The start of a new year can naturally kick-start a period of self-reflection and a new motivation to self-improve.

Often, the dreaded end-of-year review can act as a catalyst for executives who feel that they ought to be progressing further in their careers or are not being fairly compensated for their work. For many individuals in leadership positions, the final quarter of the year can help provide the clarity and drive needed to begin a C-level job search.

But before launching your search, it is vital to develop a strategic plan to maximize your time and efforts: an executive’s two most precious commodities. To help you optimize your job search strategy, BlueSteps have gathered our top seven tips to help you move in the right direction:

 executive job search

1. Optimize Your Career Documents in Advance

If a search consultant or potential employer considers you for a role after viewing your bio or online profile, the first thing they will request is your resume. This initial request starts the conversation, making it vital for you to optimize your resume and portfolio at the earliest opportunity (and keep it up to date!). These items are the cornerstone of any C-level positions job search,  so you must ensure they are current, consistent, and compelling. Each document should adhere to executive career document conventions and be optimized to present yourself as an ideal candidate.

2. Learn How to Articulate Your Key Success Stories

Your success stories should not only be artfully articulated throughout your career documents, but you should also be prepared to vocalize your career narrative during interviews and networking opportunities. Metrics and data can help authenticate your stories and give scale to your professional accomplishments, as do awards, so spending time understanding how best to present them is advisable when seeking C-level positions.

3. Carefully Curate Your Online Presence

In today’s digital age, whether on the BlueSteps database, LinkedIn, or elsewhere online, recruiters and employers are taking to the internet to search for, and vet, potential executive candidates. Is your online persona professional and consistent with your personal brand image? Think clearly about what your online profiles say about you and what could be improved. You can also use online executive job search sites to increase your visibility to the search community by authoring thought leadership pieces or sharing your expert insights with those in your industry and beyond. Having a bare, blank, or boring online profile can be just as damaging as a poorly-constructed one. Having a polished online profile is now an expectation, not a choice for those seeking C-level positions.

4. Prepare Your C-Level Position Interview Answers

As one would expect, C-level position interviews are fraught with tough questions for potential candidates to navigate, testing your ability to perform under pressure. Executives should be prepared to answer tricky questions, including those relating to professional failure. Be open and honest, but make sure you are able to demonstrate your ability to learn from mistakes and improve your decision-making skills. You could also be asked for an explanation for leaving your last employment. Again, it is important to be honest, yet professional. Before the interview, research and compile a list of possible C-level positions interview questions and practice your responses to boost your chances of success.

5. Build and Maintain Your Professional Network

Executives who wait until a time of instability to begin networking are often met with failure. Professional networks should be nurtured throughout your career to ensure you can depend on these relationships during periods of uncertainty. This network is a safety net worth the investment of your time. To create the most robust network, make sure that your relationships are mutually beneficial and contribute regularly to the “favor bank.” Executive recruiters should also be a key component of your professional network. When recruiters call, even if you are not interested in the role, you can cultivate a long-term professional relationship with them by offering helpful candidate suggestions or explaining your thoughts regarding why the opportunity might not be right for you - but could benefit a colleague seeking C-level positions. Help them score the job of their dreams, and they’ll likely refer you in the future for a better-suiting role.

6. Keep Up to Date with Industry and Functional Trends

The C-level positions job market is a rapidly-changing environment, and it pays to keep up to date on relevant trends relating to your industry or function. To help you stay ahead of trends and utilize them in your executive job search, join BlueSteps for their unique webinar where top search consultants share their insights and answer your questions during a live Q&A.

7. Continually Critically Assess Your C-Level Job Search Efforts

To make sure you don’t succumb to job-seeker drifting, give yourself time-bound goals throughout your search. Look critically at your resume, interview technique, and possible pitfalls. Evaluate the success of each of your tactics to ensure you are investing your time wisely and concentrating your efforts appropriately. Setting realistic benchmarks should help keep you on track and motivated during your period of transition.

Find C-Level Positions in 2022

If you would like help making your executive job search more strategic, focused, and mindful of emerging executive trends, register for our complimentary BlueSteps webinar “Executive Job Search Tips for 2022”. 



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