Overlooked Factors That May Impact Your Executive-Level Job Search

Posted on: 4 October 2016

In today's struggling economy, finding a job can be difficult. Positions are limited and competitive in even the lowest entry-level job market, let alone the executive job market. As an executive, you face a far more limited job pool and thus must be even more competitive to score a position you can truly flourish in. While your skills and past successes will always be your most persuasive selling, it's vital that you don't overlook other factors. In this article, you'll learn about just a few of the factors that may impact your executive job search and how you can use them to your advantage.

State Resources or Geographic Alignment

Easily one of the most difficult factors to overcome, your own state resources or geographic alignment can either help or hinder your search. In the case of the first, you must consider how difficult trying to find an executive position that suits your experience will be if you choose to stay within your state. For example, if your main experience lies in acting as chief marketing officer for a large and sprawling finance company, and that company closes down, finding another similar finance company within your state may be exceptionally difficult. The fewer the jobs available, the more competitive the position will become.

Sure, you could market yourself as a CMO to a restaurant chain instead, but these are two exceptionally different industries, and you may find yourself overlooked because of the mismatch.

Geographic alignment—referring to how close you are to your job each day—also matters. If you have any more than a 30-minute or 60-minute drive each way, you are likely to be overlooked for a closer candidate, if one exists. Longer commutes are linked with everything from absenteeism to higher turnover rates, so they pose a higher risk for companies, especially when it comes to c-level positions. This type of scenario can be especially problematic for people living in the rural outskirts of a city or those living deep in the country to escape city life.

At the end of the day, sometimes the best thing to do is search out of state and offer to move. Moving for a job you love may be difficult, but the rewards will eventually pay off, unlike staying for a job you barely tolerate. Weigh the options carefully, and if you do decide to search within a state that isn't position rich, be prepared to accept the downsides of that decision.

Incorrect Resume Format

By far one of the biggest resume mistakes c-level applicants make is in using the wrong resume formatting. As an executive, you should have a resume on you at all times; you never know when an opportunity will crop up (see the networking section). However—and this is a big however—it is important that you have the right resume with the right content on it if you wish to be noticed over other applicants.

Never use a simple chronological resume or functional resume as an executive applicant. Both of these force the reader to work to find out exactly why you're the best choice for the position, and busy human-resource specialists or business owners may become impatient and give up on you too quickly. Furthermore, these sorts of resumes are somewhat unprofessional and can make it look as if you simply didn't bother to put time and effort into an executive resume. 

If you aren't sure how to write an executive resume, try following a sample. Ensure that your resume includes:

  • Your basic information (name, address)
  • A professional profile detailing your biggest achievements
  • Your most robust areas of expertise and best skills
  • A section reviewing your professional experience
  • A section detailing your educational history

Don't be afraid to take up two or more pages; employers will understand. Most executives have extensive experience and long work histories, so the age-old advice of "just one page" doesn't really apply here.

Networking Savviness 

If you're not networking, you're missing out on an incredible wealth of opportunity. Job networking sites are making it easier than ever for professionals to find talent, especially when it comes to executive and c-level positions. So, too, has in-person and other forms of online networking increased. If you've worked your current or last position for a decade or more, this kind of networking may be totally new to you, but that's alright—it's also one of the easiest styles to learn.

Start by securing yourself a profile on at least one job networking site. This is, in many ways, your living resume, so don't be afraid to load it with relevant personal information. If your friends and colleagues are on the same site, ask them to recommend you or endorse you where possible, and return the favor when you feel it is warranted. 

Once you set your profile up, start getting involved in groups and pages focused on your industry. Become a part of the larger conversation about things like:

  • advances and technology
  • New approaches
  • Workstyles
  • Work-related issues and solutions
  • Opinions on industry development

Try to give solid advice and receive the same as graciously as you can, whenever you can. Always remain as poised and professional as you would in any interview or job, but feel free to have fun. You'll learn and expand your own skills while making friends along the way—powerful friends who are far more likely to recommend you, since you've already demonstrated your skill to them within the socio-professional sphere.

If you live in a major city, attend relevant conferences and events when you can too. Hubnub with people in your industry and get to know them so that when you eventually walk through the door to your interview, they either know who you are already or know someone who does.

These are just a few of the many ways you can increase your chances of nailing that dream job. As an executive, your first impression is well and truly the most important, so always arrive with a polished, professional look and a well-designed resume in hand. Need help with putting together a resume that truly sells you? Not everyone is a marketing genius, and that's okay! Contact a professional resume writer such as Jackson Stevens Resumes today and get the help you need to truly shine.