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by Debra Feldman | March 31, 2009


If a senior-level executive or professional is out of work for more than nine months, circumstances can usually be altered to increase job search effectiveness and produce new job leads. Read on to learn some proven strategies and outstanding tactics to help you identify your next career challenge faster.

Much has been written addressing the special needs of executives who find themselves unprepared to face a long and difficult job search process. Articles focus on the emotional and psychological impact that a lengthy period of unemployment has not only on the employee, but their entire family. Experts write materials to sharpen up resume content and appearance. Techies address how to tweak the online job boards to improve an individual's chances of being selected for a specific posting. Still others provide advice on how to network, where to network and when to connect. All of this information is helpful. It is universal advice, worth considering. But the key question is how to put all this data together to create a strong, solid job search campaign strategy to steer the candidate to their next career opportunity.

Let me just add one simple thought to this - once you have successfully mastered how to purposefully seek out a new job and developed a business network to facilitate your transition, if you ever have to find a new job again, it will not be the same shock of the same intensity, or of the same duration ever again. We all learn from experience, and losing a job and having to find a new one, is very much a learning opportunity. To make this process slicker and easier, find the right help, get the best advice and follow through on recommendations, even if this means abandoning some old, safe ideas which are no longer effective in todays highly competitive, youthful, wired environment.

To get you started on the right path, one that is a straight shot to a new career challenge, begin add these to your job search tool kit.

  1. The job search should concentrate on defining prospective employers' needs and matching what skills and talents you have to meet these specifications rather than focusing on what past accomplishments you may offer that may or may not be interesting to employers. In other words, shift from thinking about all that you can and want to do for a company to what unmet needs they have that you can fill. The company may not have already identified these as lacking, but your pitch is to solve their unsolved challenges, which instantly confers a value on your abilities.

  2. Don't be wishy washy about your objective. While a specific goal narrows the possibilities, it also presents you as a very desirable expert. Rather than saying you can do it all, on both your written credentials and in person, rely on your greatest strengths to attract prospective employers' attention. Once your foot is in the door, you can always expand on the array of talents you bring to their organization. With so many potential candidates, employers are very choosy, seeking exclusively round pegs for their round holes. If you fall outside these parameters, you are likely to be overlooked.

  3. If you are spending inordinate hours on the computer, searching, reading, perusing online job boards, STOP! If you must, choose one or two of the most reputable job sites, put your best submission up there and then force yourself to start interacting with as many individuals as you can to share your goal of connecting with specific employers that you want to work for.

  4. How can you determine who you should introduce yourself to in order to further your campaign objectives? Company web sites are treasure troves of information, press releases contain many insights into news and developments, "key word" searches can uncover leads. Once you connect to a new contact, make it your goal to have them refer you to at least two others you should meet. This will exponentially increase your network quickly producing the high level of human interaction youve been missing up to now.

  5. Don't wait for a company to issue a requisition to hire someone like you. Be proactive. Stress the hidden or unadvertised job market where over 85 percent of new hires sourced their jobs in study after study after study reviewed. How can you create a job for yourself? First select a handful of companies that you want to work for, then make sure that these businesses need you, revise the list and weed out any companies that are unlikely to recognize your value, prepare a presentation based on research you perform illustrating that you understand how to find solutions to their challenges - you can increase revenue, tweak profit margins or avoid expenses. Be willing to volunteer to prove you can do a great job for them. Structure a project that highlights your skills and you get to make a place for yourself, or you bump out someone who is under-performing, or you allow the management to restructure without taking as big a risk.

  6. Be flexible. You can't eat a title. This may not be your final destination but it could be a stepping stone to a great new position, a chance to learn and grow. Be practical. Are you better off eating into savings or taking something in the interim to stop the bleeding? Getting financial relief is important. It can permit you to think rationally about your options without the stress of money worries. Something is better than nothing, especially if you can use some of the new income to invest in proven career management services instead of depending on free advice from friends.

JobWhiz is the first, and still the only, career management service for senior executives that provides personal introductions to decision makers at target employers. By connecting directly to employers through a highly regarded, personal talent agent, job seekers quickly identify and swiftly land new opportunities. Developing and implementing a focused, extremely efficient campaign project eliminates cold calling and wasted efforts job hunting. To learn how JobWhiz can connect you to a new, higher paying challenge now, contact Debra Feldman at, or phone: (203) 637-3500.


Filed Under: Job Search

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