No Response from Executive-Search Firms


This posting is a guest entry from the Career Doctor, Randall S. Hansen, PhD: Dan writes: I am an architect in my late 50s who is finding it exceedingly difficult even with an exceptional work history to get any response to resumes sent to executive-search firms. This even when (1) it would seem my background would match perfectly with senior management position requirements advertised, (2) I state my salary is negotiable, and (3) when asked, I respond that I am open to relocating if necessary. In a youth-oriented profession such as architecture, is there a certain approach that should be following in submitting in seeking a position or in the job-hunting process in general?
The Career Doctor responds: As baby boomers continue to get older, I think we will see many changes in how older job-seekers are viewed — and we’re already seeing some of those changes — but perceptions are slow to change (and vary by industry and profession). Are you focusing all your energies on executive recruiters? And if so, why? Recruiters can be one source of job leads — but should only be one source. Remember that headhunters work for the employers — and not job-seekers — so you need to be just as aggressive in following-up with these recruiters as you would employers. Have you been networking? I know long-time readers of my blog are probably tired of me constantly beating the networking drum, but all studies point to the importance and power of networking when job-hunting. And many professional organizations also often have career and job postings on their Websites and at conferences. Investigate all the possibilities. One of the other things I’ve discovered about older job-seekers, especially those who have been out of job-hunting for many years, is that they are often weak on job-search techniques and tools. What does your resume look like? Have you taken dates off your degrees and limited your list of experience to no more than 20 years of work? Is your resume centered around accomplishments and achievements? Finally, what about the resources of your alma mater? Contact the college where you received your architecture degree and see how the career services and alumni offices can help you with your job search. Get more help with your resume by reading numerous articles and reviewing samples in the Resume Resources section of Quintessential Careers.