How to Uncover CxO Job Opportunities in the Hidden Job Market

To find your next CxO or executive job opportunity, you’re going to have to go beyond the typical online “search and apply” technique. Different job search techniques yield dramatically different results, and you want to get high-quality results with reasonable effort. Most CEO, COO, CDO, CFO, CMO, CIO, CTO, and other CxO executive opportunities aren’t even advertised publicly, so what do you do?

There are things you can do to elevate your c-suite job search, but what we want to get into here are the opportunities that almost no one knows about. The vast majority of c-level job opportunities are in the hidden job market. You can uncover some of these opportunities and connect directly with executive search consultants and organizational decision-makers by incorporating the following activities into your CxO job search. This may or may not come as a surprise, but a lot of them come down to your professional network.

Methods for Accessing the Hidden Job Market

Ask your network for/about:

  • Networking Events. Attending in-person networking events is a highly effective tool for finding executive job opportunities in the hidden market and takes some time to cultivate. Focus first on getting to know the person and how you can help them instead of the other way around. You can bring up the topic of career opportunities once the relationship is established as mutually beneficial.
  • Hiring companies love referrals, even to the point of offering referral bonuses to current employees. Referrals are often quality hires that save time and money. Strike up some conversations with people in your network who work with some of your target organizations or within your ideal industry, occupation, or job function.
  • Exclusive Job Boards. Focus on job boards geared explicitly towards executive-level opportunities or specific occupations, industries, or job functions. Targeted job boards will be far more fruitful than the generic career sites that already have hundreds of thousands of candidates in their databases and are geared more towards entry- and mid-level career opportunities.
  • Internal Succession Opportunities. Internal options for advancement may be limited with your current employer, especially at the executive level. However, people do retire, transition, or leave the organization for various reasons. You can network with internal decision-makers to make sure you are front-of-mind when an opening does appear.
  • Informational Interviews. Find people who work for an organization you would like to join and ask for an informational interview to learn from them about the company’s current struggles. Listen carefully for opportunities where your skills and experience may be the ticket to them overcoming their challenges.

To find out how we can help you tap the hidden job market to uncover your next CxO opportunity, book a complimentary and confidential call with us here.

Mary Elizabeth Bradford is the Founder and Executive Director of and 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.