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Looking out across a construction site with dozens of workers scurrying from place to place, a construction leader once said, we can’t see dramatic cost reductions and quality improvements without innovations. Thankfully, across the industry organizations from general contractors to subcontractors and suppliers are rapidly taking advantage of the influx of new technologies that are poised to bring the construction industry into the 21st century, which is a good thing since according to the McKinsey’s 2015 Global Institute Industry Digitization Index, construction as an industry is at the bottom of the stack of industries for digitization.

When most people think about a Board Director role, they think of it as a great professional opportunity, but one that is for retirement or the end of their career. With more and more people hoping to stay active during their retirement, board positions are a great way to replace W-2 income with 1099 income and to remain engaged. As boards seek greater diversity in thought, we are seeing a trend toward adding executives who are still active in operating roles. So, if you still haven’t begun searching for your first Board Director role, here are five reasons why you should start now:

Perhaps the most important thing you must get right, to leave a good first impression, is to get your greetings right. Whether you are a candidate coming for an interview or a sales manager trying to impress a prospect customer.

But which one I may ask? It could be a wai if you are Thai, a bow if you are Japanese, la bise (cheek kiss) to good friends if you are French, or a firm handshake if you are American.

Screw it up and not getting your handshake, wai or bow correct, spells trouble ahead.

Handshake, wai or both?

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.

Is your resume not achieving you the results you want in the executive job market? If you’re not getting traction from executive recruiters, you could be succumbing to one of these 20 common executive resume pitfalls. Take a fresh look at your resume and see if you can spot any of these recruiter faux-pas.

 

1. Offering Up Personal Details

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