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We're proud to announce the release of our newest report, The BlueSteps 2019 Executive Career Outlook, currently available to BlueSteps members. The report features insights from over 1,400 senior management professionals globally to help you grow your career. 

If you’ve ever tried to loosen a flathead screw with a Phillips screwdriver, you know how frustrating and difficult it can be to get the result you’re after. The Phillips is simply not made for the job you want it to do. The same goes for trying to empty a swimming pool by scooping out a bucketful of water at a time. Using the wrong tool for the job can fall anywhere between impossible and unnecessarily hard.
 
What does this have to do with executive resumes or CVs? To start with, if you’re thinking that a one-size-fits-all approach to your resume will serve you well in all cases, you’re on the wrong track. In some situations, a specially developed resume—or even no resume at all—might be the right tool for the job.

As part of AESC’s latest issue of Executive Talent, “Executive Talent Issue 16: Emotions and Machines,” AESC delves into top business issues impacting organizations. In the piece, AESC and its members look at the ways that those issues impact businesses’ quest to find strong talent to lead. Below is an excerpt from the article:

A colleague of mine who I will call “John” successfully negotiated a highly favorable executive relocation and compensation increase from his Fortune 100 technology and communication company who wanted him and his family to move to Singapore. In a global economy that continues to send mixed signals into the market, John secured everything he wanted to maximize his personal reward. I asked him to explain his strategy and I am pleased to share his top four recommendations as best practices.

Several years ago, a coaching client of mine contemplated the next step in his career. At the time, he was a Vice President of Marketing and Business Development. His ambition was to become a CEO, but uncertainty clouded his decision-making. We reviewed the qualities of successful leaders and identified a strategy that included increased participation in meetings and conversations about the business as a whole, not just marketing. Our sessions gave him insight into his relevant strengths and ones he would need to develop. As his confidence improved, he experienced marked success influencing his boss and members of the executive team. In time he was able to clarify the next step - working in a venture capital firm.

During a weekend meeting with friends, the conversation turned to a familiar but less debated topic, i.e., how to leave an old role tactfully! Quite a spin on the usual topic of how to settle down in a new place!! I pondered over the various conversations I have had with many folks who had sought my advice over the years, and realized the existence of a common theme – no matter how long you have been in the company, no matter how eager you are to move to greener pastures, moving on is always nerve-wracking.

These days, sabbaticals are a hot talking point. More and more companies are deciding to give their employees the chance to take time out of their everyday (professional) lives, but which aspects have to be considered when company executives consider taking the sabbatical plunge? Beate Stelzer, Partner at Signium Germany, posed this question to some top-class managers; all of whom decided to treat themselves to a time-out.

When it comes to writing a resume, I see many candidates struggle with deciding how far back to go, what to include, and what not to include as part of your career history. As an executive resume writer, I’m an advocate of devoting the majority of the “real estate” on your resume to what happened in the past 15 years.

In this article, I’ll present the case for and against this stance, discuss some workarounds that might work for everyone, and throw in my two cents on what to include on LinkedIn.

 

When was the last time you had your car serviced? Six months…a year…two years? You’ve probably done it more recently than two years, because you want to make sure your car continues to operate reliably and get you where you need to go. Something similar could be said about your career management strategy. You can’t expect it to continue serving you well if you don’t take good care of it and change it when needed.

As an executive joining a new organization, you are expected to achieve a higher level of productivity within the first few months with a lower learning curve than other employees. Executives must be ready to make an immediate contribution once they’ve accepted their job offer. You can achieve this by knowing everything you can about the organization, its culture, your team, your executive colleagues, and the Board of Directors.

The key is to establish your reputation as a knowledgeable and diligent leader in your first 30 days. Your initial focus should be on building relationships, gaining trust, and showcasing your credentials.

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