Are you or someone you know about to launch an executive search in 2016? If so, one of the first things you’ll want to do is create an Executive Job Search Action Plan to guide your search execution.
Sometimes referred to as a Personal Marketing Plan, both terms hint at the importance of advance planning when embarking on an extended initiative such as an executive career search. Just as you would if you were starting off on a long journey, it’s imperative that you outline your search goals, desired end point, priorities, and chosen route(s) that you wish to realize on your trip.
To do less is to condemn yourself to fruitless wandering that doesn’t lead your career where you want it to go next.
A smart action or personal marketing plan should consist of a number of elements to structure your search:
- Clear job search goals: the titles you will pursue, the levels of roles you want to target, the companies and industries you want to explore, and your geographic preferences. You’ll want to include your compensation targets, as well. Some executives think they’re better off not to select company targets so they can be open to pursuing any company that appears on their radar, but this is a shortsighted perspective. Just because you elect to pursue specific companies doesn’t mean you can’t pursue an emerging opportunity once you become aware of it — it just means you are committed to being more strategic in your search and to networking in a deeper, more focused way than you have in the past.
- A positioning strategy for your search that clarifies how you will position yourself in print (Executive Resume, Value Proposition Letter, Executive Bio) versus online (LinkedIn and any other relevant social media sites or profiles). It rarely works well to have identical positioning strategies in different media, though it is of course critical that your positioning strategies align with each other and with your job search targets. But you must take into consideration how Applicant Tracking Systems impact resume and LinkedIn content and how to optimize the performance of your career communications tools as you share them with executive recruiters and hiring executives.
- A summary of your career brand with bulleted content you can reuse in letters, LinkedIn messages, discussion posts, emails, and voice mails throughout your search. The goal here is not to say the same things over and over, but to make sure your messaging is on-brand and consistent regardless of where or with whom you share it. Having such content on hand is also a strategic way to streamline your search process in that such bulleted “shortcuts” aid you in quickly developing content for interviews and messages without having to reinvent the wheel each time.
- Your job search strategies — the specific search methodologies you will leverage in the amount of time you have available to search. There are 5 predominant search strategies that can be employed at the executive level: networking, company targeting, thought leadership, executive recruiters, and executive job boards. Which one, two, or three of these best suit the career circumstances you find yourself in? Does it help to know that the last two strategies have only a 15% to 20% chance of success while the first two have a +85% chance of success?
Getting ready for an executive search is about more than just deciding to launch a job-hunt. It’s about figuring out how to do your search in the right way so you can realize your goals sooner rather than later.
If you’ve never launched an external job search or haven’t done so in a long time or you simply want to do your search the right way to give yourself the best chance at finding and landing the very best job out there, I have a resource for you that you might find helpful; my Executive Job Search Kickstart and Executive Job Search Momentum Programs.
Kickstart helps you to prepare for your job-hunt, develop your Action/Marketing Plan, and launch, while Momentum shows you how to execute your chosen methodologies, build momentum, and sustain accountability. You can purchase either program or both, alone or in conjunction with a new career communications portfolio.
Different levels of support are available according to your needs, including web-based coaching check-ins, one-on-one laser coaching, and monthly webinars.
There is no other executive job search program on the market like Momentum — it includes weekly accountability tracking and simple job search metrics to help you stay focused on your search methodologies. You (and I) will be able to tell at a glance whether your search is on track or falling off the rails. You’ll know exactly what to do to right your ship, so to speak, and get your search back on track. After all, what’s the point in launching a best-in-class job search if you can’t execute one properly and land the job you really want?
I’ve opened the doors to Executive Job Search Kickstart and Executive Job Search Momentum to a limited number of participants. If you’d like to know more or apply for entry, fill out this simple application — there’s no cost or obligation to apply. But to be perfectly transparent I should note that early bird pricing will be lower as a thank you. Once the programs fill up I will be raising program fees.
Here’s your successful 2016 executive job search!