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Most people who are engaged in an executive job search understand the need for a solid resume to help them attract attention for right-fit opportunities. By solid, I mean one that stands out visually, communicates one’s unique value proposition, is rich in achievements, and is conducive to skimming.

But there is a lesser-known positive side-effect of having a stellar resume. Believe it or not, an exceptional executive resume can actually help you to interview better.

The reason?

Each year, many executives make huge leaps in their careers with the help of executive search. But there are several key elements of the search process candidates need to understand prior to connecting with a recruiter.

Leadership has been defined as the process by which an individual influences a group and directs the group toward a specific goal or mission. Great leaders lead by example, possess strong communication skills and have both the trust and respect of their employees. True leaders inspire people to live the vision, mission and values of their organization while simultaneously empowering people to make decisions and contribute ideas.

A recent survey of executives about traits needed to succeed as an executive highlighted leadership skills as the most commonly cited one. While there are several definitions of leadership skills (pray, who doesn’t have a say on his or her own interpretation of leadership) with encompassing factors such as communication, motivation and strategic orientation, a pragmatic denotation which I picked up from a mentor is the impact you have on the people around you.

Not having a job search plan is like trying to reach the North Pole without a compass. You’re likely to wander aimlessly, unable to see your goal and not even sure you’re heading in the right direction. That’s probably a less extreme disaster-in-the-making than exploring the frozen north without a compass, but it’s not a course you want to take if you hope to have a successful job search.

 

Is a Five-Year Job Search Plan Essential?

The retained executive recruiter is like a casting director for the client. The recruiter wants to know: “Can I see putting the candidate on stage with the client?” Recruiters will have a handle on the organization’s leadership priorities and sensibilities but will be less able to speak about all the details of a job or organization—which you can learn from the hiring manager (if you make it onto that stage!). There is an aspect of long-term value to discussing a new position with a recruiter.

If you’re an executive who has conducted a job search, you know the key to success is to get noticed. Be a “mover” and a “shaker” in your industry or profession. Executive search consultants are seeking thought leaders and top professionals within their industry. To be recognized as such, you must be continuously networking, evolving your knowledge, and staying abreast of industry trends. There are numerous tactics you can incorporate to improve your visibility and increase your professional network.

Interviews…interesting topic, isn’t it? I get asked very often….how to crack an interview! For starters, an interview is a view of each other (the company & the candidate getting to know each other)…it is NOT a one-sided conversation…often, one sees very senior folks sitting in interviews like timid rabbits waiting for permission to eat cabbage rather than playing offense!

As a leadership development coach and Executive Director of BlueSteps Executive Career Services, I constantly work with professionals who are seeking coveted positions in the C-suite for the first time. They often have had highly successful careers as Directors and Vice Presidents, but for whatever reason, struggle to attain their next career milestone as a C-level executive. This can be of course frustrating, especially for productive, accomplished individuals, most of whom have been working toward a top leadership position for their entire careers.

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