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.
Is it time to pivot out of the functional area or industry you’ve been working within?
There is no doubt that expanding your horizons in terms of functional expertise or industry can amplify your career prospects and make you a more attractive hire for the broader perspective you’ll bring. But getting over the first hurdle of convincing a recruiter to consider you can be challenging.
It’s no surprise—it can even be challenging to develop a compelling career story when you are not making a major transition. Throw in the need to completely reposition yourself, and the task can quickly become overwhelming.
Here are a few tips to consider as you craft your career documents to reposition yourself for a new area or sector.
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.
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.
1. Make sure your resume reflects your fitness for precise future opportunities.
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.