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Vying for a top position in a hospitality, retail or private equity-backed business relies on solid commercial awareness. In light of Brexit, this has become even more necessary. SPE Resourcing’s clientele – or any company owners with leadership offers for that matter – want to be confident in your interest in (and aptitude within) your market.

The question stands of how exactly to show this during the hiring process… There are plenty of ways to demonstrate your commercial decision-making and help yourself rise to the top of any shortlist.

Here are five to inspire your preparation.

1. Know which pressures are affecting your industry

As specialist search consultants, we have queried hundreds of candidates on their industry insight. Several factors could be pushing the business one way or another. From emerging technology (such as AI, big data and metrics software) to legislative change (the government’s hospitality skills initiatives, for example), it’s good to know what your market is moving towards.

2. Discover the core value propositions

Few businesses are exactly alike, even if they share a lot of things in common. Key differentiators help you understand what the brand does best and how it stands out from the competition. Look at the market, drill similar brands down to their USPs, and think about the unique qualities of the role you’re going for in the context of the company. Do they promote a lightning-fast service? A personalised consumer experience? Meals or products for a tight budget, delivered impeccably? Mention these and your ideas around them.

3. Speak about improvements you’ve made

We aren’t referring to personal improvements here, although they do matter when it comes to your CV. No – this is centred on improvements to products, services or teams within your previous or current employment. In other words, our clients want to see how you have bettered something during a professional tenure. Perhaps it’s related to customer satisfaction, more sales, or increased enquiries. Whatever the improvements may be, tie them back to the company’s bottom line. Holistic awareness can’t be understated.

4. Mention any budget responsibilities

It may not apply to every candidate, but budget experience does help your chances of getting to the interview room. This doesn’t have to be complete control – rather, a sense of how cost impacted leadership decisions and vice versa. Outline your time in a department and any finances you had at your disposal to achieve a target. Then specify the journey to meeting or breaking that target.

5. Summarise points before you detail them

To show you’re ready for senior responsibilities, you must demonstrate your ability to think from the top down to micro-level factors that made a result happen. Often, we can turn to the way in which you structure key points. Start with the headline information and move steadily to the finer reasons beneath it. Think about this as you’re constructing your CV as well as preparing for the interviews you’ll face; logical consistency is an absolute must.

Executive search consultants only pick the most suitable candidates for a role. They can come from anywhere and change their lives if they cogently illustrate their passion. Are you one of them? Re-evaluate your commercial knowledge and get ready for the opening to something greater.