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8 steps to a new IT leadership job
An executive search professional shares candid advice on how to prepare and stand out in the competitive IT leadership market
We’ve rung in the New Year and made our resolutions. If one of yours is to find a new IT leadership job in 2019, you should take these steps to set yourself up for success.
1. Shape a job search strategy
As you start to think about your next career move, spend some time pondering your ideal role. What level are you targeting? What size of company? Public or private, and in what locations? Are you doing a local search or a national search? Have a discussion early on with your family about the possibility of relocation.
Also, think about what types of companies are of interest to you. Do you want to stay in your industry? If not, think about industries that are similar, so you can expand your options. If you’ve been in your role for some time, it’s good to search Indeed, LinkedIn, and other sites to get familiar with new companies that may be of interest. Spend some time researching current job titles and qualifications that companies are looking for; compare it with your background and identify any gaps.
2. Get your resume in order now
It’s important to have your resume ready to go when you hear about that perfect job through your network, or when you are contacted by an executive recruiter about an opportunity. Having an up-to-date resume shows that you’re serious about making a move and that you’re prepared.
Remember to keep your resume under three pages. You only have a minute – or sometimes just a few seconds – to stand apart from the competition, so keep it easy to read and to the point. Be sure to emphasize meaningful metrics (ROI) and business outcomes rather than simply list your previous jobs and responsibilities.
3. Consider a professional resume writer
If it has been several years since you've updated your resume, it may be time to enlist some professional help. If it helps you land a great job, it will be worth the investment. Here is a list of professional resume writers that other IT executives have recommended to us at Heller Search.
4. Strengthen your LinkedIn profile
Having a current LinkedIn profile will help recruiters find you when they are searching for someone with your industry background, experiences, accomplishments, and qualifications. Don’t worry that your current employer may see that you updated your profile; every professional uses LinkedIn these days, and a quality profile shows that you are engaged in your industry and profession.
A few things to keep in mind when updating your profile: use your headline to say who you are and what you do; not your current job title. Maybe you’re a turnaround executive or a technology strategist with tons of e-commerce experience. Your job title belongs below in the entry about your current position and employer.
Highlight your professional strengths in your summary and use keywords recruiters will use. They all use LinkedIn. And lastly, be sure you have a professional looking photo that is fairly current. A picture of you and your kids and pets is great for Facebook or Instagram, but not here. A shot from the chest up, without a busy background, works best.
[ For more ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile, read our related article, 5 tips to make LinkedIn work better. ]