5 Executive Job Search Myths that Can Ruin Your Job Hunt

5 Executive Job Search Myths That Can Ruin Your Job HuntAre you a mid-career to senior executive who’s anticipating an active or passive job search in the last half of 2017? If so, these job search myths may be standing in your way.

A lot has changed in the job search process since the economic meltdown of 2008. Are your search skills up to date?

Myth #1: Senior Executives Don’t Use LinkedIn

That was true up to a few years ago but no longer. Nowadays executives have recognized the power and purpose of LinkedIn and are now a very active user group.

  • Research conducted by Weber Shandwick and reported by Forbes reveals that 80% of surveyed CEOs are now engaged online and in social media, a rate which has more than doubled since 2010. Seventy-six percent of the world’s most powerful women are social, as are 95% of US CEOs.
  • This research suggest that the C-suite leader who plans to job search actively or passively needs to not only beef up their LinkedIn profile, but find ways to showcase their career brand online.
  • This in turn means that more executives need to share their career brand via thought leadership strategies on LinkedIn.

Myth #2: All I Need to Do to Land a Job Is to Submit my Resume to Executive Recruiters

Not anymore. Since the 2008 economic crisis, executive recruiters have been overwhelmed by submissions from terrific candidates. In short, recruiters have a wealth of candidates to consider but too few jobs to place folks into (even though the economy is heating up nicely).

  • If you want to stand out and get their attention, you’ll need to do one of two things: either have someone they know well refer you or build a strong relationship with them.
  • The former approach means you have to do your networking homework to find executive recruiters whose industry specializations match your targets. The latter approach means you have to take the time necessary to build a relationship with executive recruiters over a period of weeks.

Myth #3: Job Boards Are a Waste of Time for Senior Executives

In some ways, yes. Meta job search boards such as Indeed, SimplyHired, CareerBuilder, and Monster don’t specialize in job postings for specific types of roles, industries, or levels of positions, so you aren’t likely to see a high concentration of executive roles on these sites, though you may see some.

  • You’ll see more of the quality of job leads you want on executive job board sites such as Execunet, BlueSteps, and NetShare or niche sites in your targeted industries.
  • Keep in mind, though, that if you want to get the most out of your job posting pursuits, you need to pursue such open jobs in a different way than you have in the past. Simply applying online may not be the best way to throw your hat in the ring.
  • Instead, try building connections within the target company and the specific department or function you are pursuing and leverage these to get your career communications portfolio into the right person’s hands.

Myth #4: Sending My Resume to My Network Will Yield All Kinds of Career Opportunities

Maybe. Maybe not. The problem is that most job seekers don’t necessarily know how to network effectively; as a result they inadvertently make generic requests of their network which too often generate zero results. And, many of the people that job seekers attempt to network with don’t understand how to help their friends.

  • Make a specific request each time you reach out to your network, whether you are contacting a single individual at a time, groups of folks, or your entire network. Are you looking for new industries or companies to target? Get crystal clear about what you’re looking for and state your needs unequivocally. Make it ridiculously easy for folks to help you.
  • Always give your connections the information they need to help you. If you’re seeking referrals to a new company, for example, make sure you tell them which people and strategies you’ve already leveraged. If you’re looking for suggestions about new companies to target, include the relevant portions of your career communications portfolio in your networking outreach.

Myth #5: Publishing LinkedIn Articles Is Only for Active Job Seekers

Hmmm. Think again. If you’re strategic about the type of content you postthe frequency with which you post, and where on LinkedIn you share content (your LinkedIn profile, discussion boards, status updates, and long-form posts), the world is your oyster.

  • Sharing relevant, key word-driven content in these LinkedIn venues is a powerful way to stay top-of-mind with your network without going public about your search before you’re ready to do so.
  • It’s also a great way to gently draw attention to your candidacy without conducting an active search, which means these LinkedIn features are perfect for attracting the attention of executive recruiters and hiring executives on the QT.

Whether you plan to conduct a covert or overt job-hunt in time for the second-hottest hiring period of the year, it’s important to begin planning now. A simple place to start is by considering how the fresh insight shared here can help you build out an effective job search in the last half of the year.


[This post was originally published via LinkedIn Pulse. It has been updated to reflect current LinkedIn best practices.]