to find an executive job you must know what it looks likeDo you want to promote progress on your executive job search campaign? Here’s advice proven to constructively pass the time between employment gigs while simultaneously increasing the effectiveness of your search efforts and jump-starting networking purposefully in the New Year.

You’ll need internet access, a LinkedIn account and a detective’s mentality. You are going to track down individuals with profiles that contain an experience, title, responsibilities or other description that matches your ideal new career opportunity. By identifying matches, you are finding potential connections to support a campaign that relies on networking, the best job search method available. By selecting and establishing the right contacts related to your ideal next role, you are actively pursuing your goals, not passively waiting for the stars to align favorably. Wouldn’t you rather have control over where you land than give away control over your career path?

Job searching is like looking for a needle in a haystack with the ideal role, your “needle” hiding in plain sight. In other words,  you must know what you are looking for in order to find it and in order to get help from contacts. To discover a new career opportunity, you must be able to communicate what you want (or by elimination what you don’t want) so that your network can help you find it by knowing where to look and where to direct you next. Your network is busy. Make it easier for your contacts by specifying how they can help such as who you want a referral to (by name or job title or other distinguishing characteristic) and what data they can provide to support your job search. Don’t expect a networking contact to do your detective work. Rather, send  them on your mission with clear directions.

There’s  bonus to being articulate when asking for networking help. You’ll appear to be more confident when you can explain what you want and are not wishy-washy about your campaign objectives.  When you can describe your goal, you sound like you know what you are talking about. Employers are busy, too; they are not going to struggle to figure your value to them. Be prepared to show them how you can help. You must compelling demonstrate why you are their best choice for the role you want. If you rely on companies to place you, that thinking is just as likely to throw the job you want, and could have been yours for the asking, into the lap of a competitor.

To be successful in today’s recruiting and hiring environment, executive job search campaigns must begin with defining the position you (think) you want….and one for which you can prove (through relevant experience, past successes and acquired knowledge) to the hiring decision maker not just that you want to handle the employer’s challenges, satisfy their needs, and meet their performance expectations, but also how competent you are which means you are not a risky choice. Be ready to show an employer not only what you have accomplished, but also how you achieved results.

Many modern business relationships begin on LinkedIn. Someone mentions a person who is not familiar, the usual behavior is to look them up on line. This is standard recruiting practice. Rarely does anyone wait until an official resume arrives, first impression are made online. This means that you better put your best foot forward on a personal website, LinkedIn profile or online bio If you are not sure if your online footprint is up to snuff, compare yours to those who have a similar position, theoretically your competitors for your next role. Ask yourself if the content is accurate and current, whether the grammar and spelling are correct, and if it is concise and engaging.

Still not sure if your LinkedIn profile is good enough? Research “LinkedIn profile best practices” or seek a recommendation for a career/job search consultant.

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