Executive Job Search Advice

Whether you are voluntarily looking for a new job or find yourself an unfortunate victim of today's economic decline, you will be unsuccessful, frustrated and discouraged unless you have a clear, concise job target.

In Guerilla Marketing for Job Hunters, the authors suggest from the beginning that "starting a job search before you know the job you want and what you have to offer will end in frustration". Simply saying that "I am looking for a new job" says nothing to potential employers and confuses anyone who is trying to support you in the job search process.

In order to identify the right resources, contacts and strategies to engage in your executive job search, here are a few things you need to ask yourself right from the beginning:

Executive Function & Position Title
What specific profession are you targeting and can you identify viable opportunities by position titles?

  • Have you decided on the level of responsibility you want - Vice President, Director, Manager Partner, etc?

    Tip: Ensure your elevator pitch is fully aligned with your aspirations - let whoever you meet know your goal.

    Industry Focus

    • What industry or markets are you interested in and are you open to more than one industry?
    • Do you know which industries frequently hire candidates with your qualifications?
    • Are the industries you are focused on in high growth, stable or declining phase?

      Tip: Use www.weddles.com, www.acinet.org and www.asaenet.org to conduct further industry research.

      Geographic Location

      • What countries and/or cities have the most appeal for you?
      • If you are conducting a local search, are you open to relocation for the right opportunity?

        Tip: Use Linkedin to join location specific groups and define your target location in BlueSteps.

        Salary Requirements

        • Have you done sufficient research to determine a salary range that support your lifestyle, but is in line with what your market/industry will pay?
        • Are you willing to accept a lower-paying position if the opportunity provides long-term growth and fits your long-range career goals?

          Qualifications & Experience

          • Are you adequately qualified for the type of positions you want to target?
          • Do you have the core functional skills, years of experience and other ideal requirements?
          • If this is a career change, are there new degrees, training or certifications that you would need to complete before starting a search?
          • Are there new technology systems or programs that you need to brush up on?

            Tip: Do a quick checklist to determine whether your target positions make sense - find a job opening and create a two-column list. On the left side of the list the company's requirements/wish list and on the right side, list your value proposition, experience, education, etc.

            Employment Barriers & Executive Job Search Challenges
            - What potential challenges if any are you facing in your executive job search?
            - Do you have to take into consideration any of the following:

            • age discrimination
            • employment gaps
            • frequent job changes
            • military transition
            • return-to-work spouse
            • international professional returning to US
            • been fired in the past

            Make sure that you take the time to address and examine each of the above sections and questions - it will be a lot easier to devise a multifaceted executive job search campaign that is right for your career situation and background.


            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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