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.
In case you missed it, read How To Get More Executive Job Interviews: Part 1…
7 | Know, Live, & Breathe Your Brand
One of the greatest mistakes you can make is to demonstrate a lack of confidence in your abilities and the value you offer. Your personal brand, or personality, should be showcased in your resume and LinkedIn profile as well as your elevator pitch while networking or in an interview. Your personal brand should also be reflected in all professional communications.
You should know, live, and breathe your brand. This is only accomplished by practicing your answers to common questions asked in both networking conversations and interviews. Memorizing and practicing to speak about the value you offer in different roles, industries, and scenarios will make your personal brand a natural extension of you which will help others connect the dots between you and the job openings they can refer you to.
8 | Embrace & Utilize Technology
Your LinkedIn profile can, in some ways, automate your job search thanks to LinkedIn’s new Intelligent Hiring Experience. LinkedIn’s Intelligent Hiring Experience uses artificial intelligence and automation to recommend profiles to employers instantly when a new job is posted. Recruiters and hiring managers can contact you with one-click before you apply or even know the job is available.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to have a targeted and keyword-optimized LinkedIn profile that is recommended for relevant leadership roles based on your personal brand and career achievements. Many executive jobs won’t be posted publicly on LinkedIn, so your profile should also be optimized to appear in top search results when headhunters search LinkedIn for candidates with your strengths.
LinkedIn has also proven to be a vital networking tool for all career levels. Growing your network and engaging strategically with that network can open doors for you that may not otherwise appear. If in-person networking sounds daunting right now, you can start networking from the comfort of your own home or from your smartphone using LinkedIn.
9 | Target Employers, Not Jobs
One of the most common job search strategies is to look and apply for jobs online. There are several flaws in this method, but the two I want to address are:
Job titles and descriptions vary from industry-to-industry and even company-to-company.
Job satisfaction is less related to the job description and directly connected to the company you work for.
Instead of targeting jobs online that vary in description and require you to rework your resume over-and-over again to get through that company’s Applicant Tracking software, target employers. Determine who your ideal employer is based on company location, size, and culture. These details often correlate to the level of responsibility and stability you’ll have in your role as well as the work environment itself.
You’ll get more executive job interviews when you target employers, connect and start networking with those who work for these companies on LinkedIn, and schedule informational interviews with key business leaders within these companies to learn more about their vision and needs.
10 | Work With Recruiters
Recruiters, also known as headhunters, can be great partners in your executive job search. Connecting with internal recruiters at the companies you would love to work for is a strategy that you can easily execute using LinkedIn. Another way LinkedIn makes working with recruiters easy is found in your Career Interest settings. You can indicate your preferred job titles, locations, company size, and more then discreetly notify recruiters on LinkedIn that you’re “Open to opportunities.”
Executive search firms have also grown in popularity over the years. These agencies specialize in placing executives in key leadership positions. In addition to gaining access to a huge network of employers, working with these agencies can help you:
Keep your job search confidential when you’re passively looking
Learn about job opportunities that haven’t been posted publicly yet
Gain insight on less known details of specific roles
Avoid the Applicant Tracking software "black hole"
11 | Join & Participate In Professional Associations
There are vast benefits to joining and participating in professional associations. From national conferences to local chapter events, professional associations offer networking opportunities with peers and industry leaders. Joining professional associations will also give you access to private LinkedIn and Facebook Groups (both organizational groups and local chapter groups) that will help you meet other members more quickly and keep you informed of upcoming events in your area.
These events will provide opportunities for you to coordinate informational interviews as a mentor for others in your field or as a job seeker eager to learn about opportunities at the companies you’d love to work for. Focus on developing mutually beneficial relationships with organization members through LinkedIn messages, email, phone calls, and informational interviews. More often than not, executive jobs are created for business leaders through networking efforts like these.
I challenge you to expand your job search plan and take advantage of the many channels that you can use to get more executive job interviews.
Can you recommend other executive job search channels that have worked for you?