Your Resume/CV is not an Obituary: It is an Argument for your Next Job


Everyone who has gone through a job search – and who hasn’t? – knows that it isn’t who you know that will land you your next position, it is the people that your contacts know. This is especially true at the senior executive level, and getting across how brilliant you are to third degree connections requires a certain amount of planning and effort.
In a 2011 BlueSteps seminar, Patti Wilson provided an in depth view of the latest tools and tricks to get your message out there during an executive job search - the old two page paper resume is out and iPad splash pages are in. Patti covered the best strategy for tweeting, how to stay on top of your industry news, the best ways to career network and some excellent free job search productivity tools, and despite it being hard to pick out three resounding points, here they are:

1. Be Visible

  • Business card: What does your business card look like? Does it display your name, executive position, contact details – probably. Should it also have your LinkedIn profile, personal website and Twitter on it? – Patti thinks so!
  • The Internet: Google yourself, are you there? If you’re not there how to you expect executive recruiters to find you? Boost your google search results by getting involved in Twitter and LinkedIn - and by getting involved I don’t mean just joining - join groups, follow the right people, share links, take part in discussions, start discussions, and ultimately, get noticed.
  • Resume/CV: Your resume/CV is no longer a two page printed document, it will most likely be emailed to someone and may be opened on a mobile phone or viewed on an IPad, which means you have no idea how it will look when it gets to the recipient. Lesson – don’t worry about fancy formatting or graphs, tables and images, your resume/CV should be a clear concise document explaining why someone should hire you.

2. Network, Network, Network

  • The Strength of Weak Ties: Start by leveraging your contacts, rathen than lead generation to create new contacts. Typically the people you know may not know of any job openings and research suggests that most jobs come through 3rd and 4th degrees connections.
  • Niche Social Networks: When thinking of places to network, did Amazon book reviews ever cross your mind? When you enjoy a book, review it, post it on Twitter, LinkedIn - everywhere - do it regularly and see what happens.
  • Offline Networking: It is better to be a participant than an attendee. Use pro-bono, contract and consulting projects to fill gaps and demonstrate continuous contribution.

3. Dig the Well Before you are Thirsty

  • Assess your top career criteria/values: If you don’t know where you want to be how will you get there?
  • It is never too early to start: The average job search takes six to nine months, start the groundwork so when you find yourself in need of a new executive position you can hit the ground running.

Listen to the full seminar recording - BlueSteps members receive an exclusive discount on executive seminars. If you are a senior executive, see below for membership details.


This article was written by Sarah Wright, Marketing Assistant at the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).

BlueSteps is the exclusive service of the AESC that puts senior executives on the radar screen of over 6,000 executive search professionals in over 70 countries. Be visible, and be considered for up to 50,000 opportunities handled by AESC search firms every year. Find out more at www.BlueSteps.com

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BlueSteps empowers executives to reach their career goals with strategic career planning.


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