In today’s aggressive market, your executive job search techniques and resume must be more focused than ever.
It’s no longer enough to simply add your latest position and expect recruiters to call! Take the time to define and leverage your passion in your resume and LinkedIn Profile, with new efforts to circulate your credentials among hiring authorities.
It’s time to boost your visibility and reputation, using these best practices in resumes, social media, and executive job search:
1 – Create a Bucket List of Employers & Industries.
If you don’t start with a job search and career roadmap, you may never get where you aspire to go!
Begin by building a “bucket list” of target employers and industries you can see yourself pursuing. Define how you’ll add value.
Perhaps you can drive their IT strategy, improve sales direction, or bring fresh ideas to a struggling company.
Unsure of where to start? Look at employers in your ideal industries or locations, then narrow them down by conducting research on their growth, new projects, or likely areas of expansion. Research company officer profiles on LinkedIn and elsewhere; read carefully to identify areas of interest and passion.
Subscribe to industry news feeds so you’ll have a steady stream of new company openings, expansion announcements, and product innovations – showing you the best employers to pursue.
2 – Strategically Plan Your Career Marketing & Personal Brand Message.
Your executive resume and LinkedIn Profile are too important to be left to chance. Take the time now to plan and execute your communications strategy, ensuring your personal brand is conveyed in short, potent sentences of value.
To strengthen your resume, first answer the following questions:
- What types of results do you deliver that others fail to achieve? For example, are you able to lead turnarounds or fix challenged ecommerce operations?
- Why should employers consider you as a candidate over peers with similar experience?
- What do you bring to the table that you’ve always been told is unique?
- What examples can you describe that show leadership in the face of adversity (i.e., do you resolve challenges even if others have struggled to do so)?
Then quantify the results of your work in terms of additional sales, profit, cost savings, margin improvement, revenue retention, team performance, or other metrics – and incorporate these figures throughout your resume and LinkedIn Profile.
3 – Build a Memorable Elevator Pitch.
What distinguishes you and how do you leave a legacy of results in your roles? Why should employers hire you over competing executives? You MUST be ready with answers to these questions long before you step foot into an interview.
An elevator pitch can also be thought of as the short answer you’d provide when faced with questions such as “What do you offer us?” or “Tell me about yourself” in an interview. It’s best to focus on value to your audience (employers) when building this short introduction.
This example shows how an executive leader can quickly frame their value-add and move the interview forward:
“I build tomorrow’s systems by leading technology teams to focus on business value and long-term roadmaps. As CTO for ABC Company, we implemented Robotics Process Automation and digital transformation long before competitors did – and produced $4M savings as a result. Growth objectives and cost controls are most important, even more than technology. I know exactly how to grow business to the next level with these goals in mind.”
4 – Ramp Up Your Executive Networking.
Are you in touch with other leaders in your field? If not, why not?
Raising your visibility is an important step in actively managing your executive career. You don’t want to wait for an active job search to start networking or keeping in touch.
Get your LinkedIn Profile and digital identity in top shape. Show what you do and why you’re good at it, while continuing to welcome others into your network and asking them how you can add value for them (great networking is about giving long before getting). Read up on executive LinkedIn SEO strategies and take note of Hannah Morgan’s list of LinkedIn networking and promotion tips.
Also, cultivate as many real-life connections as possible. If you’re not already active in your industry, create new contacts by sharing information online or by joining a trade association. Boost your visibility by volunteering for a stint on the Board or as a mentor to emerging leaders. These activities will make your name top-of-mind among employers and recruiters.
5 – Use Cutting-Edge Resume Trends to Fortify Your Personal Brand.
No matter how often you tweak your resume, it will fail to get your point across if it’s done in an old-school, outdated fashion.
This is where perusing executive resume trends will help you make your mark.
Start by browsing the newer look and feel of career marketing documents such as this CIO resume.
You’ll quickly see how leadership resumes have evolved from plain formats into customized presentations designed to propel you into a C-suite role.
Also, note resumes that have won award competitions, if for no other reason than to gain a glimpse into what’s new and next in resume writing.
Career Directors International’s TORI contest and the National Resume Writers’ Association both offer samples of award-winning resumes sure to attract attention.
To summarize, strategically plan and execute your executive job search just like any business marketing campaign.
Well-thought out career marketing documents (your resume and LinkedIn Profile, to start), plus strong statements of value and networking activity, will make this YOUR year to win the right executive role.