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Are you looking for a practically foolproof executive job search strategy? What would you say if I told you there was a job search method that yields success in the form of desirable employment more than 80% of the time? If you’re like most executives, you’d overlook this strategy in spite of its success rate. Why? Because it’s a bit more work than blindly applying to open positions on executive job boards or sending your resume to executive recruiters.
 
But if you don’t mind a little bit of work, this strategy is a winner and one that has the support of job search guru Richard Bolles of What Color Is Your Parachute? fame, not to mention your BlueSteps Executive Career Services team.

It’s fairly easy to craft a professional brand for career advancement when you’ve been building on the same career track the whole time. Your brand is essentially a summary of what you’ve been doing all this while and how you’re ready to take it to a whole new level. But what do you do if you’re looking for a career change?
 
The good news is that the biggest obstacle career changers face is more often one of perception rather than ability—in other words, it’s not so much a matter of having the requisite skills to take on a new role but convincing others that you can make the switch. (Of course, this assumes you do, in fact, have the technical skillset and necessary qualifications.)
 

When launching your executive job search campaign while employed, there are always a few concerns. The biggest concern is that your current employer might find out. Some consider this “disloyal” behavior, even if they themselves would have no issue with poaching an executive from a competitor.

A few companies have internal or unwritten policies that an employee (executive or otherwise) who is discovered searching for a new job should be replaced as soon as possible, rather than be stuck having to quickly fill a key position when that person gives notice. For this reason, if your job search is discovered, the company may start to seek your replacement, even if you haven’t announced you’re looking, much less leaving.

BlueSteps chats with Suzanne Garber, founder and chairwoman of Gauze, an international healthcare technology firm dedicated to connecting patients with hospitals around the world, and author of the recently published book, SAFETY NETwork: A Tale of Ten Truths of Executive Networking.

Suzanne GarberFirst of all, thank you for taking the time to speak with BlueSteps about executive networking and your new book, Safety NETwork. Can you tell us a little about your background?

BlueSteps recently hosted an #ExecCareer Chat on the topic of executive search and your career, featuring Per-André Marum, from Panamera Search, and Kimberly Sernel, from BlueSteps Executive Career Services.

Some of the questions asked included:

When writing their own resume, executives the world over tend to focus on standard job duties rather than results. This approach inevitably falls flat. It causes a resume to read like a dull, copy and paste job description rather than an engaging account of a person’s unique work record.

Every professional action has a result. At the executive level, that result is usually more interesting than the action itself. You’ve no doubt engaged in activities that changed and benefited your employers in profound ways. Describe those benefits on your resume, and you’ll have a much stronger job search document.

In career transition, it’s easy to fall into the habit of doing the same things, day after day, even if you’re not getting the results you want. But don’t let your executive job search drive you insane! If you find that your momentum has stalled and you’re not getting the leads, contacts, and interviews you need, follow these suggestions for getting out of your rut and moving forward toward your goals.
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Referrals! Recruiters and hiring managers tell us that they will go through their referrals before looking at other candidates. And some companies are highly recommending that executive recruiters look at referred executives first. Industry leaders predict that in three to five years if you are referred to an executive recruiter for an open position, you are 14 times more likely to get the job.

The 2015 BlueSteps Job Outlook Report just released by Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants, shows that 72.4 percent of management-level professionals worldwide feel more optimistic about their career opportunities for 2015, an increase of 21.4 percentage points compared to the previous year. 88.2 percent of management-level professionals responded that they are open to new opportunities in 2015.

BlueSteps recently hosted an #ExecCareer Chat on the topic of CIO/CTO job search, featuring Stephen Van Vreede, from BlueSteps Executive Career Services.

Some of the questions asked included: