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Whether you’re an up-and-comer trying to break into the ranks of upper management, or a seasoned veteran looking for a new position, it’s important to understand the executive jobs market, and what recruiters filling these executive jobs are looking for.
Finding Executive Jobs
You’ve probably heard of the so-called “hidden job market.” Depending on how you got your start and where you are in your career now, you may have to learn a few new habits in your search for executive jobs. Maybe you’ve gotten a previous job from a public listing, like an online job board. Executive jobs, however, are not normally filled this way. When a company has executive jobs they need filled, they will often turn to “headhunters”—that is, to executive search firms. The task for these consultants is to find the best possible candidates for executive jobs. So you could say that you don’t find executive jobs—executive jobs find you.
Retained Executive Search
Retained executive search consultants are hired by companies with executive jobs to fill. The consultants seek out multiple potential candidates for these executive jobs. The field of prospective candidates may include current employees of the client company, since many executive jobs are filled by promotion from within. The recruitment consultants can also include candidates from their own network, people who have attained prominence in their field, and candidates from online networking sites such as BlueSteps.
The candidates may or may not currently be seeking executive jobs for themselves. After all, the consultants are trying to find the best candidates for these executive jobs, not just the best candidates from the relatively limited pool of those seeking executive jobs.
The consultants will then present their clients with candidates for the executive jobs they are trying to fill, and the client will conduct interviews. If you are new to the executive jobs market, be aware that the interview process may be much more intense than what you are used to. The more important a position is, the greater the cost of hiring the wrong person, so in interviews for executive jobs the stakes are high on both sides.
But before you are even interviewed for executive jobs you must make it past those first gatekeepers, the executive recruiters.
Executive Jobs, Recruiting, and You
There is plenty of advice out there on crafting an impressive resume for executive jobs, and for putting on the charm in the interview. None of that will do you any good if the search consultants aren’t even considering you, and they can’t consider you for any of the executive jobs they have to fill if they don’t know who you are. There are several ways you can get their attention, and get yourself considered for executive jobs.
Get your name out there—see about getting mentioned in your industry’s trade publication. If you have an important leadership role in something your company has accomplished, something that warrants mention in the trade publication, make sure you are given due credit and mentioned by name. Don’t hog the spotlight or try to exaggerate your achievements, just see that you are appropriately credited for your actual accomplishments. Recruiters with executive jobs in your field that need filling should be checking the relevant trade publications, so this is a good way for them to notice you. And if you are involved in something that can get your name in a mainstream publication, so much the better.
Writing on the side can be a great way for you to get the attention of recruiters looking to fill executive jobs, too. Try offering to lend your expertise to an industry blog or trade publication with a guest article or even a regular column. Bloggers and editors are always looking for content, and it can be a great way to get search consultants’ attention, getting you considered for executive jobs.
Don’t forget to take full advantage of the opportunities the internet offers for networking in your search for executive jobs. Social media can be a great way to reach out to potential new contacts and stay in touch with the ones you’ve already made. And AESC offers the exclusive BlueSteps service, which connects you with search consultants looking for candidates for executive jobs.
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