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With 2019 right around the corner, it’s time to think about what the new year holds for your executive career. If it’s time to make a change, or at least prepare for one, it’s not about just brushing up your resume and having it ready for executive recruiters.

It’s also about polishing and optimizing your LinkedIn profile to make sure it attracts opportunities and supports your candidacy for right-fit leadership roles and serves as a tool to build and track your network—an important part of any executive job search strategy.

As a LinkedIn profile strategist, I see a lot of profiles in their un-optimized format and have compiled a list of what to avoid doing on LinkedIn, that in fact, most of my clients were doing before coming to me.

I’m sure you hear about people securing jobs through their networks all the time. In fact, if you look back at your own work history, you’ll probably recall that some of the vacancies you filled in the past were brought to your attention by people you knew. As an executive leader, you may also know that when you are trying to fill positions you first look internally and then as close to internally as possible, drawing on referrals of current employees or maybe people you’ve done business with.

Advice online abounds about how executive compensation should be negotiated. There are tips on why it’s important to research the compensation range for your targeted position, when to bring up the “money talk” and what to do if pressured to give a figure when it isn’t in your best interest to do so. This post won’t be addressing those negotiation tips.

What I’d like to do here is invite you to take a big step back.  

If you’re like me, you can’t help feeling like the coming of the fall season is a new beginning. Those many years of school conditioned me to have that association. It’s a time for refocusing on our goals and to determine where we want to be before the year’s end.  Perhaps you’ve enjoyed some summer vacation time, which has allowed you to slow down and reflect on the bigger picture of your career.

For many executives, it is a time to examine their career trajectory and take necessary steps to keep the momentum going, such as refreshing an outdated resume and beginning to explore “what’s out there”.

Depending on how long it has been, you may need more than a mere resume update. Ask yourself:

 

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?

If the time has come to accelerate your career and you are ready for a change, chances are you’ve considered reaching out to executive search firms.

Partnering with executive search firms can be an excellent way to expedite your search and begin exploring opportunities, but it’s best to carefully plan your approach. Read on to discover some top tips to consider when reaching out to executive search firms.

As an executive, it’s easy to focus all of your energy on growing your business and helping your team to evolve and develop. Heading into 2018, there is probably a long list of initiatives you hope to roll out that will deliver business processes improvement, unlock latent potential in your team members, and offer long-lasting benefits for your organization.

But don’t forget about your own personal continuous improvement project: yourself. With 2017 nearly behind us, the time has come— once again— to articulate your New Year’s resolutions and create an actionable strategy for achieving them. 

There’s nothing that will derail an otherwise stellar career trajectory than a new job that isn’t the right fit. Suddenly, the choice becomes whether to accept unhappiness and continue down what you know is a dead-end road, or deal with having a short stint to explain to your network, on your resume, and during interviews.

One way to avoid accepting a wrong-fit opportunity is to avoid being offered one to begin with.

That’s right.

It may sound great to have a slew of job offers to turn down, but this amounts to, at best, a waste of time (both yours and the prospective employers) and at worst, extreme temptation to make the wrong move.

So you aced the interview!

It’s no wonder, really. You thoroughly researched the company, its challenges, and its competitors. You anticipated interview questions and tackled them with ease. You knew the core message you wanted to convey and you did so— effectively. You researched your interviewers carefully and were armed with excellent questions to ask. And, let’s be honest, you couldn’t possibly have looked sharper than in that dapper new suit. Post-Interview Thank You Note

Imagine the following scenario...

You come up with a breakthrough idea that will disrupt your market or sharpen your company’s competitive edge. You hire the most reputable researchers to meticulously analyze the potential market and its challengers. You recruit the best prototype engineers to labor over features and design. You partner with acclaimed product-testing labs to ensure that you get it right the first time. You invest heavily in high-price-tag Big-5 consultants to scrupulously plan every detail of the supply chain to optimize performance from Day 1. 

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