Category: executive job search

5 Tips for Preventing Age Bias in Your Executive Resume & LinkedIn Profile

Avoid Age Bias in Your Job SearchBack in the job market for an executive role? You may have encountered (or wondered about) potential age discrimination when putting yourself “out there” for an executive job search.

If you find yourself experiencing rejection in your job applications, the possibility of age discrimination may seem all too real.

Yet, it’s possible that you’re actually CALLING attention to your age – more so that your leadership qualifications.

Bottom-line, focusing on your executive brand will make the biggest difference to employers. This is particularly true if your work history includes the leadership skills valued in today’s market, such as cost control, team leadership, fiscal stewardship, contract negotiations, and technology expertise.

Consider these 5 ways to get a better reception from employers – and create an “age-proof” executive resume and LinkedIn Profile – if you believe age is working against you: Continue reading “5 Tips for Preventing Age Bias in Your Executive Resume & LinkedIn Profile”

Why Your Job Application Didn’t Get a Response (And What You Can Do About It)

Eagerly sending your resume to the perfect job posting or trying to contact executive recruiters – but not getting a response?

If you thought your executive resume was strong, and your LinkedIn Profile was ready for prime time, it might seem that your application traveled into a black hole! 

Many executives report similar experiences, with reactions ranging from despair to frustration with employers. Can’t they at least acknowledge your message?

Why don’t recruiters take the time to call you back? What can you do to avoid wondering where you stand?

Before reading too much into the lack of responses, take a look at these common reasons for employer and recruiter silence – along with ways to circumvent the black hole: Continue reading “Why Your Job Application Didn’t Get a Response (And What You Can Do About It)”

Do You Really Need a Cover Letter For Executive Jobs?

Invariably, when executives try to figure out how to stand out in the job search, the subject of cover letters comes up – followed by confusion. Do you really need a cover letter for each executive job application? How can you be sure that employers are actually reading the letter you’re so carefully crafting?

cover letter for executives
Do you really need a cover letter for executive jobs?

Is it a myth that a cover letter can distinguish you in the executive job search? Here are 3 key points to consider when it comes to the cover letter question:

1 – Yes, cover letters are read by (some) employers.

However, this varies among different companies and their hiring practices. This informal survey from About.com shows some hiring managers are emphatic that a great cover letter will boost your chances of being selected for a choice interview. Studies in the careers industry also consistently nearly two-thirds of hiring authorities read cover letters, and of that group, nearly 50% consider them crucial.  You’ll never know at the outset which third of hiring managers you’re dealing with, of course. Therefore, it’s better to be prepared with a strong personal brand message encapsulated in a cover letter, than to lose out on a great opportunity.  Continue reading “Do You Really Need a Cover Letter For Executive Jobs?”

How to Find Recruiters For Your Job Search

executiverecruiterPerhaps you’ve decided to reach out to recruiters as a means of accessing potential opportunities at your leadership career level.

If so, how do you find the best executive recruiters for your situation? Many recruiters work nationally and globally, making it difficult to pinpoint the best resources.

You can get in touch with colleagues for a referral, as suggested by the NY Times in Recruiting a Recruiter for Your Next Job, which also outlines steps to take once you’ve found a good contact name.

(Of course, since executive recruiters are tasked with identifying optimum leadership candidates for their client companies, there will also be due diligence on their part to vet YOU.)

With a little resourcefulness, you can also perform online searches to find and build relationships with executive recruiters who are familiar with your field (and potentially, your target companies).

Try these 3 resources to identify potential recruiting agencies for your executive job search:

1 – Locate Recruiters Using LinkedIn.

Executive recruiters are easily findable on LinkedIn with a few simple search techniques. First of all, get familiar with the Advanced People Search function (which will make your life easier throughout your job search).

From any page in LinkedIn, you will see a  use the drop-down menu at the top right, which typically defaults to ”People.” Next to it, you’ll see Advanced – click on this word to access Advanced People Search. Continue reading “How to Find Recruiters For Your Job Search”

3 Tips to Writing a Strong Career Biography

Executive Biography WritingA career biography as a job search document is nothing new; employers and recruiters have often reviewed bios as a part of a leadership or executive portfolio.

In fact, don’t be surprised if you’re asked for an executive biography when submitting your resume.

However, you don’t want to resort to the tired, “James has served as the IT Director of XYZ Company for 6 years” type of bio.

Instead, power up your biography with these writing techniques – creating a vibrant, clearly written narrative of your leadership career that demands attention:

1 – Summarize your work history – but consider where to start.

Many leadership biographies are designed to spell out your career chronology by starting with your current role.

This is because when you’re aiming for either a level up, you’ll want to grab the reader with a potent description of your authority and relevant achievements, as in this excerpt from a CFO bio: Continue reading “3 Tips to Writing a Strong Career Biography”

Does Your LinkedIn Photo Look Like You Just Don’t Care?

You’ve already been told how important your photograph is to your social media identity – and you certainly understand that other LinkedIn users will be more likely to network with you when they can see your face.

Even so, you may not have the time or inclination to suit up for a professional headshot on your LinkedIn Profile.

However, if you substituted any of these “convenient” pictures of yourself (all found as actual pictures on LinkedIn) for an online photo, your professional credibility can be called into question:

1 – Gazing off into the distance.

Most people build trust by looking directly at the camera—which makes the reader (probably a prospective employer!) believe you’re sincerely interested in their needs.

2 – Cropped out of a family photo.

If you’re so reluctant to have a photo taken by yourself that you’ll resort to having your spouse’s shoulder included on LinkedIn, recruiters might wonder if he or she will need to accompany you to the interview.

3 – Glancing over your shoulder in the car.

Seriously, that headrest in the photo isn’t the nice touch you thought it might be.

4 – Showing some serious skin.

You look wonderful at the beach, but while everyone wants to see you more often, they probably don’t want to see more of you.

5 – Looking much too stern.

A smile goes a long way toward helping your target audience feel comfortable reaching out to you. (Conversely, that “mug shot” look doesn’t quite build rapport in the same manner.)

All joking aside, if you’re intent on using LinkedIn to move ahead in your career (and who isn’t?), you’ll receive a more positive reception by looking the part of the role you hope to gain.

All it takes is your best suit, the nearest person handy with a digital camera (even your teenager), and a quick upload to your Profile to make a much better impression.

Need a Leadership Resume Fast? Don’t Panic

On the receiving end of a recruiter’s call? Found a great job online, but it closes soon?

Your elation can quickly turn to panic, especially if you haven’t updated your resume in some time.

You’ll want to maximize every minute, of course, while creating a document that makes it look as if you’ve spent weeks crafting each word.

Here are 3 shortcuts to reviewing and refreshing your leadership resumeall in short order – to meet the demands of a choice job:

1 – Gather your thoughts.

Before your fingers hit the keyboard to start the resume writing process, take a step back.

Resumes are much more effective if they directly tie your experience to the job, so you’ll need to build your value proposition around this particular role. You can always create a newer version to fit a different job. Continue reading “Need a Leadership Resume Fast? Don’t Panic”

The Magic of An Executive Biography for Your Job Search

If you’re an executive or rising leader looking for your next choice opportunity, you’ve probably shined up your resume in anticipation of calls from recruiters, and taken the time to prepare a targeted cover letter.

But have you considered using a biography as well?

A narrative of your career designed as a short, yet powerful summary of your accomplishments, a career biography can help different members of your target audience (such as CEOs, networking contacts, or Boards of Directors) grasp your value proposition and personal brand.

In fact, you’ll find that some interviewers will react more positively to an executive biography than they will to your resume, favoring the bio because of its brevity and narrative flow.

Here are some reasons to wrap an executive biography – as well as your resume – into your leadership job hunting portfolio: Continue reading “The Magic of An Executive Biography for Your Job Search”

3 Strategies for Writing a Bold, Branded Executive Resume

Launching a strategic executive job search – and hoping to make a splash?

In previous years, listing the size of budgets managed, divisions run, or revenue generated might have been enough for a recruiter to hunt you down.

However, in today’s economic climate, executives are being asked to deliver more and brand themselves as well-rounded leaders prepared to tackle industry challenges and obstacles to growth.

Your executive resume will be judged much differently than in the job markets of years past, due to intense competition and the fact that employers can be much more selective.

It’s important to look at your executive resume with a fresh perspective. Have you missed opportunities to market yourself?

Do hiring authorities fail to understand what you bring to the table? Are you being passed over for jobs, even though you’re well-qualified?

If so, these 3 strategies can help you reassess the strength of your executive resume – with ideas for powerful content and leadership storytelling:

1 – Demonstrate strategic, not tactical, value.

Employers are not only looking for your leadership skills – they’re intent on finding a leader that will impact growth, retain top talent, and impress their competitors.

Therefore, your executive resume has to take your brand message a step further than just listing results, and talk about the situations encountered in your career.

Consider whether the following scenarios apply to your background: Continue reading “3 Strategies for Writing a Bold, Branded Executive Resume”

How to Ace The Panel Interview

Facing a panel interview? Prepare by anticipating the mix of personalities and questions you'll face

Had a call for a panel or group interview recently?

While you might be thrilled to make it to this stage of the hiring process, the mere thought of fielding not just one, but a whole TEAM of interviewers can be enough to put your stomach in knots.

However, the reason most employers conduct panel interviews isn’t to intimidate you; rather, it’s a time-saving way to meet with people that will likely interact with you in the new job, and gather their impressions all at once.

So, when you stride into that group interview, remember that the team is there to learn about you and your value-add, NOT to interrogate you or make you uncomfortable.

These 5 tips can help you feel more in control of the process while facing a group of interviewers—with a professional, enthusiastic demeanor that helps win the job: Continue reading “How to Ace The Panel Interview”