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.
Read these BlueSteps Executive Search blog articles for the latest tips that will help improve your executive resume and your brand.
As the New Year approaches, many executives commit to taking a fresh look at their resume and their entire career marketing approach to be ready for new opportunities. Whether you’re thinking about a role change, are plotting a new direction or are dedicated to a complete career reinvention, getting prepared with a purposefully crafted, branded and market-compelling resume will propel your transition to new levels of success.
BlueSteps is renowned for working with senior executives across the world, but once a year we are privileged to collaborate with the most globally recognized executive…more powerful than Bill Gates or Richard Branson…the jolly ole man in the big red suit…the Chief Excitement Officer around the world…Santa Claus!
You might not think Santa Claus is into career management but he’s a very smart and shrewd business leader. Every year, Santa schedules an annual resume review and coaching session with his BlueSteps coach. Santa Claus knows how important it is to stay current. When he first started his career, no one had heard of the Internet. Executives didn’t need an online presence. His target audience wasn’t connected and engaged in social media on a 24/7 basis.
With the holidays well underway, the season of excess is upon us. There are too many parties to go to and too many delicious things to tempt us. But as we all know, when it’s your third holiday gathering in one week and you are facing yet another table full of rich delights, you may begin to appreciate those heavy dishes less and long for a lighter meal.
As a BlueSteps executive resume writer, I spend a lot of time evaluating resumes and CVs and sharing insights regarding the ways in which my clients can improve their career literature—and to be honest, I see a lot of good resumes.
Most executives I work with have impressive achievements and strong selling points, such as MBAs from prestigious universities, fluency in multiple languages, and experience in leading some of the biggest names in global business. Sometimes this information alone will garner enough interest for them to be invited to an interview.
When trying to write your executive resume, you may find yourself lost in a forest of information. Most executives have decades of experience, sometimes spanning many fields and industries. How can you pour all that background into just a few 8 x 11 inch pages? Where do you even start?
To tackle this challenge, it helps to frame your experience and goals as a Venn diagram (see image below). Picture the left circle as every detail of your work experience, going all the way back to that pizza delivery job in high school. Then picture the right circle as every detail of your career goal. This includes your target job title, duties, industry, and company size.
In my days as a hiring agent, I saw my fair share of applicants who were befuddled by the cover letter vs. E-note conundrum. As I opened their emails, I could almost see them—brows furrowed, hesitating to click “send”—puzzled by what on earth to write in the email, since they were also attaching a cover letter.
If you’ve ever tried to loosen a flathead screw with a Phillips screwdriver, you know how frustrating and difficult it can be to get the result you’re after. The Phillips is simply not made for the job you want it to do. The same goes for trying to empty a swimming pool by scooping out a bucketful of water at a time. Using the wrong tool for the job can fall anywhere between impossible and unnecessarily hard.
It may go without saying that having an internationally focused, branded bio, resume or CV and other career marketing materials is a must if you want to be seriously considered for jobs overseas or an international assignment.
But in an increasingly competitive and global marketplace, even if you are not looking to work abroad, having a more international profile can help you stand out and strengthen your application for many types of positions.
As an executive, you know the importance of distinguishing between activities that are strategically focused and those that are tactical in nature. Often, you develop and direct strategic plans while delegating the related tactical actions to your management team and those who report to them. Not surprisingly, a similar distinction applies to your executive resume.
What do I mean by that? To start with, your resume can be considered a strategic document overall, in the sense that it takes a long-range look at your career and is kept current in terms of job-market trends, your expanding business expertise, and other factors that have long-term implications.