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Job-Hunting Executives Must Get Creative In Uncertain Economy
Expect A Longer Search, Demonstrate Your ‘Exact Match’ For Jobs

In this uncertain economy, executives who are searching for a new job should be prepared for a longer search, and must work aggressively to tailor their credentials to specific opportunities, according to Salveson Stetson Group, a full-service retained executive search firm.

“The poor economy will mean that job searches generally will take longer, and there will be more active candidates vying for a smaller number of jobs,” said John Touey, a principal with Salveson Stetson Group ( “Executives must be prepared for ‘stops and starts.’ In times of economic uncertainty, companies often put open positions on hold.”

In addition, Touey said, hiring mangers often become more selective about seeking candidates who fulfill all – not just some – of their specifications. “No company wants to make a bad hire, and that desire only intensifies in an unstable economy. ‘Out of the box’ candidates often have a more difficult time finding employment in shaky economies.”

Touey offered these tips to executives who are job-hunting today:

Work your network aggressively. The “cattle call” on posted positions will be unusually high in a down market, so candidates need to get themselves exposed through new and different channels. Additionally, more executive-level job searches remain in-house, rather than being assigned to a search firm, Touey said. “This is the time when aggressive networking can help you find a doorway into a company that might not be revealed through traditional channels.”

Tailor resumes and responses to specific opportunities. Given the fact that employers are going to be more critical of matches between backgrounds and opportunities, make sure to highlight the aspects of your experience that most closely match the needs of the job. That may mean fine-tuning your resume to match each job opportunity you are pursuing.

Consider a long-term consulting or contract assignment until the economy improves. “This can be an excellent way to stay in the market, preserve an income stream, and keep a resume current until the economy improves,” Touey said.

About Salveson Stetson Group

Salveson Stetson Group ( is a full-service retained executive search firm founded in 1996. Specializing in $150,000+ salaried positions, Salveson Stetson Group places executives at organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to non-profit entities. The company is based in suburban Philadelphia.


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