Many executives haven’t engaged in an active job search in 5-10 years. Because of this, they can often have unrealistic job search expectations, and unwittingly make many mistakes. Even those executives who have had proactive job searches in the past may be ill-prepared to tackle the new world of a job search in the digital age.
Many executives are baby boomers who never needed a resume to land a job over the course of their career. During prior searches jobs fell into their laps before they were even considering making a change. They were hot commodities pursued by recruiters and could pick and choose between opportunities. They easily slid into new jobs and never wanted a public profile if they were unemployed.
Deeply impacted by the digital age and today’s tough job market, an effective executive job search campaign today doesn’t look like it did in days past.
To help with this transition let’s look at some common mistakes to avoid for executives entering the job market:
- Reject help from career professionals
With so much going on in today’s job search, navigating it alone may prolong your search and make you miserable. Remember that outplacement firm your company bought that package from? You know the one you thought you didn’t need and never bothered to follow up with? Career transition, executive coaching and individualized attention combined with confidentiality make using these services a great idea. If you don’t find synergy with the outplacement consultant seek a qualified coach to help you instead. A great Bay Area firm I recommend is Torchiana Mastrov & Sapiro.
- Failing to Create Bonds with Executive Recruiters
Many executives fail to create relationships with recruiters while employed and few talk to new recruiters outside of their known address book. Often the C-Suite relies on Human Resource departments to handle communication or are brief and sterile in dealing with recruiters while engaged. Suddenly unemployed many find that the market has shifted and those they know may no longer be the specialist they need with industry connections or have retired or changed jobs. A little professional courtesy when the calls come in may create valuable connections when you need them the most.
- No road-map for your next role
Have a clear understanding of the role(s) you desire and industries of interest. Bear in mind that interest alone isn’t enough. Does your background have some transferable knowledge or skill that will allow you to leapfrog candidates that have current industry experience? Often leaders in start-up organizations fulfill roles across multiple disciplines. Determine what kind of work you want to do and which organizations will fulfill your needs. Work from a target list of employers and key decision makers within them. Customize your career marketing communications to resonate with your target. A generic resume, or other documents, trying to cover too many bases won’t hit home.
- Neglecting to build a strong digital footprint including social media.
Personal branding information needs to be easily found by recruiters and hiring decision makers who source and assess candidates by what they find (or don’t find) about them online. Use social media to position yourself as a subject matter expert. Gone are the days of total privacy. Like it or not, your current public profile will play a part in your job candidacy. Embracing a public profile is especially important for candidates over 50. Sam Fiorella, a senior executive claimed he lost a position due to a low klout score in 2012. If you don’t know what a klout score is read the full story to hear his perspective on its impact on his search.
An executive job search can be tough enough when everything is going right so don’t make it more challenging by making some common mistakes. Make adjustments sooner than later to see a huge difference in the return on your investment in your job search.
If you are searching for a role in accounting/finance, human resources, marketing, administration or operations in the San Francisco Bay Area call us today! Menlo Partners Staffing, a full service recruitment firm and Peninsula based temporary staffing and employment agency, 650-995-7158.