Executives (defined as Director level or better) often
face different challenges in identifying and securing
new opportunities than do first line managers and individual
contributors. In beginning an executive level job search,
the primary concern is there are fewer opportunities
available and greater competition for them. Beyond that,
executives frequently require personal referrals or
introductions in order to get serious consideration.
Frequently, executive level jobs are not advertised,
with hiring managers relying on their own professional
network for candidate referrals and “behind the
scenes” recommendations and checking of qualifications.
All of these add up to significant challenges for displaced
Sr. management candidates searching for their next executive
Nonetheless, executives entering the job market can
address these challenges and mitigate their impact.
Following is a model for you, the executive job seeker,
to identify and secure your next job, as well as some
useful tips and resources.
Despite the proliferation and success of the Internet
and job boards, good, old-fashioned networking is
still the best way to secure a job for most high-level
executives. According to Lee Hecht Harrison, a major
outplacement firm, more than 60 percent of executives
find new positions through personal or professional
connections rather than by simply responding to advertisements
or Internet postings.
Networking activity is the linchpin to a comprehensive
job search strategy. This does not mean that the Internet
and other traditional resources are unimportant. But
it is critical to understand that ongoing and strategic
networking is central to any executive level job search.
Remember... the Internet is only one, albeit key,
tool in your job search. Other major resources include:
trade associations and events, job fairs, headhunters,
executive search firms, and others.
Regardless of how you find viable job leads, whether
through your initial networking activity, via the
Internet, or another resource, skillful networking
is “the” best way to get your resume to
the top of the recruiter's stack, get the attention
of the hiring manager, get that all important interview,
and get the job.
Tip: Once you have identified the right job, don't
just send in your resume and hope for a response.
After submitting your resume and/or cover letter,
your next critical step is to make a call to the hiring
CEO/VP, and if possible, arrange an introduction through
a third party.
In the following sections, you'll find links and information
on resources to help locate your next career opportunity,
such as job boards exclusively devoted to executives,
as well as some great tips and advice on developing,
implementing and maintaining a solid networking strategy.
And finally, some interviewing ideas and tips to close
WORKING THE JOB BOARDS
Most of the job boards give you the options of looking
for jobs and posting your resume. Many of the more
comprehensive sites even offer advice on sprucing
up your resume, interviewing strategy, how to work
with headhunters, salary information, and more. Some
even give you the ability to create a customized search
agent, or offer a comparable service, that matches
your profile and resume against available positions.
They then send you notification of appropriate openings
via e-mail. Heidrick & Struggles (www.leadersonline.com)
and SpencerStuart (www.spencerstuart.com) are two
firms that offers such services
While you may be reluctant to place your resume on
a job board, if you're unemployed, you have nothing
to lose except perhaps a little pride. If you're currently
employed, then confidentiality is a valid concern
and reason for not wanting to post your resume on
the Internet, so you'll want to double your efforts
to “scour” the boards for job opportunities,
using search agents when possible.