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.
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A friend of mine reached out recently, asking for advice on how best to write her resume. I then delved into my dossier, containing a compendium on do’s and don’ts handed out over the years, and figured out at one glance that my advice is a departure from the standard by-the-book norm – instead, it shares tips from the point of view of the reviewer, who has barely 60 seconds to flick through your “autobiography” and form an impression of you!
The word “networking” conjures up negative images in my mind. It appears as if one is reaching out to others with purely selfish motives and with the sole objective of “taking” and not “giving”. Many people feel similarly – hence, the attempt to neutralize it by introducing synonyms such as “relationship building” or “connecting” without a real attempt to address the emotions/motives underneath the effort!
Leadership is as evergreen a topic as it gets! During a bout of team coaching visits recently, I created a compendium of qualities to start off our conversations as a team. Here is the list to help inspire you and your team:
Recently, during an evening with friends at the local club, the topic of compensation negotiation emerged as a dominant theme amidst discussions on various topics. It got me thinking and based on an analysis of various pieces of advice doled out by others over the years, and my own research, here’s a dossier on this important aspect of our corporate lives:
Ask! Are you aware that barely one-third of candidates even negotiate? And less than half of internal candidates talk about raises during annual appraisals? While people may have their own inhibitions for not doing so, it’s important to remember the old adage that you miss 100% of the shots you do not take!
In an increasingly digital world, most of us have ended up owning and taking up rent-free digital real estate on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter et al. And queries from users range from the basics (how do I set up my profile well) to the advanced (how do I maximize my ROI)! In this context, a compendium of suggestions I share from time to time with folks who reach out to me is as given below:
Do not spam: The sheer number of invites I get from strangers, followed by an immediate request for help, is rather huge. People have become rather unabashed. This is certainly NOT recommended. The key is to be subtle, not over-the-top.
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.
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!
Life’s all about timing, isn’t it? The number of times my friends have expressed regret over leaving the ship they thought was sinking, only to find that the men standing on board received out-of-turn promotions & huge bonuses, is not funny! At the same time, an equal number of them have poured out their sorrow (over a round of drinks at a bar) on the opportunities they did not capitalize on at the right time! So, the moot point is…when do you move on? I spent time on this topic recently, and here’s a compendium of my findings.
As we enter the holiday season, it is time for the annual ritual of New Year’s Resolutions, more intense for some & less intense for some others. Apart from weight loss, the quest for a new role typically ends up landing in the list of priorities! In this context, while speaking to many people on their goals for a new role in the coming year, I prepared the following outline, based on the advice many sought from me:
Pray, who doesn’t want to be a board director? Images that come to mind include being in the driving seat, excitement at the opportunity to steer direction of the company etc. I did some research on the topic recently and below is a compendium of my findings and thoughts.