There are over 8,000 executive recruiters (consultants and researchers) who are members of the AESC, with access to the BlueSteps database. Recently we spoke to Sophie Euzen, Senior Research Associate at Neumann International in Paris, France, to gain her insight into the research process.

BlueSteps: How do you begin the research process when working on a new search? Where do you look for candidates?
In a recent article in the FT, ‘Be on the radar to secure a top job‘ Dina Medland discusses the well known fact that the majority of top executive jobs (Director, VP, CEO etc..) are not advertised. Instead, these jobs are placed by executive search firms, with candidates often being found through research techniques, personal referrals and networking.

Medland, using a number of sources to back this assumption, finishes with the open question, ‘Is it right that many posts are not advertised? Does it create an exclusive club of insiders?’

Every month we send a free newsletter with our choice of executive career management articles from the previous 30 days. See below for our top picks in December and sign up now to receive the newsletter next month.

1. 8 Things to Avoid in Your Executive Job Search

Taking an alternative approach to career management, we asked a number of executive recruiters what are the biggest errors made by candidates during an executive job search. Read on to discover the DO's and DON'Ts when contacting executive recruiters or headhunters.  

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1. Education – While most business and popular publications are likely to be translated into English, journals and books covering specific areas of knowledge are unlikely to withstand the costs of professional translation. Being able to gain knowledge from a larger pool of experts will benefit you hugely – and reading in a new language is often considered the easiest step. In addition, with the current focus of blogging and social media, you will have the opportunity to learn from a wider circle of peers, seeking and discussing information across continents.

Anything that affects your confidence level negatively in negotiations is going to cost you and that’s just a fact. And while it certainly may be difficult to keep your confidence (and chin) up in an economy that’s this down, there are still always some things working in your favor. I’m going to explain one of them, a technique I call the lockdown maneuver.

Recently I came across a frustrated executive job seeker, who had experienced some hiring brick walls due to lack of industry experience. The job seeker in question wished to switch industry and pointed out the number of transferable skills he had obtained throughout his career – asking why executive recruiters and hiring managers are pre-occupied with experience?

A recent survey by insurance company MetLife found that 45% of Americans surveyed believed they could not pay their bills for more than one month if they faced redundancy, while 65% said they could not last three months. These results come as no surprise as many of us have become comfortable with living in debt and planning to save tomorrow. Complete job security has always been a myth - only now job insecurity seems to be dominating public mentality.

Executive job search – Prepare for the long-term

Labor Minister Carlos Lupi recently reported that Brazil’s economy had created an additional 1.5 million jobs in the first half of 2010 – on target for a total of 2.5 million new formal jobs in 2010. This is a very positive statistic for the rising Latin American nation and a sign that executives should consider recalibrating their job search to include emerging markets.


Rediscovering Your Career Passionby Ford R. Myers, Career Potential, LLC

Do you ever feel like you’ve lost touch with the enthusiasm and passion you once felt about your career?

Remember when you were just starting-out at your first job, or you were a recent graduate? You probably thought that any job would be available to you; that every employer would want to hire you. You were excited about your prospects and believed that you had something wonderful to share.