Insider Tips to Accelerate Your Executive Job Search

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Attract Executive Recruiters on LinkedIn

It’s not about job boards!

Rather than scouring job boards, recruiters go out and “headhunt” the best executives – whether they are active job seekers or not – to fill leadership positions.

So, how can you discover (or be discovered for) executive positions?

Where do senior level executives find job opportunities?

Your resume is not your first introduction to recruiters and hiring decision-makers. Many surveys show that the vast majority of them social-recruit, meaning they source candidates through Google search or LinkedIn. The majority of job sites cater to a wide range of sectors and have a lot more generic postings. They’re also significantly less popular, and the ones that do exist tend to list far fewer genuinely executive-level career possibilities.

If you’re looking for a management position, you may find listings for it, but finding C-suite and higher-level jobs is difficult. That’s because the vast majority of these senior positions are only announced rarely. Indeed, the bulk of executive recruiters avoid publicizing positions they are assisting with.

We are talking about the “hidden job market,” and you need to plan your executive job search with this in mind.

So how can executives navigate this hidden job market? Is there a best way to find executive-level jobs in this scenario?

How senior executives are recruited

Best way to search for executive-level jobs

When people go online to discover individuals who might satisfy their various demands, they look for certain keywords and what comes up.

You already know this if you’ve ever looked online for a professional to help with house repairs or other services, or if you’re doing research on various subjects.

Recruiters and hiring decision-makers look for terms that are relevant to the kinds of people they’re looking for, such as “Information Technology Executive, Enterprise Business Systems.”

Working from this understanding, you need to determine which are the right keywords for your particular senior executive job search.

Attract executive recruiters on LinkedIn

Executive job search begins with research and targeting! Pare down all the possible career directions you could take, and zero in as much as possible on one clear focus. Then begin your executive search!

  1. You need to focus on getting your personal brand (using targeted job descriptions) before moving them online so that you send a clear consistent message across all channels. Slapping up a LinkedIn profile, other social media profiles or websites/portfolio sites with different content (i.e., headlines for your targeted position) for each one is not ideal – it will only confuse a potential hiring manager who is trying to find qualified senior-level candidates in this competitive market!
  2. Make sure the work YOU do defining yourself as well as developing relevant resume skills (and bio /career documents) matches what recruiters look out for when searching resumes nowadays: personalized branding based on research into companies’ specific job descriptions and job titles. Make sure you know whether it is VP jobs or CEO jobs you are targeting. This key strategy will get you job interviews for a senior-level position!
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How to find senior executive jobs if they aren’t on job boards?

“If the executive can’t go to the recruiter then she needs to do everything she can to get the recruiter to come to her. “

She must make herself visible to executive recruiters. At the same time, she should avoid “being seen to be looking” by current coworkers. By increasing visibility, she will increase her prospects of being identified for important senior executive-level jobs. Achieving this is known as “getting on the radar.”

How can an executive increase the chances of a headhunter calling?

Your professional online presence will assist you in your job search. Don’t limit yourself to executives from your sector. There’s a lot of value in cross-industry experience, so reach out to individuals where you can and cultivate relationships. The simplest approach to get in touch with and be seen by the appropriate people is to make your presence known online.

There are well over 500 million user profiles on LinkedIn. There’s a lot of competition out there. In reality, an executive cannot be considered for every possible search.

As a result, the first stage of being discovered is to acknowledge this.

Then transition from a generic LinkedIn profile to one focused on being found for relevant positions. This process is known as LinkedIn Profile Optimization.

If you’re going for a generic approach and include everything about yourself – too many areas of expertise, for example – then your message will be diluted. Unless you’ve discovered that your target employers want and need a “jack of all trades,” your content may not appeal to the audience you intended. Your job title in your professional headline should match your targeted job! An executive search firm will look for this.


Getting found on LinkedIn – LinkedIn Profile Optimization

There is an entire industry devoted to helping executives increase visibility on LinkedIn. I provide support with this service, and you’ll find a detailed explanation of how to optimize your LinkedIn profile elsewhere on our site.

I’d encourage you to have a read of that. In short, however, LinkedIn profile optimization involves identifying the “keywords” associated with the specific roles that you wish to be a candidate for.

Those keywords are then placed in strategic places across your profile – your tagline, your summary, and your employment history. It involves adding appropriate skills, joining appropriate groups, and taking steps designed to make LinkedIn believe that you are what you say you are.

An investment in an optimized LinkedIn profile from a qualified writer will cost from $595 and is well worth considering for those executives looking to raise their profile on the “world’s largest professional network.”

Be a thought leader on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is more than a social network. It’s a valuable tool you can leverage for everything from building a portfolio of recommendations for viewing by recruiters to cultivating professional relationships with “insiders” at companies where you want to work. This article by Forbes reported that as early as 2014, 98% of recruiters and 85% of hiring managers were using LinkedIn to find candidates. To gain the most traction, you should join and contribute your expertise in “groups,” and don’t forget to add as many sections as are relevant to you in your profile, while sprinkling keywords and achievements throughout the content.

Your online presence could be costing you jobs.

With a little knowledge and work, you can bring your job search in line with technology trends. Need help? Book a free career consultation and resume review with iCareerSolutions now.

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How to format your Executive Resume

Your executive resume may be dangerously old-fashioned.

Dusting off your old resume, merely updating it with the latest contributions and career history is not enough to get you into that next great gig of yours if employers are just going by what’s on paper alone! A modern professional-looking document that matches your social media profiles is essential.

You may be unaware of how much executive resumes have changed in just the past few years. You’ve had them before, with basic information that made it difficult for recruiters to understand what you were capable of – but not anymore! There are now templates available online and on paper so they’ll get more out than just your general qualifications; this includes specific examples from each job title or industry expertise (i.e., finance).

Career Success Stories

Careers are made up of a series of events. It begins with one challenge, and then you take action to make it happen – often through creative solutions that bring about profitable results for employers! You can also use this framework when preparing yourself before interviews: concise C-A-R “stories” work well because they illustrate your critical contributions (i.e., how you as a qualified candidate were able to capitalize off opportunities).

Be creative! Avoid passive verbs and repetitive job descriptions. 

Use forceful action verbs to explain the subject expertise you have that sets you apart from other candidates by using relevant keywords like “Innovated” or even something as basic yet strong sounding word such as “Accelerated.” With this information available in one place, it is easy for an employer or recruiter looking through resumes to spot trends among applicants without wasting too much time on irrelevant details (i.e., responsibilities).

Executive Job Search

To sum it up – executive job boards seldom list top-level executive appointments. As executives rise in seniority, they become more reliant on executive recruiters to notice them. The more senior the executive, the fewer potential opportunities for development. And so the answer to the question “how to find executive jobs?” is “help recruiters find you.”

As a result, executive job seekers must take steps to create a proactive career plan that includes all of the following elements:

  • Decide on the EXACT position you wish to be considered for
  • Work out the skills and experiences that such a role might require
  • Optimize your LinkedIn profile to ensure that you come up for appropriate searches
  • Book my complimentary “Executive Careers” strategy session to understand better the motivations of executive recruiters and what to expect when you are approached – you can register here.

Today’s top-level executives can find their jobs by using creative and modern methods such as writing executive resumes that include relevant keywords and C-A-R executive stories, joining groups on LinkedIn to share expertise and be a thought leader, and optimizing their online presence to show the world what executive jobs they are qualified for. The executive resume may be old-fashioned, but it can help you get a job through its modern design and use of relevant keywords so recruiters will notice your abilities right away!

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