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It is not uncommon to hear well qualified executives say, “You just can’t find a good job in today’s economy.”  As a result, many of these job hunters become so frustrated that they are often willing to accept just about any job offer received.  A successful job campaign requires that you put forth the type of effort that opens doors and leads to the best offers.  Of course, if you have been looking for a new position for some time, you may have to overcome the frustration associated with your past efforts.  While this is often easier said than done, success is waiting for those who are willing to pay their dues.

Many job hunters scan the Internet, look at newspaper help-wanted ads, speak with several close business associates, contact five or six executive recruiters, and think they are job hunting.  Obviously, these people are only kidding themselves.  Job hunting is time-consuming work.  It involves knocking on doors even if there are no jobs inside.  It is the process of transferring the proficiencies that helped shape your career into job-hunting skills.

Welcome to the New Job Market
Today’s job market can be ruthless in its treatment of job seekers, and if not approached properly, may result in numerous problems and headaches.  It is often difficult to contact key decision makers, and the screening process frequently seems unpredictable and unfair.  To be successful, each step in the job transition process requires planning, organization and communication skills.

Surprisingly, few executives really understand the amount of work required to properly market themselves, nor do they comprehend the magnitude of their competition and how it will impact on their chances.  Further, the average executive resume in circulation today fails to target a specific job objective, and tends to focus on past experiences as opposed to the abilities and talents sought by potential employers.  An effective executive resume must show a prospective employer what has happened in your career, the actions you took to make those things happen, and the personal skills and abilities that allowed you to succeed in the job.

Flexibility Equals Success in Job Transition
As you progress with your job search, you will be operating in a highly fragmented job market where information is at best incomplete, where communication is often difficult, and where planning is subject to numerous changes and unexpected occurrences.  While a basic action plan will significantly improve the likelihood of job transition success, it should be a flexible means for achieving your stated job objective.  Planning is essential since it requires that you set an objective and develop strategies for achieving your objective.  Too much planning, however, can blind you to unexpected occurrences and opportunities.

In addition to establishing a plan of attack, the following principles should be an integral part of every job hunter’s mind set:

  • Place your job search at the top of all your personal priorities and approach it with the same spirit and diligence that you would apply to any other endeavor that you really want to accomplish.

  • Be patient and do not be discouraged by set-backs, as success rarely comes overnight.

  • Make sure you continually project a positive and successful attitude since no employer wants to hire people with inferiority complexes.

  • Create a high-impact, achievement-oriented executive resume that clearly targets your job objective and sells your abilities and value.

  • Establish your list of networking contacts, executive recruiters and employers that you wish to contact during the early stages of your job search.

  • Remain open-minded and be prepared to quickly exploit unexpected opportunities.

  • Periodically evaluate your progress and adjust your activities, priorities and written materials as dictated.

The best jobs - those that are challenging, responsible, high paying and enjoyable - are more difficult than ever to find and the competition for these positions has never been greater.  This means a top-flight executive resume and an aggressive marketing effort are absolute prerequisites if you are to achieve the career and financial success you desire.  Don’t forget, the only real difference between people in similar jobs who make $150,000 a year and people who make $250,000 is how they market themselves.

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