Successful Job Hunting Strategies for Executives UK

For successful job hunting, we advocate making simple adjustments to executive job hunting strategies and tactical approaches as it is very often those tiny tweaks that can make a big difference. Overall, executives know pretty much how to conduct a successful interview, engage with people and show resilience under pressure, though with some fine tuning they can improve job hunting strategies, interview skills and performance. Competition for executive-level roles is intense, so under-performing in one area sometimes means there is no second chance. We have highlighted some areas where executives can improve chances for successful job hunting and developing an effective executive job search strategy.

Situation Analysis

Assess the current situation, check what has worked in the past and approaches that have not worked. Identify opportunities to improve on weaknesses and focus on core strengthens. Things like interview performance, finding the right executive headhunter to partner and fine tuning the CV can improve chances. Successful job hunting relies on making adjustments based on making key observations, being receptive to feedback and knowing what works best.

Executive Job Search: Effective Planning

As with any situation, it is best to plan ahead or at least try to focus on a clear career pathway. Executives routinely plan ahead or at least have a vision of where they want to be when at work, though often fail to apply these principles to themselves. Identify target roles, set career objectives and prioritise job search activities. Stay motivated by working towards these goals with clear stepping stones to achieve short-term actions, which gradually builds up to achieving longer-term career objectives.

Pareto 80/20 Approach

Thinking out of the box, take the Pareto 80/20 rule for instance. It is obvious that 80% of executive job search results are going to be from the top 20% of actions. Top job search actions for executives include partnering with executive headhunters (must be credible and have an effective CV), having a viable online presence on LinkedIn and seeking to network contacts (LinkedIn is very important for networking, plus 70% of jobs are not advertised). This may be counter-balanced by other activities such as applying for advertised jobs directly (most competitive route) or searching job boards for opportunities.

Prepare for the Unexpected

Response is absolutely key! From our experience, executives sometimes lack preparation in responding quickly to last minute or completely unexpected opportunities. Establish long-term trusted relationships with executive headhunters to partner with over time and be ready with an updated CV to quickly respond to opportunities. Proactively keep LinkedIn updated and regularly check inboxes for opportunities – being headhunted is all about quick response and keeping an eye out in the wider executive job market.

Successful Job Hunting: Interview Preparation

Interview preparation, execution and performance is another key area where executives fail to capitalise on opportunities. A bit of added preparation to research the company, anticipate likely questions, practice answering tougher interview questions, asking good questions to show genuine interest in the role and solving interview weaknesses by improving techniques all help with improving interview effectiveness. Preparing good examples that stand up to scrutiny even if questions are asked with a slightly different emphasis is also essential.

The Hidden Job Market

As previously touched upon, up to 70% of jobs are never advertised, thus implying that networking, LinkedIn and strong executive headhunter relationships are often key success factors in executive job hunting. Focus on these areas and executives are likely to pick up the ‘unadvertised vacancy’, which is often the least competitive route for opportunities. Response is key here – we cannot stress this enough!

Other Success Factors

Throughout the executive job search, it is important to clearly focus on goals and target roles otherwise impetus could be lost. Keeping a record of opportunities, employers and contacts (good housekeeping) is useful for tracking applications. Also, listen to constructive feedback given. Finally, carefully choosing executive headhunters to partner with is a crucial success factor, so choose one’s with good networks (local, regional, national or international), are highly reputable or with an industry / sector specialism.

Executive Job Search Success: Conclusion

Very often a successful executive job search relies on building strong relationships with executive headhunters (arguably the most important thing), where executives must be credible and responsive to opportunities. Though with a little foresight, preparation and awareness, executives should be able to raise their game and cut out those seemingly unimportant issues that are likely to undermine a successful executive job search. With this in mind, it can be those tiny things and fine tuning that can make the difference, especially at the very highest level. See 7 effective executive job hunting strategies for success at the highest level and making that career transition.

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