7 Ways To Strengthen Your Job Search Muscles

  • Are you at a breaking point in your executive career?
  • Has unexpected company changes prompted a job search?
  • Are you nervous or concerned because its been 10+ years since you looked for a job?

Even if you are Internet savvy, you can easily become overwhelmed by the growing maze of job search boards, company databases, and online recruiting networks unless you have a solid job search strategy plan.

While online job search activities are great, you cannot spend the majority of your time on the Internet trying to find a job – it’s time consuming, lengthy, and extremely frustrating.

But don’t lose hope…here are 7 things you can do to ease your worries.

1. Pinpoint your destination: Hold off on the frenzy of resume-writing and cover letter activities, and figure out what you want to do…what is your ideal job? Do you want to stay in the same field, change careers, shift industries or accept a lateral job? Let sites like www.hoovers.com and www.vault.com to help you uncover critical sider” information on companies in your target industries.

2. Know your brand and be able to “sell” it: Lackluster brand, no brand, confused brand…whatever the challenge, if you cannot show employers/recruiters your value proposition, your job search will suffer tremendously.

Employers should get why you are the right fit and best candidate for the job by your career achievements and professional reputation. So how would you describe yourself? You Are you the cost savings guru, are consistently called upon to lead high-profile initiatives or do your colleagues call you the turnaround agent?

A manufacturing executive’s personal brand could be:


Engaging cutting-edge technologies to advance corporate-wide initiatives that expedite manufacturing processes and achieve aggressive revenue growth, cost-cutting objectives, and profitability margins.

3. Make an achievement-laden executive resume: You need a strategic career marketing document not a career obituary; focus on relevant content and highlight career-defining achievements.  Take a stab at the Situation-Task-Action-Results (STAR) formula when writing your resume achievements. For example:

Situation: As Chief Financial Officer – synthesize finance and operations departments following the recent merger of two manufacturing companies.

Tasks: Eliminate duplication of resources, increase operational efficiency, and boost work productivity and results.

Action: Developed short-term strategy and execution plan by developing team with key representatives for technology, finance, and operations divisions.

Results: Reduced company’s overhead costs by $5 million in 6 months and improved efficiency 25%.

Achievement statement for resume: Shrunk annual overhead costs by $5 million in six months by assembling core operations team that further eliminated duplication of resources and increased operational efficiency by 25%.

4. Compile career bragging portfolio: Face it, you will need more than a standard executive resume to take you the extra mile. Consider a portfolio that has a networking resume, career biography, accomplishment summary, and cover letters for both employers and recruiters.

5. Have an attention-getting introduction pitch: Once you get to the networking phase of your job search, you need to display confidence and value in your verbal presentation. Build upon your personal brand to create a unique, 30-second commercial that speaks volumes about what you can bring to the table. For example:

“Hi, my name is John Scott. As an experienced Manufacturing Executive, I have worked with industry giants like ABC Plastics, Newform Manufacturing, and TechNec Corporation. Among my colleagues, I am known for implementing cutting-edge technologies that achieve double-digit revenue growth and cost reduction for global manufacturing companies. Currently, I am exploring new executive opportunities where I can leverage strengths in P&L management, product innovation and turnaround operations.”

Hmmm…he’s got my attention.

6. Building networks that keep growing: Join professional, civic, alumni and industry-related alumni groups; join committees and see where it leads…you can get informational meetings/interviews and even start building your own alliance. Everyone and every bit of support helps.

Don’t forget to use online social networks like LinkedIn, E-cademy, Zoominfo, Ziggs and Facebook to connect with former associates and friends; also search for industry experts and top people in your target companies.

7. Don’t cast your net in every hole: If you are chasing down jobs at huge commercial career sites with 1,000’s of jobseekers, you will get disappointed and discouraged quickly; most of those site serve entry-level to mid-management candidates.

What strategies have you tried so far to get your job search going?