Category: executive resumes

Starting an Executive Job Search For the First Time in Years? Here’s What to Do

Businessman in crisis facing different roads
If you’ve always been recruited, or jobs just “found” you in the past, you might find things have changed.
You’ll now face an increasingly competitive battlefield in the race for a new executive job – and here’s why.

After the economic ups and downs of the past 10+ years, many executives have gotten serious about job search, taking the time to market themselves with a carefully constructed brand message on social media. At the same time, they’ve become more aware of what works on a resume and what doesn’t, especially in a crowded market.

As a result, your executive job search now looks much different than 10 or even 5 years ago – and putting out a single-page resume or a weak LinkedIn Profile won’t suffice.

Read on for the new and upcoming reality of executive job search:

1 – Executive resumes now require a thorough exercise in personal branding.

Still adding new jobs to that old resume, pushing down older positions and making it longer? It’s time to upgrade. Executive resume trends have changed so much that you might not realize how to pull out all the stops to showcase your skills.

Powerful language, graphic elements, and concise success stories now take center stage (as you can see in this example of a Chief Revenue Officer resume), enabling you to  position yourself at an executive (not mid-career!) level.

Devote time to gathering achievements from past positions, adding metrics to frame your results. Note the budgets you’ve managed, initiatives you’ve led, and promotions earned, as well as the accolades behind them. You can even pull in “sound bite” quotes from your references to further emphasize your value proposition.

No matter what you’ve achieved, you must distill accomplishments into short, potent sentences – because recruiters aren’t willing to navigate 6+ pages in their quest for a leader.

2 – LinkedIn should be a strong tool in your job-hunting arsenal.

Ignoring LinkedIn because you don’t know how to use it? Barely filled in your Profile? Don’t wait any longer, because it’s one of the first places employers will be checking you out.

Get your LinkedIn Profile updated as soon as possible, adding achievements and career wins that represent your executive status. Write a powerful, relevant Headline and Summary to position yourself at the right level.

Learn how to join and use Groups, Status Updates, and other facets of the site, without waiting for the “right” time. (Hint: there is no right time.)

Accept connections from other LinkedIn users and issue a few of your own. Be careful not to show your frustration with social media during the learning curve, as this will brand you in a negative light.

3 – Recruiters can be helpful – but you’ll need to pay it forward.

If you haven’t taken a recruiter’s call in many years, it’s time to reconsider. There’s a continual need for talented leaders who can guide strategic decisions, take projects offshore, implement cutting-edge technology, transform sales organizations, and otherwise mentor the next generation of executives.

Picking up the phone and passing along credible names to a recruiter can be a good move, especially if you want to be among those courted for a new role. Staying on the headhunter’s radar might pay off in both the near and long-term future.

When you’re discussing opportunities with a recruiter, maintain your best professional demeanor; remember that they’re working for the client corporation, NOT you. While a recruiter can act as a job-search partner, they’ll also pass along any negative impressions of your communication style and flexibility as a candidate.

4 – Your executive network is more important than ever.

By staying active in your industry with highly visible positions on Boards and in professional associations, you’ll be more likely to become recommended to (or meet) a recruiter or business owner who needs your expertise. In fact, you’ll gain near-immediate credibility by volunteering for a position or speaking engagement within an industry association or group.

You can also elevate your reputation as a thought leader by publishing content or white papers for industry journals, or even on LinkedIn. You can gain blog or social media followers by promoting and commenting on similar articles, particularly those that align with your leadership brand.

5 – Accept changes in your industry – and in the job search.

Your line of work or industry may have undergone substantial changes in the past few years, making your desired role harder to find or difficult to sustain at the same salary level. Here’s where looking at tangent industries, transferable skills, and new professional contacts will serve you better than trying to re-create your job search of years past.

If you’re not sure why the phone fails to ring or recruiters seem to ignore your queries, spend time asking valued colleagues for feedback, or searching LinkedIn to gauge your ROI against the competition.

You might uncover alternatives to the roles you planned to pursue, or a slightly different industry in which to concentrate your efforts.

Continue to spread the word about your expertise through social media and by making high-value contacts, rather than limiting your activity to job posting responses.

In summary, it’s not your father’s job search anymore.

Your digital identity, reputation, adaptability, and networking efforts – not to mention your executive resume – have all taken on considerably more weight in the past few years. You’ll get better results by adapting your executive job search tactics accordingly.

Executive Resume Writer

Need a competitive edge in your job search? As an award-winning executive resume writer, I create branded, powerful resumes and LinkedIn Profiles that position you as the #1 candidate.

My clients win interviews and top C-suite, EVP, VP, and Director positions at Fortune 500 firms, niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders, enjoying the competitive advantage of powerhouse documents and executive job search techniques tailored to today’s job market.

Get in touch with me to experience the outstanding results I can bring to your transition.

– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC, CTTCC

 

Did You Fall for These Resume Myths?

Falling for these resume myths
No matter how much advice is published on the subject, some myths still circulate about the best way to write your resume.
Fortunately, a lot has changed in resume writing and job search – and you can benefit from these new trends.

For example, you might have been told to keep your resume to a specified length or to always exclude certain types of information. Given how much has changed in the job market, many of these “rules” have fallen by the wayside.

Take a look at the longstanding myths and misconceptions about resume writing, then see which of these apply to your own resume: Continue reading “Did You Fall for These Resume Myths?”

5 Ways to Crush the Competition in Your Executive Job Search

How to win executive job

Moving up to the corner office – or seeking a change in your executive role?

Start leveraging new practices and trends to outpace your job-seeking competition as soon as possible. 

A strong social media presence, keyword-rich executive resume, cutting-edge search methods, and intensive follow-up are now required to land a choice leadership position.

Here are 5-must-know executive job search, LinkedIn, and resume trends you’ll need to win your next leadership opportunity:

Continue reading “5 Ways to Crush the Competition in Your Executive Job Search”

5 Executive Resume Writing Secrets Used by Experts

Starting to write your executive resume?

You might feel overwhelmed by the amount of information needed to produce a standout document – especially if you have decades of experience to cover.

Take a step back to look at your value proposition and contributions from throughout your career, framing your story step by step. Not only will this aid you in writing your resume succinctly and clearly, but you’ll be in better shape when it comes to fielding interview questions.

Consider using these 5 tactics to mine for career and personal branding in an executive career (the same steps employed by professional resume experts): Continue reading “5 Executive Resume Writing Secrets Used by Experts”

The 7 Executive Resume Trends Crucial to Your Job Search

What To ExpectIs this your year to land a new executive job?

You’ll need to be ready with a fresh executive resume tuned to current trends.

This is especially important if you’ve tried to add executive experience to your old resume, without thinking strategically about your presentation or considering how your story appears to employers.

These tips outline what you’ll need to do (and know) about executive resumes  — with fresh insight on next-generation, professional resume writing trends: Continue reading “The 7 Executive Resume Trends Crucial to Your Job Search”

How to Write a CFO Resume That Reflects Your Leadership Brand

cropped-financialteam.jpgPursuing your next step up the career ladder as CFO or Controller?

Your CFO resume must connect the dots from tactical details, such as financial reporting or systems, to strategic advisor and CEO partner.

By showing examples of strategic decision-making and forecasting, IT oversight, performance recommendations, and Board influence, your CFO resume will position you to compete against other contenders for a C-suite role.

Here’s how to present your value proposition on a powerful, effective CFO resume: Continue reading “How to Write a CFO Resume That Reflects Your Leadership Brand”

Don’t Just Update Your Executive Resume! Start Over Instead

Poised for an executive job search? Updating your existing resume probably seems like a logical first step, but hold on!

Your previous resume was probably written 5 or 10 years ago, using a different tone, formatting, and keyword content designed for a lower-level role. At the executive level, the game changes – requiring a different type of storytelling and presentation to ensure your brand stands out.

To write an effective and powerfully targeted executive resume, you’ll need to do more than just add job titles and dates. Here’s how to rethink your executive resume content and take steps to reach that coveted corner office: Continue reading “Don’t Just Update Your Executive Resume! Start Over Instead”

Resume Writing Trends for Executives & Professionals

LinkedIn Profile OptimizationRunning a job search – but using resume writing trends from the past?

You’ll find yourself at a disadvantage in today’s aggressive job market.

Plenty of job seeking activities have changed over the past decade… and your executive resume needs to keep pace with them.

Job seekers in 2017 and beyond must develop and leverage a personal brand message throughout each aspect of their resumes, social media activities, cover letters, and LinkedIn Profiles.

To ensure your resume and job search activity aligns with the latest resume writing trends, take note of these 5 critical elements: Continue reading “Resume Writing Trends for Executives & Professionals”

3 Executive Resume Mistakes You’re Making Right Now

Executive resume mistakes

Trying to catch a break in the competitive market for executive talent? Your resume MUST be on par with the branded, value-driven documents used by other leaders.

As an executive expecting to make your mark, you’ll need to avoid the typical (yet major-league) resume writing errors that can put you at a disadvantage.

Sharpen your approach and position yourself as a contender by checking your executive resume against these too-common resume writing mistakes: Continue reading “3 Executive Resume Mistakes You’re Making Right Now”

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?”