The higher you go on the corporate ladder, the thinner the air gets, i.e., there are fewer jobs available. The competition is fierce, with many viable candidates for each single position. That means you really have to create a very compelling, striking and resonating business case to attract the hiring authority and secure an interview.
It’s utterly pointless sending out an inferior resume or you’ll damage your brand and professional reputation. Many people rely on certified resume writers to not take any chances with this.
You need a very up-to-date resume that succinctly tells your story and your successes, and clearly documents you as a viable candidate. Your resume should have the effect of exciting the decision maker on the receiving end, whether a recruiter, HR director, or executive. It should stand out to human readers as well as resume scanning machinery.
With a properly formatted resume in hand, you can plan and launch your job search. The three main components of a job search at the executive level are:
- Notifying executive recruiters that you are available. You should already be on their radar by keeping in touch with these key contacts, so this should be a fairly straightforward outreach call or email. Just don’t expect recruiters to find you a job, because they work for their clients – not you.
- Marketing yourself to key influencers. Connect with a targeted list of hiring decision makers and executives at the companies you would most like to work. Be sure you have a powerful online presence when people search for you or check you out on social media, with no “digital dirt.”
- Networking. Make new connections, reconnect with former colleagues, and find ways to give value to everyone in your network. Don’t just stay behind your computer, get out and shake hands with as many people as you can at live networking events and informational interviews. Nothing can replace networking. If you’re going to be successful in your career today, you must be networking, including while you’re gainfully employed.
What about the adverts? With only 9% of available jobs advertised here in Canada, and even fewer at the senior level, don’t put a lot of weight on job boards or newspapers.
So get out there and hustle. A job won’t fall into your lap while you sit on the couch. Career success, especially at the senior executive level, is all about getting out there and getting your brand known. Remember – a job search is a full-time commitment.