You're a successful executive, but find yourself needing to make a career transition to make it to your next role. Maybe it's been 20 years since you had to look for a job, or perhaps this is your first time. Whatever your scenario, you're probably feeling like you have no idea of what to do. With the advent of technology, ATM software, and social media, the rules of executive job search have changed dramatically and it's no surprise that finding a job has never been more difficult or competitive.
The good news is there are numerous organizations and resources to help busy executives who don't have time for a multi-pronged job search campaign. This article will help you understand 6 critical actions and approaches you need to execute a successful executive job search. executive job search
I. Proactive: You've been successful as an executive by being proactive. The same is true with your job search. Don't spend a lot of time on reactive activities such as searching job postings. Instead, focus on building and using a referral network so you're in the loop before a job is ever posted.
II. Plan: You know how critical having a plan is to success. Put together a plan to execute a multi-strategy campaign based on the tenets in this article and set goals to maintain momentum. Based on statistics of successful job searches, your activities and time investment should look like this:

  • Proactive Strategies (80%): Building a referral campaign and networking using traditional and online resources (social media); targeting companies and headhunters through direct contact.
  • Reactive Strategies (20%): Posting resumes on executive job boards; searching company websites and applying directly to postings.

III. Positioning: The most effective job search is targeted, which means having clarity of focus, knowing your brand or unique value proposition, and identifying specific companies/organizations that will benefit from your expertise. Take time to develop a brand message and communicate it clearly in all your executive communications, as well as networking and interviewing.
IV. Partnerships: Establish alliances to support and accelerate your targeted job search campaign. Join professional associations related to your field. Leverage existing contacts to build a network and maintain communication throughout your executive job search. Take advantage of your BlueSteps membership by identifying recruiters in your field and emailing them to establish contact. Explore working with an Executive Career Coach. In your networking outreach, use an indirect approach, saying you are exploring opportunities to identify your next career step rather than stating directly that you are looking for a job.
V. Positive: Maintain a positive attitude focused on possibilities. The more positive you come across in your communications, the more favorably you will resonate with referrals, recruiters, and potential employers. Always communicate from a position of strength. Don't ever speak negatively of your employer, boss, or current position. Focus instead on how you are poised to leverage your success in a new challenge or environment where you can deliver value.
VI. Patient: Understand that even the most well executed job search takes time, and set realistic expectations. The average for executives is one month for each $10,000 of salary – and that could be a year or more, depending on how active you are. Of course there are exceptions, and working with a Career Coach can accelerate your progress. Set goals and take advantage of support groups. Post your resume on executive job boards and maintain a focused and compelling LinkedIn profile so executive recruiters and potential employers can find you.
By focusing on the 6 P's, you will progress more quickly toward a new challenge, with opportunities to learn, excel, and grow professionally.


Megan FitzgeraldThis article was written by Julianne Franke, career coach with BlueSteps Executive Career Services (BECS). Julianne is an Executive Coach and Master Resume Writer with 17+ years of experience in executive career management. In addition to her executive coaching practice, Julianne has facilitated successful career transitions of international candidates and expats/repats both inbound to the US and outbound in Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia (Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, Singapore). Julianne's experience includes training and mentoring career coaches in the US as well as internationally. Her credentials include certifications in executive coaching, leadership development, life and career coaching, life blueprint discovery, job search strategy, social media and online identity, personal branding, and executive resume writing. Her resumes have been featured in major industry publications.

Connect with Julianne and other coaches and resume writers at BlueSteps Executive Career Services (BECS) for your career management needs.
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