Remember when you were early in your career and you’d apply for a job then go home and wait? You knew you had all the required skills and experience, so it was just a matter of time. A few days go by and the call comes in. The next day is the interview. 3 days later you have the job and you start next week. Well, those days are long since gone! Nowadays if you don’t have an executive job search strategy, you come close to setting yourself up to fail.
Truthfully, now that you’ve positioned your career higher up the salary chain, those quick job search turnaround days are non-existent. The path to senior and executive-level job placement is an extended process that requires patience and good strategy.
Pro Tip: Manage Expectations
The challenge is to manage expectations that meet the reality of your job search. On-average an executive-level job search requires 4 months to 1 year from the initial point of contact to an actual first day of employment.
The average time it takes to find a job depends on many factors such as:
- Time of year
- Geographical demand for your skills
- Whether you encounter ageism
- Experience and salary requirements
- Professional network
- Job search skills
Time of Year
Q4 is traditionally the slowest hiring period so don’t go rushing into October with high hopes of December placement. However, in contrast, the busiest season for hiring is the first quarter. Manage expectations and remain positive to keep pushing on through slower times of the year.
All across the country, there are region-specific industry dominants. Depending on your career path, your advancement could depend on your flexibility towards a potential move of house and home. Consider your chosen industry and region when outlining your timeline for ideal job placement.
Experience & Salary
Aim for your goals, however, do a little research into the companies you are applying to. You want to ensure they have the capacity and need for your set of skills and salary requirements. Are they in an upswing or decline? Have their social media channels just blasted news of a hiring fair? These elements can either hinder or expedite the hiring process and in turn, your job search strategy.
Your Network is Gold.
We’ve mentioned this in previous posts and it’s worth rehashing. Your network is solid gold. At the Senior and Executive career levels, your LinkedIn profile should already be well polished with several years of connections to draw from. When it comes to job searching, this is your ideal go-to for making quick work of landing a job with ease and accuracy.
Your job search skills.
How’s your job search game? Ultimately, your drive dictates how fast a job can be obtained. The steps are defined, now it’s on you to get organized and progress with confidence.
A quick note on ageism.
If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, the chances are good that you’ve seen or experienced age discrimination at work—as two out of three workers between ages 45 and 74 have at some point, according to AARP. From a recruiter’s perspective, there are concerns that older employees not only require increased salaries but will be with the company for a shorter period. Recruiters and hiring managers are looking for the big picture.
Ageism can slow your job search process by the assumption that retirement is near.
If you are in a category susceptible to ageism, be prepared to talk about how much longer you plan to work. Make sure you’re up to speed on technology and current education, as applicable.
Additionally, find the right company by considering what work environment is ideal for your own daily routine. Some company cultures trend younger – startups, for instance- and you may not want to be significantly older than everyone else in the room. Or that could be exactly what you seek. Either way, due diligence is highly beneficial.
Resume specifics: To show yourself in the best light, hire a professional resume writer to modernize and retool your resume. Seriously, at this stage, a professional is a value-added investment to career advancement.
Extensive work history can begin to look muddled on a resume, as can the skills section after a few decades of career growth. Allowing a professional to optimize your resume, and LinkedIn for that matter will give you the leg up with ATS and recruiter processes.