As an executive, retention is probably one of your main concerns. However, if you are the one looking to make a change, it can be a challenge – especially if you haven’t been in the midst of a job search for a while.

As Sacramento executive headhunters, Pacific Staffing knows the employment landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years alone. And whether you are a victim of a corporate layoff, or want to advance your career in a different direction, there are a few key steps you must take in order to gain the upper hand over your competition:

Communicate your professional brand.

Executives and entry level candidates alike make the same common mistake on resumes. They communicate where they’ve worked in the past and what they’ve done there in terms of responsibilities. What they don’t communicate is results. And when it comes to hiring a new executive, that is what employers want to see.

While communicating work history is important, it is also only a beginning. You need to illustrate the unique skills, talents and accomplishments that effectively differentiate you from your peers.

Develop and practice your pitch.

Your job search will not just consist of interviews. First, you must navigate your way through a variety of other activities, including online and offline networking events.

To be successful in these situations (i.e. to learn about relevant opportunities and make a positive impression), you need a solid elevator pitch. This sound bite should memorably introduce you, spotlight your uniqueness and focus on the benefits you deliver.

One word of caution: Don’t practice your pitch until it sounds canned. But do memorize the key points you want to get across to a potential employer so if an opportunity arises, you are prepared to sell yourself.

Identify and illustrate career success stories.

You can’t simply say you are a ‘thought leader’ and expect a potential employer to believe you. You must be able to illustrate your unique value through specific examples of career success.

Think about three or four different accomplishments that not only best support your professional brand, but also are most relevant to a particular position. The best stories will highlight your ability to lead and define the measurable impact you were able to make in past positions.

When discussing these stories, articulate 1) the challenge you faced, 2) the solution you implemented and 3) the quantifiable results you achieved.

Create a virtual network.

Been a while since you have engaged in any meaningful networking? In today’s digital age, there are more opportunities than ever to connect with past colleagues, bosses, peers and employees. You should also maximize sites like LinkedIn and ZoomInfo to find key contacts at companies you’re interested in working for.

Get focused.

It’s easy to spend hours spinning your wheels on large job board sites. But the chance of finding an executive level position that is right for you is slim. Instead, limit your online job search efforts to niche sites focused on executive recruiting or specialty sites dedicated to serving your particular industry or occupation.

If you don’t have the time to search for opportunities online, consult with an executive headhunter. They have their ears to the ground and will know about opportunities before they’re even advertised.

If you would like to learn more about how a Sacramento executive headhunter can help you, contact Pacific Staffing. Our headhunters have years of experience connecting executive-level candidates with top jobs throughout the area.

Contact us today to learn more.