Are you doing the same things in your job search today that you did five or 10 years ago and expecting the same results? Have you ever audited your career and job search strategies to determine what’s working, and what’s not?
If not, this would be a good time to start.
What may have worked even a year ago may not today, so you need to reassess your career action plan to identify your successful strategies and change those that have not been effective.
1. Have you read your resume lately?
Changes on a resume are inevitable during a job search. If you are targeting your resume for different jobs and changing keywords or moving bullets around, there is a chance that your resume could contain a typo or sentence that needs wordsmithing. Recruiters and hiring managers will spot the typos and never call or consider you for the position.
2. Are you sending your resume out in massive untargeted emails or postal mailings?
The average return for this type of resume campaign is about 5 or 6 responses for every 100 that you send out. To be effective, this strategy needs to be very focused and highlight your value proposition in the cover letter as well as your resume. If your search is broad, and you are at a crossroads in your career and changing direction or industries at this time, this type of approach may not yield the results you want.
3. Are you posting your resume on generic job boards?
There are several websites that cater to executive-level job seekers such as ExecuNet.com and BlueSteps.com. Limit your search to job boards that are focused on opportunities at your level for better results (although you don’t want to rest your entire campaign on this approach only). Networking will generate the best leads on jobs. Check with friends, former colleagues, and bosses – they may have an opportunity that fits you perfectly. Add connections to your network through social media (like LinkedIn).
4. Are you getting called back for the second interview?
If not, give the interview process some careful thought. Do you know why you want the job? Did you prepare for the interview by researching the company, its products, and executive team online? Did you feel and appear confident? Figure out what you need to do to strengthen your interviewing skills and work on them before your next meeting. Hiring a career coach can also help you identify and improve your interviewing techniques.
5. How many times have you landed in the top 3 finalists, but didn’t get the job offer?
The average number is about 8 or 9 times as a finalist before getting a job offer. This is one of the toughest areas to determine exactly what may have prevented your getting the job. Did the company no longer need an executive for the position? Did the company fill the position internally? Even if you ask, you may never be given the real reason. What’s important is to know you represented yourself as a professional and move on.
6. Have you checked your references lately?
That’s right, check your references on a regular basis (every 6 months at least) to confirm what they will be verifying on your behalf. Sometimes, issues may arise that will turn a reference against you, or at a minimum, not reveal the true characteristics that would convince a hiring manager that you are the perfect candidate. Be sure you know who is your advocate and replace those that are not.
The right combination of strategies and job search tactics will help you prevail and result in your next career move.