5 reasons your executive job search is tanking

by Feb 7, 2019

Has your executive job search stalled?


Executive job search can be a lengthy process so it’s a good idea to get support to avoid making some basic mistakes.


Today senior job seekers are dismayed how long an executive job search will take. The process isn’t the same as it was years ago and in some ways that has made it easier as well as more complex. The general advice is to factor in 6-9 months and this can become longer for more senior or specialist roles. It’s down to the basic numbers. There are simply fewer senior jobs available. It really is a pyramid.

Because it is a lengthy process it can be a good idea to get support early on to avoid making some basic mistakes.

5 reasons you are not effective in executive job search


1. You spray and pray

Many people once they’ve decided to change roles tweak their CV, maybe update their LinkedIn profiles and think sending a generic email to head hunters or hiring managers will do the trick and people will be falling over themselves to give them a job.

In today’s job search market your approach needs to be targeted, focusing with laser precision on the person who can help you best. It may mean that you take one of even three steps to position yourself. Job seekers frequently reject this approach because it takes up too much time in the early stages. But trust me, time spent at the front end of job search will eventually pay dividends, simply because you are more focused.

Instead profile your Ideal company by deciding what you are specifically looking for in a dream employer. Factor in industry sectors the products or services, vision and values plus any other relevant details such as size, location management structure. Check out any comments on social proofing sites such as Glassdoor and be mindful of a pattern of negative or even positive comments. During your research you will also uncover the types of keywords that you need to make your CV more easily retrievable.

job search

2. You don’t know your market value

You would never put your house on the market without understanding the key selling points and its value. So why do that to yourself?  You need to understand your UVP (Unique Value Proposition) and how you add better value than the other candidates. If you do this you have already answered the “why should we hire you question.”  You have to do your basic reflection work so that you can highlight how your hard and soft skills together with your personal qualities make you a compelling candidate. You need to be able to communicate this in a succinct and powerful message. All of this helps build up your personal brand.

The data you are acquiring allows you to construct a more focused job search strategy.

3Plus FREE Downloadable Podcast: How to Create an Effective USP – Our Unique Selling Point or UVP Unique Value Proposition

3. You neglect your network

Networking is hard work and even the most confident sometimes have to grin and bear it. Some even try to avoid it. But do so at your peril. Networking can be a grind, but research shows that as many much as 30% of openings are filled by network referrals and certainly networks contribute to circulating the information. You can’t go into your network connections desperate and needy looking for a job. It is cited as the number one turn off.  You should be in regular contact with your market and leverage it as discreetly as possible.

Mark Anthony Dyson, Career Consultant saysthe way networking operates is similar to the way a little yeast works through a batch of dough: Both require time, a little massaging, and consistency…. The successful networker understands that it’s about giving more than taking for the long term. Successful networking takes time to “work through the batch.”

4. You have no social proofing

One of the first thing that any hiring manager will do is to look for data on their first-choice candidates online. You need to make sure that you have a good online personal brand with backed up social proofing. This can be via LinkedIn recommendations, videos of speaking engagements or reference to published articles. All of these things contribute to building a solid personal reputation to showcase your skills.

US based Master Resume Writer Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter cautions against getting too caught up in social media gimmicks and to stay focused “A meaty and substantive career story, a well-forged tale that wraps around the hiring leader’s pain points and emerging needs, performs best.  LinkedIn profiles, replete with slide shows, blog posts, testimonials, snappy photos and groups joined, 140-character Twitter quips, Facebook wall conversations and “Like” affirmations do not a fulfilling, streamlined career enrichment conversation make.”

5. You are not optimised

No that isn’t about being positive and upbeat. Optimised means that you are searchable and retrievable. Unless you have almost celebrity status where just saying your name will ring bells and open doors, all job seekers, even senior ones need to make sure they can be found. This means your LinkedIn profile has to be correctly set up to come on the radar of hiring managers and head hunters. Even when you send your CV off to organisations it still has to be retrievable. Unless you are interested in a start-up, most organisations use software programs to store and  retrieve resumes. You need to make sure that your CV will be top if the pile when key words are entered into the ATS system.

Donna Svei Executive Resume Writer advises: “Pull up your resume and your LinkedIn profile. “Look for keywords that might have alternatives. Ask a friend to check too. Then search on LinkedIn for each possibility. Go with the most common version of each of your keywords because those are the ones recruiters will likely use to find you. Note: When responding to a job posting via an automated system, be sure to use the keywords mentioned in the posting. If you’re not sure what they are, ask yourself, “Which words in this text would I search on to find people like me in a database?” That should get you there.”

Conducting a targeted approach makes your executive job search more effective. Getting over these barriers will help get on the radar of the hiring decision makers. A targeted job search also allows you to tap into the hidden market and uncover opportunities that have yet to be advertised in the pubic domain. So what are you waiting for? Think seriously about what you really want in your next job and apply these golden tips.


Check out our coaching and mentoring programs for women if you need help with executive presence or contact us for a complimentary discovery call all to assess your needs.


3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Job Search, Career and Mentoring or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

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