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Improving Employment Market Could Catch Many off Guard

(July 15, 2010)
With the pace of U.S. economic activity growing modestly, executive recruiters have become more bullish on the prospects for the employment market during the second half of the year, as Recruiter Confidence is near its highest readings since May 2008. Despite this improving outlook, most executives are not adequately prepared to leverage this growth to advance their careers.

According to a survey of 2,939 executives with an average annual compensation of more than $200,000, just one in three (34 percent) believe they are prepared for a successful job search - down from 43 percent last year and 69 percent in 2007.

"The early stages of an economic recovery are a great time to explore new opportunities," says Lauryn Franzoni, Vice President of ExecuNet, the private membership network for business executives. "Unfortunately, many professionals remain on the sidelines waiting for more evidence of a rebound. This strategy will inevitably stall your career development, as many rewarding, high-level roles are quietly filled in the interim."

Franzoni recommends that professionals take the following measures to prepare for a stronger employment market:

Revisit Your Resume - Despite being an obvious first step in the job search process, only 54% of executives have recently updated their resume according to ExecuNet's 2010 Executive Job Market Intelligence Report. Traditionally, a resume that synthesized your experience into a bulleted, two-page document was sufficient. In today's increasingly competitive marketplace, resumes that highlight your experience, demonstrate your ability to be a problem-solver, and offer examples and data that underscore your individual value proposition are far more effective in generating interviews and opportunities.

Strengthen Your Online Brand - Establishing a strategic online presence on public social networks and in private communities of peers and key influencers is an increasingly important step in raising your professional profile. Adopting best practices from successful online product marketers is helping many executives elevate their personal brands and attract new opportunities.

Invest In Your Network - The hidden executive employment market isn't a myth - companies post just 11 percent of all $200k+ positions on public job boards or websites, according to ExecuNet's latest research. And, new assignments placed with recruiters are lagging far behind direct company recruitment. To create more career options, dedicate a portion of every day to building relationships with contacts outside of your current company. The best networkers embody the philosophy that it is better to give than to receive, as helping others leaves a lasting imprint on your network.

"While job growth is returning, you can't expect to attract quality opportunities if you're under the covers hitting the snooze button on your career," cautions Franzoni.

Founded in 1988, ExecuNet is a private membership network for business leaders who believe that the right connections can produce extraordinary results in their careers and organizations. A recognized authority in executive recruiting and human capital, ExecuNet provides members access to confidential six-figure job opportunities, proprietary research and pragmatic advice. For more information, visit

Colleen Gildea

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