Our expert panel weighs in:
Jean Fuller, Fuller Coaching, Woodside, Calif.
You have an interesting background that might be of great value to a startup or small company that needs a broad, flexible skill set in their starting team. Prioritize the top three skills that you love to use, develop short success stories where you used them, and highlight your agility and flexibility as a key strength. Craft a supporting resumé that highlights those skills. If you like small businesses and don't know of any locally, look up a list on Hoovers.com or elsewhere to find companies within a 25-mile radius of your ideal work location. Then network into them with the best warm introductions you can find.
Renee Arrington, Pearson Partners International Inc., Dallas
In the world of "check-the-box" recruiting where automated websites score resumés against specified criteria, an executive with broad business experience will struggle. The largest IT departments could be the worst place to look because job responsibilities will be more specialized. Target small or midsized companies where your broad experience will appeal to an overworked, understaffed IT team. These companies may also be less stringent on certification requirements (although if there is a certification you want, now is the time to earn it). Be flexible on your title and compensation when joining the company, and count on your performance to earn you promotions or raises over time.
Kim Batson, Career Management Coaching.com, Sammamish, Wash.
You must create a personal brand: Uncover and powerfully articulate the unique value you bring to a company. Also, document past quantifiable achievements and how you helped propel the business forward. Then update your career documents (résumé, cover letter, etc.) to reflect your brand and achievements so that your message is clear, concise and compelling. At this point you will be ready to re-launch your job search. Only about 4% of people get their jobs through major job sites, so you need to use other methods, such as direct company contact, executive recruiters and company and niche sites. In summary: Plan, prepare and then execute.
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This was first published in November 2007