CEOs Don’t Fill Out Job Applications — Why Should You?

There is no question that the recruiting process in most organizations is broken. It simply doesn’t work, and job-seekers languish as they wait for somebody to read their resume or application and respond to them. They could be waiting for a long time!

We can complain about the sorry state of recruiting, or we can take matters in our own hands. We can step up and empower ourselves.

Empowerment is personal. It is a personal journey. You will not become more powerful because somebody else stoops to confer a bit of their power on  you. That makes you less powerful! You have to grow your own muscles if you want to get stronger. The good news is that more and more people are doing it every day.

They are taking their careers into their own hands rather than waiting for employers, recruiting firms or anybody else to run their careers for them.


CEOs and other top executives don’t fill out online job applications and wait for months to hear anything back, for instance. How do these executives get new jobs when they need them? Here are three ways they find work:



  1. They use their networks to make introductions for them.
  2. They view themselves — and brand themselves — as consultants, and they toggle between consulting work and full-time work as needed, and
  3. They reach out to people they don’t know, and start conversations with them.


You can see that all three of these non-traditional job-search techniques are interrelated. People who network with other people — including folks they already know and new people they’re meeting for the first time — gain more confidence through their networking activities. As they network, they realize that they have more talents and ability to help organizations than they ever knew they had.

They find the confidence to go to vistaprint or the local office supply store and order business cards for themselves — business cards that brand them a new way. Now they don’t think of themselves as needy job-seekers anymore. They think of themselves as consultants. You can do the same thing!

I was a walking bundle of fear the first time I took on a consulting project. It wasn’t my choice. My boss told me that a CEO down the street from our company had called him, looking for some help with his HR practices. I was our company’s HR manager. I was 28. My boss said “I told the CEO down the street that you would stop by and talk with him after work today.”

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