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You’ve recently lost your job and like any executive, you want to optimize your LinkedIn profile to connect with potential employers, executive search firms, colleagues, and other contacts who can help you in your job search. You may be wondering how to address your recent unemployment to your advantage on your LinkedIn profile. The strategy you use will make a big impact on your job search.

The first thing you should do is put an end date on your current position. Some unemployed executives believe the best strategy is to leave their current position end date as “present”. However, this is not accurate, and it will require you to immediately explain your current status when contacted for a potential job lead.

For many executives, running into age discrimination is a unfortunate reality, especially since it’s partly about health and money. How do you turn your years of experience into an advantage?

Be prepared for those inappropriate questions. There’s nothing that exudes confidence and professionalism better than being prepared for those awkward and sometimes illegal questions that come out in an interview.

Don’t…be defensive. Recruiters and hiring managers look at a defensive behavior and try to read between the lines.

Executives negotiate millions to billions of dollars in their roles every day, but often fall short when it comes to negotiating their own salary.

Yes, you may have been job hunting for several months and really, really want/need to be re-employed. No, you don’t have to take the first offer.
 

Changing industries can open up a broader range of opportunities for executives who want to reinvigorate a stalled career, seek to combine their skills and interests in a new arena, are stuck in a dying/declining sector, have limited options in their desired geographic location, or are impacted by the increased outsourcing of operations overseas.

Although product and industry knowledge are important to some companies in certain industries, it is possible to make a successful industry transition through a focused, systematic process—without having to reduce your compensation level. Unless a position requires industry-specific technical knowledge or contacts, you can build a clear case that will illustrate your ability to succeed in a new industry.

Whether you are attending a networking event, building a new network, introducing yourself to executive recruiters, or reconnecting with former contacts, timely and effective follow-up is necessary. Networking/keeping in touch may not be your favorite activity; however, it is essential to cultivating relationships for the long haul. And those relationships could be your strongest supporters when looking for a new position.

Don’t drop the ball by forgetting to follow up after connecting with people. Think of networking like a bank account. You have to put something in before you can take something out. The effort you put into your follow up will reap big rewards.

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.

To help you achieve a productive and satisfying new chapter in your professional life, here are six tips on effective career management:
 
1. Set Goals: Your role might have changed or you might be re-examining your current job with a new perspective. Start by determining what's expected of you and set goals on how to meet those expectations. Do your homework. What priorities do you need to focus on in the next 30, 60, and 90 days? What resources need to be put into place for your success? What results will you deliver, and how will those be evaluated? Document this goal-setting plan to follow throughout the year.
 

“Your job at the interview is to be as helpful as you can,” said Claudio Fernandez-Araoz, a seasoned search consultant and author of Great People Decisions

He comments that most interviewers focus too heavily on experience and not enough on competence, and that it is the executive’s job during the interview to demonstrate he or she has what it takes to be a perfect fit for the position.
 

1. Prepare for the interview

If negotiating your salary makes you uncomfortable, you are not alone. In a survey conducted by Salary.com, only 37 percent always negotiate their salaries—while 18 percent never do. Even worse, 44 percent responded that they never brought up the subject of a raise during their performance reviews.

What’s behind this reason? If you guessed fear and lack of negotiating skills, you’re correct.

Research consistently identifies networking—both on-line and offline—as an important job search strategy with 60-80% of hires attributed to networking.

Through the process of information, advice and referral conversations executives can also uncover business needs that lead to job opportunities (known as the “hidden job market”). These positions may be filled through employee referrals, executive search consultants, or direct contact with hiring managers through networking.)

The following tips will help you identify who is in your network and how to use these connections to find your next career move.

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