Job Searching For the First Time in Years? Here’s What to Do

Businessman in crisis facing different roads

If you’ve always been recruited, or jobs just “found” you in the past, you might find things have changed.

You’ll now face an increasingly competitive battlefield in the race for a new C-suite or leadership job – and here’s why.

After the economic ups and downs of the past 10+ years, many executives have gotten serious about job search, taking the time to market themselves with a carefully constructed brand message on social media. At the same time, they’ve become more aware of what works on a resume and what doesn’t, especially in a crowded market.

As a result, your CXO job search now looks much different than 10 or even 5 years ago – and putting out a single-page resume or a weak LinkedIn Profile won’t suffice.

Read on for the new and upcoming reality of executive job search: Continue reading

Why Your Job Application Didn’t Get a Response (And What You Can Do About It)

Eagerly sending your resume to the perfect job posting or trying to contact executive recruiters – but not getting a response?

If you thought your executive resume was strong, and your LinkedIn Profile was ready for prime time, it might seem that your application traveled into a black hole! 

Many executives report similar experiences, with reactions ranging from despair to frustration with employers. Can’t they at least acknowledge your message?

Why don’t recruiters take the time to call you back? What can you do to avoid wondering where you stand?

Before reading too much into the lack of responses, take a look at these common reasons for employer and recruiter silence – along with ways to circumvent the black hole: Continue reading

Does Your LinkedIn Photo Look Like You Just Don’t Care?

You’ve already been told how important your photograph is to your social media identity – and you certainly understand that other LinkedIn users will be more likely to network with you when they can see your face.

Even so, you may not have the time or inclination to suit up for a professional headshot on your LinkedIn Profile.

However, if you substituted any of these “convenient” pictures of yourself (all found as actual pictures on LinkedIn) for an online photo, your professional credibility can be called into question:

1 – Gazing off into the distance.

Most people build trust by looking directly at the camera—which makes the reader (probably a prospective employer!) believe you’re sincerely interested in their needs.

2 – Cropped out of a family photo.

If you’re so reluctant to have a photo taken by yourself that you’ll resort to having your spouse’s shoulder included on LinkedIn, recruiters might wonder if he or she will need to accompany you to the interview.

3 – Glancing over your shoulder in the car.

Seriously, that headrest in the photo isn’t the nice touch you thought it might be.

4 – Showing some serious skin.

You look wonderful at the beach, but while everyone wants to see you more often, they probably don’t want to see more of you.

5 – Looking much too stern.

A smile goes a long way toward helping your target audience feel comfortable reaching out to you. (Conversely, that “mug shot” look doesn’t quite build rapport in the same manner.)

All joking aside, if you’re intent on using LinkedIn to move ahead in your career (and who isn’t?), you’ll receive a more positive reception by looking the part of the role you hope to gain.

All it takes is your best suit, the nearest person handy with a digital camera (even your teenager), and a quick upload to your Profile to make a much better impression.

Networking for an Executive Career? Take Your Search Offline

One of my favorite job-search strategies is talking about WHERE you can find networking leads. Sure, everyone knows they should be networking… but if you’ve neglected to keep your circle “warm,” then what should you do?

Professional associations and user conferences are a great place to start, since you’ll be tapping into others whose industry interests match yours, plus most people you meet there will likely be employed.

If you’ve been to a job search networking event and felt dragged down by all the unemployment stories, you know what I mean: this is a huge plus. Of course, it goes without saying that people who are working now are more likely to refer you for a new job at their company–rather than compete with you for that perfect position.

Remember to hang out where your target audience does… meaning that trade shows or industry events can be a good source of leads.

To meet someone who is hiring at your level, think like they do. What do they read? What interests them? For an aspiring IT Director, for example, this might be trade events that attract CIOs. For a technical sales executive, this could be a vendor conference.

These strategies can help spark ideas on where to network… and what kind of resources you can tap for a leadership job hunt.