When you’re in executive job search mode, landing a coveted interview is like hitting the jackpot.
Sometimes you’re lucky, and job interviews come easily, despite your lack of focused and concerted effort.
Most of the time, it takes planning, preparation and a lot of work to position yourself for the interviews you want.
Before describing the must-do’s . . .
2 Important Executive Job Search Caveats
1. Don’t spend a lot of time responding to job postings.
Only a very small percent of executive job seekers land jobs through job boards, especially at the c-suite and senior executive level. Your time is much better spent working the methods that yield better results, as described below. But job boards are great places for company, market and industry research.
2. Don’t rely entirely on executive recruiters to get you into your next gig.
They are a source for jobs, of course, but getting in touch with a few recruiters and waiting for them to find good-fit jobs for you could make for a prolonged job search. You’ll need to be much more proactive to land interviews.
5 Must-Do Ways to Land More Job Interviews
1. Target specific companies and research their current pressing needs that you’re uniquely qualified to help them meet.
Determine what qualities and qualifications will make you a good fit for specific employers. Narrowing your job search, as much as you can, works better than having a vague job search goal.
2. Define and differentiate your personal brand around what makes you a good fit for those target employers.
With this information and your targeting and research work in #1, you’ll be much better able to communicate – verbally and on paper – what makes you valuable, and position yourself as someone of interest.
3. Balance personal branding (soft skills) with Personal SEO (hard skills or areas of expertise) to:
- Build online visibility in your LinkedIn profile (and elsewhere online),
- Be found by executive recruiters and other hiring managers, and
- Provide social proof to support the claims you’ve made in your job search documents (resume, biography, etc.)
4. Network your way into “hidden jobs” at your target companies.
Hidden jobs are those that are never advertised, so you will never find them on job boards.
Reach out to employees there and ask them for informational interviews, to find out more about their companies. These are not job interviews, where you send them your resume and ask for a job, but they should lead to actual job interviews. Many companies have Employee Referral Programs (ERP) to reward their employees who recommend good hires.
5. Stay top-of-mind with your network.
One important way to stay top-of-mind is to leverage LinkedIn with the following tools. Your network will be more likely to remember you when good-fit opportunities for you come their way:
- Publishing articles on the Pulse platform to demonstrate your subject matter expertise and thought leadership.
- Sharing relevant updates from your profile Home page.
Participating regularly in LinkedIn Groups.
- Commenting on, and liking, other people’s postings in the above 3 places.
- Surprising a colleague, vendor or others in your network with a LinkedIn recommendation.