7 Tips to Job-Hunt Like a Pro

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

1. Your Job Search Strategy Should ‘Go Deep’ or ‘Go Wide

To find your next executive position, you need to pick a job search strategy. A key choice to make is whether to:

  • Go Deep: Leverage your extensive knowledge in a specific category and specific function
  • Go Wide: Sell your wide range of desirable skills that you’ve developed by working in several categories and related functions

2. There’s a Future Job in Your Past

The easiest job to qualify for is an opening that is very similar to your latest job. Executive recruiters want to present executive candidates that precisely fit the job specifications they’re hired to fill. That’s their job. Focusing on your relevant past jobs, companies, categories and successes usually will help you get your next job easier and faster.

3. Executive Recruiters Want ‘Familiar Done Differently

The quotation above is taken from Nir Eyal’s blog: People Don’t Want Something Truly New, They Want Familiar Done Differently.” He is one of LinkedIn’s top-ranked technology writers. (You might want to follow him.)

Eyal wrote that people love the “new and improved, but in relatively modest proportions.” He continued, “new and improved is great for things we are already familiar with.”

Although he wrote this about products, I believe the “familiar done differently” concept also applies to people and the executive search process. Many executive search job specs slightly rearrange the predecessor’s skills, perhaps adding one key proficiency.

4. Never Bury the Lead

A newspaper editor taught me a key lesson that will help job seekers communicate better: Never bury the lead. His advice is true for your résumé, cover letter, bio, LinkedIn profile, networking calls and interviews.

The concept is to have the most relevant, important and interesting information at the opening of the story you’re presenting. Research has found that decisions are typically made in 6–10 seconds.

5. You Have to Be Found: What’s Your Job-Search Clickbait?

Clickbait is a hot word but not a new one. What may be new is how marketing and other executives need to add clickbait to their job search. Clickbait can simply mean getting readers interested, so they take action to learn more about you.

6. The Three A’s of Getting an Executive Job

Hiring decisions are based on the three A’s of executive hiring: attitude, aptitude and altitude.

  • Attitude: Does the candidate think he/she would like to work with you?
  • Aptitude: Should the candidate be able to do the job based on what he/she has already accomplished?
  • Altitude: Has the candidate reached a level of career success indicating that he/she can operate in the organization with new peers?

To get an offer, you have to convince the gatekeepers and hiring managers at every step that the answer to all three questions is “Yes.”

7. After You Get an Offer, Ask Yourself: Is It a Good Job to Get Fired From?

When evaluating job offers, marketing executives obviously ask themselves whether a job is good to have. Shrewd candidates even ask whether they are confident that they can do the job very well.

I’m presenting a third concept to evaluate before accepting a job offer: Is it a good job to get fired from? This should also be a key consideration before accepting a job because almost everyone can expect two or more (usually many more) jobs in their future.

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About the Author | Richard Sellers

Richard is Chairman Emeritus of the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), founder of the Demand Marketing consulting firm, and former Sr. VP of Marketing for three multi-billion dollar companies: CEC, WLP, and Service Merchandise. His early career was at GE, P&G, Playtex, and the Marketing Corporation of America.

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