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.
BlueSteps is an exclusive service of the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants, the voice of excellence for executive search and leadership consultants worldwide. Confidentiality is a cornerstone of AESC's mission, and only AESC member firms and consultants have access to BlueSteps members resume info. Click here to learn more about the additional benefits of becoming a BlueSteps member.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When seeking an executive role, relying on a single executive job search strategy–such as job ads–is akin to trying to get in shape merely by doing some sit-ups. Learn the executive job search equivalent of a full-body workout to maximize results.
If you’re like me, summer vacation is long over, but you are still carrying around its remnants in the form of extra pounds. Returning to the gym after beach snoozing—stirring only for ice cream or Piña Coladas—can be brutal.
It’s easy to get discouraged when conducting an executive job search. As a lower-level manager or professional, perhaps it seemed that job opportunities abounded. But now, at the executive level, the available positions are harder to come by and it can be difficult to be privy to information about vacancies.
Working with retained executive recruiters and search firms can be an excellent way to gain access to the “hidden” senior-level job market, but it’s important to understand a few fundamentals before approaching them:
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.”
It may come as a surprise that—as someone who earns a living writing resumes for executives—I do, on occasion, turn prospective clients away.
The reason? They aren’t ready for my services.
For a resume to be effective, it must unequivocally position a candidate for the function, industry, and challenge they are hoping to take on next. But I often speak to executive job seekers who don’t have a clear idea of where they are aiming. Trying to polish and prime your resume when you haven’t clarified your objective is akin to sharpening arrows and then hoping to shoot them blindfolded and still hit the target.
I hear it all the time. “Nobody is calling me for interviews because of my age”.
Ageism is alive and kicking at all hiring levels, even at the senior-executive level. Many senior executives go from feeling that they’ve finally reached the pinnacle of achievement and experience in their career to seemingly overnight being concerned about being “too old”. In fact, senior executives are often caught in the worst Catch-22 of all: their calm maturity, experience, and 360-degree view of operations gained through decades of overcoming business challenges are precisely where their unique value resides.