Are You an Unemployed Executive, Ready to Get Back Into the Job Search?

By Nick Burns, Executive Recruiter for Celarity

Being “unemployed” is not as simple as it sounds. There are all kinds of reasons you may find yourself without a job. But, for executives, it can be especially difficult to find a new position – let alone one that’s a great fit.

So, if you’re reading this post, maybe you’re seeing your particular case mirrored here. Each reason for unemployment presents its specific challenges. But, once you’ve identified the roadblocks you may face in your job search, all you need is a strategy. Read on for our best tips in these 4 unemployment situations:

1. Your employer cut your executive role to save on costs

As an executive-level professional, it’s important to realize that your skills come with certain salary expectations. Even if you’re comfortable taking less money, a potential employer may feel they’ll lose you quickly if they can’t offer you market-value for your skills and experience. So, how can you win if you’re targeting such a small amount of jobs in a targeted area?

Here’s your executive job hunting strategy:

Reconsider your options. You may have to think about looking for executive-level roles in other parts of the country. Expanding your search nationally can help you find the right fit faster. Not ready to move? Connect with an executive recruiter in your area; they will have access to jobs that aren’t publicly posted. One more possibility is to expand your job search into new industries or fields of employment.

2. Your agency lost a major client

If you work for a company that manages a book of clients, there is a chance that the client relationships don’t last. Depending on the size of the client or volume of client drop-offs, you may have found yourself relieved of your duties in a scenario like this one.

Here’s your job hunting strategy:

Use your connections. If it doesn’t breach a non-compete and you’ve got solid relationships with your previous agency accounts, consider going client-side. If you’re not comfortable with that idea, work other parts of your network. You’ll likely have the advantage over your less-experienced industry peers when it comes to networking. Over the years, you’ve probably connected with hundreds of professionals of all ages and backgrounds. One of these people could lead you to the next perfect work opportunity!

3. You took time off for family

Perhaps you took time off to spend time with your family. Didn’t take a relocation package Or, maybe, you decided to become a caretaker for another family member who became ill. Whatever the circumstances, you may be unsure of how to explain the employment gap on your resume.

Here’s your job hunting strategy:

Get professional help for your career. Sometimes, the toughest part is just getting the opportunity to show that you’ve still got those executive-level skills. Seek out an executive recruiter, pick-up some contract or consulting work, or, get a career coach (in fact, we recommend Natalie Ackerman of ReVrb). Connect with someone or find an opportunity that can simply help you get your foot back in the door.

4. The executive role changed/performance

You were always awesome at your job – until you got new management after a company acquisition or your firm went through a reorganization. Suddenly, you were expected to do things that you’d never done before like manage new technologies or positions that you don’t know much about. How do you explain to future employers that you’re still great – you just need to be given an opportunity?

Here’s your job hunting strategy:

Ramp-up your “thought-leader” efforts. You’ve got tons of experience so let everyone know how much you know about your specialty! Sign-up to speak at events (check out our Scoop calendar for some great ones!), write blog posts and share them on your social media channels, write for industry publications, or, even interview with one or two of the million career podcasts that are available! Showing that you’re hungry to learn and eager to share what you know – those things will help you land the right role at the right firm.

Nick Burns, Lead Marketing Recruiter

 

Nick Burns is the Lead Executive Recruiter at Celarity. He’s placed 105+ candidates and specializes in building relationships with marketing, creative, and digital leaders and talent.

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