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May 12 2016
As your career has advanced, so has your skill set and confidence. You now execute countless activities with precision. Create a five year business plan to grow revenue? No problem! Tabulate and document a financial plan to present to investors and the board? Done in 48 hours! Form the marketing plan to launch a new product in a new channel? Piece of cake! Envision and map a career plan for yourself supported with targeted marketing material? That might take a while.
There are endless reasons why executives turn to a career management service such as BlueSteps.
Unfortunately, many executives devote 110% of their attention on fulfilling their current leadership mandate; any spare time is likely dedicated to friends, family and hobbies. Prioritizing and making time to draft your own strategic plan – a five and ten year career roadmap – doesn’t seem necessary when you feel secure in your current appointment…yet:
- If you were terminated tomorrow, how prepared would you be to launch into job search mode?
- When was the last time you updated your resume?
- If a recruiter called and required your resume within 24 hours for your ideal job, would you be ready?
- How aware are you of current resume formats and hiring trends?
- Do you know how to write clean and concise and where to put the emphasis on the page?
- If you just completed your MBA or eMBA, would you know how to market your new leadership skills?
Career management shouldn’t be an activity you only consider when faced with a job loss. Wise career management involves a structured plan, active engagement in one’s career direction, and routine updates of your resume and your online presence.
Your career plan should be a living document – evolving with your career, setting new goals, determining gaps, and devising strategies to achieve your next step up the career ladder. If you don’t know where to start, an executive career coach will guide you and bring clarity to your vision, helping you to uncover your strengths, identify weaknesses, and create an executable plan.
Just as your career plan requires self-monitoring, so does your resume and online profiles. I highly recommend executives keep what I call a ‘brag book’, spreadsheet or some type of readily accessible file containing all the details of their career achievements. Set aside time, at least annually, to review your key contributions, then pick the best stories to incorporate in a refreshed resume and updated digital footprint (LinkedIn profile, personal website, and any other internet platform established for career management).
One of the consistent problems many of my clients have is actually remembering the details of their career achievements. They know their work was pioneering or inventive, or saved the company “a ton of money”…but what really matters when being considered for a new appointment is the fine details of what actions you took backed by quantifiable metrics to validate the end result. Think money or percentages earned or saved, percentage decrease in (fill in the blank), slashed time to market by X weeks. As consumers, we buy a product because it’s backed with research and will fill a need. Employers and executive recruiters take the same approach. By showing them concrete data on how you solved problems in the past, you position yourself as the ideal candidate to fill an employer void.
The internet has also altered how candidates are found and vetted (before and after the interview). LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are invaluable, cost effective and readily accessible tools recruiters and hiring managers use to not only find potential applicants, but also vet the qualifications and cultural fit of executives vying for a position. Do you have a Google presence? If you do, how strong is your footprint? Could you benefit from social media coaching?
When I compare your resume against your LinkedIn profile, will they tell the same story? Sadly, I often find discrepancies in employer names, job titles, dates, even differences in education between the two documents. As an executive, you dismiss those business decisions that cast doubt on the effectiveness of the outcome. So do recruiters and hiring managers. Two career documents with two different career stories could be the deciding factor between being considered for a new role and being discarded as a non-viable candidate.
The unofficial motto of every executive is: Time is money. The time spent working with a career service will help you reap the financial reward of a new position with a higher status. At BlueSteps, our expert team of executive career coaches and executive resume writers will work with you to position you for the best executive jobs.
Seeking the help of a career management service shouldn’t be about “Why do I need one?” or “When do I need one?” Many of our members say “Why did I wait so long?” A BlueSteps membership lasts for the duration of your career. We’ll always be here to help you.
You’re in charge of your career – no one else is – reach your goals sooner with a strategic career plan, executive career coaching, accomplishment-based executive resume, and compelling LinkedIn profile. Portray yourself as the executive you know you are.