If you’re newly searching for your next executive oppportunity, you’ll find plenty of advice out there on steps to take that can ensure your success.

However, there’s reasons to let the dust settle on your new situation before taking action.

Like any other business challenge, finding a job is a task best mapped out with a strategic, well-founded plan that addresses challenges head-on and ensures success for your search.

First things first… starting with some steps that can save you valuable time and stress:

1 – Rely only on TOP sources of career information.

Instead of taking every piece of job search advice online, go straight to reputable sources that supply you with executive search tips that REALLY work.

Recommended sources that possess a strong reputation in the careers industry include:

http://www.job-hunt.org/– Job Hunt.org is hands-down, THE bible of career search information, and contains numerous articles from resume and job search experts.

http://www.weddles.com/ – Weddles.com is a primary hub for advice to both recruiters and job seekers on best practices, run by industry veteran Petter Weddle.

http://www.rileyguide.com/ – The Riley Guide is a comprehensive source for employment opportunities and job search advice.

2 – Get your resume in top form.

This goes without saying in today’s hotly competitive market, but nothing less than a masterpiece executive resume will truly launch your job search.

If it’s been more than a couple of years since you’ve created a resume, you’ll be surprised at how much has changed. Where objective statements and Times New Roman font used to be resume standards, adhering to these old “rules” will actually drown out your voice among the crowd of candidates.

In addition, personal branding has taken center stage as a strategy that successfully captures and expresses professional competencies and strengths–saying everything you’d like an employer to know up front.

If you’re not sure how to create a compelling resume, get some expert help by tapping into credible sources for an executive resume writer, such as the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches, Career Directors International, or the National Resume Writers’ Association.

3 – Create a plan of action–one that DOESN’T have you on the computer all day.

It’s a fact that plum jobs rarely make it to the Internet, simply because most companies prefer to hire referrals and professionals they know from networking relationships. So how do you become one of “those” people?

First of all, be sure to automate your job search by using a job aggregator website like http://www.indeed.com/, where the data comes from many sources (CareerBuilder, Monster, Dice, and other job boards) for your search. This will free up your search time for more valuable activities.

Next, get out and tap your network–or rebuild one if yours has been eroded over time. Spend time meeting other professionals within industry associations, or create new relationships with insiders using LinkedIn.

Contact recruiters to find out if they’re sourcing candidates with your expertise and credentials.

If not, look carefully at whether you can gain additional skills during your job hunt, perhaps by taking a class or enrolling at college to finish that degree. Either way, these steps will add to your marketability.

Remember that a very low percentage (between 4-8%) of job seekers find their next role on the Internet!

In summary, it’s up to you to take crucial steps to ensure your success during the job hunt, while tapping into executive search resources that can save you time, effort, and frustration.

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