Strategies Applying for Executive Jobs Online

Today, with a substantial amount of professional and executive search activities happening online, it is necessary to adopt certain strategies to apply for executive jobs online. Large corporations often have dedicated careers websites and use specialist software to scan, process and screen candidate applications. This rather removes the human element out of the executive job search and seemingly giving the impression of a application proverbial black hole.

With many different search attributes, selection criteria and software filters processing several thousand applications (assuming a large corporation) and eliminating candidates in the process, it is necessary to consider strategies to get through automated applicant tracking processes and improve chances of a human response. In truth, only a manageable amount of candidates will ever get through the initial screening process (realistically HR teams can only shortlist and deal with a small number of applicants for any job), so consider what is the best use of your Executive Job Hunting Strategy.

Searching Executive Jobs Online

First of all, a high profile website with an number of opportunities advertised will draw-in many more candidates than there would otherwise be. A simple decision must be made as to whether a candidate really wants to invest time, energy and effort in making an application that might not ultimately be successful. Given that 70% of jobs are never advertised, ExecutiveCV.net suggests making a judgement call on whether to go down what we perceive as the most competitive route when applying for executive jobs. Consider how many other people have seen the same job advertised (even internationally) and whether it is realistic to offer something different to stand out ahead of the competition. Evaluate other job hunting strategies and tactics to use, which are not early as competitive or alternatively find specialist, niche or dedicated websites such as a the executive appointments section at The Sunday Times.

Defining Keywords and Search Terms

Applicant tracking software must base its algorithm on something, so the use of keywords, phrases and relevant search terms in a CV is crucial. Clues given on the website, in the job advertisement itself and supporting careers literature may indicate on what companies are looking for and ideal candidate profiles. There are often industry-specific terminology, acronyms, training courses, qualifications, skills profile or key employers that the software tracking system will actively search for. Therefore, targeting and customising an Executive CV becomes even more important when applying for executive jobs online.

CV Headlines

Focusing on the most important area of the CV is key (top half of front page). This is where automated systems quickly scan for keywords, phrases and search terms. If the CV (or application form) has been carefully thought out, then the main part of the CV, headlines, profile summary and key features should contain information that is readily searchable by the tracking software. Information becomes less significant further down the CV, so it is important to focus most on the top half of Page 1 when applying for executive jobs online.

Effective Presentation

Over-complicated presentation, layout and fonts means applicant tracking software cannot interpret all the CV information. Ideally, candidates want to be noticed and stand out from others, so go easy on the presentation otherwise the system will not digest and analyse information correctly. When targeting executive jobs online, make it easy for the software to find important information and identify key elements on the CV.

Personal Branding Elements

It is important to stand out, so the careful use of relevant words, sentence structure and grammar ensures the basics are covered. Often, candidates try to over-complicate things when a simple message will suffice. Think of the target audience, whilst remembering that should you get through the automated screening process, your CV will eventually be reviewed by a human being! Capture the attention of employer, so use the first few sentences to make an impact and convey a clear message to persuade recruiters to read on. A well-constructed, compelling, impactful and insightful CV is often much more appreciated that just a random list of information and achievements. Clearly describe how you would benefit the organisation going forward and convey a viable personal business case! (See Developing a Personal Branding Strategy).

Use Alternative Online Strategies (LinkedIn)

Finding executives jobs online involves having an effective online presence and the ability to build an effective network of contacts on LinkedIn. Generally, the higher up the executive career ladder, the less likely opportunities are going to be advertised. There is the concept of the Executive Grapevine, Executive Headhunters actively searching LinkedIn and the idea that most jobs are not advertised at this level. For instance, it can be difficult to specify opportunities at this level because it very much depends on the person specification, ‘strategic fit’ of the candidate and diverse nature of Executive Headhunter assignments (LinkedIn Profile Services).

Applying for Executive Jobs Online: Conclusion

Applying for Executive Jobs Online can be complex, less controlled and more random, with lower response rates. Sometimes it is much more effective to build a relationship with a leading executive headhunter (industry-specific) and leverage networks on LinkedIn rather than going down the most competitive executive job search route. Only the very best candidates will stand out and be invited to interview if applying directly online, especially as so many other people would have seen the initial advertisement. Also, being on the Internet, there can be a global reach for applicants adding further to the competition for executive jobs online. Sometimes thinking laterally about an approach can yield better results, so carefully think about your executive job hunting strategy and plan effectively.

Thank you for reading our Applying for Executive Jobs Online article. ExecutiveCV.net offers a range of solutions for Company Chief Executives, Board Executives and Managing Directors, with additional LinkedIn Profile and Executive Career Management Solutions.

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