The higher up the corporate ladder you are, the harder the job search becomes. With naturally fewer jobs at the top to compete for and a tendency for executive jobs not to be advertised online for confidentiality reasons, it’s hard to find C-suite and other senior-level jobs. That’s because they’re filled through referrals, recruiters, and networking — otherwise known as “the hidden job market.”
To land a tech executive job today, you need to focus on three things: getting clarity, differentiating yourself, and optimizing your job search.
Get Clarity on Your Right Fit Roles
Start by identifying your perfect job so you can know what the right roles are for you. Begin with the foundation everyone skips — check in with your values. What qualities, beliefs, and behaviors are most important to you?
Next, list your key strengths and superpowers. These are the things you are great at that you also love to do. Ask yourself where and how you feel most able to make a difference. Understanding your strengths can help you find job opportunities that align with who you are and what you enjoy doing. Knowing how you operate best will help you find roles that require little additional effort from you and allow you to shine.
Now think about what is most important for you at this point in your life (e.g., flexibility, work-life balance). What can a job offer that would make it worth leaving your current position? Your requirements will depend on a variety of factors. Make an exhaustive list and then prioritize it to determine which are your non-negotiables and which you can negotiate for.
Finally, do you have a target company you’d like to work for? What do they do, and how do they do it? How many of your requirements do they meet?
Taking the time and doing the work to get this kind of clarity before you start your search allows you to quickly determine if an opportunity is right for you or not.
Create Brand Differentiation to Dominate the Job Market
Most executives believe that their years of experience and job titles will speak for them. They underestimate the impact of SEO and ATS methodologies. Often, they don’t know how to articulate clearly what sets them apart from others.
The impact is that your value as an executive leader quickly becomes a secret: no referral leads from your network, no hidden job market leads, no promotions, and weak interviewing skills.
In today’s active job market, your resume and LinkedIn profile have 7-10 seconds to convey what sets you apart and make obvious why you are the right-fit candidate for the job you seek.
You are the best person to stand up for yourself and communicate clearly YOUR VALUE.
How do you do this?
You develop your professional positioning statement and articulate it clearly and concisely in your conversations, interviews, and job search materials.
Build your professional positioning statement on a clear UVP or Unique Value Proposition. Your UVP shows what differentiates you from your peers and what’s of most value to the organization in which you lead and serve. It shows how you stand out from your competitors.
Without a differentiator, you’ll be indistinguishable from your competition. Most importantly, you’ll have fewer opportunities to choose from.
Interviewing & Negotiating Your Way to Success
Now that you’re clear on what you want and can articulate what makes you the best choice, it’s crucial to know the difference between a great conversation and a successful interview.
There is only one objective in the interview process: to get an offer.
Just because you had a personal connection and enjoyed the conversation doesn’t mean the interviewer found you qualified for the role they want to fill. This conversation isn’t about social connection.
Regardless of your level of experience, you will have phone interviews, HR screening interviews, hiring manager interviews, peer interviews, and executive leadership interviews.
Use this executive interviewing strategy as your fast track to offers:
- Treat the interview like any other important meeting: come prepared and take notes.
- Identify what each interviewer needs to know about you so you can easily provide the right information.
- Prepare and practice telling compelling stories for every question you are asked, so you stand out in the process.
- Establish trust and credibility in your first moments.
- Ask great questions to show you care about the job and company.
- Express interest, ask about next steps, & send a thank you note!
At each interview, you must quickly form a trusted connection with the interviewer and convince them you have the experience, skills, personality, and passion for the job.
Only then will you get the offer.
Land Your Right Fit Tech Executive Job
Landing your next right fit tech executive job will be easier if you master the steps outlined here. You will further your career with every step because you strategically planned for your next job instead of going into your job search blind.
By being intentional with your job search, you dramatically increase your odds of landing a role you enjoy, where you find more satisfaction, a bigger impact, and better financial rewards.