Learning the tricks of searching for an executive job is not difficult; it just takes some common sense, discipline and a positive upbeat attitude. Most people learn the basic techniques as they begin a search but here are some additional tips that will help make a search successful.

Set Daily Goals – One approach that has served me well was to set goals for myself. I try and make at least 10 connections a day. A connection does not mean that someone has to respond but it is a note, phone call or a face to face meeting with someone. There are days when I exceed it and there are days when I don’t hit my goal, but the goal pushes me to find ways to connect with as many people as I can.

Stay on People’s Radar – Getting in touch with someone once and hoping they will remember you is not productive networking. You need to stay on everyone’s radar without being a nuisance. I have found that most people are receptive to receiving “checking in” emails once a month. Keep it short, keep it current and make sure you find something relevant to say.

Actively Help Executive Recruiters Source – Executive Recruiters are always looking for good candidates. If you can help them find or ‘source’ relevant executive level candidates, they will be very grateful and may bear you in mind for future executive search assignments. Do not think of this as they “owe you one”. Do it because it is smart networking.

Find Alternative Ways to Market Yourself – In today’s environment, finding alternative ways to market yourself is an essential component of attracting the attention of executive recruiters to be considered for open executive search assignments. Try and think beyond the scope of what you have usually done. For example, start a discussion in LinkedIn groups, offer your expertise to a non-profit organization, twitter interesting observances about your executive job search, start a blog on a subject of your expertise or gain additional online exposure by writing an interesting article for BlueSteps.

Stay Positive and Perseverant – This is the easiest thing to say but the hardest to do. The executive job search is a roller coaster ride of highs, lows, disappointments and some euphoria. One of the keys to a successful job search is to remain upbeat and to uncover every rock no matter how bleak. One person I contacted did not really want to help me. He gave me the name of a lawyer but said that his name would not help with this contact; so he basically gave what he thought was a dead lead just to get me off the phone. Despite his negative connotation, I sent the lawyer a note. Luckily for me, this lawyer was a networker. He gladly met me and without any prompting from me, he volunteered to send out my resume to 15 private equity firms in his rolodex. His generosity resulted in an interview. I have remained friendly with him and am eternally grateful. I am just waiting for an opportunity to return the favor.

All of these things help differentiate you and bring you closer to your goal of finding your next opportunity. Someone once said to me, “that guy is so lucky, he always seems to land on his feet.” And my response was, “He made his own luck by doing all the right things like staying on people’s radar and marketing himself in some smart ways.” Be smart and make your own luck.

BlueSteps Member Guest Writer

Gary-StarrGary Starr is a senior financial executive with over 25 years of experience in mid-market and Fortune 500 companies. He just successfully managed the sale of private equity backed professional services firm to a strategic public buyer. He is currently interviewing and creating his own luck. Connect with Gary on LinkedIn or at gestarr@gmail.com.

BlueSteps is the exclusive service of the AESC that puts senior executives on the radar screen of over 6,000 executive search professionals in over 70 countries. Be visible, and be considered for up to 50,000 opportunities handled by AESC search firms every year. Find out more at www.BlueSteps.com.


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