Strategies Executives Need to Know to Get the Job Offer


The number of qualified executive candidates searching for new positions creates a highly competitive job market. Employers are more selective with their executive hires today than ever before.

How can you present yourself to be more hireable and beat your competition? The following four strategies are key.

1: Stand out with your resume.

executive_career_management_strategyThe old-fashioned resume format is dead. Be creative with format and content. For example, highlight your skills and experience with graphs, breakout boxes, and/or color. Focus the content on your achievements and value—with context. Facts and figures alone won’t tell your story or allow your personality to be reflected. If the resume grabs the reader’s attention in six plus seconds, you have a good chance they will read the entire resume.

2: Market yourself as the “must have” executive candidate.

Creating a picture in the mind of the recruiter or hiring manager that you are the perfect candidate for the position is essential. How do you do this? One way is to customize your resume for each position you apply for. This may sound daunting, but each executive job can often be very different in requirements and qualifications. One job opportunity may require highlighting specific accomplishments and skills for that position, while another set of accomplishments and skills might need to be showcased for another position. Ultimately, you want to help the reader envision how your experience makes you the best candidate.

3: Make social media work for you.

Recruiters and hiring managers check executive candidates online as one of the first things they do. Google yourself to check if you have any digital dirt showing up online. Also check if there are other people with your name showing up—do they have negative reputations that may affect you? Have a presence on social media sites such as LinkedIn first and foremost. Make sure your LinkedIn profile complements your resume and is not an exact word-for-word match. Even joining a few groups and commenting once in a while will help raise your social media presence.

4: Demonstrate your executive qualities.

Whether in an interview or written into your resume, LinkedIn profile, or other career documentation, make sure the recruiters or hiring managers understand your value and strength as an executive. Putting all the job seeking strategies aside, this is one of the most important factors to get across to a potential employer.

Employers want executives who know how to gain knowledge, convert that knowledge into effective actions, and ensure the team accepts accountability for success. They look for executives who…

1.  Ask/look for what needs to be done

2.  Question if this is right for the company

3.  Develop action plans

4.  Take responsibility for decisions

5.  Communicate responsibly

6.  Focus on opportunities rather than problems

7.  Run productive meetings

8.  Think and say “we” rather than “I”

9.  Demonstrate high EQ (Emotional Intelligence: qualities of assertiveness, empathy, problem solving, self-awareness and happiness)         

The executive job market has changed over the years. That’s a fact. Ensure that you make it to the “must-call” list by implementing these tips to communicate your value and hireability.


The Ultimate Executive Career Guide: Connecting with Executive Search

As a senior-level executive, you can use this guide to:
- Learn about executive search and how it differs from other forms of recruiting
- Discover the best ways to connect with executive search professionals
- Understand how the search process works
- Implement strategies that will help you become visible to the search community
- And more!

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About the author

Louise Garver's picture

Louise Garver, certified executive resume writer, branding and job search strategist/coach with BlueSteps Executive Career Services, has guided executives across industries and disciplines to land their ideal position in less time while maximizing their compensation. She would be happy to share this vital information with you! Energize your search and learn how to navigate easily the complex job market with her step-by-step job search system.

Learn more about the BlueSteps team of career advisors and the services they provide to help you improve your career trajectory here.

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I invested in one of the newer & more innovative resumes that showed many of my accomplishments with graphs, charts, etc. I even had some really great Infographics. After submitting this "upgraded" resume to some of my recruiter colleagues (one was a Senior Partner and Sector Lead at Heidrick & Struggles), they proactively contacted me and asked why did I have this exotic and flowery resume that seemed to confuse and fog p my actual accomplishments. They went on to say that they didn't like such resumes and thought they had to be written like that to make it look like a person had more accomplishments that they truly did. In my case, they all told me to just be direct and state the numerical facts of what I had accomplished, so that they didn't have to swim through all the pictures, graphs, and charts to actually see what I did. I was then told to completely re-do it, providing only my contact info, my objective and then go right into my professional history position by position. Since I've done that, I only received compliments from recruiters about how informative and clearly stated my experience is and how quickly it was for them to get a realistic understanding of my experiences. So......I'd think twice before I added in all those frills, buttons and bows into my resume, as it seems the people that have to read them.....don't like it.

Thank you for your comments, David. An infographics resume is quite different in format than a more traditionally designed resume that executive recruiters (and employers) prefer. The first point on the blog refers to the use of graphics, boxes and color on traditional resumes—not infographics resumes with columns, extensive graphics, etc. that recruiters find more cumbersome to read. The use of one simple chart, for example, that illustrates with numbers the revenues you/your team produced next to the position would not obscure readability and would not overpower the content/key message the reader needs to know about you. Simplicity and readability are key to the design. The content remains critical and must be clear, succinct, easy to read/follow and compelling about your qualifications.

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