I guess no one is really ready for executive job search until they’re forced into it, but I’ve found that many job seekers dive in before understanding how today’s executive job search works . . . causing missteps and possibly prolonging the search process in unproductive, anxiety-ridden ways.
Some people have the luxury of contemplating, learning about and planning a career move while safely employed.
Others are suddenly laid off, or sense a layoff looming. They don’t have an open-ended time frame.
Without knowing better, they rush to quickly update their resumes with generic information, and get it out there on the job boards fast. After a few weeks or months with little good response, they realize that they need to re-think and re-boot in some way. All that time was wasted on ineffective methods.
This is why I always advise that it’s best to first take time to learn about today’s executive job search, and plan your strategy.
7 Questions to See If You’re Ready for Executive Job Search
To see if you’re ready, ask yourself these 7 questions. If you answer “NO” to any of them, you may not be ready:
1. Can you clearly describe what kind of job you’re looking for, with which companies?
Without a succinct “elevator pitch”, naming particular companies or specific kinds of companies you’re targeting and the kind of work you want to do, people won’t know how to help you. And you won’t have the driving focus you need to succeed. Start your job search by targeting specific employers and researching what makes you a good fit for their current pressing needs.
If you need help determining which companies are right for you, read my post, 7 Tips to Build Your Executive Job Search Target Companies List.
Once you have your target list, see my post, Best Ways and Places to Research Your Target Employers.
2. Have you Googled “your name” within the past week?
People assessing you, like executive recruiters and hiring professionals, Google the names of all potential candidates, before reaching out to them. Know what they will find about you, so you can assess and clean up your online presence, if need be. Get in the habit of self-Googling regularly.
More in my post, Why You Need to Self-Google Once a Week in Job Search
3. Have you embraced personal branding in your job search?
Employers want to know more about you than your hard skills, or areas of expertise. They want to get a feel for your personality, how you work with others, what kind of leader you are, and how you make things happen.
Personal branding helps you differentiate the value you offer over your job search competitors.
Define your personal brand with my Personal Branding Worksheet.
4. Have you written a branded resume, LinkedIn profile, and other materials that position you as a good-fit?
These materials – especially your LinkedIn profile – will probably be the first things people who can help you reach your career goals will see about you. Do they clearly convey the unique value you offer, in terms of areas of expertise, driving strengths, passions and personality?
More in my post, How to Build Personal Brand Content for Executive Job Search.
5. Do you know how to network your way into the goldmine of “hidden” jobs?
The perfect job for you may never be advertised anywhere! You can only get to it, and other good-fit opportunities, by networking your way into the companies.
You may have heard about the hidden executive job market, but do you really know what it is, why it exists, and how to take advantage of it?
More in my post, How to Network Your Way Into a Great-Fit Executive Job.
6. Do you know how to best use LinkedIn to advance your search?
LinkedIn is THE place online to connect with people you know, expand your network, demonstrate your subject matter expertise, network and be found by executive recruiters and hiring professionals.
7. Do you know how to get more job interviews, and then brand and ace them?
Job interviews at the companies you’re targeting won’t likely just come to you, without some preparation and work. More in my post, 10 Best Ways to Get More Executive Job Interviews.
Of course, once you land interviews, you’ll need to perform well. Get ready to answer all the tough questions, and know what questions YOU should ask. Psych yourself to perform well and avoid making mistakes. Know how to follow up – even if you’re not hired – to stay top-of-mind.
More in my post, How to Land, Brand and Ace Executive Job Interviews.