As if real-life job search wasn’t difficult enough, now you have to incorporate online efforts into your search.
With the shifting job search landscape, the new ways to market your unique promise of value to your next employer are seemingly endless. But neglecting the Internet can result in a protracted search with many missed opportunities.
And without an online presence (or with an inaccurate online footprint), you will be invisible to countless recruiters and hiring decision makers who routinely scout the Internet for viable candidates.
If you’re feeling apprehensive and overwhelmed about diving into today’s job search, believe me, you have lots of company.
Most executives who come to me are intimidated by all the options and confused about where they should be investing their time and efforts to get them into a great new job. They’re also shaky about how to navigate the Internet-focused side of their job search, and consequently, they can be dismissive of how important online branding and search efforts will be to them.
A case in point is my client “Jeff”, a C-Level Executive in Financial Services, who saw the writing on the wall and knew his job was in jeopardy. His situation and concerns may be similar to yours:
1. Jeff hadn’t been in the job market for several years.
His resume was over 5 years old so the formatting and content were outdated. He took a stab at updating it himself, but the result didn’t reflect his stellar accomplishments and missed the mark completely on illuminating the value he offered, which was abundantly clear to me once we spoke for a few minutes.
Unfortunately, his resume exhibited a number of the blunders I outlined in My Resume Stinks: Top 10 Executive Resume Mistakes.
2. Although he was a marketing whiz at work, Jeff didn’t know anything about using personal branding to market himself in his executive job search.
He understood that companies are looking for good fit with candidates, just as he looked for good fit when he assessed new hires for his companies, but he didn’t realize how valuable his personal brand would be to indicate good fit in his resume.
3. Jeff hadn’t been on a job interview in a long time.
In his current job, he felt valueless and underappreciated by the new kids on the block who came in with the company’s recent upheaval. His confidence was crushed, he felt defeated, and he wasn’t looking forward to having to promote himself in the interview process.
4. For the several years Jeff had been in his current job, he’d let his network slip.
He was no longer top of mind with his connections, so they didn’t know he was about to be in the job market, and probably didn’t remember what he had to offer.
5. After tooling around recently online looking for executive job information, Jeff was more intimidated than ever about the prospect of a job search.
So much was going on out there and he had no idea how to start. Besides, he wasn’t particularly tech savvy. He didn’t know what all the fuss was about social media and that he had to pay attention to his online presence.
He had no idea that recruiters and hiring decision makers would be Googling him before even considering interviewing him. His lack of any online presence was keeping him invisible to many people.
1. Executive Branded Resume.
Keeping in mind that these days many recruiters and hiring decision makers tasked with reviewing executive resumes do so on their Blackberries, I crafted a clean, easy to read 2-page document. With concise statements of value surrounded by plenty of white space, the document had great visual impact, whether on a Blackberry, computer screen, or on paper.
We also worked on a Leadership Initiatives Profile which provided deeper slices of 3 standout projects he led and his Executive Career Biography.
2. Personal Branding.
As part of resume and collaterals development, Jeff and I had an in depth personal branding session and we nailed his unique combination of strengths, vitality, talents, and drivers.
These key brand attributes highlighted in his career marketing documents differentiated him from his competition and created the kind of chemistry that indicates good fit.
I extended the value of his resume and other career marketing documents by creating his VisualCV, allowing hiring decision makers easy, one-click access to everything he wanted them to know about him. You can’t view Jeff’s VisualCV because it’s set at “Private” since he’s in a confidential search, but you can see a sample C-Level VisualCV I created.
As another component of branded resume development, we worked on crafting several “career success stories” that he could interject in interviews. We chose 3 or 4 of his key contributions to past companies and fleshed them out into prime examples of his promise of value.
I’ve outlined how to develop these “Challenge – Actions – Results” stories in my post, Power Up Your Executive Career Portfolio With a Leadership Initiatives Profile.
I suggested plenty of ways for Jeff to re-build and amplify his network. Most are in my post, Top 10 Tactics to Build a Vibrant Executive Network.
5. Executive Job Search.
In our job search coaching session, we put together his Executive Job Search 2.0 Toolkit, with real-life and online options that fit his search, including:
→ Monitoring and controlling his online identity – what he needed to do to clean up any digital dirt and start building an on-brand web presence.
→ Building an on-brand LinkedIn profile.
→ Targeted career research by company and industry to uncover the “hidden job market” and circumvent the gatekeepers by connecting directly with decision makers.
→ Information on connecting with recruiters.
→ Top executive portals/job agents for $100K+ jobs.
→ Focusing on niche job boards along with the “Monsters”.
→ Tools to track and monitor all his connections, meetings, target companies, etc.
Jeff was suited up and on his way. His confidence was renewed and he was all fired up about the value he brings to his next employer. Out of the gate, he got immediate response with his resume.
When we spoke yesterday, he told me he was called for an interview for his dream job the day after he emailed the recruiter his new resume. He’s sure he’ll do well in the interview next week.