After working with thousands of executive job seekers, certain patterns have emerged regarding the practices of those that succeed. Here are a few I have witnessed.
1. Follow up on all introductions. Surprisingly, many job seekers don’t follow up on introductions made on their behalf. Even if you are not sure it the person you are being introduced to can help you, follow up. It shows your contact that you value the introduction and it shows respect for the person you are being introduced to.
2. Become a resource to executive recruiters. Many executives ignore calls from headhunters when they are gainfully employed, only to wonder why those same recruiters don’t return their calls when they themselves are in a search. Become an ally to recruiters. If you are not right for a role they are recruiting for, see if there is someone you know who might be a better fit. Recruiters will remember your actions and be more likely to respond if you need help from them in the future.
3. Delegate job search tasks that are not their area of expertise. Successful executives delegate tasks that they know others can do better and don’t feel the need to control everything. Executives who can realize that they are not expert resume writers have the ability to hire a professional to manage this process and they are able to trust that they are in capable hands.
4. Practice, practice, and practice some more. Job seekers who believe they are great interviewers may not be as great as they think. Just because you are comfortable talking to people, doesn’t mean you are communicating the right things. Successful executive job seekers take the time to craft their elevator pitch and prepare stories of career accomplishments that will resonate with hiring authorities.
5. Display kindness and respect to everyone. Even if you are interviewing for a C-suite position at a company, everyone you meet during the process should be treated with kindness and respect. The same executive team that interviewed you may ask the receptionist or administrative assistant how you acted towards them while waiting for the interview to begin. Someone from the team may be riding up in the office elevator at the same time as you and share observations. Be polite to everyone, regardless of their position at the company.