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Optimum Talks Blog

To The Senior Executives Looking For a Job Amid a Pandemic

by Richard La Rue

The pandemic. I know we are tired of hearing that word, myself included. As an executive coach and career transition expert, I know this is a difficult time for many, especially job seekers, and I would like to help by providing some insight and tips for your job search strategy.

At Optimum Talent, I am grateful to lead an incredibly talented network of thought leaders; many of whom provided concepts for this article.  I would like to acknowledge all members of Le Club Élite and my colleagues Michel Nadeau, Executive Coach; and Robert Racine, Executive Recruiter, for sharing this information.

 

MAKE NEW CONNECTIONS… VIRTUALLY!

We all know that virtual communications have become the norm and this is not changing anytime soon. Luckily, this medium has many benefits such as fast and flexible communication, increased availability of contacts, and much more. Although informal conversations can be difficult and complex to decode non-verbal signals, there are ways to make the virtual meetings feel more ‘real’ and less formal. One tip is to organize a virtual coffee break with your new contact to keep it informal right from the start! Professional associations and business networks have long adapted to this new reality and have been key in facilitating virtual networking. My advice is to identify people whose experience has intrigued you, invite them to connect on LinkedIn, and then ask for them to join you for a virtual coffee break.

 

A LITTLE INTROSPECTION GOES A LONG WAY

One word: Authenticity. Recruiters are looking for authentic leaders. To pass any selection process, you must be able to express your true self.

I have seen many senior leaders thrive during a career transition process because of coaching and assessment tools. These tools allow individuals to think carefully about their career plans and understand what they want for their future. At Optimum Talent, we work with SuccessFinder, an unbiased assessment tool that achieves an unprecedented 85% predictability of success and happiness in a role.

 

DON’T NEGLECT YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS

In 2020, it is unthinkable for a senior executive to search for a job without updating their LinkedIn profile. I suggest updating your profile following your self-reflection process as it will allow you to determine your added value, experience, and leadership style or in other words, your online brand.

 

It’s not enough just to update your LinkedIn profile, you must also make yourself visible. What I mean by this is engaging on the platform by reacting to your network’s posts, participating in discussions, sharing articles, and publishing your thoughts on current events or trends within your area of expertise.

 

HONE YOUR SKILLS

Of course, the more you advance in your career, the more you develop particular expertise, either for a position or within an industry. If your industry has been greatly affected by the pandemic (e.g. Tourism, Aviation), it is important to build on your transferable skills. Increasingly, recruiters are looking for atypical profiles that can bring a new flavour to their clients. Do your research by looking at the expanding sectors and determine what can you offer them.

Why not take advantage of this transition period to update your skills? There are many solutions, such as enrolling remotely at a university or taking online courses via  LinkedIn Learning. This demonstrates your proactivity and desire to learn, qualities that are highly sought after by employers.

 

IN THE END…

In short, focus on virtual networking, update your LinkedIn profile so that it reflects your personal brand, be visible to your networks, and upskill and reskill. Not only will this help with your job search, but you will have a more positive transition experience!

Want to learn more about job search strategy? I recommend you read these two blog posts:  Virtual Interview Best Practices and Reflections on Virtual Onboarding .

If you require support during your transition, we’d love to help.  Contact us today!


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