A Four-Step Approach To Secure That Dream Executive Job

Filed Under: Coffee Break, March 2020 Issue

Looking for that dream executive job? Think you’ve got a killer resume to land it?

So many people think a great resume is the magic elixir to landing a job, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. A great resume coupled with an excellent job search plan, a well done LinkedIn Profile, robust networking and interviewing done just right, plus superb follow-up skills, and an amazing attitude… that’s what lands you a job.

Follow these four steps to land the job of your dreams.

  1. Craft an outstanding executive resume
  • Focus on relevant achievements and downplay seniority. Lead with your measurable wins! Focus on what is needed in the job and showcase your relevant victories. 
  • Don’t Include everything about you.  So many applicants still add too much information to their resumes and it has the opposite effect of what they want – lost interest. Keep your audience interested in five- to 10-second increments to keep them scrolling and reading. As a general rule, go back only 15 to 20 years
  • Quit the keyword stuffing. Believe it or not, keyword stuffing is still prevalent today and does more harm than good. While this may actually work, when the recruiter reads your keyword-stuffed resume, they will think you are spending more time trying to game the system than outlining why you are qualified. So while you don’t want to stuff your resume with keywords, it is important to optimize it with a few relevant keywords.
  1. Create a killer LinkedIn profile

Optimizing your LinkedIn profile involves properly populating each section and performing the right activities regularly for maximum exposure. The reality is that doing even some of these steps will put you ahead of the majority of your competitors.

  • Make the most of your tagline. Use the keywords, descriptors and deliverables for which you want to be found by hiring managers and recruiters.
  • Create an achievement-driven summary section.  Remove the fluff and clichés from your summary and instead make it jam-packed with action-driven information and language, letting your personality shine through for that prospective employer.
  • Showcase your work There are several sections in your profile that allow you to showcase your work and professional credentials and demonstrate your personality.  Include relevant information in each of these sections such as publications, projects, courses, volunteer experiences, and so on. Upload applicable media, presentations, and videos.
  • Choose the right skills – The skills section allows you to create an instant association to different skill sets that you want to be known for. Be careful in choosing the right skills — you can choose up to 50 — for the job you are seeking and your personal brand.
  • Join up to 100 LinkedIn groups. This enables your profile to show up in exponentially more search results when someone is looking for someone like you.

Step 3: Ace that interview

The cardinal rule of interviewing seems to be to never say anything negative but that does not mean the hiring manager will not ask you about the blemish, challenge or failure in your past that you would prefer not to talk about, if given the choice.

  • Embrace your story – don’t hate It. The story you have is what makes you–you, like it or not. Employed or unemployed, many job seekers are telling stories about how they lost a job, missed a plan, did not grow market share, lost key accounts, transferred to a job they did not want and/or harbored increased vendor costs. So you are not alone.  What separates you from the pack is not the content of your story—but how you tell it. 
  • Expect tough questions and have your answers ready. Prepare accordingly.  No memorizing—but do not have the first time you think about how to answer these questions during the interview. Word choice and repeated practice will improve your confidence dramatically with the interviewer when he/she asks this question. This will set you apart from the pack.
  • Take Inventory of all you’ve learned from your challenges and hardships.  People love stories of positive people who muddled through and triumphed over tough situations. When describing a negative or challenging situation, you always want to outline what you learned from it. That is what hiring managers want to hear from their prospective employees.

Step 4: Networking That Works

  • Don’t ask about job openings at their company. Instead, ask questions to gain information about the person you are talking to and learn about their company, interests, and passions
  • Have an eloquent, concise way to describe where you are. Be prepared to explain that you are looking for a new position and the kind of job you seek, when it is appropriate to share. 
  • Use the phone.  Each day call one friend and one former co-worker to whom you have not spoken to in a while and see how they are doing. Then let the conversation gravitate to what you are up to…naturally. 

Embracing these tips will help you finally land that dream job in 2020.  And remember you can also find help with the assistance of an executive resume writing and career consulting company.


Lisa Rangel, founder and managing Director of https://chameleonresumes.com/ (a Forbes Top 100 Career Website), is a Certified Professional Resume Writer, Job Landing Consultant and 13-year Recruiter.