Category: leadership 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

 

LinkedIn Resume Assistant: Will It Help You Create a Strong Resume?

LinkedIn Resume Assistant

It’s here! LinkedIn’s new Artificial Intelligence-powered resume tool, Resume Assistant, has rolled out to Office 365 users.

By promising to ease the challenge of writing your resume, this new capability has caught the attention of many job hunters.

However, Resume Assistant is much like any tool purported to streamline your job search: it works best when you see it as another way to improve the process, not as a means of handing off the process itself.

Here are the pros and cons of using LinkedIn Resume Assistant to develop a compelling resume:

1 – LinkedIn Resume Assistant can cut down on your keyword research efforts.

Keywords dials businessman on computer .When you’re embarking on a job hunt, gathering keywords from job postings is an important step for your resume. By quickly generating a list of skills and other relevant terms found in LinkedIn jobs and other Profiles, Resume Assistant can help make this research more manageable.

A caveat:  many LinkedIn users fail to fully populate the site with valuable information, so you might get repetitive and mundane results (such as Operations Management for a COO or Budgeting for an Accountant).

A look at the Profiles of your most skilled colleagues or connections could yield better insights. Don’t forget to use other job boards, too, such as Indeed.com or Glassdoor.

2 – LinkedIn Resume Assistant will appear automatically if you open an Office 365 Word resume template.

And this is NOT a good thing. Rather than trying to populate a basic template, you’ll fare better with a customized presentation. Think of the reasons you’d tailor any important business document to the subject, target audience, and purpose. Your resume is of equal, if not greater importance!

When you limit yourself to the resume templates found in the Office 365 application, you’re showing employers a lack of imagination and resourcefulness. See How to Write a Standout Executive Resume for additional ways to distinguish yourself on a resume.

3 – LinkedIn Resume Assistant helps research competing LinkedIn Profiles for you.

LinkedIn_investigationIf you’re not already using LinkedIn to assess your job-seeking competition, you’re missing an important exercise. Not only will LinkedIn research help you gauge whether your career goals are realistic, you’ll also be able to identify unique capabilities for use on your resume.

Resume Assistant will match your job title to that of similar LinkedIn users, and show you snippets of their work history. It will also generate detail from LinkedIn Jobs that align with your experience and career stature. The idea is to jog your memory and prompt you to write keyword-specific resume content, enabling you to compete among professionals at the same level.

4 – LinkedIn Resume Assistant is NOT intended to encourage copying.

No matter how you look at it, taking someone else’s resume or LinkedIn content is plagiarism, and LinkedIn takes this very seriously (read their Copyright Policy, complete with procedures for filing a claim).

If you’re stumped for ideas, look at job postings or even resume samples for inspiration. Often, you’ll see achievements or projects that will remind you of your own success stories. The idea in using Resume Assistant is the same:  you may have forgotten to note important facets of your work, such as the size of teams you’ve managed or new initiatives you’ve led.

This information is presented to help you recall important detail from past positions, education, or volunteer experience, NOT to claim it as your own.

5 – LinkedIn Resume Assistant won’t help you brand yourself.

ex_pickme2This is probably the biggest objection most marketers have when it comes to Resume Assistant: a truly powerful and effective resume should distinguish you from others, not enable you to mimic them.

Want to make employers sit up straight when they get your resume? Then spend time on both keyword research from Resume Assistant and the hard work of real resume writing, where you develop power-packed success stories as proof of your performance.

If you find this part difficult, try a classic storytelling method such as Challenge-Action-Result (CAR). This technique helps you describe career wins by noting the Challenge or situation you faced, the Actions taken to resolve it, and the Result or business benefit to your employer.

You’ll see examples of achievement statements, quantifiable metrics, and powerful brand messaging in this sample CEO resume.

So, take time to check out LinkedIn Resume Assistant to see what it will show you for keywords and competitive research.

Spend even MORE time writing about your own personal qualities, strengths, and accomplishments for a resume that truly gets results.

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

 

Executives, Are You Rejecting LinkedIn Connection Requests?

Declining requests to connect because you “don’t know” other users? It’s time to reconsider.

LinkedIn isn’t a tell-all social media site (like Facebook, where you’re often judged by the quality of the company you keep).

Instead, think of the site as a massive, ongoing business networking meeting, where the more people you reach, the more exposure you’ll receive as a leader and executive job seeker. 

Online networking can be a boon for your executive job search – and the sooner you change your approach, the faster you could land a new job. Here are 5 reasons to quit rejecting connection requests on LinkedIn, particularly if you’re in the market for a new leadership opportunity: Continue reading “Executives, Are You Rejecting LinkedIn Connection Requests?”

How to Optimize Your Executive LinkedIn Profile for SEO

LinkedIn Profile SEOIn case you haven’t heard, LinkedIn now has 500+ million members – establishing itself as a hotbed of job search activity, with recruiters pursuing candidates and job seekers vying for attention from hiring decision-makers.

With such fierce competition, you’ll need to employ aggressive keyword and SEO strategies in order to be found for a choice job.

Here are the best ways to boost your findability on LinkedIn and optimize your Profile for SEO, including search algorithm strategy and keyword adjustments: Continue reading “How to Optimize Your Executive LinkedIn Profile for SEO”

A Fast Formula for a Powerful LinkedIn Headline

How to write your LinkedIn HeadlineFar from being just a placeholder, your LinkedIn Profile Headline has an important job to do.

If adjusted to market you effectively, it can represent your personal brand and become an online promotional workhorse.

The most highly indexed part of your Profile (next to your name), your Headline allows recruiters and employers to locate you, based on the search terms or keywords you specify… so if you’ve filled in only part of the Headline or let LinkedIn populate it with your current job title (the default value), you could be missing out on valuable traffic to your Profile. Don’t let that happen!

Instead, use as many of the 120 characters available in your Headline – ensuring that it represents your career level and personal brand, while distinguishing you from your competition. Try the following formula when you’re stumped for an effective LinkedIn Headline that leverages your industry expertise, achievements, and keywords: Continue reading “A Fast Formula for a Powerful LinkedIn Headline”

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?”

How to Choose the Right LinkedIn Photo

LinkedIn HeadshotSo you’ve added a solid Summary, Headline, and Experience to your LinkedIn Profile. What’s next?

A great headshot that exudes leadership qualities, conveys confidence, and makes employers eager to meet you.

If you’re unsure how to select a photo for your LinkedIn Profile, you have plenty of company. Many job seekers pull in a hastily cropped family photograph or select a picture with a vacation scene, rather than taking the time to use the right LinkedIn headshot.

However, just like your best interview suit or a powerfully written Profile, a positive, personality-infused LinkedIn photo can make a great first impression. These tips will help you avoid a LinkedIn photo disaster (especially the kind that turns off potential employers): Continue reading “How to Choose the Right LinkedIn Photo”

3 Ways to Update Your LinkedIn Profile on The Sly

 

Want to use LinkedIn for your job search, but afraid that your employer will find out?

Worried that your boss or colleagues will react to changes in your Profile?

You probably know there’s no way to make your LinkedIn Profile 100% private; however, these tips will help you update LinkedIn during your job search – without giving yourself away: Continue reading “3 Ways to Update Your LinkedIn Profile on The Sly”

What Does Your LinkedIn Photo Say About Your Executive Brand?

executive linkedin photoAfter seeing too many executive photos on LinkedIn that look like a hunting party or golf club outing, I have to ask:

What message are you trying to send with your headshot?

Omitting a LinkedIn photo isn’t a good idea, because many users prefer to connect with others who’ve provided an image.

However, if your headshot makes others reluctant to network with you or persuades recruiters to pass you by, it’s worth a second look. Ask yourself these questions to gauge the effectiveness of your Profile photo:

Continue reading “What Does Your LinkedIn Photo Say About Your Executive Brand?”

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”