As an executive searching for jobs online it’s almost a full time job in itself – identifying the right roles for you and which ones you want to be put forward for. Here are some tips to keep you ahead of the game:
Know precisely what you are seeking:
The more clear you are on this, the more specific you can be. This will refine your area of search. It also allows you to be smart when looking at a website to see whether the vacancy is the right job, sector and geographic location for you or not. If not, don’t waste your time.
Think about what you really want and the type of role that would work for you. Establish some clear criteria and constraints, such as the number of hours you want to work, how many miles you want to commute and how important bonus, pensions and benefits are to you. There is no point applying for a role that will ultimately clash with all the things you deem important.
Know your specific step by step plan:
Before going online and searching for jobs or filling in application forms, make sure that you have a plan and a focus on what you are looking for and what roles will fit you well. It’s easy once in front of a computer to meander and to lose focus so in order to prevent this make sure you outline your targets and actions before going on to the internet.
Keep track of where you are and how you are doing on your plan. Prioritise the roles you are going for too so that you know which ones are most important to stay on top of.
Do your research thoroughly. The more that you understand about the vacancy and the organisation that is hiring the better. Armed with this information you are in a good position to fill in the online application appropriately.
Less is more when it comes to the number of applications you fill in. Usually we think that the more jobs we apply for the better chance we have of having success, yet it is sometimes actually the other way around. Focusing on doing a few applications really well and making sure that you are genuinely a good fit for them is likely to put you in a much stronger position than applying for anything and everything half-heartedly.
Get on top of your CV:
Prepare two CV documents. You might use a one page overview document that you will attach to each online vacancy and, as described in the previous bullet, cut and paste into the application other relevant information.
Prepare some useful phrases, bullet points and paragraphs on what you want to say in your online application. This is useful because you can cut and paste them from a word document later, to form part of your application.
Agree with one or two people you know that they will be your referee. Make sure that you use referees who will be useful to you – maybe they know the sector and/or the function that you are applying to. The more relevant they are, the more credence can be given to them by the employing organisation. Never use a referee’s name and contact details without first checking with them.
Nisa Chitakasem, is a co-founder of Executive Career Change Specialists Position Ignition, which helps people with their executive career change, job search and career direction.