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BlueSteps, the executive career management service of the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC), released today its annual Executive Career Outlook Report. To glean insights for the report, BlueSteps surveyed over 800 senior-level management professionals globally on what trends they are seeing in the executive job market. What BlueSteps found was worldwide, executives are more optimistic about the state of the global executive job market compared to previous years due to economic indicators and recent fiscal policies.

I’ve been fortunate to interview many successful career professionals as an executive resume writer throughout my career, and have had the opportunity to pick their brains about what worked (and what didn’t!) during their job searches. Common themes have emerged. Here’s a list of 4 things most would do differently if turning back time was an option. These tips will help you conduct a successful job search online and offline to get hired faster.

How to Conduct a Successful Job Search:

 

1. Figure Out What Roles You Want to Target

With unemployment at record lows, combined with baby boomers retiring at an all-time high, companies are competing for the best talent, especially at the executive level. Today’s hiring process indicates companies are relying on artificial intelligence and algorithms as part of the mix to choose the next hire.

Trends:

Not having a job search plan is like trying to reach the North Pole without a compass. You’re likely to wander aimlessly, unable to see your goal and not even sure you’re heading in the right direction. That’s probably a less extreme disaster-in-the-making than exploring the frozen north without a compass, but it’s not a course you want to take if you hope to have a successful job search.

 

Is a Five-Year Job Search Plan Essential?

Life’s all about timing, isn’t it? The number of times my friends have expressed regret over leaving the ship they thought was sinking, only to find that the men standing on board received out-of-turn promotions & huge bonuses, is not funny! At the same time, an equal number of them have poured out their sorrow (over a round of drinks at a bar) on the opportunities they did not capitalize on at the right time! So, the moot point is…when do you move on? I spent time on this topic recently, and here’s a compendium of my findings.

A new year often starts off with major fireworks displays. Your job search might not launch quite that spectacularly. But maybe it doesn’t need to, if you do it right.

Here’s something to think about: “Every man should know how to jump start a dead car battery. You never know when you’ll need this knowledge to...help yourself get out of a jam.” (Brett, ArtOfManliness.com, 2016)

What’s that got to do with jump-starting your job search?

As we enter the holiday season, it is time for the annual ritual of New Year’s Resolutions, more intense for some & less intense for some others. Apart from weight loss, the quest for a new role typically ends up landing in the list of priorities! In this context, while speaking to many people on their goals for a new role in the coming year, I prepared the following outline, based on the advice many sought from me:executive career change

The start of a new year can naturally kick-start a period of self-reflection and a new motivation to self-improve. Often the dreaded end of year review can act as a catalyst for executives who feel that they ought to be progressing further in their careers or are not being fairly compensated for their work. For many executives, the final quarter of the year can help provide the clarity and drive needed to begin an executive job search.

Executives face unique challenges and obstacles when attempting to make a career transition to a new role or industry, but there are steps you can take to get your foot in the door. Preparing yourself to change executive jobs requires in-depth research, thoughtful insight into your skills, expertise and value/unique differentiators.

Once the foundation is set, you need to develop a strategic job search plan that combines rebranding yourself with proactive networking in your target market for information, as well as insight that may help you get your foot in the door ultimately leading to opportunities.

So you aced the interview!

It’s no wonder, really. You thoroughly researched the company, its challenges, and its competitors. You anticipated interview questions and tackled them with ease. You knew the core message you wanted to convey and you did so— effectively. You researched your interviewers carefully and were armed with excellent questions to ask. And, let’s be honest, you couldn’t possibly have looked sharper than in that dapper new suit.