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Executives (defined as Director level or better) often face different challenges in identifying and securing new opportunities than do first line managers and individual contributors. In beginning an executive level job search, the primary concern is there are fewer opportunities available and greater competition for them. Beyond that, executives frequently require personal referrals or introductions in order to get serious consideration. Frequently, executive level jobs are not advertised, with hiring managers relying on their own professional network for candidate referrals and “behind the scenes” recommendations and checking of qualifications. All of these add up to significant challenges for displaced Sr. management candidates searching for their next executive suite.

Nonetheless, executives entering the job market can address these challenges and mitigate their impact. Following is a model for you, the executive job seeker, to identify and secure your next job, as well as some useful tips and resources.

Despite the proliferation and success of the Internet and job boards, good, old-fashioned networking is still the best way to secure a job for most high-level executives. According to Lee Hecht Harrison, a major outplacement firm, more than 60 percent of executives find new positions through personal or professional connections rather than by simply responding to advertisements or Internet postings.

Networking activity is the linchpin to a comprehensive job search strategy. This does not mean that the Internet and other traditional resources are unimportant. But it is critical to understand that ongoing and strategic networking is central to any executive level job search. Remember... the Internet is only one, albeit key, tool in your job search. Other major resources include: trade associations and events, job fairs, headhunters, executive search firms, and others.

Regardless of how you find viable job leads, whether through your initial networking activity, via the Internet, or another resource, skillful networking is “the” best way to get your resume to the top of the recruiter's stack, get the attention of the hiring manager, get that all important interview, and get the job.
Tip: Once you have identified the right job, don't just send in your resume and hope for a response. After submitting your resume and/or cover letter, your next critical step is to make a call to the hiring CEO/VP, and if possible, arrange an introduction through a third party.

In the following sections, you'll find links and information on resources to help locate your next career opportunity, such as job boards exclusively devoted to executives, as well as some great tips and advice on developing, implementing and maintaining a solid networking strategy. And finally, some interviewing ideas and tips to close the deal.

Most of the job boards give you the options of looking for jobs and posting your resume. Many of the more comprehensive sites even offer advice on sprucing up your resume, interviewing strategy, how to work with headhunters, salary information, and more. Some even give you the ability to create a customized search agent, or offer a comparable service, that matches your profile and resume against available positions. They then send you notification of appropriate openings via e-mail. Heidrick & Struggles (www.leadersonline.com) and SpencerStuart (www.spencerstuart.com) are two firms that offers such services

While you may be reluctant to place your resume on a job board, if you're unemployed, you have nothing to lose except perhaps a little pride. If you're currently employed, then confidentiality is a valid concern and reason for not wanting to post your resume on the Internet, so you'll want to double your efforts to “scour” the boards for job opportunities, using search agents when possible.

Executive Level Job Boards
There are several job boards that cater exclusively to executives and Sr. Management. Some of the best include:


If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area / Silicon Valley, or are interested in working there, then you might want to consider connecting with a reputable local executive search professional. Following are some proven leaders:

San Francisco Area search consultants

Bob LoPresto
Rusher, Loscavio & LoPresto

David Mather
Christian & Timbers

  Tony Scott
Transpac Ventures

Steve Strain
Korn Ferry
650 632-1834


Nationwide, some of the leading executive search firms include :

Boyden Associates

McKinsey & Company

Russell Reynolds Associates

Spencer Stuart

Ward Howell



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