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 Resumes, CVs & 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.
Landing the perfect-fit C-suite position is hardly as formulaic as polishing up your resume and shooting it out into the universe in response to job ads—hoping that the perfect hiring agent takes the bait. If that were the case, a well-crafted resume (and perhaps an equally brilliant cover letter) would be the only components of your job-search arsenal needed to secure your next position.
But the reality is that the vast majority of executive-level jobs never make their way into an advertisement—meaning that your chance to be privy to such opportunities requires you to rely heavily on your network of contacts for introductions and hints regarding such undisclosed opportunities.
Each year, as LinkedIn’s thriving global network continues to expand, having a searchable profile and online presence on the site is no longer optional; it is expected. Research shows that 80 percent of CEOs are now engaged online and are users of social media platforms; a figure which has doubled since 2010.
So, what is drawing global executives to LinkedIn, and why is it now a necessity?
Few would deny that self-awareness is critical in optimizing our performance—whether we’re trying to ride a bike or coach a large team to overturn a period of stagnation in business. Endless literature backs up the benefits of pausing, meditating, reflecting, prioritizing, and in general improving our self-awareness. In fact, it is at the heart of everything from executive coaching to mindfulness retreats to your run-of-the-mill self-help books.
Candidates tend to think too much about what a resume/CV needs to include (experience, accomplishments, etc.), that they forget about its real purpose. Your resume/CV is a tool that can help you begin a different role, a different career, or even a different life. The basic elements of a successful resume/CV are important, but will not be all you need to find your next opportunity. Focus on communicating your value and your brand foremost above simply getting the resume/CV formula right.
Says a candidate to the search consultant: “So, how do you like my CV?” The search consultant replies: “Well, I’m actually impressed. I have never seen a CV on a yellow sticky note before.”
While I personally have never actually received a curriculum vitae on a yellow sticky note, I have had many memorable instances regarding content included on CVs and the fact that some CVs caused me to endure endless time searching for content that was well hidden or not included at all. Composing a CV seems to be as subjective as selecting a personal clothing style, but there are some corporate guidelines you should consider. You might even find out that you have spent too much time on your CV in the past, but did not include the crucial facts.
You’ve got the degrees, the highly sought-after skills, the years of leadership experience, and the impressive job titles to boot. You are armed with incredible success stories to delight and impress interviewers, but so far, your resume hasn’t garnered enough interest for you to be able to tell them in person.
If you’re beginning to wonder why your phone isn’t ringing, maybe it’s time to ask yourself if that resume of yours is effectively marketing you for the role you are seeking.
This message is for the up and comers. The next generation. The about-to-bes. The replacers of the old guard. Yes, this article is for the millennials. Note: Even though the majority of executives come from an earlier generation, most of the advice here could also apply to an executive’s resume.
You’ve probably heard this comparison before: A job search is in essence a marketing campaign with you as the product. Your career communications tools are your marketing collateral, and your executive job search strategy equates to your marketing campaign. A smart campaign hones in on specific targets with specific marketing messages built around a specific career brand aligned with specific proof points.
Executive bios can be a great way to reinforce your executive brand, provide executive search consultants and potential employers with further information about yourself, and reflect on what you have accomplished in your career to date.
They are also a useful opportunity to go beyond the facts that are quoted in your resume/CV and inject some personality into your career story, enabling recruiters and future employers to connect with you on a human level and envision you within a potential new role.