Job Search Like An Executive

 In Career Tips, Job Search Strategy

Job Search Like An ExecutiveHow would it sound to you if you were only 6 weeks into your job search and you already had 1 job offer and another one about to be sent your way?  Kind of exciting don’t you think?

If you’re a job seeker for any length of time, this might sound impossible.  The thing is, it’s true and it’s the results of an executive who is currently in an active job search.  Let me add:  She has only “applied” for 1 job online.  That should really send your head spinning.

Think of it like this: How many times have you seen a job posting for a CEO or a VP?  Almost never.  Why is that?  People at that level aren’t hired that way.  In fact, most people aren’t hired that way no matter what their level.

My reason for writing this article is to share with you the “secret sauce” that this, and many executives, have known for years.   The fact is if you are in job-search mode, you were probably told to use the “secret sauce”, but for some reason most non-executive job seekers avoid doing it.  You could end that today simply by applying that sauce to your own job search, just like executives do when they look for a job.

NETWORKING:  The “secret sauce” that leads to this kind of success is simply networking.

When this executive launched her job search, she got on the phone to 75 people who she knew well to let them know what she was up to.  While on the phone she traded industry news, and of course, that industry news grew as she spoke to more and more people.

Point #1:   She was providing her network with helpful information that she knew would be of value to them.

Point #2:   She knows that all relationships are reciprocal.  In other words, she wasn’t on the phone to simply tap them for possible job leads, she was there to nurture the relationship.  This nurturing and information sharing was simply part of an ongoing level of interaction she has had with these people, in some cases spanning decades.

Follow up.  Successful networkers always follow through and follow up.  From the 75 people this executive initially called she was referred to another 25-30 people.  These introductions increased her network sphere.

Point #3:  Don’t embarrass your network.  If they are introducing you to someone, they think well enough of you and the other person to do so. They trust you both that you will handle the introduction professionally.  She ensured that each introduction was handled with timeliness and respect.  There is no such thing as a bad referral.  With each person she met, she learned of more industry news, expanded her network and in the process found out about needs for people doing the kind of work she does.

Connections become jobs.   From those contacts, this executive netted 8 interviews, plus introductions to company leaders who now know all about her.

Point #4:    A job doesn’t have to be posted for someone to want to hire you.  Her conversations were a mutual exchange.  They both learned more about the other.  In most of the cases, they will remember her when they are looking to hire her kind of talent.  Hiring managers hire people they know, like and trust.  That won’t happen if they can’t connect with you at a personal level.

You still have to connect.  For the 1 online position this executive was forwarded by her network, her application didn’t land her an interview.  In fact, she was rejected by some simple criteria like “must be local”.  She was a perfect fit for the position and she was willing to move.

Point #5:   You can’t rely on the right decisions being made about you when you apply online. You still have to connect. When she wasn’t getting a response, she tapped into a contact who had once worked for that company and also a potential customer for that company who was in her network.  Within less than an hour the HR person was calling her because her contacts had informed the company’s leader that he needed to be seriously looking at her.  When they closed the loop internally (and that took 15 minutes) they realized the error in that initial screening decision.  Oops, that happens all the time.  You will have a better outcome if you will also make contact within the company like this exec did.

This story has one major moral to it.  You have to build your network and nurture your network no matter what phase of your career you’re in.  Most jobs aren’t found through applying.  Most jobs are found and hired for because of people connecting with other people.  Its how things work.

Watch for Part 2:  How Did This Executive Develop Such a Robust Network?

For more career tips and advice – FREE newsletter and eworkbook:  From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from and


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