Tips & Advice

Starting out as an interim executive requires patience, along with an effective strategy for developing relationships within the industry, combined with utilising your own personal network.

Be Committed: Interim management is not appropriate for candidates who are seeking their next permanent role. It is a distinct career choice. Our clients require interim executives who will commit themselves for the duration of the assignment, even if the exact length of the assignment is unknown. Candidates who are active in the permanent job market are rightfully considered a flight risk.

Work Your Network: Your first assignment will likely come through your own network, and your network will continue to be vital throughout your interim career. Remember that your next interim assignment will likely be based on your performance in the last. While you are on assignment, build strong relationships. When you are between assignments, actively cultivate your next opportunity.

Stay in Touch: As an interim, you are likely to be placed multiple times in the space of a few years. It is in your interest to stay in regular contact with us, keeping us apprised of any developments in your career, including placements through other interim management firms. This ensures that you can be front-of-mind for any new opportunities that arise.

Where should I start?

There are preliminary steps you can take to launch a career in interim management:

Research the industry: Interim management is a unique industry, and one that requires a change in mind-set. You must be prepared to network, sell yourself, and react quickly when opportunities arise. Interim management can be highly rewarding, but not everyone is suited to this particular career path. Make sure you know the pros and cons.

Prepare your CV: This is your primary opportunity to make an impression. Your goal should be to present your background completely yet succinctly. Highlight any projects or programmes that are 'interim' in nature. We also recommend having an up-to-date profile on LinkedIn.

Lay the legal groundwork: If you are selected for an assignment, Boyden requires you to work through your own limited company. This is necessary to establish the proper contract of employment differentiating you from a direct employee. There is also relevant legislation, regulatory and insurance requirements, which vary by country. You may contact us for details.

How to make your CV stand out

The interim executive’s CV is their most important document. It should be polished, professional, well thought-out and worthy of an accomplished senior manager. Above all, it should inspire confidence that you are capable and motivated to take on any challenge.

Focus on deliverables, outcomes, impact, size and scale. Your CV should communicate how you benefited each business you have worked with, whether in sales growth, margin improvement, efficiencies, overhead reduction or risk mitigation – and how quickly you were able to deliver results.

Make sure your experience is relevant and recent. Clients will be most interested in what you have done within the past 5-10 years. When we present you as a candidate for a specific opportunity, we will work with you to highlight your most relevant projects and de-emphasize or omit what is not relevant.

Avoid common pitfalls. As interim solution providers, we are often required to work at a fast pace; therefore candidates who present themselves in the clearest way and have the most relevant experience will likely be the candidates contacted for a role.

  • Ambiguity: Ambiguity in your CV may result in you being overlooked when we are looking for a specific skill-set in a short timeframe. Therefore clarity is imperative. 
  • Text-heavy pages: Large blocks of text can sometimes be off-putting and easily overlooked. We recommend using bullet points and facts and figures, which can be a much more powerful way of delivering your message.
  • Too much information: While the CV of an interim candidate is likely to be longer than most, it is still important to ensure that it is succinct and makes an impact in the first couple of pages.

Think about your audience. In interim management this is especially important, because at Boyden your information will be uploaded to a global database, where it must command the attention of consultants who are working under pressure. Make it easy for them to quickly understand why you are the most qualified candidate.

Talk to an Expert

Boyden partners have the experience, industry access and gravitas to deliver exceptional results. They are search experts, professional advisors and personal mentors.

Interim Management Solutions Insights

We share our knowledge of topical issues in special reports, interviews and blogs. If you are interested in a specific topic, please ask your Boyden partner or contact our local office.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.  Learn more