BlueSteps Career Management and Executive Search Blog
The BlueSteps Career Management Blog is written with a C-level audience in mind on career management topics ranging from executive compensation, executive resumes, and interview tips to networking, executive job search, and gaining visibility as a professional in one’s industry.
The BlueSteps Executive Search Blog links senior executive candidates to actual retained search recruitment insights from AESC member executive recruiters, BlueSteps career advisors and other guest writers.
BlueSteps is an exclusive service of the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants, the voice of excellence for executive search and leadership consultants worldwide. Confidentiality is a cornerstone of AESC's mission, and only AESC member firms and consultants have access to BlueSteps members resume info. Click here to learn more about the additional benefits of becoming a BlueSteps member.
Executive job-seekers of all functions have been taught to pull together a portfolio which sells the technical, financial and operational skills that they have accumulated over their years of experience. Whatever the next destination of your career path is, ensuring you stand out among other candidates with similar experiences is the only way to get there.
The challenges facing an executive who believes the time is approaching to consider a career change can be both awkward and potentially risky. How much/how little one should say - when and to whom? These challenges are more pressing if one is thrust into such a situation – and require care and skill to do the right things and make the best decisions.
As any executive who has tried to write one will know, creating an effective executive resume requires reflective thinking, strategic planning, considerable time and effort, and a lot of proof-reading. For executive career advisors, recruiters and potential employers who view resumes on a daily basis, there are many common pitfalls that executive candidates succumb to which could be easily avoided if they had been provided with the correct advice. Based on questions submitted by BlueSteps webinar registrants, BlueSteps has compiled a list of executive resume FAQs to help you on your way to optimizing your own document.
Often overlooked by the international media, Indonesia is the world’s fourth largest country with a diversified economy underpinned by a dynamic private sector and has experienced years of positive economic growth. Its geographic position between China and India sometimes masks the scale and dynamism of this South East Asian behemoth, but the shifting sands of globalization are drawing this giant out of the shadows. AESC recently hosted a session in Jakarta on the future of executive search in Indonesia. What are the opportunities and challenges that Indonesia offers senior executives? Let’s take a look at some key points made during our Jakarta visit and what this means for executives considering positions in Indonesia.
It is surprising how so many executives I come across easily under-estimate their ability to stay on top of digitization trends, and consider themselves digitally challenged! I spoke to audience members who approached me during networking sessions at some of the technology conferences I spoke at recently, and a synopsis of my observations as well as my advice to some of them is as follows.
Business leaders have always been scrutinized for their decision making. In 1914, Henry Ford was both denounced as a fool and praised for doubling wages of factory employees from $2.34 to $5 per day. In 1987, Merck & Company decided to give away a cure for river blindness for free, an unfathomable choice for most pharmaceuticals, because they recognized the cost of the drug would be too high for impoverished international markets. Today, entire industries emerge and evaporate in just a few years, so executives must be ready to make substantive choices with limited information. Decisions on people – who to hire, fire, promote and reward – is even more complex; even if new algorithms are quantifying our daily behavior, humans create messy and imperfect data sets.
As you embark on your executive job search, you will quickly realize the digital age has vastly altered the way in which a successful job search at the executive level is conducted. With the introduction of social media and what appears to be the ease of applying through the vast selection of job boards, you will need to execute a savvy job search to identify and ultimately land the right-fit role.
In 2017, it seems like everything is being measured and quantified. Over time, this trend has spread to people-centric industries like executive search. Like it or not, the use of personality assessments – and other pre-employment testing – is alive and well as companies are hiring employees from the entry level to the executive level. I’m often asked by clients and candidates alike, “what role should personality testing play in the hiring process?” My response usually begins with the words “be careful…”
It can be a challenge for many senior level executives to muster the time and energy needed for building and maintaining their professional network. But without a robust network, executives put their careers at great risk by neglecting this vital aspect of career contingency planning. Executives hoping to safeguard their careers and improve their career trajectory must have a network in place before they come to rely on it for finding their next role. Like the Chinese proverb dictates, you must dig the well before you are thirsty, and executive networking is no exception.
I see lots of resumes every week – some are sent in by my hiring team, some come to me from absolute strangers via LinkedIn & some come via referrals from friends & acquaintances.
Often, I have experienced a difference between the persona reflected in the resume, and the person you meet in reality. Based on my real-life experience, here’s my take on what C-level cover letters & resumes should look like: