A Simple Research Plan for Executive Job Search Success, Part 4 of 5
Step 4: Start Looking at the Right Positions
Congratulations! You’ve spent a great deal learning about the type of work you find fulfilling, the type of industry in which you want to do it, and a list of jobs that make sense for you. Now you need to get very specific, so you can start the process of applying for positions that are best for you.
Your Plan: For this phase of your job search, you need to develop, minimally, a three-point strategy:
1. Learn more about the specific role you want to play by learning about the needs of the companies you have targeted.
Start by looking at the blogs, public relations efforts, and news reports about the companies you have targeted. Learn about their pain points, and develop a narrative about your own history that directly explains how you can serve companies to improve their situations. For example, if you are a CFO and your target company is expanding, you might talk about the ways you can improve daily cash flow to support rapid growth. If you are a real estate analyst, you might talk about your experience in site selection. If you are a vice president of sales and marketing, you might speak to a company’s need to grow business steadily so that the infrastructure can manage the growth well.
Now identify the specific opportunities within those companies through which you can address those needs, perhaps on the company web sites or in one of the major job engines. Do not neglect to review the company’s Facebook page, LinkedIn company profile, or Craigslist listings. Keep a record of what you learn that you can follow and review.
2. Speak more deeply and broadly to your network about available positions.
You likely know someone, or know someone who knows someone, at your target company. If not, go back to LinkedIn and build the relationships that will get you closer to the hiring executive. Once you have these key connections, talk to the hiring executive directly if you can. People hire people, so the relationships you build early on will support your application for the roles you want in the future.
3. Develop a career portfolio that speaks to these positions directly, compelling your audience to understand the value that you will deliver to them.
Construct a resume, LinkedIn profile, and cover letter suite that directly speak to the types of roles you are targeting. Generally speaking, your executive resume should target a category of positions within a particular industry, so that tweaking your executive resume for each position applied to is simple and straightforward. Know that a resume not targeted to a given role in a particular industry is not going to get you the interviews you want; moreover, a resume targeted to a different role or different industry will compel a hiring executive to reach out to you, either.
At this point, you will have a solid understanding of the positions that are right for you and likely to be available, the right network that will help you get an insider’s connection to the hiring executive, and an executive career portfolio (resume, LinkedIn profile, and more) that addresses your career history in light of a future hiring executive’s needs.
Your next step is to apply. See Part 5 of this series for some tips and tricks to get your resume in front of the hiring executive quickly and efficiently.
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