1. Know the executive recruitment market – ask search consultants in your network to comment on your industry marketplace and learn from their outlook – which areas are performing well? Can your skills transfer to these areas? All BlueSteps members receive worldwide executive search industry reports from the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), with access to search industry expert speeches and panels.

2. Become a Source - Don't forget to offer yourself as a source to AESC search consultants if they call and offer any contacts you think will be useful to complete their search. This is the best way to provide a two-way networking process with search professionals. BlueSteps members should refer to the career channel to learn how to work with search consultants effectively.

3. Be smart about presenting your details to executive search firms – executives who are referred by someone already known to the search firm are more likely to be successful in getting to meet with the executive recruiter.

  • Search firms like to be updated but not hounded by their candidates so make your contacts with them count.

4. Work on your CV/resume and online profiles, and keep all branding metrics focused - highlight your strengths and achievements through metrics to gain a competitive edge over other executive candidates and quickly demonstrate your core achievements to executive recruiters and headhunters.

5. If you’re in an under performing industry, look to other industries that require skill sets similar to the one in which you are an expert.

6. Understand what is expected in today’s evolving roles - re-train and re-educate to match executive job expectations. This should be completed in tandem with HR and direct managers. If you are in a senior executive position (CEO, CIO, COO etc.), make sure you take control of your own training program.

7. Invest in further education to enhance your senior executive career prospects – look at the reputation of business schools and match the syllabus to your executive career aspirations.

8. Develop your elevator pitch – learn how to portray your executive profile and strengths in under a minute.

9. Interview effectively by developing CAR examples and match their use to the job description and requirements of the executive role:

  • Context – briefly explain the situation i.e. the project undertook was to optimize business processes across the organization.
  • Action – what action was taken to achieve your goals? Explain the specific steps you took to identify inefficiencies and enact the changes needed.
  • Result – how was the business positively affected by your actions? Using measurable results will make your CAR examples more effective in demonstrating your successes.

10. Know your executive career path inside out – know your entire career progression from start to present including any gaps. Be able to discuss every stage confidently.

11. If you are out of work, prepare for the long haul – finding your next senior executive job can take up to 6 months and beyond. Manage your finances carefully and ensure you are treating your executive job search like a full time job.

12. Expand your network, aiming to achieve at least one outcome from every networking meeting, whether it’s sharing knowledge or arranging to meet again to follow up on an idea.

  • Take the above one step further when conducting an executive job search by using a targeted ROI-focused networking strategy. BlueSteps members can create a focused strategy using the Career Network Planner.

13. Go beyond the above and start your own networking group – in-person or on-line. Being a group manager allows you unique access to each contact.

14. Attend trade and industry events, join in-person networking events, and make the most of these networking opportunities. Better still, offer to serve on the conference programme as a speaker, panelist or moderator on your area of expertise.

15. Become a Guest Writer on trade publications, other executive blogs and magazines to establish yourself as an industry expert and capture the attention of executive recruiters and other executives in your industry.

Would you like your career profile and resume/CV to be at the fingertips of 6,000 retained executive search professionals – all fully-screened members of the prestigious Association of Executive Search Consultants - in over 70 countries worldwide?

BlueSteps.com is uniquely positioned to offer you this opportunity, alongside access to the International Directory of Executive Search Firms, executive job market data and career management information. Find out more

This article was written by Christian Pielow from the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).