Cover All of Your Bases before Diving into an Executive-level Job Search

February 22, 2017 Steven Watson, PhD, CPRW Executive Career Development

Planning and executing a winning job search campaign for executive-level positions can be a high stakes endeavor. The competition is usually fierce and mistakes or miscalculations can severely compromise your efforts. Although things can certainly happen outside of your control, proper planning and preparation can minimize the negative impact of issues you can control.

Here are three ways to set yourself up for success in finding a great job.

  • Do not jump into the executive job search game without having the knowledge, experience, and confidence to set yourself apart from others. It is not only essential to demonstrate that you have the subject matter expertise to be considered credible by subordinates and colleagues, but you need to show that you have the leadership, relationship building, delegation, and strategic thinking abilities to provide direction and optimize others’ motivation and commitment. If you cannot convince yourself that you are ready to assume an executive role, it is not likely you will be able to convince anyone else, so confidence is key.
  • Take the time to become proficient with emerging technologies that have become commonplace in today’s workplaces. Web-based teleconferencing software; Cloud applications; social media, such as LinkedIn and Facebook; cutting-edge analytical tools; and virtual personal assistants (VPAs) are just a few of these relatively new technologies. If you are not exposed to these technologies in your work or personal life, take training to at least become familiar with them. Unfortunately, there is no excuse in today’s work environment if you are not up to speed with technologies that maximize productive and efficient.
  • Be aggressive (but not obnoxious) in reaching out to people who can help you find job opportunities. Great jobs rarely fall into people’s laps. Instead, it is critical for people seeking executive-level positions to proactively network with decision makers and others who have influence to make sure they are aware of your career interests and how you can help a company. A significant aspect of a job search campaign is the ability to self-market yourself. Therefore, review your career materials, such as a résumé and cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and bio to make sure you are branding yourself effectively.

Finding executive-level employment can be a full-time job in itself. You could potentially waste valuable time and effort by not doing everything possible to position yourself for success. It can often help to speak with mentors or knowledgeable people you trust who can give you a reality check on aspects of your experience and talents that will get your positive results, as well as things you need to work on and improve.

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