What Executive Job Seekers Must Do to Stand Out in Today’s Saturated Market


The upside of a booming economy means hiring is stronger than ever. The downside? More folks are out there emboldened to test the job search waters. The bottom line? The job market is growing increasingly saturated, and as an executive (whether seeking an executive writer service or not), you must do a lot more in addition to speaking with a handful of recruiters to land interviews that are a good match for your skillset.

To get a foot in the door and boost the number of interviews that come along, executive job seekers must be ready to invest in some upfront sweat equity that, in reality, is not all that different from the strategies they employ to be successful in their roles.

Here’s how:

#1 Target & Research

Apply the same skills used to evaluate industry, customer and market competition to identify companies, organizations and people worth targeting. Just as you evaluate customer needs as part of your research, identify company needs and how you may be a great fit to help solve them. In my experience, the results of this exercise allow you to be crystal clear on the next role you want, why you want it and who to ask for help.

#2 Build Relationships with Purpose

To that end, expand your research to include people at your target companies and industry recruiters, and make a plan to get connected. Invites to coffee chats, LinkedIn invitations and good old-fashioned emails are great places to start! Remember that people get busy, and don’t always remember to keep your name top of mind when an opportunity arises. You can increase your chances, however, by staying in touch and offering anything that might help them in return such as candidate or company leads. In other words – strive to strike that delicate balance between persistence and nuisance.

#3 Understand Your Value

 Just like you think about your accomplishments come annual review time, I recommend you reflect on past roles before making your job search public. What is it about what you bring to the table that usually piques a company’s interest and/or landed you the job? What has been the outcome or impact of your efforts in these roles? When crafted by blending hard skills that speak to your specialty expertise with soft ones about your values and character, your response allows you to communicate what you can do for a company, and why they should consider you as a candidate.

#4 Spell Out Your Value with Keywords and Key Phrases Across Your Career Marketing Documents

Most executives understand the value of making sure their efforts are impacting and influencing the right people – be it internal clients, external customers or key stakeholders. When it comes a job search, what better way to make sure your value comes across than to spell it out in your career marketing documents (resume, LinkedIn, bio, etc.?) I recommend identifying qualifications and expertise mentioned most often during your Step 1 research (hint: job postings from target companies are a great place to find this!) By weaving details unique to you with key wording and key phrasing into your career marketing documents, you are accomplishing two critical things:

  1. Help readers connect the dots as to how you are ideally suited for the company and role.
  2. Increase your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which will help your profile bubble to the top of decision maker searches on LinkedIn, and in the event you must upload your resume online to be scanned by Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software (more on ATS and the online job search later!)

#5 Maximize Your Job Search ROI

Executives understand the importance of focusing on key customers, key markets, key systems, products and services. Why? Because they yield the greatest return on investment – and offer the greatest chance for improved efficiency and profitability. I recommend applying this mindset to your job search and devoting your efforts where they will yield the greatest ROI. While it’s true that some C-level and executive roles are available online, most are found through inside channels and networking.


This article originally appeared on Virginia Franco Resumes here.

The Ultimate Executive Career Guide: Connecting with Executive Search

As a senior-level executive, you can use this guide to:
- Learn about executive search and how it differs from other forms of recruiting
- Discover the best ways to connect with executive search professionals
- Understand how the search process works
- Implement strategies that will help you become visible to the search community
- And more!

Download Now!

About the author

Virginia Franco's picture

Virginia Franco is an executive resume writer and member of the BlueSteps Executive Career Services team. She began her resume writing company after 15+ years of corporate communications and web, newspaper and magazine journalism which provided her a unique understanding of how to translate the complex into plain-speak, how people read documents when pressed for time, and how to optimize documents for when reading online and when reading in print. Virginia is one of less than 60 Executive Resume writers certified by the National Resume Writers Association as a NCRW (National Certified Resume Writer) and one of only less than 25 to hold the Master Resume Writer designation by Career Thought Leaders. She also holds credentials CEIP (Certified Executive Interview Professional) & CPRW certifications (Certified Professional Résumé Writer) with the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches.

Learn more about the BlueSteps team of career advisors and the services they provide to help you improve your career trajectory here.

Other posts by this author

Share your thoughts

Stay Connected