Executive Job Search

5 Lessons That Matter When it Comes to Your 2021 Executive Job Search

executive job search Jan 06, 2021

Just because you know how to do your job doesn’t mean you know how to do job search.

Just because you know how to develop and execute a business plan doesn’t mean you know how to develop and execute a successful job search.

Just because you’ve gotten this far in your career doesn’t necessarily mean you know how to take yourself further.

Most executives, like you, struggle in your approach to finding and landing the next great opportunity. Why?

Because you’re doing it wrong. Yes. That’s right. You’re doing it wrong.

Here’s what you’re probably going to do… or worse, what you probably have already done....

Lesson #1: It Doesn’t Matter If You’re Available

Since when do you have to be available in order to be considered for a role? Did we not just discuss the fact that you were tapped on the shoulder time and time again? We’re you “available” then? No. Of course, you weren’t.

In fact, the less available you look, the more attractive you are. Don’t be so quick to notify the world of your availability. And that new “Open to Work” banner on LinkedIn...No!!! You might as well put a tattoo on your forehead that says, “Don’t pick me.”

Don’t be so available – publicly or privately!

Truth be told, most hiring executives want people who are currently working. They have this erroneous belief that if you’re “available” you must not be any good. And therefore, it’s easy to put all those unemployed in the first elimination round.

Lesson #2: Decide What You Want To Be Before You Take Another Stab At That Resume

You haven’t even decided what you want to do, but you spend hours upon hours updating your resume. You work it and rework it until you’ve driven yourself crazy. Every person you ask has a different opinion and just when you think you’ve nailed it, someone comes along and tells you that it needs some serious revamping. Revamping for what? Your resume is fine as is… for now.

Remember that sage advice – if you don’t know where you’re going… any road will get you there. Or as I like to say… “If you don’t know where you’re going, every road will get you nowhere.”

Decide where you’re going before you publish the directions.

Lesson #3: Most Key Executive Roles Are Not Posted Online

Searching jobs online makes you feel like you’re working hard on your search. You carefully select the ones for which you’d be perfect. You’ll then waste precious time thoughtfully composing a well-worded email. And finally, you hit send. And then you wait. And wait. And wait. Did you know that more than 94% of companies never even respond to candidates who apply for a position?

Let’s think about this, think about why a key executive is being hired. The majority of executive roles are for replacements.

Someone is about to be let go. Someone is about to resign. Someone needs to find the right executive for a new business – and they’ll know the right person when they see them.

Who is posting for these roles? I’ll tell you who. No one.

Because it’s hard to post for an unexpected resignation that hasn’t happened.

It’s hard to post for the role you want to be vacated before the person in it knows there will be a vacancy.

It’s hard to post for a role that’s part of your new strategy, especially since you haven’t quite fleshed out the role yet and you’re not ready to announce it to the world.

It’s hard to post for something that is confidential – which is one reason they go through an Executive Recruiter.

You can’t wait for roles to be announced before you go after them. By then, it’s too late.

Quit standing on the sidelines. If you want to be in the game for any of these roles, you have to be in the game before the game starts.

Lesson #4: Build The Relationship With The Executive Recruiter BEFORE You Need It

You Google “executive recruiters” and send your resume with a cover letter. A cover letter. Really? But when you don’t get a reply, you’re surprised. You follow up with a phone call, yet receive no call back. Again, you’re confused. Isn’t that their job?!

Recruiters provide a valuable resource to corporations in finding great candidates. It’s just that recruiters are paid for bringing in candidates that EXACTLY match the company’s criteria. Once the position is put in the hands of the recruiter, if you don’t meet 12 out of the 10 attributes – yes, this includes the two criteria they never even thought of – then you’re wasting their time.

Maybe you get a hit. Maybe, if you worked for a competitor to the company in which they’re doing a search, maybe they’ll reach out. Because maybe the “researcher” found your resume. You know the resume… the resume that leads to nowhere.

Did you know the “researcher” is in college? Yes, college…. for the first time.

Do you think that researcher has a clue about what you do? Yet, they’re deciding whether you’re interesting enough to like, be, like, in the like running, like for that like role.

Like it or not, putting your career in their hands is, like, a really bad strategy.

Guess when you should have built that relationship with the Executive Recruiter?

Before you needed it.

That’s when.

Here’s the thing, even when times are not busy, Executive Recruiters are busy. Recruiters don’t typically have a lot of time to spend with you if you’re not a fit for what they’re working on today. And I mean today. Exactly today. They may be cordial. But if you didn’t work for a competitor for the exact search they’re working on, chances are good they’re not all that interested in talking to you. At least right now.

Lesson #5: Quit Sending Your Sad, Pathetic Job Search Email No Matter How “Excited” You Are About Future Endeavors

Want a quicker way to make people have pity on you? Guess what? There isn’t one.

Here’s what happens when you send out a generic email to everyone… they feel sorry for you, and they don’t know how to help you – unless of course, you end with the all-important line: “If you know of any companies looking for someone with my skills, please let me know.”

What you’re really looking for is help. This email won’t help you.

If you really think you need to tell your circle about your job search via email, think again! If they’re that close, they already know your situation. And if they knew about an opportunity, wouldn’t they have already told you?

That email only serves as a reason to not call you… because they don’t know how to help you. And they feel bad about it.

And if you call them, they’re afraid to answer the phone… because they don’t know how to help you. And they feel bad about it.

Again, remember how we started this conversation? People don’t need to know you’re available in order to consider you for a role.

Reevaluate your job search strategy.

Have you been doing it wrong? Have you been relying on those ancient methods of the past to get you a “tap on the shoulder” that will never come?

It’s time to put yourself back in the job search game, but this time equipped with the strategies to make you the best player in the game.

And how do you become the best player?

You start by avoiding these critical mistakes: 7 Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make in Your Executive Job Search

Executive Briefs | Exclusively for Leadership Teams

Join the mailing list and stay up to date on what you and your leadership team needs to know.

Don't worry, we hate SPAM too. Only the good stuff for you!