How to Win Your Next Executive Job in 2017

executive_job_search_2017Seeking a change in your C-suite role, or rising to an executive position for the first time in 2017?

Your job search has changed – substantially.

If you haven’t kept abreast of the latest trends in executive job search, prepare to be surprised. For example, most CEOs, CFOs, and COOs eschewed the use of LinkedIn for many years. However, social media use has finally taken hold among executives, with the average CEO now possessing more than 900 connections on the site. In addition, most headhunters will now spend considerable time assessing your digital identity before presenting you to client companies.

While longstanding job search strategies, such relationship-building and networking, are still of value, many employers have now turned to Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen resumes by keyword density and skills matching. You’ll also find a constantly expanding group of online resources at your fingertips for nearly every topic from company research to executive interview tips.

Read on for important trends and actions of impact to your 2017 executive job search:

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

Ignored LinkedIn as a possible source of job search activity and networking? In 2017, 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.

Employers and headhunters have increasingly relied on LinkedIn as a hub for candidates, hiring authorities, and online collaboration. Some estimates show approximately 470 million registered users on the site, with more than 100 million unique visitors monthly and widespread use in at least 200 countries.

What does this mean for you? LinkedIn isn’t likely to decrease in popularity anytime soon, despite the advent of new social media and networking sites. It’s been said by employers that if you aren’t on LinkedIn, you don’t exist.

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 – Realize That Recruiters Cast a Wider, Often Global, Net.

In the past, recruiters often “covered” an area bounded by geography and industry. In 2017, 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.

3 – 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.

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

If you haven’t already faced massive changes in your company structure, 2017 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.

5 – Stay Current on 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) contest 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.

As you can see, executive job search has forever been altered by 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 an 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

The 5 Most Worthless Phrases in Your LinkedIn Headline

LinkedIn HeadlineYour LinkedIn Headline is arguably the most important piece of real estate within your Profile.
Yet, many LinkedIn users remain confused how to best use the Headline or how to optimize it for maximum site traffic.

LinkedIn’s search algorithm ranks your Headline as the top indexed field in your Profile (second only to your name). In other words, out of all the data on your Profile, this field is weighted most heavily in user searches.

Therefore, you’ll want to consider carefully what you use in this field (and avoid using the default value, which is your current job title).

In addition, your Headline is first piece of information others will see when communicating with you! You only have to navigate LinkedIn briefly to see other Headlines displayed prominently under their names in nearly every part of the site.

Here, then, is a list of the most meaningless words you can put in your Headline (unfortunately, these were found in actual Profiles), plus some suggestions for stronger alternatives:
Continue reading “The 5 Most Worthless Phrases in Your LinkedIn Headline”

3 Ways to Update Your LinkedIn Profile on The Sly

linkedin profile update

Want to use LinkedIn for your job search, but afraid that your employer will find out?

Worried that your boss or colleagues will react to changes in your Profile?

You probably know there’s no way to make your LinkedIn Profile 100% private; however, these tips will help you update LinkedIn during your job search – without giving yourself away: Continue reading “3 Ways to Update Your LinkedIn Profile on The Sly”

3 Must-Use Social Media Sites for Job Seekers in 2015

social media job search

In 2015 and beyond, your success in job search will depend on more than a stellar resume and sharp interviewing skills.

The often-overlooked component? 

Your social media presence.

Whether you realize it or not, these top 3 social media sites (and your participation on them) can make or break your job search.

Here’s how to join and leverage them during your 2015 job hunt – along with tips for expressing your personal brand on each one:

1 – LinkedIn.

LinkedIn, the original go-to site for recruiters, is still a preferred choice among many employers. Without a LinkedIn Profile, your job search is a nonstarter – so if you don’t have one, or it’s minimally filled-in, get going!

Employers are drawn to LinkedIn for the sheer volume of professionals using it, plus the ability to search for you by keyword (skills, geographic location, name, and credentials). Therefore, you’ll want to populate your Profile with this data as soon as possible. Other insider tips for your best use of LinkedIn: Continue reading “3 Must-Use Social Media Sites for Job Seekers in 2015”

How to Stop Your Work Anniversary Notifications on LinkedIn

Annoyed with the flood of “Congratulations!” notes on LinkedIn every time your work anniversary rolls around?

Try removing the Months on your jobs in the Experience section. Navigate to the job on LinkedIn, click the pencil icon to edit the dates, and select “Choose” instead of specifying the month. Hit Save and you’re done!

But don’t stop there – tune your Profile to your advantage:

7 Phrases to Delete From Your LinkedIn Profile

What Does Your LinkedIn Photo Say About Your Executive Brand?

3 Ways to Update Your LinkedIn Profile on The Sly

5 Secrets to a Knockout LinkedIn Profile Summary

The 5 Most Worthless Phrases in Your LinkedIn Headline

Is Your LinkedIn Photo a Joke?

3 Ways to Avoid the #1 LinkedIn Headline Mistake

In a nutshell, use the right type of message and content on LinkedIn to attract your target audience and keep the focus where you want it: on your qualifications.

Executive Resume Writing Services

Need a competitive edge in your job search? My clients win interviews at Fortune 500 firms including Citibank, Google, Disney, and Pfizer, plus niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders.

As an award-winning executive resume writer and a former recruiter, I create branded, powerful resumes and LinkedIn Profiles that position you as the #1 candidate.

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

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

How to Add Your Success Stories on LinkedIn for Better Traffic

linkedin_success_storiesHave you noticed that your resume content and achievements are often too long to fit into your LinkedIn Profile?

Despite the ease of uploading content into LinkedIn, there’s no way around the limitations (2,000 characters – including spaces!) available for each job.

However, if you get smart about keyword strategy and learn to condense your career story, you’ll fit it all in – AND get rewarded with more traffic on the site.

Here’s how to describe your achievements, add keywords, and attract more interest from employers, while condensing your content on LinkedIn: Continue reading “How to Add Your Success Stories on LinkedIn for Better Traffic”

How to Double – And Triple! – Your LinkedIn Traffic With SEO

LinkedIn_SEOBuilt a LinkedIn Profile that doesn’t seem to be “working” for your job search?

You might not be drawing enough traffic to it.

Years ago, I realized that applying Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques on my Profile attracted more traffic. Applying my knowledge of web SEO and database optimization, I was able to draw a sizable audience on LinkedIn, with just a few tweaks based on what I noticed in the site’s search algorithms.

The good news? I’ve figured this out so YOU don’t have to — and it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Continue reading “How to Double – And Triple! – Your LinkedIn Traffic With SEO”