Even the very best executive resume is not enough, if it isn’t used with executive job search best practices . . .
And, if you haven’t backed it up with social proof.
Occasionally, I’ll see an executive resume created by the candidate that is an excellent career marketing document.
They have targeted the resume, and it contains value-driven metrics and relevant keywords. Additionally, it positions the job seeker as a good-fit candidate for the kinds of jobs they’re seeking.
It may not showcase their personal brand. It may need some tweaking.
But, in my opinion, it should generate SOME response when put into action properly.
Yet they’re getting ZERO TO LITTLE RESPONSE to it.
When I ask them how they’re using the resume, they say they’ve responded to hundreds of job postings on various job boards.
This is their only job search activity, or where they’re spending the vast majority of they’re time.
They spends dizzying hours every day perusing job listings.
They can’t figure out why very little is happening. After all, they’re working hard at job search. They’re using the Internet. Therefore, they feel they’ve embraced the latest and best job search strategies for the digital age.
Once I do a quick Google search of “their name”, I know what’s wrong.
Job seekers with even the very best executive resume may not succeed if . . .
They’re invisible online:
- They have no LinkedIn profile, or a bare-bones one.
- There are no meaningful, relevant web pages associated with their name.
- They have little to no social networking or social media presence.
- Nothing of value will appear to people assessing them as a candidate.
No wonder their job search is stuck in neutral.
They’re spending 100% of their time (or close to it) on a method that yields only an estimated 5-10% success rate in landing a job.
To get anywhere, they’ll need to create a job search strategy that relies minimally on using job boards. They need to devote most of their efforts to methods that yield the best results.
1. Networking gets the job!
Your mission is to network your way into the companies you’ve targeted your resume towards.
Networking is the only way to tap into the hidden job market. These are jobs (especially at the top executive level) that are never advertised. You will have to become at least somewhat known at the company to be considered.
Work on circumventing the gatekeepers (for as long as possible). Connect directly with key hiring decision makers where they hang out online and offline.
In fact, connect with employees at almost any professional level at those companies, to become a known entity there. One of the best ways to land a job is through referral from an insider at the company.
Turn back to the company and industry research you did. Determine how to align your value-add with your target companies’ needs in your resume.
Clearly show in your resume that you have what they need, to help them solve current challenges.
Some ways to network well.
- Identify key decision makers and employees at your target companies. LinkedIn (company) Pages and each company’s website will help.
- Look at all your contacts to see if anyone has a connection to your target companies.
- Ask for introductions to those key decision makers.
- Leverage LinkedIn to network towards making first degree connections with those key hiring decision makers.
- Participate in LinkedIn Groups, especially those Groups the hiring decision makers belong to.
- Embrace the other social media platforms heavily used by recruiters and hiring professionals – Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- Cultivate relationships with several recruiters specializing in your niche.
- Let Google Alerts notify you when relevant industry and company news is posted online.
2. Build a diverse, vibrant online presence.
The various people who will be assessing you as a candidate want to find diverse information about you online. They will favor candidates with a strong online footprint over those without one.
Support your personal brand and good-fit candidacy, and make yourself easy to find online. Provide social proof that corroborates the claims you’ve made in your resume and elsewhere.
- If you’re not on LinkedIn, get to work creating a strong profile with plenty of content.
- Make sure your LinkedIn profile reinforces your brand and contains the right keywords, in the right places, to help you get found.
- Use LinkedIn’s publishing platform to write articles supporting your subject matter expertise.
- Post regularly to your social media accounts – Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- Set up a YouTube account and add video and other visuals to your social media activity.
- Create an Amazon profile and write book reviews.
- Self-Google regularly to monitor the results people assessing you will find when they Google your name. If digital dirt creeps in, do what you can immediately to eliminate it.
3. Prepare to excel in interviews.
Certainly, after all the work you’ve put into landing those interviews, don’t blow it by not being prepared to answer the tough questions. Also, be prepared to ASK the best questions.
More in my post, How to Land, Brand and Ace Executive Job Interviews.