy.

Job boards are still prevalent, but most companies put significant weight on staff referrals.

At this level, executive search or headhunters come into play to fill demanding roles. We can talk about how to engage with executive search in the future.

Senior-level Roles

For senior-level roles, the landscape shifts even more. For example, if someone reporting to the COO resigns, does the COO go to campus to recruit or call the three to five people she has previously worked with, met at conferences, or former mates she knows can do the job already?

The answer is obvious; she calls people that she knows. If the position is more challenging to fill because of specific requirements, the next step is to engage in an executive search to find suitable candidates.

If you are targeting senior roles, please remember that there are fewer roles, and often, these roles are filled internally; patience and planning are essential.

The recommendation is to focus on networking and building relationships with executive search. However, remember that executive search is of limited use when trying to switch careers.

Companies do not pay headhunters to find non-conventional candidates—a square peg for a square hole.


To recap, it is essential to understand how the job market operates depending on your experience level and the position within the hierarchy you are targeting.

Using a poor strategy or having the wrong expectations will be frustrating.

We will be taking a two-week hiatus for the Lunar New Year. We wish you and your family a healthy and prosperous Year of the Ox!

Learn more about developing a winning résumé, building a solid network, and other insights on professional growth from our regular Career Tips series.