Moving up to the corner office – or seeking a change in your executive role?

If you haven’t stayed on top of the latest trends in the competitive world of executive job search, prepare to be surprised! A strong social media presence, keyword-rich executive resume, cutting-edge search methods, and intensive follow-up are now required to land a choice leadership position.

Here are 5-must-know trends and search tips to help you access and win your next executive opportunity:

1 – Employ Social Media – It’s Now a Requirement.

Ignored LinkedIn as a possible source of job search activity and networking? You’ll want to switch tactics to leverage social media as much as possible, whether your job search is imminent or you anticipate making a change in the future.

Even though C-level executives eschewed LinkedIn for many years, the average CEO now possesses more than 900 connections — and recruiters now spend considerable time assessing your digital identity on LinkedIn before presenting you to their clients. With widespread use in at least 200 countries, LinkedIn contains 500+ million registered users — and it won’t decrease in popularity anytime soon. It’s been said by employers that if you aren’t on LinkedIn, you don’t exist.

Therefore, you’ll benefit from polishing your Profile, developing a powerful LinkedIn Headline, spending time choosing a professional photo for the site, writing a solid Summary, and injecting a solid mix of keywords to draw recruiter traffic.

2 – Be Ready: Downsizing & Mergers Are Now Routine.

If you haven’t already faced massive changes in your company structure, an executive job search could bring them home – fast. Depending on the source, some analysts predict 2017 will be similar to 2016 in merger and acquisition activity, while others expect changes among mostly smaller and privately held firms. In addition, 2017 could deliver more layoffs to employees and leaders in some industries.

While these changes bring uncertainty to nearly every employee, it’s often executives who experience the most disruption in their routines – with average job searches taking anywhere from several months to a year, particularly when seeking an ideal C-level position.

As a result of this activity, you’ll fare best when prepared ahead of the game, with a sound social media strategy, list of target companies, and compelling executive resume… long before changes hit your industry or employer.

3 – Realize That Recruiters Now Cast a Wider (Global) Net for Your Skills.

In the past, recruiters often “covered” an area bounded by geography and industry. Now, the recruiter you speak with is more likely to be active on social media and sourcing candidates from all over the world.

As their practices have expanded to include candidates from far-flung areas, you could be in the running for a new executive role, particularly if you’ve focused your job search on recruiters according to their areas of specialty. This is especially true if you’ve carefully crafted your personal brand message on LinkedIn or other social media sites, where recruiters are continually sourcing executive candidates.

Your best bet is to use LinkedIn and Google searches to identify recruiters who work with C-suite candidates. When getting in touch with a recruiter, remember that their compensation comes directly from client companies – and they’ll spend extra time sizing up your leadership skills to match these client requirements.

You can use LinkedIn to send a quick note to a recruiter, including a message such as “I understand that you specialize in IT leadership candidates, and as an executive skilled in networking and IT operations, I’d like to find out if my credentials match your client requirements.” You may also benefit from making an introductory call, relying on the personal touch to introduce yourself.

4 – Don’t Neglect Prep Work! Research Is More Important Than Ever.

Reviewed the latest information on salary negotiation techniques, interviewing skills, company research, or industry trends? If not, you’ll need to catch up to your colleagues, especially those leveraging job search powerhouse Job-Hunt.org or recruiter business forecasts from sites such as the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC).

Don’t get caught lagging behind in your preparation for the job search, particularly when you can capitalize on a myriad of online resources to help you land that coveted leadership position.

Many employers will quickly reject a candidate who appears to have little knowledge of their operation, market position, or flagship product – especially when most of this data can easily be found via a quick Google search.

Websites such as Payscale.com or Glassdoor provide the opportunity for you to investigate salaries at various career levels. On LinkedIn, Premium Career account holders can also filter job openings by salary level, which may be shown on some postings. For interviewing advice, you can check out commonly accessed career sites (such as Monster.com or LiveCareer.com), as well as business resources including Forbes.com.

5 – Stay Current on the Hottest Executive Resume Trends.

If you haven’t caught on to the branded, comprehensive marketing used in today’s executive resumes, there are several ways to educate yourself on best practices in 2017. A quick Google search for “Executive Resume Writing 2017” will yield samples of current resume documents, along with articles on best practices for writing about your leadership career.

Check out the Toast of the Resume Industry (TORI) resume writing winners to see cutting-edge entries from resume writers worldwide. Here, resume experts are judged on the use of color, graphics, brand messaging, formatting, and innovation by a panel of recruiters and hiring authorities in an annual competition conducted by Career Directors International.

In short, executive job search has forever been altered by these new and emerging trends.

Your preparation, research, and understanding of these changes will be critical to your transition, compensation, and success as a candidate – both in 2017 and beyond.

Executive Resume Writer

Need a competitive edge in your job search? As the top US award-winning executive resume writer, I create branded, powerful resumes and LinkedIn Profiles that position you as the #1 candidate.

My clients win interviews and top C-suite, EVP, VP, and Director positions at Fortune 500 firms, niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders, using powerhouse documents and executive job search techniques tailored to today’s job market.

Get in touch with me to experience the outstanding results I can bring to your transition.

– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC, CTTCC

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