Are you looking for executive job leads or postings? As a top executive, you may not find yourself in a career transition often. Oftentimes, you have remained in a position or with a company for a long time, or you may have been headhunted in the past.
When conducting a job search at the executive level, you may quickly find that traditional job search techniques aren’t effective. The number of jobs you’re interested in has been culled to a handful of extremely competitive executive positions. It’s probably been quite a while since you’ve looked through job boards or handed out your resume.
So, where do you begin when conducting an executive job search? Start by researching executive resume writing tips to ensure you create a keyword-rich, accomplishment-based resume.
Executive Job Leads Through Boards
10% or less of executive-level jobs are found through job boards.
So, why are we beginning here?
Indeed, most companies would rather not hire executives through a job board application. Given the corporate responsibility level entrusted to executives, unknown online applicants will rarely be valued as highly as referrals or all-star candidates targeted by a corporate recruiter. Most executive-level positions will not even be posted to an online job board. Find creative methods to discover executive job leads and postings and then submit an epic resume to get noticed.
That said, job boards are still a good starting point. If anything, it’s the most direct tip-off as to where opportunity exists. Even if you don’t apply to any jobs through the job board, being able to view executive-level job listings can help show you what companies are looking for in their applicants. This can help you in developing your resume and cover letter, as well as for deciding where to direct your networking efforts.
For instance, if you find an intriguing job posting on a job board, maybe you can go after the job more directly than by applying through the job board. Do you know someone at the company? Do you have any mutual contacts? If you can use your networking to go after the posting, you will have more success.
Here are a few job boards that are focused on executives:
These are paid services that offer job boards that are curated to high-paying executive positions. Some of these sites also offer additional features, such as resume building and career consultations. Don’t forget, though, executive-level job postings can turn up on LinkedIn, Indeed, and other job boards as well. So it is still worth browsing other job boards, as well as conducting Google searches for your targeted executive-level position.
When dealing with important executive positions, incoming job applications aren’t a priority for head-hunters and corporate recruiters. They’re busy searching online and making calls looking for the best possible candidate, period. You will find an abundance of executive job leads and posting via the LinkedIn job section.
To land a top-level position, it has to be easy for recruiters to find you. This starts by having a strong web presence and writing a great LinkedIn profile.
When building a LinkedIn profile, it is important to:
- Take a professional profile photo
- Make sure all your profile sections are filled out and up to date
- Complete the summary section to tell your story and demonstrate your expertise
- Fill out each of your experience sections to describe your key duties and accomplishments
- Ensure that your education section is complete and up to date
- And, perhaps most importantly, optimize your LinkedIn profile to help recruiters find you!
A complete LinkedIn profile shows recruiters that you’re serious about your work and presents you as a true professional.
A search-optimized profile ensures that you’re easy to find. An optimized LinkedIn profile helps you…
- Avoid recruiter filters by setting your location and industry
- Appear in more recruiter searches by using targeted skills and keywords in critical sections
- Communicate your worth by highlighting unique skills and expertise in your headline
- Demonstrate your impact on the bottom line through measurable results
Find Executive Job Leads Via Recruiters
By building relationships with recruiters, you can find career opportunities that you’d never know about otherwise. Most employers don’t advertise their highest-level positions. Instead, they hire recruiters to help fill these positions by finding top-level talent. Identifying and connecting with recruiters who specialize in your field can be very worthwhile.
However, job recruiters usually promote their services to employers, not job hunters. So, how will you find recruiters?
To find recruiters, you may need to use some creative tactics.
Here are some ways to find executive recruiters:
- Look into your own network. Many senior executives work with recruiters at some point in their careers as a candidate or client. Ask the most experienced professionals in your network to refer you to the recruiters they know.
- Talk to people you know in your industry or who work at organizations that interest you. Discover executive job leads by finding out which recruiting firms their companies use.
- Scan recruiter directories. Your local library may have these resources available at no charge. Most fee-based directories are more up-to-date and offer better search options.
- You can also search for recruiters’ profiles online. Many recruiters have profiles on networking sites such as LinkedIn.com. To find them, do a keyword search or ask fellow members for referrals.
- Message boards may have postings that relate to specialists in your industry. Check career-networking sites. Job hunters can also seek recruiter referrals on boards hosted by their trade association, professional society, or alma mater.
- Remember to read business news. Recruiters are often quoted in news media. If you read about one who interests you, type the recruiter’s name into a search engine to find their contact information.
- Check trade or industry groups for referrals. Many recruiters belong to an association in their specialty. These groups may include a roster of members on their Websites. If you join, you’ll likely have opportunities to network with recruiter members.
- Call top employers in your industry. Phone the company’s main number and request to be transferred to the human resources department and ask the human resource (HR) employee who answers which search firm the company uses.
Utilize Your Network to Your Advantage
Effective networking is always going to be one of the best ways to find executive jobs. Throughout your executive career, you have fostered and maintained excellent and important relationships with various industry leaders, executives, and senior managers throughout your industry. Now is the time to use those relationships to help you gain your next executive role.
Schedule phone calls, lunches, and outings with past associates to catch up and learn what’s happening with various companies’ leadership. Attend industry conferences, conventions, and meetups. Get facetime with as many people as possible. This will be the main aspect of your executive job search, so get busy!
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Networking tips to advance your executive-level job search:
- Facilitate and Give Back. We want to help those who have helped us. Open up opportunities for yourself by creating opportunities for others. Introduce people in your network who could benefit from knowing each other. Use your influence to refer a talented associate for an open position outside of your skillset. Mentor a junior executive or up-and-comer in your industry. These efforts will help you stay in the loop with different companies, attract other networking opportunities, and establish goodwill. You never know where executive job leads will come from; always be on the lookout.
- Be a Thought Leader on LinkedIn. After writing an optimized and complete LinkedIn profile, start establishing yourself as an industry thought leader on LinkedIn. This will help you grow your network and prove to employers that you are still on your industry’s cutting edge. Begin by sharing articles related to your industry. Write and share your own articles that detail stories from your past work and leadership experiences and the lessons you learned from each. Engage with other LinkedIn users and grow your network.
Consulting is a great way to bridge an employment gap. These engagements demonstrate your drive and executive skills while continuing to build your experience.
Create opportunities by being generous with your experience while networking. Giving advice and sharing ideas on specific business issues proves to others that you have a ton of useful knowledge and are an effective problem solver in your professional network. When your network needs to bring in executive-level talent on an interim or contract basis, they’ll know who to call. Those opportunities can turn into permanent positions in some cases.
To help get you started, amend your LinkedIn profile headline by “Consultant” to it so that you’ll end up in search results. Emphasize keywords like “strategy,” “change management,” and industry-specific skills relevant to your skillset throughout your profile.
Remember that all good things come to those who are ok with waiting
Remember that you are conducting a job search where there are very few positions available to a limited number of highly successful people. There is a rough guideline that a job search should take one month for every $10,000 you hope to earn. That really adds up once you get to the executive level.
What Can Top Level Executives, Like You, Do To Be More Successful in Your Job Search?
- Create a story: Where are you coming from and going to? Why? Is this story consistent throughout all your job search materials, online presence, and verbal explanations? Be concise.
- Build a job search strategy: To locate executive job leads or postings, you need to approach the process like a strategic initiative. What are your goals, strategies, tactics, and measures? How will you position yourself to best achieve your goals?
- Treat every job recruiter interaction as an opportunity to continue building a relationship: It’s a terrible idea not to prioritize these relationships. Building relationships with recruiters should be one of your most important job search tasks. Think in terms of long-term, as in years, not months. Return their calls and emails; make recommendations to them about potential job candidates, and make an effort to stay in touch as you change jobs and your career progresses. By developing mutually beneficial relationships with recruiters, you will be more apt to be thought of when a great executive-level position comes across their desk.
- Utilizing your existing professional network instead of trying to conduct cold calls: Focus on networking with the individuals you already know versus calling companies and professionals with no prior contact. Recruiters are inundated with requests for help. They prioritize those people with whom they’ve had a prior, positive relationship and referrals from their network. Therefore, if you don’t already have relationships with recruiters, use your professional network of contacts to be referred to a recruiter in your area.
- Interview like an executive: Once you have lined up an interview with a potential company, balance the questions you have regarding whether the company is right for you by providing important and impressive information about yourself. Use your questions as an opportunity to answer your questions and demonstrate a clear interest in the company and position. Questions about the trajectory of the company, the firm’s leadership, expectations of the role you would be filling, the culture of the firm, etc. demonstrate that you’ve done your homework, you are inquisitive, you have thoughtful and insightful questions, and overall, you are clearly interested. You can’t get the job if the company doesn’t believe you truly want it.
Ultimately, searching for a job at the executive level can be a long road. It’s important to have and follow a plan consistently, making adjustments as necessary. Rather than emailing your whole network at once, take the time to connect on an individual basis. You may not feel as if you’re accomplishing as much now, but this approach is proven to yield the best results. And remember, the more effort you are willing to put in, the more you are likely to get out of your job search.
Having a solid plan to locate executive job leads or postings will land you a new position quicker. The scarcity of positions can mean the possibility of a long executive job search. However, this can be made much worse if you are utilizing ineffective job search practices or if you are passively waiting for something great to happen. To succeed at an executive-level job search, you must diversify your tactics and put yourself out there by utilizing your professional network and contacts.