In their new book, You Need a Leader - Now What?, James M. Citrin and Julie Hembrock Daum present key skills that hiring organizations need in order to fill leadership positions. Based on decades of experience at AESC member search firm Spencer Stuart, Citrin and Daum offer valuable advice to help organizations assess the benefits of experience versus potential, and also talent from within versus talent from outside, in choosing leaders, all within the context of critical pressures such as technology, diversity, and economic forces.

Citrin and Daum recently sat down with The Today Show's Matt Lauer to discuss the book from a candidate's point of view and to offer advice to job seekers looking to gain an edge in a challenging job market. First, Citrin offered some basics of career management:

  • Understand what you are good at.
  • Know what you are passionate about.
  • Find the right fit.

Watch The Today Show video with James Citrin and Julie Hembrock.

Throughout this month at BlueSteps, we have focused on executive career transitions. Most executives will feel like they already know these three basic tenets of career management, but it is crucial to revisit them, especially during a career transition. Much of what Citrin and Daum offer in their book, even though written for the employer, can be beneficial for the executive candidate as well, to gain a better understanding of how organizations choose talent and what executive recruiters may be looking for in order to help their client, the hiring organization, zero in on the right candidate.

Your executive brand--always important--becomes even more critical during a career transition. Knowing precisely what employers are looking for in leadership candidates in your target industry, and knowing how to market appropriately what you have to offer, will give any executive job seeker an edge when seeking a career transition. If you are looking to transition careers, you will need to clearly exhibit in every way possible--through your resume/CV, LinkedIn profile, and while networking--how you will bring relevance and measurable potential for high success, to a new role or sector. You will also want to be sure to update your BlueSteps executive profile to match your target market.

At the executive level, you will need to dig deep. The more established your career, the more challenging it will be to transition. You will need to go beyond just transferable skills to passions and tactical involvement in the target sector. 

You Need a Leader - Now What? attests to the reality that organizations do hire leaders from outside, and although not often, even sometimes from a different sector, depending on the situation and the organization's goal. If an organization is looking for a superstar leader with a fresh perspective to shake things up and foster innovation, make sure you are marketing yourself accordingly to be considered for these top opportunities.

Next month, BlueSteps will focus on executive identity and online branding. Our team of career coaches, resume writers, and contributing bloggers will be offering invaluable insight on how to manage your executive brand and what tools you can utilize to powerfully convey your executive talent to executive recruiters. Take control of your career management strategy for 2012 - join Bluesteps today and raise your visibility to over 8,000 executive search professionals in more than 75 countries.


This article was written by Joe Chappell from the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).

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