Networking - A 10 Step Plan to Assist Your Executive Job Search

Building or expanding upon a network that works for you needs a good plan.

Networking is a very powerful, yet underestimated tool for a senior executive job search. The real decision makers, including headhunters and executive recruiters are usually hidden and can not easily be reached - if you do not have direct value for them, they probably will not even be approachable. The following 10-step approach was sent to us by a BlueSteps Senior Executive who wanted to share his own experience of building and developing his network. If you would like to share similar advice or have other executive career management recommendations, please email info@bluesteps.com.

1. Analyze your strengths and your ambitions. Like in any form of marketing, you must thoroughly know the product before you sell it.

2. Discussion with friends and business colleagues will help you to check your ideas. They give you valuable feedback and guidance, without risk of failure. Find out what unique values you could bring to a company/market segment/business.

3. Analyze the chosen market carefully. Visit websites, libraries and other sources, study the typical aspects of that type of business. Remember the buzz words. Become an expert in your chosen area.

4. Create a focal point or theme around your chosen subject.

5. Ask former colleagues, friends and family to help you with a first set of contacts that you can talk to. Be careful with these first contacts, they will probably not be able to offer you a job! Don’t ask for jobs! Instead tell them about your campaign, ask them for a short interview about their opinion and experiences.

6. Put your first ideas and expertise on paper and prepare one or more articles/publications in targeted magazines, to present your case. This will raise awareness under the group of real decision makers. It will open doors otherwise closed by cold calls.

7. Now you can use the first set of contacts as references to get in touch with the real leaders and decision makers. Your theme and publication(s), together with the references will be of interest to them, if you use it elegantly. Find out about important events, places, meetings and try to get an invitation. Be of assistance if you are able to help them.

8. Suddenly you will experience, that you are respected as an expert and your opinions are valued. You now have created a status in the area you like to find your new job.

9. Visit the meetings, events and locations where the decision makers meet (conferences, exhibitions etc.). Talk to the visitors and tell them about your enthusiasm and success. Get appointments with the leaders, without mentioning your job search.

10. During the appointments, between the lines let them also know you are available.


BlueSteps is the exclusive service of the AESC that puts senior executives on the radar screen of over 6,000 executive search professionals in over 70 countries. Be visible, and be considered for up to 50,000 opportunities handled by AESC search firms every year. Find out more at www.BlueSteps.com.


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As a senior-level executive, you can use this guide to:
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About BlueSteps

BlueSteps empowers executives to reach their career goals with strategic career planning.


At BlueSteps, we thoughtfully create career management solutions that are designed to help leaders advance their careers, stay on track to build a long-term career playbook, and become a strong leader. Our tools and resources will help you:
  • Advance your career with tools to keep you on track. 
  • Access insider job market intelligence from the experts.
  • Identify and network with the right recruiters.
  • Discover executive jobs and board positions not found elsewhere.
  • Connect with world class career advisors for support when you need it.

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