If you’re scratching your head because you’re not getting interviews for executive leadership roles you know that you’re qualified for, then this two-part series is for you.
You’re not the only one feeling overwhelmed by an unpredictable and seemingly never-ending job search. It’s hard enough finding opportunities that seem to be a great fit with a percentage of jobs lurking in the “hidden job market.” Then there’s the lack of control over the hiring process in general to contend with.
It’s no wonder that the modern job search is frustrating, time-consuming, and often discouraging especially for those who have advanced progressively within the same company or within the same industry through connections for decades.
Many of the challenges you’re facing can be mitigated with simple mindset shifts about the job search. That’s why these job search tips have been organized systematically to help you get more executive job interviews.
1 | Decide Where You Want To Be Next
If you don’t have a clear direction for your career path, then you’ve got some work to do before even thinking about resume writing or networking. If you’re looking to make a progressive advancement in your field, you should be taking different steps in your executive job search than if you plan to transition into another industry.
You need to know where you want to be next in your career journey to determine how to get there. You also need to be able to articulate how your background and skills position you as the best fit for the job that you want. This will be incredibly difficult to do and confusing for others if you’re all over the place and because your career plan lacks focus.
2 | Determine What Value You Offer
Can I share a little secret about the value you offer? It’s not just one thing. Don’t limit yourself and your career path by believing that the unique value you offer is just one thing. The unique value you offer may differ between companies, industries, and job function. The trick is determining what value you offer for any given opportunity presented to you and capitalizing on it.
Determining what value you offer doesn’t have to be complicated. Just start by asking yourself these questions:
What is the mission and vision of the company I want to work for, and how can I led efforts in alignment with these details?
What are the top problems that need to be addressed in this industry, and how can I leverage my background and strengths to resolve these problems?
What is the primary goal of the role I’m pursuing, and which past achievements relate the most to this goal?
3 | Identify Your Top Career Achievements
Your career achievements and major contributions to achieving organizational goals are what separates you from other candidates with similar skills and years of experience. The unique value you offer should relate to some of these achievements. As a business leader, the results you have produced for past employers can span from money-related achievements to people-related achievements and everything in between.
Related Article: How To Add More Achievements To Your Resume
Set aside time to reflect on your career and identify your top career achievements. Document these achievements to refer to later when targeting your resumes, updating your LinkedIn profile, or preparing for an upcoming interview. Develop the story around each by describing more than just what you achieved such as:
What actions you took
Why it was necessary
4 | Establish Your Personal Brand
Your personal brand, or personality, will also help you stand out from candidates with similar skills and years of experience. Your personal brand will impact the perception others have of you whether you’re networking, working with a headhunter, or interviewing with board members. For this reason, it’s important that you establish and embrace your personal brand in all aspects of your jobs search.
A key element of your personal brand is a Branding Statement. This can be used in your resume and LinkedIn profile, as an elevator pitch while networking, and as a foundation for your answers during interviews. Your Branding Statement should introduce your top related qualifications and skills but focus on the unique value you offer. Naturally, it should be adjusted for each opportunity you’re presented with.
Not sure how to get started? This Branding Statement Cheat Sheet should help!
5 | Develop A Job Search Plan
Only with a clear direction for your career path and your personal brand established should you start developing job search plan. There are so many channels to consider: online search and applications, LinkedIn networking, in-person networking, recruiter outreach, and so many more. The key to success is not in fully committing your efforts to just one channel but leveraging a matrix of job search strategies.
Networking has proven to be the most effective job search strategy for executives, so make sure networking and deliberate follow-up efforts take priority in your job search plan. Even the most confident speaker can struggle with networking if he or she doesn’t have a structured plan in place.
Not sure when the best dates are to follow-up on your job applications, networking efforts, and interviews? This Follow-up Planner will help!
6 | Create A Targeted Master Resume
Resumes are still the core of the job search. Even with recruiter outreach and networking efforts, someone is eventually going to ask you for a resume. Your resume is a marketing document that should focus on the value you offer and showcase your personal brand. Don’t cut corners with your resume by neglecting current trends and sending a visibly outdated document.
Create a modern master resume that incorporates your Branding Statement and highlights your career achievements knowing that you’ll be targeting this resume for each opportunity as it’s presented. If you’re planning to search and apply for jobs online, your resume must be optimized with the keywords found in each job posting as well. Otherwise, your resume may not get through the company’s Applicant Tracking software.
I challenge you to take the necessary steps to plan for (or revamp) your job search before applying for any jobs this week.
What challenges have you been facing in your executive job search?