Landing an executive job

by | May 5

6 min read

How to create a career plan to land Executive role you want.

Employment as we know it has changed. As a professional, you need to rethink and evolve executive job search strategies, making it your goal to commit to establishing and executing a career plan that will create the right opportunities for you. Visualise this, you are at a networking function and positioned in a room full of Head-hunters, and Senior Executives, who want to find the best candidate for their organisation.

• How do you set yourself apart from competing candidates?
• What does your personal brand say about you, to guarantee meaningful engagement with this group of leaders?
• Are you sure that any one of these companies, is where you want to develop your skills and hone in your expertise?
As an experienced professional, you need to
• Establish career identity and personal brand, to create consistent and targeted messaging to potential employers
• Identify industries, and businesses that are aligned to your core values, driving you to meet career and organisational objectives
• Create engagement opportunities that increase the prospect of you getting the ideal job
• Focus on activities that will increase your chances of landing the job that you want

Creating a Personal and Professional Brand
You can do this through self-exploration exercises, asking the integral questions that will assist you in establishing your unique personal brand and career path, as well as developing a strong sense of what you want and what you can offer to potential employers.

• What kind of executive role do you see yourself in the future, and how do you see yourself contributing to organisational success?
• What factors drive you to achieve set objectives in an organisation?
• What makes you a formidable business leader?
These insights can assist you in targeting your ideal job and conveying the right messages, skills and experience on your CV and LinkedIn profiles. Candidates who can clearly communicate their goals, aspirations and achievements, will have a greater chance of engaging with potential employers.

Industry and Job Market Trends Imagine being able to filter out the roles, companies and recruiters that do not serve your goals, instead of applying for a jobs or attending interviews because the title is similar to the role you want? Understanding the trending job market, including industry, job types and businesses could be key to achieving your career aspirations a lot sooner.

How do you do this? Researching industries, sectors and roles available is a start. Identify which fields are developing enough in the industry, whether there are skills shortages in your area of expertise or if the market is saturated, giving you a key indication of how to begin the job search.
We have all fallen victim to career portals and passively applying to roles that may suit our needs. What are some of the factors that entice you to apply for a job? Title, Company, Pay, Location, Leadership?

Once you have identified the industry and opportunities that may be available, review job browsers and websites:

• Identifying businesses, head-hunters and recruitment agencies that have jobs available in your area of expertise and location
• Understanding information about what skills you would develop within the role, assisting you in establishing if the role matches your career objectives
• Establishing what expertise head-hunters and senior executives are looking for
• Ultimately, helping you decide what the ideal role and business would be for you.

Time to network
It is clear that recruitment processes are becoming more automated and the personal touch is slowly starting to get lost in the job application process. In the world of the Applicant Tracking System and the Age of the Algorithm, if you do not have an optimised or key word enriched CV or LinkedIn profile, you are not going to get noticed.

How do you get around this? Networking and it works! Develop, build and maintain your own customised networking groups and opportunities.

• Join networking events such as workshops, professional association events, expos that are within your area of expertise and experience
• Reconnect with old colleagues to ascertain if there are any current or future opportunities that they may be aware of. Potential employers will much rather employ strong and experienced individual referred by a trusted employee
• Utilise professional and social platforms as a tool to identify jobs, connect with professionals that you have worked within the past, as well as build influential partnerships with new people within your industry. People, especially at a Senior Management level, are mostly always willing and happy to offer guidance, advice, and expertise, assisting professionals with an opportunity for career development.
• Contact businesses that you feel your expertise may be of value to create those hidden opportunities that businesses have not yet posted or discussed. Remember before approaching these business be confident of your skills, have demonstrable accomplishments to show them and be sure understand what products and or services they offer, for you to make an impact on their decision making process.

Attracting Employers
Times are changing and so is the employment market and how employees are engaging with organisations. Some people are happy to be in a 9 – 5 job where they have stability and security, those that are entrepreneurial are looking to consult and keen to gain consulting or contract opportunities that suit there geography or adjusted lifestyle plan. Despite the changing dynamics, it is important to create an image or brand that is attractive to employers.

• Create an optimised and key word enriched professional CV, and LinkedIn profile or Professional Website, marketing yourself to showcase your unique skills, accomplishments and achievements, demonstrating the value you could add.
• Take some time to see how you present on Social Media platforms considering the type of company you are going to be approaching to reflect the ideal image that would intrigue potential employers to get in touch.
• Always be prepared for an interaction. A confident candidate with a distinct ability to communicate his/her experience, accomplishments and future goals is always a candidate that leaves a long lasting, positive impression.

A clear and well-executed career plan is always effective. To optimise this process set a time line of tasks and the objectives you would like to achieve by scheduling your tasks in an effective manner.
• Develop an action plan and set goals that are achievable
• Allocate time to developing your contacts
• Research and reach out to the individuals that could provide opportunities to you. An example of this could be Head-hunters, recruitment agencies and senior management professionals
• Take time to research and apply to the roles that offer you career growth and an opportunity to develop your skills


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