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When executives hit the top of the pyramid in their career, they may wonder, “Is that all there is?” One reasonable progression in an executive career is serving on the board of directors of a major public or non-profit company. A board of director’s position provides an outlet for experienced executives to continue to use their business knowledge.

2016 is around the corner. If you are making personal resolutions, why not extend that activity to your career as well? Welcome the New Year by reflecting on your job search plan.

Are you doing the same things in your job search today that you did five or 10 years ago and expecting the same results? What may have worked even a year ago may not today, so you need to reassess and retool your action plan to identify your successful strategies and change those that have not been effective.

new-year-executive-job-searchThe points below will help you to audit your job search activities:

Here’s the good news – if you’re getting interviews, your resume is doing its job – assuming you’re getting interviews for the types of positions you want. But what you do before, during, and after the interview can increase your chances of getting the offer.
 

How much time and effort do you put into checking out a prospective company before accepting an offer for a potential position - let alone applying to an organization?

Executives already know that a large percentage of success when hiring new employees is how well they fit into the company culture. But how does a prospective employee learn what they need to know to determine if they are a good fit with any one organization?
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1. If the company is local, drive to their offices and do a little surveillance.

Nearly every time I talk with executives about their job search and the career documents they need the long-standing question comes up…

Do I really need a cover letter and is it really being read? executive_job_search_cover_letter

Some executives will tell me that they personally don’t read candidate cover letters (the reasons: they are usually not well written, sound canned, not tailored, etc.). Others will tell me that they do read them—some before they read the resume and others after they read the resume, looking for consistency between the two documents and interest in their company and the position.

Executives negotiate millions of dollars on behalf of their employers for contracts, products, and services every year. Why then is it so difficult for most executives to negotiate their salaries when offered a job? Whatever the reasons, senior managers, directors and C-level executives are not immune from negotiating their salary for a new job opportunity.  

Most standard interview questions are simply not designed to allow an executive to truly demonstrate their capabilities, ideas, and innovation. Executive search consultants are bored with cookie-cutter interview questions and the answers people give, which don’t reveal what the search consultants—or employers for that matter—really need to know. They want to understand who you are, how you will work and what value (ROI) you can bring to an organization.

Executive bios take branding to another level, linking an executive’s softer skills to their value proposition in a way that isn’t possible to emphasize in a resume. BlueSteps allows you to include your executive bio in your career profile, so it’s important to have a professionally written bio that will represent you in the best light. To clarify any confusion around executive bios, let’s look at a few points:

Purpose:

  • To reflect who you are and what you have accomplished in your career 
  • To reinforce your brand
  • To tell your career story with more personality

It complements your resume:

When launching your executive job search campaign while employed, there are always a few concerns. The biggest concern is that your current employer might find out. Some consider this “disloyal” behavior, even if they themselves would have no issue with poaching an executive from a competitor.

A few companies have internal or unwritten policies that an employee (executive or otherwise) who is discovered searching for a new job should be replaced as soon as possible, rather than be stuck having to quickly fill a key position when that person gives notice. For this reason, if your job search is discovered, the company may start to seek your replacement, even if you haven’t announced you’re looking, much less leaving.

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