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.
Executive Resume and Career Documents
Read these BlueSteps Executive Search blog articles for the latest tips that will help improve your executive resume and your brand. For additional tips, register for the webinar: How to Optimize Your Executive Resume.
As an executive career consultant of 25 years, I am often asked: “Is this a good resume?” However, it is impossible to answer this frequently asked question without understanding the individual’s career context. An executive resume can be considered “good” for a variety of reasons. What really matters is if it is an effective resume, which is much harder to achieve.
Whenever I do a resume consultation, I always start by asking, “What is your goal?” The answer to that question is what guides how the resume is written. Your resume needs to be aspirational as much as it is historical to achieve its purpose.
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.
As any executive who has tried to write one will know, creating an effective executive resume requires reflective thinking, strategic planning, considerable time and effort, and a lot of proof-reading. For executive career advisors, recruiters and potential employers who view resumes on a daily basis, there are many common pitfalls that executive candidates succumb to which could be easily avoided if they had been provided with the correct advice. Based on questions submitted by BlueSteps webinar registrants, BlueSteps has compiled a list of executive resume FAQs to help you on your way to optimizing your own document.
I see lots of resumes every week – some are sent in by my hiring team, some come to me from absolute strangers via LinkedIn & some come via referrals from friends & acquaintances.
Often, I have experienced a difference between the persona reflected in the resume, and the person you meet in reality. Based on my real-life experience, here’s my take on what C-level cover letters & resumes should look like:
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.
As more senior-level executives are becoming active LinkedIn users, including a reported 80% of CEOs, recruiters are also tapping into LinkedIn’s potential when researching new executive candidates for their searches. But with such time-demanding jobs, what can executives do to optimize their LinkedIn profiles to increase their visibility to search consultants?
There are many simple alterations that can be made to your LinkedIn profile that can have a considerable impact on your searchability to recruiters and only take a matter of minutes to achieve. Here are our top 6 LinkedIn hacks for busy executives:
With the excitement of the holidays wearing off, most of us are shifting gears with our eye on positive change in 2017. For many, this involves a fresh career start, meaning that the daunting task of the resume overhaul is at the top of the New Year’s resolution list.
We all want to be more efficient, more effective, and more aligned with the rapidly changing world around us. So, too, should our executive resumes.
The following are tips for ensuring that your resume is 2017-ready.
LinkedIn has announced a redesign of the desktop user interface. The rollout will begin at the end of December 2016 and beginning of 2017. This update is anticipated to be the largest redesign since the inception of the website. The goal is to align the desktop and LinkedIn mobile app experience. There are questions about what features will remain, and which will be replaced or removed. Historically LinkedIn has removed features when they have refreshed the user interface.
Cure Uncertainty by Being Prepared
While users wait to find out what changes LinkedIn will implement, it’s best to put a plan in place that will protect your information in case of problems. We recommend you consider backing up your LinkedIn profile now to avoid losing data.
You’ve recently lost your job and like any executive, you want to optimize your LinkedIn profile to connect with potential employers, executive search firms, colleagues, and other contacts who can help you in your job search. You may be wondering how to address your recent unemployment to your advantage on your LinkedIn profile. The strategy you use will make a big impact on your job search.
The first thing you should do is put an end date on your current position. Some unemployed executives believe the best strategy is to leave their current position end date as “present”. However, this is not accurate, and it will require you to immediately explain your current status when contacted for a potential job lead.
Executives can more effectively position themselves for new opportunities, and dramatically decrease time spent in-transition by ensuring that their three vital career documents are fully optimized and up-to-date. Executive resumes, LinkedIn profiles and cover letters form the cornerstone of any job search or career progression, so time should be invested in them to ensure your results are maximized.