The average length of unemployment for executives is nine to 12 months, says career and executive coach Howard Seidel for Forbes.
Seidel also says that a year is not an unusual length of time for executives to be unemployed because they may have non-compete agreements, there are fewer executive level job openings, and they are competing with people who are currently employed as well as applicants who have been unemployed for shorter periods of time.
That’s no reason to panic though. Seidel offers these eight job search tips for unemployed executives:
- Choose benchmarks to measure your progress. He suggests three, six and nine month intervals to ask yourself what’s going well, what needs to be tweaked, how many responses you’re getting, what feedback you’ve received, etc.?
- Make your résumé and other documents easy to find. The file name for your résumé, LinkedIn profile URL and email address should all include your name, so hiring managers can easily identify you. For example, name your résumé Suzette.AndersonMD.docx.
- Network and stay active. Whether you choose to volunteer in your community, or do contract work to stay in the game, continue to network and to sharpen your skills. This will help you develop and maintain valuable contacts, while also supplementing your income or giving you the opportunity to learn new skills in the interim.
- Demonstrate that you’re in demand. You will be more attractive to prospective employers if you have been sought after by other companies, even if you reject their offers or don’t receive one at all. Be honest though. For example, if you turned down an offer because it wasn’t a good fit or it would require you to locate, say that.
- Remain calm and be professional. Hiring managers are turned off by prospective employees who seem desperate, so stay calm and always be professional. Follow up on leads and interviews, but don’t become a pest.
- Reconsider the positions that interest you. Seidel points out that, at the beginning of a job search, executives are often selective about the types of position, location and salary they are willing to accept. If you haven’t found something suitable in a year’s time, consider what parameters you can be flexible on.
- Be prepared for difficult interview questions. If you’ve been unemployed for a while, hiring managers will want you to explain why. They might ask candid questions about the reasons for your departure from your previous company, and they might want to know why you haven’t found work yet. Again, be honest, and practice your answers ahead of time.
- Be flexible. Continuing the theme from #6 above, consider accepting a position that may not be your dream job, but that might still be a good opportunity long-term.
For more insight, visit Forbes for the original article by career and executive coach Howard Seidel of Essex Partners.
Thanks for reading,
Diana Albertson, CEO