The Challenging C-Level Job Search

It can take 9-12 months to find that next right-fitting position … are never words my prospective Finance Executive clients want to hear. However, setting up realistic expectations ultimately translates to less frustration and impatience during what can be a very long and challenging journey.

Recently I participated in a conversation on Facebook that spoke directly to this issue. The original post noted that on average, it takes 42-70 days to fill a job vacancy. That comment quickly turned to the length of a C-level search.

This conversation again points to the wisdom of starting an executive job search well in advance of wanting or needing a new position. In fact, recognizing that being employed only means you are between searches is the key to executing good career management habits and facilitating smoother transitions.

Whether your search takes 4 months, 6 months, or 12+ months, there are a few things you can be doing while you are still gainfully and happily employed and thinking about your next career step.

Remember that finding the right fit takes time.

Attracting recruiters and companies who need what you bring to the table and are willing to pay, and pay well, to get it takes intentionality … and time. If you are considering making a move within the next 12-18 months, it is not too early to begin the process.

The pursued has the most power.

When you are being pursued (vs. doing the pursing), you occupy the power position in compensation negotiations. Make sure your marketable value message is compelling and visible to the companies and recruiters who need to know about your career contributions and impacts so they can find you when they need a CFO with your talent.

Balance is key!

The best Chief Financial Officer positions are rarely found on public job boards. Executing a balanced search plan that includes a strong network, visibility among your target market and recruiters, and a proactive campaign aimed at companies on your hit list will garner much better results than a search plan that consists primarily of forwarding your resume to blind ads.

When you have the luxury of time, you can afford to wait for that right-fitting opportunity rather than make a choice out of desperation that may or may not be the right fit.


Copyright CFO-Coach 2017


Cindy Kraft is the CFO-Coach and America’s leading Career & Personal Brand Strategist for Corporate Finance Executives helping clients understand their marketability, articulate their value, and position themselves as the clear and compelling choice. She is a Certified Reach Personal Brand Strategist, Certified Reach Online Identity Strategist, Certified Career Management Coach, Certified Professional Resume Writer, and Job & Career Transition Coach. Cindy can be reached via email, by phone 813-727-3037, or through her website at






David Perry, Super Executive Recruiting Sleuth and author of Guerilla Marketing for Job Hunters, may be hiding in a café near you … with the opportunity of a lifetime! Wouldn’t it be great to carry a reputation that was distinctive enough to bring top-notch recruiters out of the woodwork in hot pursuit of you with great, new opportunities?

While not every C-level candidate may be able to cause this type of frenetic activity, and yes it’s true not every recruiter would go to the extremes of the Super Recruiting Sleuth; with a visible, branded marketable value proposition you CAN get on the radar screen of those recruiters who need to know about you and who have the opportunities you want.

That means moving beyond the commodity positioning of responsibilities and repackaging and positioning yourself as the most desirable candidate among all of your competition. How have you delivered compelling value over the years that would incite companies to fight for you to join them? Easy? No. Worthwhile? I’m sure many of David's prospective candidates would offer a resounding yes!

I’m still waiting to see the picture of David in a hairnet and apron!