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BlueSteps, the executive career management service by the worldwide Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC), released today their 2017 Executive Career Outlook. The new report collects insights from more than 1,200 management-level professionals around the world, from Director-level through C-suite, on their outlook for executive job opportunities across industries, functions and geographies in the year ahead.

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: 

Most of the professionals I come into contact with as an executive resume writer are exceptionally talented individuals. They are master business strategists, breakthrough innovators, quality visionaries, and relentless change leaders—with the epic accomplishments to prove it. That’s why I am surprised when some of them fail to approach their executive job search with the same spirit of enterprise.  When asked about their plan, they say, “I’ll pay a recruiter to find me a job” and “All I need is a strong resume.”  

As an executive are you looking for a great way to differentiate yourself and make a personal connection with your choice employer(s)? Short videos can help executives deliver a quick and compelling message while translating your brand more effectively than the traditional cover letter. 

Subsequent to the first post on this series on ageism, there have been two publications reported by the Wall Street Journal which validate the active practice of ageism in the job market. As these reports come from the US, one involves a potential violation in US Labor Law. With that being said, the purpose of this publication series is not about how to find yourself engaged in a multiyear law suit, but rather proactively avoid the practice of ageism in your job search.

BlueSteps recently hosted an #ExecCareer TweetChat all about women in the C-suite with top executive search consultants, Cathy Logue from Stanton Chase and Bridget Papanicholas of TRANSEARCH International, and Kathy Simmons of BlueSteps’ Executive Career Services.

Some of the questions presented to our panel included:

Ageism is a discriminatory attitude broadly defined as prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person's age, in practice it can involve discriminating against younger, not just older workers, though the latter is the more usual connotation. The online Oxford Living Dictionary quotes ‘ageism in recruitment is an increasing problem’.  

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.” Author Alicia Walker could be talking to many women today. We have generations of powerlessness in our genes, but it’s time to play catch up.

Being a search consultant with specific interest and keen focus on Women’s Leadership, I may tend to notice things a little more than most. While it may be largely a South Asian perspective, and cultural milieu, be it a conference, a chat , or an interview, the numbers of women “owning themselves” or “wading into it” are not as many as they should be.

For years, executives hoping to improve their career trajectory have been advised to build and maintain a personal brand, but with increasing competition for top executive roles, it now takes more to stand apart from industry peers. Great executives are easy to find, but industry thought leaders are irreplaceable.

The search for c-level jobs. A topic very close to everyone’s heart, right? I happened to do some research on this topic recently, and also spoke to quite a few people. Based on candid inputs from respondents, and my own groundwork, here are a few pointers.

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