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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.

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.

1). Create a one-of-a-kind, contemporary layout.

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.
 

executive_resume_optimization

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.

BlueSteps recently hosted an #ExecCareer Chat on the topic of executive LinkedIn profiles, featuring Tiffany Hardy, BlueSteps Executive Career Services, and Luis Truchado, Odgers Berndtson Iberia.

Some of the questions asked included:

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?