Five reality checks of executive job hunting

The job search process may be unknown territory – it’s best to be thoroughly prepared

You may be new to the world of job searching, or perhaps it’s something you haven’t done in a while – the industry may have vastly changed since you last needed to search for a new job, so how can you best be prepared?

Forbes contributor, Barbara Safani, owner of Career Solvers, a career management firm specializing in career transition programs highlights five reality checks you may want to be aware of during your job hunt.

Here are her five things to consider:

  1. Timing – Expect to spend 9 to 12 months on average in an executive search

Being aware of the average job hunt timeframe can help you to plan accordingly, but the actual amount of time it takes to secure a new role depends on several factors, including the relevance of their skills in the market, how tied they are to an industry or geography, and how strong their network is at the start of their search.

  1. Realize you are not your network’s first priority – be flexible and understanding

Not everyone will return your calls or follow-up when they said they would.  Although many are well-intentioned, they may have multiple candidates competing for their attention.  Be understanding and flexible and try your best to work around your contact’s schedules – a phone call is still a great way to connect and chat if an in-person meeting isn’t an immediate option.

  1. Spend a dedicated amount of time job-searching, as much as you would spend on your current job

Looking for a new job is a full-time job. Expect to spend 35 to 40 hours a week on your search. Your Network, schedule and follow-up on meetings, research companies you’d like to work for – check out their career pages and see if they are hiring, connect with recruiters, polish your CV and cover letter.  Minimal time should be spent on less effective methods of the search, such as posting on job boards.

  1. Realise your CV isn’t the be all and end all

Although it’s an important marketing tool, having a great CV doesn’t constitute a job search strategy. It can facilitate a great conversation with your network, but in the end – people hire people, not CV’s, so Safani suggests – try to have a conversation with a human being rather than uploading your resume to an applicant tracking system.

  1. Landing the job isn’t the only measurement of success

While landing the job is the ultimate goal, pay careful attention to the vital steps that lead to this goal.  Measure success rather by the number of meetings you secure and how many lead to new introductions and possibly new opportunities.

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