04/08/2013 07:19 pm ET Updated Jun 08, 2013

3 Ways to Shorten Your Job Search

Can you go a year without a salary or stay in a job where you're not happy? That's about the length of time to find a new executive-level job. Actually, 11.9 months is the combined total of how long the senior-level executive respondents to ExecuNet's executive job market intelligence survey said they have already been searching and how much longer they expect it will be before landing a new role.

Before the depth of the recession in 2007 and 2008, ExecuNet found the expected time in job search was under 10 months. It began to elongate through 2012 and now executives are hopeful that it will drop to just under the one-year mark again.

To shorten your job search time, here are three tips:

  1. Use job boards for research; use your network to find and create roles. The overwhelming majority of search firm and corporate recruiters reported to ExecuNet that they do not openly post $200K positions on public job boards. However, you can learn about hiring trends and growth patterns from watching what your target companies are posting on job boards. Ask for referrals from your network to contact company decision-makers and request informational meetings to learn more about what's happening on the inside.
  2. Be "recruiter-ready." Even though executives told ExecuNet they would be motivated to look for a new job if they got viable calls from recruiters, the recruiters told us that fewer executives are returning their calls! Keep your résumé up-to-date, know your unique value proposition, and have a clear understanding of your market value and you'll be ready for every conversation with recruiters.
  3. Get social. Now. Roughly one-quarter of executives placed into companies by search firms in 2012 were originally identified or contacted through a social network. If you don't have an online presence, you've just decreased your chances of being found for your dream job. Recruiters are searching for demonstrations of your thought leadership, your network connections, online recommendations, press releases, civic and volunteer activities -- anything that presents a holistic view of you as a leader and can elevate your candidacy. If you don't have online profiles filled with the right keywords to attract opportunity, get professional help.

What are you doing to help minimize your time in job search?