A month ago I launched my ebook, “23 Ways You Sabotage Your Executive Job Search and How Your Brand Will Help You Land” – A practical guide to executive branding, marketing your ROI value and navigating the new world of job search.
To give you a taste of what you can expect in the ebook, I’m posting the actual first chapter here.
The chapter titles are things clients have actually said to me or asked me. They represent the confusion and wrong-thinking that can sabotage and undermine a successful executive job search campaign.
“Job search is so different than the last time I had to find a job.
Where do I start?”
You’re in a job search, or about to be, or afraid you’re about to be. If you’ve looked around at all, you can see that the rules of job search have changed drastically since the last time you were in a career transition.
Suddenly the game plan looks and feels completely different, and no one gave you the new rules. You don’t know what you need to do to get a handle on and accelerate your search – what to do first, what not to do, who to turn to for help, how to best invest your time and funds.
Job search truly is a different game than it was even a few years ago. The 2008 crash and continuing tight economy aren’t the only things impacting the changes. Combine them with the ever-growing use of the Internet, social networking and social media by hiring authorities – and therefore job seekers – and you’re dealing with a job search landscape that requires a much more proactive approach than ever before.
First of all, the world of work has changed. Gone are the days of counting on employers for job security. These days, employer loyalty rarely exists. No job is permanent and everyone is in perpetual passive job search. Savvy executives continuously market themselves, always anticipating job transition. Career situations can change at any time, so you have to be prepared. Your resume, biography, all other career marketing materials and online identity need to be up-to-date and in place. All the wheels need to be oiled and working.
Gone are the days, for the most part, when you could expect long term employment (5-7 years or more) with the same company. These days, flexibility is key. Temp to perm and portfolio careers (multiple part-time jobs or consecutive short term consulting positions, including temporary jobs, freelancing, and self-employment), especially for boomer executives, have become viable strategies. Creating income security, instead of job security, is the new wave.
Gone are the days when you could count on being in demand by recruiters and easily sliding from one job to the next. Fiercer competition demands that you be a 100% best fit. Employers want, and get, candidates who exceed their expectations. You need to identify their needs, position yourself as the best person to overcome their current challenges and actively market yourself as the best hiring choice.
Gone are the days when all you needed to land a job was a one-size-fits-all resume outlining your comprehensive skill sets and qualifications. These days, you need to first have a clear career target so that you can build your career marketing documents around content and messaging that differentiate your ROI (Return on Investment) value and resonate with a specific target audience.
These days, having a clearly defined executive brand is no longer optional. You may be wondering what all the fuss is about branding, what it really is, and if it really has value. Employers want to know what differentiates you from your job-seeking competitors, not how you’re the same. They want to see hard skills linked to your softer ones – indicating who you are, what you’re like to work with and how your strengths will translate to $$$ for them. Branding helps you do this.
These days, your resume needs to be a highly targeted, brand-reinforcing career marketing communication. Now you need to supplement your resume with a career brand biography and suite of supporting paper and digital documents.
These days, having a strong online presence is also no longer optional. You may not feel comfortable putting yourself out there, but without an online identity, you don’t exist and may be completely invisible to recruiters and other hiring decision makers who source and assess candidates by what they find about them online. Now you need to transform your portfolio of career documents into a LinkedIn profile that’s a magnet for recruiters and hiring decision makers. But LinkedIn is just one critical component in building an online presence and leveraging social media.
These days, having a solid, continuously-nurtured network is like having health insurance for your career. Your real-life and social networks need to be ever-primed for you to tap into for new opportunities, introductions and hot leads, and help you penetrate the “hidden job market”.
And these day, you have to think of yourself as a company of one – YOU, INC. If you’re actively job-hunting while unemployed, finding a job is your new 9 to 5 job. You have to devote full days to launching and managing your job search campaign . . . if you want to land the job you deserve.
Overall, you need to change your thinking and the way you approach career management in the digital world, whether or not a career transition is in your immediate future.
You need to dive in right now, with this checklist:
→ Get clear on what kind of job you want, who your target employers are, what their needs are right now, how you can help them and who their key hiring decision makers are.
→ Define your executive brand and differentiate your unique ROI value from your competition.
→ Get your resume, bio and other career marketing materials together as the foundation for your brand communications.
→ Move your brand communications online with LinkedIn and other social media, and start building a diverse, vibrant online presence.
→ Put your online and offline brand communications to work in all your networking efforts.
→ Work on circumventing the gatekeepers at your target companies and connecting directly with the key hiring decision makers where they hang out online and offline.
→ Cultivate relationships with several executive recruiters who specialize in your niche.
→ Prepare to excel in job interviews.