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Think of Coca Cola. Do you have a picture of a can of Coca Cola clearly in your mind? What do you see? Red and white/silver aluminum can with distinctive lettering. Now picture a glass of Coke, just an ordinary glass with a dark colored beverage inside. It could be Coke, but it could also be Pepsi; it could even be root beer.

When you get that call from an executive recruiter or hiring manager that they would like to set up a pre-screening phone interview, pat yourself on the back. You have made it to the first step. But, don’t think this a relaxed and laid-back conversation. This is a very important phone call because the interviewer will be developing a profile on you. You will be judged on your attitude, personality, ability to communicate effectively, and how well you might fit into the company culture. If the call is Skyped, the person may also be evaluating your professional image and body language.

Scenario: you are thrilled that you have a job offer and are excited to start your new position. What’s wrong with this picture? Nothing really, except that sometimes executives are so ready to jump into their new job, they may ignore the red flags that exist. Of course no company is perfect, but before you accept that job offer, look at these issues that could spell disaster.
 
Has a position overseas held some mystical attraction to you? Always wondered what working in a foreign country would be like? Let’s examine a few factors that may help you decide if working outside your home country is a good move for you.

Country Culture

We talk a lot about company culture when looking for new job opportunities. However, when thinking about taking a position internationally, it is important to understand the country culture. Company standards, work ethic, and leadership are handled very differently from culture to culture. Be sure to carefully investigate this thoroughly before accepting a position.
Are you working in a foreign country and looking for a position that will enable you to return to your country of origin? Are you overwhelmed? Are you working long hours or struggling with language barriers? Paralyzed at the thought of starting a new network? Working and living in a foreign country can be challenging.

Most executive job seekers don’t find networking as easy as people think. Executives run multimillion-dollar businesses and schmooze investors, Boards of Directors, etc., as a normal course of doing business. Yet, when it comes to networking for themselves, it is an entirely different story. They feel uncomfortable tooting their own horn to others.

  1. Being perceived as less productive… (can’t keep up with the pace; less energy; less motivation – just coasting until they can retire, etc.) and less healthy (more absences) than younger workers.

    Example: A client who was an accountant for his entire career was laid off and spent a year looking for other positions. Even though he might get to the level of top 2-3 candidates in the interviewing process, he didn’t get the offer. He thought it might be because he is overweight and walked with a slow gait, a bit hunched over from many years sitting at a desk. He decided to change careers and pursued his passion of cooking with a friend who owned a high-end restaurant. There he works as a chef and on the accounting!
     
  1. Dismiss Age Discrimination Thoughts - Flip that mental age discrimination switch to the “off” position. Think age-neutral. Focus on “connecting” to the interviewer before any real questioning starts. Banish any thoughts that reflect “reverse age discrimination” where you believe a young person can’t possibly understand you – get them to understand your enthusiasm, skills, interests and ability to contribute.
     
  2. Emphasize Capabilities, Not Experience - We have learned to equate experience to depth and strength of capabilities – don’t do it. It generally serves to de-emphasize duration of experience. Focus on the capabilities acquired during your executive experience.
     

As Robert Frost might say were he alive today,” C-level executives go down the road less traveled. And that makes all the difference.” And, recognizing that the C-level executive does travel on a different plane than other senior management, therefore, they need to have a resume that stands out above. So how does a C-level resume look? What needs to be included? What needs to be excluded?  Here are the top seven tips to lay the groundwork and get you started.

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