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BlueSteps, the executive career management service of the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC), released today its annual Executive Career Outlook Report. To glean insights for the report, BlueSteps surveyed over 800 senior-level management professionals globally on what trends they are seeing in the executive job market. What BlueSteps found was worldwide, executives are more optimistic about the state of the global executive job market compared to previous years due to economic indicators and recent fiscal policies.

You have probably heard most executive jobs are either found through networking or by being "headhunted" by executive-level recruitment firms, also called search firms. Both leveraging your network and building relationships with a few executive recruiters in your industry are methods that can be highly effective for winning new opportunities. Both are without a doubt critical for executive-level professionals to include in their overall career management strategy. Both, however, do take considerable time — the results don’t happen overnight.

CEOs and C-suite executives often identify failure to attract and retain top talent as their No. 1 business issue. The key to success is having the right leaders leading in the right way. Aiding in this are executive talent search and assessment providers, who can profoundly impact businesses. As President and CEO of AESC, I am often asked what hiring organizations look for before signing an agreement with an executive search firm from those looking to hire and candidates alike.

Here I share what hiring organizations want to know about an executive search firm and how it affects candidates:

Advice online abounds about how executive compensation should be negotiated. There are tips on why it’s important to do research the compensation range for your targeted position, when to bring up the “money talk” and what to do if pressured to give a figure when it isn’t in your best interest to do so. This post won’t be addressing those negotiation tips.

What I’d like to do here is invite you to take a big step back.  

Career “Switchers” – professionals who are looking to make an industry or functional change (or both) – are on the rise. But making a significant change mid-career is tough. When faced with hiring bias, unanswered applications and frustrating rejections, many Switchers give up too soon, even when they KNOW they have what it takes to be successful in their new target role. Don't let this be you - persevere and get the job you want!

As you know LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional network. Therefore, you want to be sure your profile is a compelling and accurate portrayal of your professional brand. Whether you are actively seeking new opportunities or not, it’s important to maintain your LinkedIn profile to keep it fresh and up-to-date.

A few minutes a week is all you need to maximize your visibility and capture the attention of recruiters, company leaders, and industry colleagues. You wouldn’t want to present an outdated resume to a recruiter or employer. The same applies to your LinkedIn profile—especially since it’s so visible. A few easy ways to get started:

The upside of a booming economy means hiring is stronger than ever. The downside? More folks are out there emboldened to test the job search waters. The bottom line? The job market is growing increasingly saturated, and as an executive (whether seeking an executive writer service or not), you must do a lot more in addition to speaking with a handful of recruiters to land interviews that are a good match for your skillset.

To get a foot in the door and boost the number of interviews that come along, executive job seekers must be ready to invest in some upfront sweat equity that, in reality, is not all that different from the strategies they employ to be successful in their roles.

 “Where giggers were once responding to market conditions, they are now creating the conditions, disrupting the traditional workforce as we know it.” Korn Ferry Institute

With a name appropriated from performance culture where musicians play a limited engagement, or a “gig,” the gig economy describes the expanding labor market comprised of contract workers, freelancers, crowdsourced workers, and others who are hired for limited engagements, as well as platform-based systems—think ride sharing, delivery, and property rentals. Independent work is growing with the internet, and expanding from developed to developing economies as more of the world becomes digitally connected.

If you are looking to move in the C-Suite, having P&L responsibility listed on your career documents can dramatically increase your chances of winning new opportunities. Profit and loss responsibilities at an organization often includes overseeing cash flow and advising on budget allocations for either a department or the organization as a whole.

A friend of mine reached out recently, asking for advice on how best to write her resume. I then delved into my dossier, containing a compendium on do’s and don’ts handed out over the years, and figured out at one glance that my advice is a departure from the standard by-the-book norm – instead, it shares tips from the point of view of the reviewer, who has barely 60 seconds to flick through your “autobiography” and form an impression of you! 

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