Whether a senior executive is actively pursuing a new career opportunity or is temporarily paused in a position between active job searching, everyone’s future career progress depends on connections. This means not only having the right contacts but more importantly that the appropriate hiring authorities know, like and remember your name and how you can help them. Seven practical tactics you can execute that are guaranteed to attract attention, generate interest and earn respect are detailed later in this article.
Almost all senior executive hires are the result of word-of-mouth communication. Rarely are jobs filled through responses to advertisements or trolling resume databases. Networking connections are the richest and most reliable source of new job leads today. Without the right contacts willing to make a recommendation or give a referral, it’s almost impossible to land a new job in today’s referral-driven market.
Not all available opportunities are in the public domain; only a few people whom the hiring manager trusts are aware there’s a need. These unadvertised roles represent the hidden job market. No one is hiding an existing opening; the opportunity may not exist until the right person appears. Some of the most desirable positions are recruited and filled through personal connections, i.e. via networking, without the need to publicize an open position. Owing to these circumstances, resume submissions rarely produce a shot at getting a job offer.
To attract hiring decision-makers’ attention, focus professional communications on topics that meet their needs and satisfy their expectations. The goal is to make a positive impression that will generate interest, promote meaningful conversations and initiate and develop relationships. Here are a few examples of how to demonstrate know-how that will grab attention and earn respect.
1) Give a presentation at an industry conference
2) Publish in a trade organization blogs, newsletters, websites, etc.
3) Be recognized for winning an award or contributing
4) Volunteer for a cause favored by the hiring authority
5) Attend the same event as the hiring authority and introduce yourself
6) Get to know and communicate on a regular basis with someone the hiring authority knows, likes and trusts
7) Prepare and send a DM with a Value Validation Deck which proves your ability to resolve the hiring authority’s challenges
8) Upload a review on a book the hiring authority is likely to be interested in
9) Regularly (at least once/week or more often) post an update on LinkedIn
10) Write an original article on LinkedIn on a monthly basis
11) Upload files with original content demonstrating your knowledge, skills and expertise – presentations, slide decks, original charts and graphics and post an update to call attention to your accomplishments
12) Ask a mutual connection and other contacts who admire your talent to link to #11 or other items above to boost visibility among their connections, followers, colleagues, etc.
13) Join a board of directors that the hiring manager or their close associates belong to and attend the same Board sessions, comment on group correspondence, etc.
14) Create and cultivate a professional social media presence that demonstrates your expertise and impresses hiring managers with your insights. This starts with a comprehensive LinkedIn profile.
15) When you introduce yourself, find out something about the person and follow-up with a useful link to an article or a note that demonstrates you were listening!
16) Regularly respond to posts and updates on LinkedIn.
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