When Executives and Directors go searching for Executive Vacancies, the question most required to be answered is: where can executive vacancies be found?

While employment opportunities for many non-executives appear to have opened up in the modern internet driven world through the numerous job boards, is the search for Executive Vacancies still dominated by who you know, networking and executive headhunters?

Executive Job Boards
In the time before the internet, the opportunities to find employment were restricted for executives to either networking, headhunters or national newspapers. Non-executives found most of their jobs via local newspapers, whose advertising revenues have been decimated by the flourishing jobs boards industry.

However, surveys for the past few years have shown that job boards only account for 12% of successful new employee placement. The question therefore is, why should the job board hype not match the survey reality?

While there was a real and up front cost in the old models of job advertising, the number of diversity of job boards has through resultant competition driven the cost of advertising on them to as close to zero as possible. It is hence easier for recruiters and executive headhunters to both CV fish, and let adverts repeat. The result is that a survey of a job board showing 128 jobs in a particular geographic area, resulted in 12 actual jobs available in that geography at that time.

While the job board hype may be different from the reality of finding Executive Vacancies, there are ways in which you can be found and placed using the internet.

Modern Job Search
The old model of job searching has in reality moved to the internet, with many local newspaper groups now owning many of the “competing” job boards covering their former locality.

But what the internet has allowed is job searching models to become both larger and more diverse in terms of opportunity, and quicker to finding Executive Vacancies.

The three basic models of finding a job are still:

Them to you: you are known to the organisation, or your network acts as your advocate, or you are known/found by the Executive Headhunter
You to them: you know who you are and what you offer, and have a clear idea of the type of companies you wish to work for. Through networking you create a path to propose a business solution
Response to Job Adverts: now driven by job boards over newspapers, the result of the internet has increased competition in this sector from an average of 20 job applicants per vacancy to around 50 per job, with many rising as high as 100+ applicants in the credit crunch

It is now with specific regards Executive vacancies, that it is made more possible and easier to create an opportunity with a desired employer via the internet than at any other time.

Executive Vacancy tools?
On the back of the diversity in online networking, various online tools have come to the fore to offer assistance to Executives to find and land Executive Vacancies. These premium paid for services, most notably lead by TheLadders, generally promise whole job search systems. Delivered online, these provide CV rewriting, Executive profiling and optional Executive Coaching. But most valuably, they market to include the inside track on what are billed as hidden and exclusive job opportunities.

However, is this true? Various inside commentators and media outlets including the Wall Street Journal and The Times now question the source of the claimed hidden and exclusive jobs, with many being found first on job boards including Monster, before they appear on executive services including The Ladders.

Even if the claims of the various Executive Vacancy tools were true, the answer is that the amount of “exclusivity” of a job vacancy is defined by your competition. When most Executive services now have in excess of 10,000 members, that doesn’t sound very exclusive!

Real Executive Vacancies
Going back to the basics of job search, there are two new opportunities which are brought about by the internet for finding Executive Vacancies. Both are reliant on you having a clear view of yourself, and your value to deliver business value, which is then communicated and found via online networking.

Before the internet, Executive Headhunter searches were limited by their network and address book. These methods would mean that to find a list of 10 suitable executive candidates could take a month or more. Now using techniques such as Boolean search, they can search popular business social networking sites such as Doostang, LinkedIn and Google profile to find suitably qualified candidates in minutes. The key therefore to being offered one of these executive vacancies is having the right personal profile and business outputs, best communicated in a personal elevator pitch.

The second method in which it has been made easier to create Executive Vacancies is to go one step further in your own ideal job search process, and define the companies you wish to next work for. Having the right profile on the popular business social networking sites, means that you can create your own inside advocate using informational interview techniques. This results in you knowing more about the company, and hence if they are right for you know who is hiring or who to pitch yourself at; probably with a personalised introduction.

Both these of modern methods result in real exclusive opportunity in finding and gaining Executive Vacancies. With lower competition and direct on the employer communication, they result in a higher chance of executive employment.

Good Luck!

Ian R McAllister is the founder of a UK group focused recruitment and employment in skills-short professional sectors, presently covering IT, telecoms and project management. The group also provides professional candidate information and services via a series of online resources, including the Professional CV and Executive CV services

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