Executive Job Search: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

by Meg Guiseppi on June 3, 2013

Executive Resume HelpBefore first speaking to prospective c-suite clients, I email them a few questions to answer, to help me determine whether we’ll be a good fit to work together on personal branding and content development for their job search.

One of my questions is:

“What road blocks or challenges do you feel you are facing in your job search?”

Often, their answer sounds something like this:

“I’ve never had to look for a job before. They always came to me. I don’t know what I don’t know. I need help understanding how to conduct a job search.”

These people are the smart ones.

They don’t assume that, because they heard or read some things about job search, they really know how to do it.

Although out of touch with the new world of executive job search, they are at least somewhat aware that it’s more difficult than ever before.

They figure it won’t work the way it did in the past, when they were either always in demand and easily slid from one job to another, or they were with the same company for many years and never had to deal with a formal job search.

But they’re largely unaware of all that factors into today’s rocky and steeply competitive job search landscape.

To be fair, how can they possibly know about it, if they haven’t experienced it?

Interestingly, they probably ARE aware enough of what’s going on in today’s global economy.

But they may not have considered how some of these things will impact their job search.

FACT #1 – Typically these days, executives change jobs every 3 to 5 years. It’s unusual for people to stay with the same company for longer than that.

Impact – There’s no such thing as a permanent job any more. Job security is practically non-existent. Everyone is in perpetual job search

Solution – Keep your network alive always. Keep your job search skills honed and your career marketing materia (resume, biography, etc.) at-the-ready for your next career move. Build and monitor your online presence.

FACT #2 – U.S. corporations face greater competition in the global marketplace, and they’re straining to keep up. To stay on top, and viable, they expect (and demand) the very best talent, that will deliver optimally and help them outdistance the competition.

Impact – Candidates who are perceived as adding the most value will be the ones who gain interviews, and land faster and better.

Solution – Work on targeting and defining your personal brand, so that you can identify and be laser-focused on employers who will be a mutual good fit for you . . . and so that you’ll understand the unique value you offer them.

FACT #3 – The Internet brought major advances in the way we do business and look for jobs, leading to some confusion about how to best use it in job search.

Impact – Too many job seekers spend too many hours a day “on the Internet”, scouring dozens of job boards, blasting their resume to any job that looks even remotely good, and feeling that they’re working hard at job search. They’re not using the Internet well.

Solution – Focus your Internet and social media time on networking, using LinkedIn (mostly) and other social networks, and emailing contacts for informational interviews and to reconnect.

Understanding the linear path your job search should follow will help you edge out your competitors if you do, in fact, offer the best value:

  • Pare down all the possible career directions you could take, and zero in as much as possible on one clear focus.
  • Based on that career focus, research and target several companies who will be a mutual good fit for each other’s needs.
  • Identify their pressing needs and create value around how you can help them meet these needs.
  • Craft a compelling personal brand story in online and off-line content that will support the value you offer your target companies, and help you land interviews.
  • Communicate your unique value when networking and interviewing, to outdistance your job-seeking competitors and get the job offers you deserve.

Related posts:

Executive Job Search: The Old Way (Networking) Still Works Best

3 Social Media Ways to Build Your Executive Job Search Network

Social Proof: Where Online Presence Meets Personal Branding

photo by marc falardeau

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