By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC


  1. Send Your Thank You Notes

Be sure to send thank you notes within 24 hours of any job interviews you have. You can also send thank you notes to new contacts you made in 2016, which will set the precedent for future communication.

  1. Review Your LinkedIn Home Page

Spend 5 to 10 minutes each morning on LinkedIn so you can keep up with what is happening in your network. Address any comments or messages you may have waiting for you. Remember, your profile should be updated regularly.  This includes being an active and contributing community member.

  1. Get Your Interview Clothes Dry-Cleaned

First impressions are important. Get your interview clothes cleaned and pressed so you are prepared for future interviews.

  1. Read about the Applicant Tracking System to Stay Competitive

More companies are using ATS software to handle recruiting. Learn how it works so you can get through the software and land more interviews.

  1. Get Your Resume Ready

Review your last year and eliminate irrelevant, outdated or lesser credentials. Modify your keywords based on jobs you are applying to. Be sure to include relevant data and metrics. Verify that everything is up to date and correct.

  1. Update Your Target List

Utilize your network connections to get closer to companies that are on your target list.  Add to your list strategically and prioritize prospective opportunities.

  1. Find & Attend Local Events

An empty calendar will not help you land a job. Start filling it with relevant networking events and seminars you can attend to meet influencers and decision makers.

  1. Reconnect

Get in touch with old contacts – you never know what they might be up to, or who they could connect you with. You can also uncover hard-to-find job openings this way.

  1. Prepare For Interviews

Research common interview questions or role play with someone you trust. Be prepared with great answers. Expect the interview process to factor more heavily into whether you get a job in 2017. Do not underestimate the power of using your validation stories to demonstrate your capabilities and expertise.

  1. Volunteer

Volunteering can create great opportunities for networking.  Consider volunteering for an organization within your Subject Matter Expertise (SME).  (ex: treasurer for your church/synagogue if you are in accounting or a CFO; IT support for a local business if you are a tech guru; etc.)

  1. Uncover Hidden Opportunities

Some companies are too busy to make a job posting. Others have openings they do not regularly mention. Network and get in touch with your contacts to see if they are aware of any opportunities that meet your skills and requirements.

  1. Get on Social Media

Employers, recruiters, hiring managers will find you on social media platforms. Create profiles that are clean, neat, professional, and interesting.

  1. Follow Up Relentlessly

Some employers will not hire you unless you demonstrate a degree of tenacity. Follow up after interviews – it demonstrates your willingness to persist. Also remember to follow up with anyone you meet at networking events and seminars.

  1. Read about Recruiting Trends In 2017

Get acquainted with the stats and data. Become aware of in-demand skills. Find out what recruiters and HR teams will be looking for.

  1. Be Honest

Be open and transparent about your skills and experience on your resume and interviews. You need to be able to deliver on your promises.

  1. Track Your Efforts

The most successful people in the world are fervent trackers. Log everything you do in your career search so you can stay honest with yourself and the effort you are putting into your job search. Make note of what works, and stop doing what is not helping you find your ideal role.

  1. Don’t Give Up

Keep a positive attitude and stay the course. Be patient, and stick to your plan. It can be hard to maintain enthusiasm, but your positive attitude will not go unnoticed.

Final Thoughts

Do not try to do everything at once. Focus on one or two items at a time, and then move on to work on others. Avoid becoming overwhelmed. Set goals that stretch you a bit, but are not beyond your reach. Make the most of 2017.


Let’s get to work!

– Linda

If you have questions about your executive career search, please contact me at 203-323-9977 or [email protected]