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5 Job Search Tips for Executives

By Nisa Chitakasem, co-founder of Position Ignition

If you’re an executive who’s considering leaving your current position and finding a new job, it’s perfectly understandable why you might feel a little apprehensive about doing so. Since you’re at a senior level in your organisation, it’s very likely that it’s been a long time since you went through the process of finding a new job. This is because you may well have been promoted through the ranks of your current company and have therefore been with the same employer for years, if not decades. Although the nature and circumstances of job seeking in the UK have dramatically changed even in just the past few years, it’s not at all impossible for someone in your position to find a new role that you can be happy in. Here are some pointers for doing exactly that.

Update your knowledge
Get up to speed on the current recruitment market by reading articles on it and speaking with people who’ve recently been job seekers. Find out about how digital developments such as smartphones and social media have impacted upon job seeking and recruitment. Have a look around sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn for yourself to get a feel for what they’re about and how job hunters, recruiters and employers use them. Even if you really don’t feel like joining Twitter or Facebook, it’s worth getting a LinkedIn profile if you don’t already have one.

Research your target employer
Someone of your organisational seniority will be an expert on the field, sector and industry in which you work. Therefore, you probably already have ideas about which company you’d like to work for next. Give yourself the best possible chance of getting into your target organisation by researching it before you pursue it. Work your way through the site map on its website and keep tabs on its company profile on LinkedIn.

Use job boards smartly
It may well be that you don’t know who you want to work for next and you’re therefore open to discovering and applying to vacancies at any number of organisations. If this is the case, it’s easy to waste a lot of time trying to use job sites if you haven’t had much experience with them in the past. You can find yourself trawling through irrelevant vacancies for hours on end without finding anything you actually want to apply to. Avoid this by using the advanced search feature on the site to define your criteria and filter out all the job postings you’re not interested in.

Look out for ‘hidden’ job openings
It’s an often quoted statistic that only 30% of job vacancies are actually advertised. Once you get to executive level, it’s very likely that this figure is even more slender. Look for the ‘hidden’ job openings by sending speculative letters to organisations you’ve researched, connecting with their employees through LinkedIn and contacting trade journalists on Twitter to ask if they know who’s hiring. You can find such journalists by using a Twitter directory like Twellow.

Use your existing network
Networking is of course a powerful tool in getting job leads, especially when it comes to hidden jobs. However, networking to this end doesn’t just involve making new contacts. Your existing network can also be of value to you, so don’t neglect it. Call up a connection you haven’t spoken to for a while to catch up on their news and tell them about your job hunting. You never know what they may come up with to help you. Check out Position Ignition’s ebook called 135 Networking Career Tips to make sure you get on top of your networking.

About the author:
Nisa Chitakasem – Founder of Position Ignition, a UK-based career consulting business helping with career change, career direction, job search and career development.

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