By Laura SmithProulx
Looking forward to your executive job hunt this year – or dreading it?
Spending months in job-search mode, facing a pending layoff, or reading about unemployment statistics can bring you down… just when you need the energy to tackle a challenging market.
However, you CAN change your approach, mindset, and techniques, leading to better results and a greater sense of well-being during your search.
Here are 3 solid inspirations that will move you forward quickly in your executive or professional job hunt:
1 – Realize that companies ARE hiring – and put yourself “out there” on LinkedIn.
As badly as you want to find the perfect fit in your next job, companies want to find YOU and leverage your executive skills.
Don’t believe this? Run a Google search on the phrase “How to find candidates on LinkedIn.” Out of the 14 million or so results, you’ll see thousands of articles on recruiting.
What this tells you is that there are plenty of companies searching for your talent. Therefore, if you haven’t already optimized your digital identity (starting with your LinkedIn Profile) for key search terms, it’s time to get going.
Make it easier to be found by adding job titles throughout your Profile, as well as Skills (within LinkedIn’s new Sections) that reflect the terms you see in job postings. This will help your Profile to rank higher in recruiter searches for candidates with these specific competencies.
Next, sit back and watch what happens by analyzing the makeup of your Profile visitors.
By taking stock of who visits your Profile, you’ll be able to see if your search results improve, and can then continue to tweak your keywords appropriately. Hint: it’s all about market testing and experimentation, so the sooner you change things up, the better.
2 – Start creating your own “luck.”
Job search “luck” usually ends up being mostly talent and preparation. Unless you have a well-run network, you’ll need to create your own opportunities. To do this, think in terms of what employers want, then set out to prove that you’ve got what it takes.
Changing industries? Take a class or read a book on your desired market, then mention it in your resume, on your LinkedIn Profile, and in your cover letter. Better yet, note your efforts and ask for an informational interview with a successful pro in your desired field – which might lead to a chance to be mentored.
Think your resume lacks pizzazz? Start Googling for resumes in your field, not for copying, but to take notice of what your resume is lacking. Ask former co-workers how they’d describe you. It’s all about getting that brand message out of your head and onto the paper.
Not sure you’re interviewing well? Perform a Google search for job search sites, which are often teeming with wise interview advice on everything from calming your jitters to salary negotiation. Read, listen, learn, and absorb. Then, create power stories for yourself that illustrate your top 5 achievements. Rehearse and take note of what questions you can answer with them. It’s a confidence-building exercise that will have you looking forward to interviews.
Feel like giving in and admitting defeat? Don’t. Nearly every person that you’d otherwise consider successful has been turned down (or laid off, demoted, or experienced another type of setback) at some point in time in their careers.
Remember this when it seems that you’ve been ruled out as a candidate. It only takes one – one job, one opportunity to show what you can do, and one person to believe in you.
3 – Act “as if” you’re already successful.
Struggling to envision how your job search will turn out? Put yourself in the “already arrived” category, and invest some time, energy, and even funds in what can make you appear more successful and competent to others.
Get a professional headshot taken for your social media profiles–and dress the part for the job you want (not just the job you have). Polish your resume with a fresh, cutting-edge format and tone.
If you haven’t explored what your competition is presenting to employers, take a look at professional and executive resume samples – you might be surprised at how things have changed!
In addition, if you’re using the Web as a platform to attract attention (either through blogging, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn), do a self-check to ensure that you’re presenting a positive image, rather than tearing down others online. This will go a long way toward persuading recruiters to forward your credentials to employers.
So, make it a priority to take stock of your executive job search techniques – making yourself findable, approachable, and marketable to take advantage of fresh new opportunities.
Executive resume writer Laura Smith-Proulx is an award-winning Executive Resume Writer, biography writer, and former recruiter with a 98% success rate winning top jobs through personal branding. The Executive Director of An Expert Resume, she partners exclusively with CIO, CTO, COO, CEO, CFO, VP, VP, and Director candidates.