Thinking about an executive job search?
Don’t wait for a layoff or new opportunity to spur yourself into action.
There’s no time like the present, especially with the rapid pace of layoffs and industry changes in 2023. But instead of telling yourself you’ll act when needed, employ preparation and strategy so you’re not lost when things happen.
To break yourself out of job search inertia, start with these 5 steps:
Polish LinkedIn with new facts about your current role.
Even if you haven’t updated LinkedIn regularly, consider a few changes to show how your current leadership role aligns with a new executive position.
In Why Waiting to Update LinkedIn Isn’t a Good Idea, you’ll see reasons why keeping your digital brand up-to-date can make a difference in your executive job search.
- First, include all your promotions, including your current job title. Your LinkedIn Experience section will actually show your progression up the career ladder by displaying your employer name, then indenting all related roles. Use this to your advantage!
- Next, re-think the keywords or skills you might have used in in the past. Add new areas of competency (M&A, digital transformation, cybersecurity, ERP, healthcare administration, AI, value-based care, etc.) especially if they’re in-demand in your field.
- Take a quick look at your potential competition or some job postings to generate more ideas. You might pick up on industry trends or Skills entries you hadn’t thought to mention.
Reach out to connections to support your executive job search – especially if you’re long overdue for a chat.
Spark some new energy and career ideas by meeting with past colleagues or industry contacts for a quick coffee date.
You’ll have the chance to ask about events in their professional life, discuss what’s happening in your field and within choice companies, and of course, enjoy their company.
Sophie Deering shares tips for rebuilding a networking relationship on The Undercover Recruiter, describing how regular online updates can keep you top of mind and identifying some ways you can ask about current happenings in your field.
Many successful executive job searches are the result of strong and consistent networking!
Staying on the radar of past connections can lead to lucrative opportunities; you’ll never know if they’re hiring or their employers are seeking your expertise, unless you get in touch.
Brush up your resume, if only to remind yourself how much you’ve accomplished.
You knew this was coming, right? Letting your resume content fester over time isn’t a good idea, especially if there are ominous rumblings in the economy or your career field. (See Still Using Your College Resume for Your Executive Job Search?)
Updating your resume prior to launching your executive job search is always a good idea. There’s a reason September is Update Your Resume Month at global careers association Career Directors International – reminding you to tackle this task annually (of course, any month will do!).
To pull recent achievements to the forefront of your resume, make a list of successes including:
- New projects or strategies you’ve led, along with the results in quantifiable terms (dollar figures, percentages of growth or improvement, impact on the company and its future)
- Team additions, training, or other changes important to your employer’s success; perhaps you built and mentored a new sales team or staffed talent that rose to top executive positions.
- Programs you’ve led that paved the way for new product launches or significant growth
- Broader responsibilities, such as taking over a new division, leading an IT implementation project, or steering a post-M&A integration
All of these wins will make a positive impression when added to your outdated resume – and don’t forget to update LinkedIn, too.
Snag a spot on a high-profile board or professional association as a steppingstone in your executive job search.
Your visibility as a leader could be a core reason why you’re recruited for a new opportunity. Instead of waiting for someone to tap you on the shoulder in your executive job search, seek out coveted membership or positions that reinforce your value proposition.
Some initial steps might be to research nonprofit or volunteer associations, such as your HOA or a community organization. These roles are often a great steppingstone to a paid board position or new executive position.
Even a quick search on a Google Jobs tab or an online query for “professional association board positions” can turn up some surprising results. BoardSource also offers tips for finding open board positions or programs, along with ideas for making yourself a potential candidate for board openings.
Get your interview skills ready for the demands of in-person and virtual meetings.
If you’ve taken some steps to secure a new opportunity, the next step might be an interview – so put yourself in the BEST position to ace it.
This meeting could come in the form of a virtual interview, which requires more work and preparation than a traditional interview. In Executives, Here’s How to Prepare for a Virtual Interview, you’ll see steps to put your best foot forward so you’re ready for the camera.
You can also leverage traditional interviewing tips to refresh your memory (and approach) prior to meeting your next employer. In What to Watch Out for When Interviewing in 2023, Jack Kelly covers some ways to predict what could take place in your interview – and how to navigate situations where your job search takes longer than planned.
Too many leaders wait to build an executive job search plan until they’re faced with employer changes or recruited before preparing themselves!
Outshine them with strategies that can help you claim the top spot at a new employer.
Recruiter-Endorsed, Premium Executive Resume & LinkedIn Writing Services
Become the TOP candidate by working one-on-one with a multiple award-winning executive resume writer and former recruiter.
Your new Resume and LinkedIn Profile will gain attention from Fortune-ranked, niche, PE, multinational, startup , and boutique companies - even in a competitive job market.
See why my resumes open doors to C-Suite, EVP, VP, Board, and Director roles by viewing interview-winning resumes that show a clear competitive advantage.
- Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC, CTTCC, NCOPE