Have recent company cutbacks forced you to launch an executive job search campaign for the first time in more than a decade? If you have been fortunate to enjoy a long, consistent career with the same company, an unexpected thrust in unemployment can really throw you into serious panic and confusion.
Avoid the tempting call of large, commercial website that will only steal hours of time and net very dismal results. Attempting to find a new job without a targeted job search plan is a formula for disillusion, stress and depression. While you will have to engage in a variety of Internet-based activities as part of your job search campaign, keep in mind that it should not be the primary portion of your efforts.
To power up your job search and get you moving in the right direction, engage in the following strategies to re-brand yourself, revive your personal and professional network and re-position yourself for top-paying executive jobs.
1. Have A Clear Job Target: Resist jumping into a frenzy of writing activities for executive resumes, cover letters, and other career documents without being crystal clear about your ideal job target.
Determine whether you want to stay in the same field, entertain a career change or settle for a lateral move until your retirement.
— Explore resources like hoovers.com, wetfeet.com, and vault.com to find critical "insider" information on companies in your target industries.
— Solicit industry experts, senior executives, recruiters, and hiring managers through LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for informational interviews and referrals.
2. Identify And Promote Your Executive Leadership Brand: You will not make a “noise” in today’s crowded, competitive marketplace unless you can tout what differentiates you from your colleagues and peers. Your personal brand and unique value proposition are more than just catchy phrases on a resume, it should help potential employers and executive recruiters better understand your background and how you deliver results.
To get ahead of the pack, you must be able to articulate why a company should hire you and highlight the consistent theme of career achievements that support and validate your personal brand.
For example: Are you the cost savings guru, the new business strategist or can you be classified as the turnaround agent? A manufacturing operations executive’s personal brand could be:
SENIOR MANUFACTURING EXECUTIVE
Engaging cutting-edge technologies to advance corporate-wide initiatives that expedite manufacturing processes and achieve aggressive revenue growth, cost-cutting objectives, and profitability margins.
3. Create A High-Impact, ROI-Focused Executive Resume: Your resume should be a strategic career marketing document not a five-page career obituary. Focus on relevant content supported by career-defining "WOW" achievements listed throughout the resume. Use the Situation-Task-Action-Results formula for development achievement statements for your resume with the goal of having at least five achievements for each position listed on the resume. For example:
Situation: As Chief Financial Officer – synthesize finance and operations departments following the recent merger of two manufacturing companies.
Tasks: Eliminate duplication of resources, increase operational efficiency, and boost work productivity and results.
Actions: Developed short-term strategy and execution plan by developing team with key representatives for technology, finance, and operations divisions.
Results: Reduced company’s overhead costs by $5 million in 6 months and improved efficiency 25%.
Achievement statement for resume: Shrunk annual overhead costs by $5 million in six months by assembling core operations team that further eliminated duplication of resources and increased operational efficiency by 25%.
4. Expand Your Online and Offline Networks Frequently: Join professional and industry-related associations, alumni groups, Chamber of Commerce committees, and other social networks. Identify key industry leaders you want to meet, schedule informational meetings/interviews, and start building your own team of alliances.
Don’t neglect popular, social media networks like LinkedIn.com, E-cademy.com, Zoominfo.com, Ziggs.com, Namz.com, and Twitter.com to connect with former associates and friends and to search for industry experts and top people in your target companies.