Beat Your Competition With These 5 Tips
A recent poll from Right Management reveals that only about 5% of employees today intend to stay in their current positions until the end of 2015 and that 80% of all U.S. employees are actively looking for a job or are open to offers. While this data applies to the job search market as a whole and not specifically to the executive sector, it still can have a huge impact on your job search strategies and success.

You can look at these statistics in two ways:

1) As a corporate executive you may need to change some things within your organization to keep top talent.

2) As an executive job seeker, you will be facing a huge number of competitors in the job search market and will need to demonstrate what makes you the better candidate.

Here are five tips that will help your job search efforts:

  1. Adapt your career collateral materials for each potential position. Hopefully you have a solid resume that you can use as a base for any position, and only need to tweak a few keywords or phrases. With most recruiting companies and organizations using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) today, it is imperative that your resume match the keywords for the position. Otherwise, you could be the best candidate for the job, but may not have a chance to be read by a human if you don’t match the ATS criteria.

  2. Check your social media profiles for searchable keywords. Most recruiters search potential candidates on LinkedIn before they look on Google these days. Make sure your profile has frequently used keywords for the industry and target market you are focusing on. If you blog or tweet (yes, executives do both) you can use keywords or phrases in those social media venues to enhance your visibility.

  3. Attend face-to-face networking meetings and conduct informational interviews. The personal touch is still very important when job hunting. Don’t be fooled into thinking that social media has eliminated the need to attend in-person networking meetings or business association meet-ups.

  4. Highlight how your talents and skills position you as the perfect fit for the job. A prospective employer or recruiter only knows you by what you have said in your resume or online profiles, and perhaps gained some insight from the person who referred you. Don’t expect them to see your unique value and closely matched experience. Be clear how your skills are transferrable to their position and support your statements with closely matched past accomplishments.

  5. Target positions for which you truly qualify. Patty Prosser, CEO of talent development and HR consulting firm OI Global Partners says, “Without at least 75% of the stated qualifications, it’s more than likely there will be lots of other candidates who are a better match for the job.” Don’t waste time (yours or theirs) by applying for positions you know aren’t a good fit. When in doubt, consider acting as the hiring executive, sit on the other side of the table for a minute and examine whether you would hire someone with your skills and experience for the job.