How strong leaders land a new job
As a leader looking for a new opportunity, you should expect that it will take anywhere from three to six months to secure employment at a level commensurate with your talents and experience.
To help speed up the process and maximize your job search efforts, start with these proven practices:
- Create a strong response to this question: “Tell me about yourself?” Start with one or two sentences that quickly convey the scope of your career. Personalize your story with a few details about your family, interests, education or volunteerism. Don’t deep dive into specifics. Instead, shift focus to the role you’re seeking with a statement such as “I want to help a forward-thinking company take the lead in creating cutting-edge products.”
- Network. Savvy leaders have built and maintained valuable connections. These are the first individuals to reach out to for ideas and referrals. If you haven’t actively networked in awhile, start now. Attend professional and industry events, move with purpose, smile, make eye contact and listen as much as you talk. That’s how relationships start.
- Make LinkedIn a priority. The most important real estate on LinkedIn in is the number of connections a person has, so you want to have at least 500. Anything lower and you’re perceived as a recluse. But 500 or more helps position you as an engaged and respected professional. Your photo and headline are also crucial. Use a photo of you professionally dressed, smiling directly at the camera. Your headline should be a value statement that expresses what you can do for the reader. And include your email address and/or phone number in your summary.
Use the three tactics above as the foundation of your job-search strategy. Also leverage social media. Twitter offers an effective way to gain recognition as a thought-leader. But don’t tweet that you’re looking for a job because it screams desperation. And make sure there’s nothing on your Facebook page that can damage your reputation.
Before you act . . .
Use every interpersonal interaction as an opportunity to make a positive impression and to gain valuable information and leads. Knowing someone who knows someone is the most powerful tool you have for getting ahead.
Next up in Land the Job You Want: How to write a killer resumé.