A favorite client of mine “Tom”, who is a highly accomplished COO in life sciences, told me the other day that, after two months of actively searching, he had not gotten one interview.
He and I had collaborated on defining his personal brand and creating a suite of career marketing documents – executive resume, career biography, cover letter, leadership initiatives profile, and others – along with a branded VisualCV and LinkedIn profile.
We also had a long consultation back then on the best job search strategies for him, working from his list of target companies and organizations.
His search campaign included leveraging LinkedIn and Twitter to build out his network and connect with decision makers at his target companies. At the time, I counseled him, as I do every client, not to spend too much time on job boards.
In my follow-up call recently, Tom assured me that he was working very hard on job search. He had responded to every relevant job that “popped up” online and touched base with his network when he first had his new resume and other personal marketing communications in hand.
When I asked, “Is that all you’re doing. What about the other strategies we discussed?”, he sheepishly admitted that he fell short. He was discouraged. His focus was blurred.
Waiting for jobs to “pop up” and fall in his lap, as he was doing, is passive job searching. Relying on job boards – even the good ones – wasn’t getting him anywhere.
As with most top-level jobs in today’s job market, competition is fierce for fewer opportunities. To accelerate job search, Tom had to be much more proactive and get back on track with the search campaign we had mapped out.
Here’s what I reminded him he needed to do:
Let Google deliver the latest news, blog posts, and information on people and topics of your choice right to your email inbox. Set up Alerts for the following:
- Your name
- Your blog and website names
- Names of your target companies and/or those you want to be informed about
- Names of key decision makers in your target companies
- Key word phrases relevant to your niche
- Names of your target companies’ relevant products or services
- Names of subject matter experts in your niche
- Names of any people whose radar you want to get on.
Use this information to track where your target key decision makers are hanging out, what they’re talking about, and what they’re working on.
Alerts will also help you uncover challenges facing your target companies, aiding you in communicating your value proposition to help them overcome those issues.
See my post at Executive Resume Branding, Google Alerts For Executive Job Search and Personal Brand Visibility.
Search LinkedIn for your list of decision makers at target companies, look at their profiles to see which LI Groups they belong to, and join them.
Do the same with your existing network and anyone else you know.
Get active with your LinkedIn Groups, starting discussions and contributing information that will position you as a subject matter expert.
Belonging to the right LinkedIn Groups has an added bonus. Recruiters join LinkedIn Groups and search their directories to source candidates with specific areas of expertise.
Take advantage of LinkedIn’s Job listing pages and Company tabs.
LinkedIn Jobs search yields links to job descriptions (through LinkedIn and/or Simply Hired) and application capability, along with links to the LinkedIn profiles of people who work at those companies.
The Companies pages provide a wealth of valuable information to gather market intelligence for due diligence on companies of interest and people who work there, including hiring decision makers.
Search your target companies and you’ll find on the Companies pages:
- Current employees with links to their profiles
- Former employees with links to their profiles
- New hires with links to their profiles
- Recent promotions and changes with links to their profiles
- Popular profiles (most visitors) with links to their profiles
For lots more, see my post over at Brand-yourself.com, Leverage LinkedIn for Personal Branding and Targeted Executive Job Search.
Tom was on Twitter, but was having a hard time coming up with clever tweets, so he was barely active. Here’s what I told him:
Twitter helps you cast a far-reaching net to expand your network, position your unique promise of value in front of employers, and propel evangelism for your brand.
See if your list of decision makers is on Twitter. Follow and re-tweet them. Practice “give to get” re-tweeting, following my suggestions in Twitter Personal Branding Strategy — The Beauty of a Re-Tweet.
Look for everyone else you know on Twitter and do the same with them.
Search hashtags of relevant key word phrases to find more Tweeple to follow.
Your Google Alerts will provide you a wealth of information for tweets.
Peruse Job-Hunt.org’s Top 50+ Employers Recruiting on Twitter.
Also peruse The Undercover Recruiter Jorgen Sundberg’s List of 75+ employers (including the government) posting jobs on Twitter.
It’s also a good idea to follow personal branding and careers industry professionals. Many of us are subject matter experts on the new world of job search and can lead you to valuable resources and information. Check out Job-Hunt’s 101 Best Twitter Job Search/Career Experts Plus 6.
Read my Job-Hunt article, Amplify Your Personal Brand with Twitter.
Network, network, network
Slowly get on the radar of your list of decision makers and connect with them where they hang out – online and in person.
Circle back to your “old” network and reach out to them again. Your focus may have somewhat shifted since you were first in touch. You’ve probably gained new insights and broadened your knowledge base, which you can pass on to them.
You may be looking at things differently now and, while having more to offer them as a connection, you should also have fresh questions to ask them which can help you.
Get lots more tips on How to Build a Powerful Executive Network.