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BlueSteps, the executive career management service of the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC), released today its annual Executive Career Outlook Report. To glean insights for the report, BlueSteps surveyed over 800 senior-level management professionals globally on what trends they are seeing in the executive job market. What BlueSteps found was worldwide, executives are more optimistic about the state of the global executive job market compared to previous years due to economic indicators and recent fiscal policies.

If it’s been longer than 5 years since you’ve dipped your toes in the job search waters, it’s important to understand that some key components of the job hunt have changed. As an Executive Resume Writer, I can attest that there’s more to it than refreshing your resume (even if you have your resume professionally written), making sure your LinkedIn is current (although that’s certainly an important part of it), and scouring online job boards.

In fact, spending most of your time applying online can land you in the ATS (applicant tracking system) black hole— from which many resumes never return. Not only will you walk away incredibly frustrated, it will likely prolong your job search.

Is your New Year’s resolution to land your next great executive-level job? Do you have a comprehensive written plan and strategy to ensure your successful results—one that does not rely exclusively on job postings? An effective job search in 2019 requires a nontraditional combination, multi-pronged strategy—proactive outreach both in-person and online.

First, remember connections continue to be the key in how the most sought-after executive positions are filled. The growth of social networking, online dissemination of personal information and increased workforce mobility have made the importance of building and maintaining professional connections critical.

While the average tenure of chief marketing officers (CMOs) has remained relatively steady at the top 100 most-advertised brands (44 months in 2017 and 42 months in 2016), it’s worth mentioning that the early part of 2018 has proven to be quite extraordinary – and not in a good way. An usually high number of well-known brands that we track across a number of key industries have undergone a change in the top marketing role this year.

Social selling – is a sales approach focused on the use of social media to identify prospects, develop and build relationships and, eventually, close a sale.

But can social selling get you closer to your career goal?  We believe that the principals of social selling are applicable to any executive job search strategy, making you simultaneously the sales person and “the product/ brand”.

With social recruiting at the center of any hiring process, your online presence has become more important than ever. That is why you shouldn’t leave anything to chance and take advantage of the social selling practices to reach your next executive position. Here’s how:

 

1. Build a strong, professional brand

You have probably heard most executive jobs are either found through networking or by being "headhunted" by executive-level recruitment firms, also called search firms. Both leveraging your network and building relationships with a few executive recruiters in your industry are methods that can be highly effective for winning new opportunities. Both are without a doubt critical for executive-level professionals to include in their overall career management strategy. Both, however, do take considerable time — the results don’t happen overnight.

Career “Switchers” – professionals who are looking to make an industry or functional change (or both) – are on the rise. But making a significant change mid-career is tough. When faced with hiring bias, unanswered applications and frustrating rejections, many Switchers give up too soon, even when they KNOW they have what it takes to be successful in their new target role. Don't let this be you - persevere and get the job you want!

The upside of a booming economy means hiring is stronger than ever. The downside? More folks are out there emboldened to test the job search waters. The bottom line? The job market is growing increasingly saturated, and as an executive (whether seeking an executive writer service or not), you must do a lot more in addition to speaking with a handful of recruiters to land interviews that are a good match for your skillset.

To get a foot in the door and boost the number of interviews that come along, executive job seekers must be ready to invest in some upfront sweat equity that, in reality, is not all that different from the strategies they employ to be successful in their roles.

Let me present yourself one of the deadliest and yet often most easily neglected mistake you can do as executive in career transition: Having a big EGO. Let me show you three examples and the negative consequences of a big ego for job search success.

 

Mistake Number 1: “I can do it.”

Your resume tells who you are. Simply put, you are what you write, and not what you think you are. An executive maybe a worldwide SVP of Sales, but the resume presents you as a middle manager. You may be an industry-agnostic General Manager, but your resume makes you an automotive industry expert. You may rank high in an investment bank, but you fail to communicate your responsibility and 100 staff under you.

Most of us have heard the famous quip attributed to Peter Drucker, "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." It's become so commonly repeated that it's almost a cliché at this point. But what does the statement really mean? It essentially means that strategy is null without a culture that can support it.

The values and behaviors that contribute to an organization's social and psychological environment also fundamentally impact the performance of that organization. An organizational strategy without the right culture to drive it will not be successful. Organizations have gotten the message and have thus placed much more emphasis on culture over the past decade.