With 15 years of executive recruiting and over five years of coaching job seekers around the world, I've worked with executives at all levels, in all kinds of industries—from big bank CEOs, CTOs of companies with hundreds of thousands of SKUs, VPs, Directors, and all kinds of executives in every area of the company (finance, operations, sales, marketing, customer support, IT, etc.). RELATED: Need job search tips? Watch these tutorials! What I have found is that as experienced, competent and even innovative as executives are in the job, there’s a lot you typically don’t know about getting a job, especially one that fits you and offers you what you deserve. That's one of the reasons statistics say you will spend one month in the job search for every $10,000 you earn. I wouldn't want to wait that long, and I suspect you don't, either. [Download a Free Executive Job Search report] Here are five Executive Job Search Truths you must know in order to be successful in your executive job search and in your career:
1. You Must MARKET Yourself With Your ResumeIt’s not enough to have the title. You have to market yourself as well as you’d market a product of your company. They need to know why they need you and why you are the solution they need. The way to do this is to create a resume that ‘sells’ you. Highlight what you’ve done to help companies succeed.
2. You Must AGGRESSIVELY REACH OUT To OthersAt this stage of the game, you probably have quite an extensive network. Let every person in your network know you're looking—everyone you’ve ever worked with (over, under, or side-by-side) and even every one you know socially. You never know where a good job lead will come from. Also reach out to executive recruiters. They won’t know you’re looking until you tell them, and they may easily know about a perfect-fit job for you. Send them your resume.
3. You Must LEARN TO WRITE AN INTERESTING, COMPELLING COVER LETTERYou probably hate writing cover letters—everyone does. However, they are worth the time and effort you put into them. This is a valuable opportunity to set a bias in your favor BEFORE they see your resume. It’s much better to have someone with a positive mindset reading your resume instead of someone with a negative or even neutral one. [Get this free report on How to Write a Job-Winning Cover Letter]
4. You Must PRACTICE Before Your InterviewsEven though executives typically are wonderful at speaking about their product at their company in their area of expertise, they are not as good at speaking about themselves—so, when they get into interview situations, it doesn’t go as well as it should. The way to combat this is to practice answering interview questions. At your level, you may want to invest in an interview coach, but you can also practice with a trusted friend or even in a mirror. Put as much effort into preparing for this interview as you would into preparing for an important company presentation or a board meeting—especially one that would involve a transition. In this case, you are the transition.
5. You Must Keep Your MENTAL GAME PositiveA job search can be difficult at every level. There will be some rejection—it’s built into the process. But in order to get hired, you must present an image of positive confidence. So…
- Don’t say negative things to yourself that you wouldn’t say to a member of your team.
- Put up notes reminding you of who you are and what you’ve done (in your car, on your bathroom mirror, in your books, on your computer, etc.).
- Use neuro-linguistic programming (in other words, talk to yourself in positive, direct, and forward-looking ways) to help yourself achieve your potential.