Why Most Executive Job Searches Fail and What You Can Do to Prevent It

What is the definition of a failed job search? Specifically, it’s a job search that was prematurely ended or did not end up resulting in the goals that you originally set for yourself. This is the same as letting discouragement and disillusionment lead you to settle for much, much less than you deserve and are capable of. In order to uncover exactly why this happens, it’s important to understand how a job search is often unintentionally set up for failure.

A typical scenario might look something like this:

You start out with a lot of excitement and a dreamy abundance of possibilities for your next career move. With a hearty enthusiasm, you dive into activities such as updating your resume, searching job boards and perhaps talking confidentially to a couple of trusted friends. In the days to follow, perhaps you contact a recruiter source that you know of or that may have been referred to you, connect with one or two industry peers, and maybe answer a few online job postings.

Then the following week, you continue to answer several more job ads online.

Week three finds you with a certain apprehension about the lack of response you have received so far. You double-check your resume for typos and make sure your phone line is still working.

Because these efforts above rarely produce any significant results, week four finds you feeling a range of negative emotions and the downward spiral really begins.

And since we are on the subject, here are some underlying issues associated with job search failure:

  • Fear of the unknown and that you don’t know *how* to do something
  • Waiting to do something or suspending action until you are ready because you want it to be *perfect*
  • Overthinking your actions and others’ reactions to you
  • Fear of actually reaching your goals (fear of success)

Negative thoughts and feelings mixed with a poorly executed job search strategy is a true recipe for failure.

The following are three tips you can use to avoid job search failure.

Tip #1: Your Personal Plan

Your successful job search truly begins with a simple yet very clear plan. You need to know where you are going and you need to know specifically what your ultimate goal is. Then you need to commit to moving forward. Not taking action simply leads nowhere, while those who are focused, positive and committed to taking action succeed.

Tip #2: Have the Best Tools

These are the tools that you invest in that will help and support you in your job search efforts. They include a combination of, but are not limited to: recruiters, the right job boards, networking, associations and trade journal research and involvement, social networking sites, and capitalizing on your companies of choice as well as companies in growth mode. Growth mode companies can be a critical component to your success, because 80% of key positions are filled before they are ever advertised.

Tip #3: Create Your Courageous Goal

This is your personal weekly goal for the actions and activities you want to complete and the time you want to complete them in. You want your goals to be “courageous,” meaning they will stretch you to achieve things just a little bit out of your comfort zone. You also want your goals to be simple, crystal clear and motivating. This will create consistency in your activity, which will bring you an abundance of positive job search results!

Pioneering a results-oriented and successful job search is a combination of timing, common sense strategies and the right resources. Knowing how to avoid traps that lead to a failed job search will put you on the right path to achievement of your career goals.

Mary Elizabeth Bradford is the Founder and Executive Director of CEOresumewriter.com and Maryelizabethbradford.com and a past executive recruiter. A thought leader in the career services industry for over 20 years, she holds 5 distinct advanced certifications for senior-level resume writing, online branding and executive-level job search coaching (CERM, CMRW, CARW, MCD, NCOPE). She has been seen and heard in major media including Forbes, Time, WSJ, Newsweek and NBC affiliate stations. She holds 2 CDI TORI awards and is a top tier judge for the elite CDI TORI awards for four consecutive years. Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s elite team of award-winning, certified, top executive resume writers, former top executive recruiters, and global HR executives help many of the world’s premier C-suite, board members and thought leaders secure the transitions and compensation packages they want. She works with clients all over the globe.

If you are a Director, VP, CxO, or Board Member interested in an executive resume package or working directly with Mary Elizabeth, click to schedule a complimentary 15-minute call.