Strategies to land professional and executive jobs

The volume of new senior and executive roles available in market is robust alongside solid competition at the top end.  In this blog I outline strategies to land professional and executive jobs.   So lets dive into them.

In this article I share the reasons for interviews, taking a new mindset approach with strategies that will flip the search around.  Whatever professional sector or profession you are in the same principles apply to inspire, influence and stand out.

Hiring is a two way proposition

It’s been said a million times, but I will repeat it – hiring is a two way proposition. Both sides are checking each other out and making assessments.

However, slow and cumbersome hiring processes, cognitive dissonance and all the biases (gender, race, cultural, sector and especially ageism) don’t make the process easy. Objections and biases frequently need to be addressed to pave the way for a productive interview.

And sadly, even the most highly skilled professionals often park their negotiation, marketing and management skills in the carpark as they enter a ‘candidate mindset’ That mindset dis-empowers keeping people small.

Even executives at the 800K level fear upsetting the recruitment apple cart, losing opportunities, being commercially curious and saying ‘no’ when appropriate. Taking the mindset of equal power and value is essential to hold court.

Analyse & discern job advertisements

Circa 50% of all job advertisements may not be exactly purist and genuine. As an ex-recruiter for 11 years, I know what the market does (something I refused to do when I owned my media recruitment agency).

Job posts can be placed for HR and political compliance, talent pooling, competitive intelligence gathering, agency KPIs or client brand posturing.

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On average, 25% of professional jobs are filled via direct job applications. 

Surveys have showed that circa 85% of roles are filled via networking 

A major part of that networking prism encompasses internal employee referrals. 




Organisations in both public and private sectors hire because they have a need to fill or a problem to solve. It’s as simple as that, and similarly, businesses engage new suppliers and stakeholders for the same reasons. But candidates never approach an application from that perspective. Nor do organisations advertise the problems that need solving either. It needs to be fleshed out.

So with that understanding, a candidate is no different from a business supplier or stakeholder.

More information on why you are being interviewed here

Sticky Marketing Approach

The solution to cut through the job maze is to embrace a new mindset with a ‘sticky marketing’ approach. Networking is understood but often due to time limitations is over contained and just the tip of the iceberg.

Professionals and executives will be well versed in implementing marketing and branding campaigns for their clients but rarely will they apply the same tools to their own career trajectory.

And that is the key switch to flick to amplify job search success outcomes. 

When there is a change in your marketing approach that positive energy influences and inspire broadly. And you build a solid platform of expertise career attraction.

Reactive & Proactive Job Search 

There are two pillars in managing professional job search activities -Proactive and Reactive.

Proactive should take up around 70% of activities VS reactive at 30%.

Reactive is simply applying to roles from online boards vs Proactive which is everything else to create and inspire conversations and opportunities.


Reactive tip:  

Before applying for any role, contact the recruiter or hiring company first. 

Purpose is to find out what the key problems and challenges the role needs to address and if in reality you can solve them to strengthen your application.



If the role is a senior one, you have every right to enquire before sending in an application.. even if the advertisement doesn’t advise they are open to contact. If there is reluctance to engage in pre application discussions, then that is a red flag.

Visibility, branding, content and consistency are the key marketing tools to embrace. 

Top 10 marketing mindset elements 

1. LinkedIn profile – LinkedIn is the most relevant and important place to showcase ‘brand you’ and be found and referenced. .

Don’t be lacklustre and leave potential interest on the table. Be inspiring, visually appealing and unique. Focus on your Who, What, Where, How, Why and the problems you solve.  Don’t be shy in sharing your achievements and value as

no one does exactly what you do in the same way you do it’  

Always write your profile in the 1st person (3rd person is totally pretentious). Have a brilliant banner, current photo and search based powerful headline.  

2. Personal taglines – Taglines are not just for businesses and are a strong career differentiator to stand out. Apply the same marketing process to brand you, be it for a mission statement also. Include on your LinkedIn (ideally on your banner) and CV. Hell anywhere your name is.

3. Networking – really expand and connect with value here. No pleading, “I’m looking for a job”. There are ways to say something with empowerment.

Be creative and position your value and industry knowledge. Expand your connections with strategy and not a spray and pray approach. Make lists of companies you would love to work with and connect with all levels within the organisation. This is a sticky source also for internal referrals as you build visibility.

 4. Content – as a professional you will have a wealth of expertise and opinions. Share them. Don’t think content, websites and articles are only for businesses to share.  Individual with expertise can write and share their knowledge and perspectives on social media.

Articles and content is where you PROVE you know your chops. Saying you know something is useless when compared with showing that you do. It is also a clever and sticky addition when applying to jobs to include a URL link to a ‘pulse article’ on LinkedIn (vs a post which is lost) in a cover letter or email signature.

5. Email Signatures – Design a professional email signature with your photo, even a logo, social URLs and contact details. This really cements visual stickiness. Use it from your personal email address vs a company one.

6. Proactive outreach – building your brand visibility with a focus on giving support to the other company is a clever tool when combined with useful subject topic assets. It could be via email, LinkedIn or other social media that your industry has strong resonance.

7. Research – dig for industry and company issues that you can problem-solve. Often the outreach can incorporate the findings of your research, especially if you have a unique set of experiences to incorporate. Your solutions may find a home as a contractor, short project or as the next permanent hire.

8. Video – it goes without saying to have a video on your LinkedIn and other socials to link.

9. Career flyer/ marketing flyer bio – these are a different asset to a CV and is used uniquely to position your value proactively and specific to intention. They are creative and punchy and on your brand feel and purpose.

10. Business Cards – this is NOT old fashioned and indeed a golden tool. (Ok as of publishing we don’t have a lot of opportunity with COVID restrictions to meet in person, but that won’t be forever). 

The purpose of a business card is to harness brand YOU without being tied to any organisation. A business card is akin to your Email signature… branded, informative with contact details. It becomes your evergreen career calling card. It creates a wonderful impression and ensures you don’t miss any opportunity to be memorable. It sets you apart.  

I make no illusions that applying for roles is a walk in the park. But being brave and taking a marketing mindset approach will make a difference on many levels.

Will you take a marketing mindset approach to land  job interviews?  

See Sue’s job search and career services  HERE

Download any of Sue’s free eBooks  HERE

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