Are you doing the same things in your job search today that you did five or 10 years ago and expecting the same results? What may have worked even a year ago may not today, so you need to reassess and retool your action plan to identify your successful strategies and change those that have not been effective.

new-year-executive-job-searchThe points below will help you to audit your job search activities:

  1. Have you reviewed your professional goals and talents? Do you have a solid direction for your career—short term through longer term? Identify your skills, innate talents and areas of expertise, as well as the things you don’t enjoy doing or are not skilled in doing.
  2. Have you read your resume lately? Changes on a resume are inevitable during a job search. If you are targeting your resume for different jobs, changing keywords or moving bullets around, there is a chance that your resume could contain a typo or sentence that needs wordsmithing. Executive search consultants and hiring managers will spot the typos and won’t call or consider you for the position.
  3. Are you sending your resume out in massive untargeted emails or postal mailings? The average return for this type of resume campaign is about five or six responses for every 100 that you send out. To be effective, this strategy needs to be tightly focused and highlight your value proposition in the cover letter as well as on your resume. If your search is broad, and you are at a crossroads in your career and changing direction or industries at this time, this type of approach may not yield the results you want.
  4. Are you posting your resume on generic job boards? Instead, choose the websites that cater to executive-level job seekers such as Limit your search to job boards that are focused on opportunities at your level for better results (although you don’t want to rest your entire campaign on this approach only). Networking will generate the best leads on jobs. Check with friends, former colleagues and bosses; they may have an opportunity that fits you perfectly. Add connections to your network through social media (e.g. LinkedIn).
  5. Are you getting called back for the second interview? If not, give the interview process some careful thought. Do you know why you want the job? Did you prepare for the interview by researching the company, its products, and executive team online (or through your mutual contacts)? Did you feel and appear confident? Figure out what you need to do to strengthen your interviewing skills and work on them before your next meeting. Perhaps you need assistance to identify and improve your interviewing techniques.
  6. How many times have you landed in the top three finalists but didn’t get the job offer? The average number is about eight or nine times as a finalist before getting a job offer. This is one of the toughest areas to determine exactly the reason you weren’t hired. Did the company no longer need an executive for the position? Did the company fill the position internally? You may ask, however, you may never be given the real reason. What’s important is to know you represented yourself as a professional and move on.
  7. Have you checked your references lately? Yes, check with your references on a regular basis (every six months at least) to confirm what they will be verifying on your behalf. Be proactive in securing the best references on your behalf. It’s vital that your references understand your skill sets and what sets you apart to support you as the perfect candidate. Be sure you know who is your advocate and replace those that are not.

When you implement the best combination of job search strategies and tactics focused on your goals, your results will lead to your next career move!


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