As recruiting season gears up, I’ve heard from consulting hounds the following question: “What makes a resume get into the “pass” pile versus the ding pile?” I’ll try to flesh it out in the following set of posts. I start here with some guiding principles…

Principle 1: Know Your Audience

We’re all familiar with the saying “It’s better to give than to receive.” A recent study has given scientific proof that providing support to others provides health benefits to the giver, in addition to the one receiving the support. While I appreciate the science, I’ve known the benefits of giving for a long time, and in my experience, there’s an incredible correlation between giving and receiving when it comes to career support.

Brad Attig, Ivy Exec’s Director of Talent Development demonstrates how some seemingly good ideas can be exactly the opposite when you’re engaged in a job search. From “Blasting your resume to 100′s of perspective employers” to “Creating your resume in under 10 minutes” learn why these ideas and other can hurt your employment chances. Download the complete PDF

10 Smart Things A Job Seeker Can Do
  1. Prepare yourself mentally
  2. Take a hard look at your finances
  3. Take inventory & do a full, honest SWAT analysis
Leading healthcare executive search consultants J. Larry Tyler (Chairman and CEO of Tyler & Company) and Dennis J. Kain (President of Tyler & Company) offered valuable insight on managing careers in the healthcare industry during an AESC/BlueSteps seminar. Tyler and Cain discussed industry trends, cross-functional experience, retained search, and career management. The panel was moderated by Peter M. Felix (President of the AESC).

What are the current trends in the healthcare industry affecting executive leadership and hiring and where do you see opportunities emerging?

Career transition, whether it is a positive or negative change, can present a series of potential obstacles that must be navigated in order to be successful in your new role. Michael Watkins, co-founder of Genesis Advisers, looks at ways in which you can keep this transition as smooth as possible in his book ‘Your Next Move’, exerts of which he discusses in a video discussion with Harvard Business Review.

This is part 4 of a series covering basic things employers look for in applicants. While every job, hiring manager, employer and situation is unique, there are usually common traits that employers look for, in almost every position.

A fourth thing that nearly every employer looks for is … What makes you special?

When employers see hundreds or thousands of applicants for each position, they are no longer satisfied with candidates who are qualified. Qualified isn’t enough any longer – When so many applicants are available to choose from, employers seek candidates who offer more than just being qualified.

However, most of you haven’t been taught how to write a resume that portrays you as special.


There are still many challenges that female executives face, different from the past but just as compelling. We are in a sandwich generation where the home dynamic has got a lot more complex. On the one hand there are parents that are ageing and becoming a responsibility, and on the other, young children at home or at college that are coming back home, a complex dynamic that usually falls to women to handle.

This is part 3 of a series covering basic things employers look for in applicants. While every job, hiring manager, employer and situation is unique, there are usually common traits that employers look for, in almost every position.

A third thing that nearly every employer looks for is … Do you fit the culture?

Your next employer will evaluate if you fit the company’s culture, fit the department’s/team’s culture, and if the hiring manager just plain ‘ol likes you.

While most of this is determined during the interview, your resume can also help communicate fit. If your resume is effective to communicate the right fit, it can reduce your chance of being screened out of contention.

Follow these 6 tips to increase your chances you’ll be seen as a fit:

Recent years have been hard on job seekers across a wide spectrum, and recent business school graduates have been no exception to this. The state of the global economy and the resulting shortage of executive job opportunities have led to countless examples of highly educated executives working in roles beneath their qualifications or experience level, or in many cases worse, with business school graduates being unable to find employment of any kind.

However, there are encouraging signs for those graduating in 2011, and indications that the job market they are emerging into will be kinder to them than it was to those who graduated in the years preceding them.

Career change is natural, and it happens more often than you would think.  Studies have shown that the average professional will change careers (not just jobs) multiple times throughout the course of his or her lifetime.  Therefore, whether you’re bored with your current direction, have been laid off due to downsizing and budget cuts, or are simply looking for a fresh start, a career change may be just what you need to take your professional life to the next level.

While it can be overwhelming and even scary to take the leap and try to change careers, here are a number of steps you can take to ensure that you are as effective as possible in your efforts and end up in a place that is truly right for you: