Tag: certified resume writer

Executive Job Search Tips: 3 Mistakes That Will Cost You Your Dream Job

dream-officeWhen you think of the phrase “job search,” what words come to mind? Are they things like exciting, fulfilling, more money and more work-life balance? Or are they more like agonizing, frustrating, depressing and overwhelming?

If your thoughts immediately turn negative at the idea of looking for a job, how could that affect your demeanor and the way you come across to those you talk to in your job interviews?

You see, how you feel about your job search is intrinsically connected to its outcome. So it’s in your best interest to set up simple strategies that make your job transition easier, faster and more effective. Here are a few common mistakes executive job seekers make and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Hoping the Perfect Job Will Come to You

This is an easy – though fatal – mistake to make. Believing a job is going to just land in your lap will leave you helpless to do anything but sift through your emails and surf dozens of job boards hoping and waiting to see that dream job you are really excited about. When you finally find it (add insult to injury if you don’t really know what you dream job looks like but you will “know it when you see it”), you will invest a big wave of energy focusing on creating and sending off the perfect resume.

What you might not know is that by competing on job boards for positions, your unseen competition could be hundreds or thousands of applicants, many of which might be more qualified than you.

“Hoping” to find the perfect job is not a strategy. Successful people don’t reach their goals by waiting for things to materialize in front of them. So, brainstorm on what you are looking for and what motivates you, then write it all down! Get crystal clear and check to make sure it harmonizes with others in your life that your choices will affect.

Then learn job search strategies other than surfing job boards. Did you know that your success rate using job boards is somewhere between 1 and 3%? Those odds alone are enough to depress any job seeker and tempt them to believe they are as lackluster as their results are indicating.

Mistake #2: Wishing For Someone to “Place” You in a Job

This is the same line of thinking as Mistake #1, but with slightly different elements. I often hear executives say that they are hoping to find someone who will place them in a job. But let’s give this a little thought – do you really want to just be “placed”?

The bottom line is, you will never find any one single person who will bring you enough possible job openings (and then place you in one of them) to make you happy with their service. Why? Because no one knows what you are looking for like you do! Add to this the fact that even if such a person existed, the majority of us wouldn’t be able to afford them!

It’s good to have contacts in a few companies that can introduce you to key people. After all, most jobs are found through networking right? Well here is an inside tip: The best networking is not done through one or two people that can send your resume to an HR department with their endorsement; in fact that is what I would call a very poor networking experience with very little benefit to you!

No, good networking is when YOU take the initiative to go after what you want. Don’t be a “passive receiver” in your job search. When we think in terms of someone placing us, we are giving away our power. If that is your mindset in job search, you will undoubtedly set yourself up for disappointment.

The solution is to simply commit to taking action and initiative in your job search. Map out a plan to find and connect with your market(s) of choice. Give yourself a timeline that doesn’t put undue pressure on you. Learn proven marketing methods for getting a potential employer’s attention and talk with recruiters, resume writers and career coaches as needed. Know that your ultimate success (and satisfaction with the outcome) will come from your commitment to taking positive action.

Mistake #3: Not Asking for Help

The opposite of expecting someone else to manage your career transition for you is trying to do everything yourself. In my business there is much to do. As a business owner, I naturally want to control each and every component. But I know in order for my business to thrive, I must delegate tasks to others. I have to plan. If I don’t, I will quickly become overworked and stressed out, which does not honor or benefit my clients.

An executive job search is no different. If you are struggling or feeling stuck, consult an expert to help you so you can free yourself up to focus on your success. The alternative will likely be to avoid those strategies you don’t know how to do (which might otherwise work brilliantly for your situation!) or might just decide to give up. Neither are good options.

Most people will fall back on what they know when it seems too hard to try another way. Fortunately, these strategies are easy to learn and your choice of resources are abundant! What you will gain from investing in yourself and this job search will not only help you with your current career change (more interviews, better positions, more money, etc.), but will benefit you your entire professional life.

Don’t risk feeling depressed and anxious when you are worth so much more. By following these simple steps you will be on the right track to success!

REAL Resume Tips for Construction Professionals

One of my recent clients was a top construction superintendent. He had worked on dozens of important projects, across multiple industries, for many years and with an excellent track record. But he had been sending his resume to top recruiters and construction firms for 6 months with NO results.

under-constructionI crafted a visually appealing resume for him that targeted the size and scope of position he wanted to focus on and to make a long story short, within 7 days of distributing his new resume, he had 4 interviews with top construction companies and an offer was already on the table at double his previous salary. That’s a 100% pay raise! And that is why professionals hire experienced, certified resume writers. The “career” ROI is often phenomenal.

You pay to earn project management certifications and construction degrees and give your all with years of on-the-job training. The above story is a perfect example of why you should not overlook the fact that mastering the art of communicating why someone should hire you is equally important.

Are you wondering what I did to this construction superintendent’s resume to grab the attention of the same key decision makers that had let his original resume slip by them just a few months prior? Here are some key steps I took that you can use too (and by the way – these tips are applicable whether you are writing a senior/executive, mid-level or entry-level/new grad construction resume):

  • I focused his resume. The top keywords and opening statement of your resume need to be clearly defined and targeted to what you want. Opening statements should be no more than 4 to 5 lines deep. Your goal is to give your reader a framework of perspective about you that aligns with your career focus. Let’s say you are a PM targeting large construction projects. Your keyword at the top of your resume might read:   Project management | Hospital & Healthcare | Projects to $200 Million

  • I wrote to his ideal position. Find a few positions that represent your “ideal job.” Highlight all of the keywords and phrases in those positions that match and resonate with you. Now make sure those keywords are integrated into the top of the first page of your resume. I call this the mirroring technique. It is extremely effective.
  • I told his story. In his career history section, I began by listing the company name, something positive about the company, their general size and scope, and why they hired him. Then I added some short stories targeting issues this superintendent overcame that ended up making the company more money in the form of more project work from happy clients. I topped this off by including call out boxes of selected projects for each company, highlighting that he had brought those projects in on time and within budget.

If you want or need to write your resume yourself, understanding these marketing elements is going to help you tremendously – not only understand your own real and perceived value, but to communicate your focus, strengths, achievements and branding to potential employers. You’ll quickly get their interest, beat your competition and ultimately land more interviews and offers for positions within the companies you truly want.

For more do-it-yourself executive resume help, here’s a free resource just for you…

Watch this 1-minute video to learn how to get more information on:

  • 3 resume mistakes 90% of people make when they write their resumes themselves.
  • What they are and how to easily fix them so you can get more interviews and bigger offers!

To your career success!

Why Your Executive Resume is Critical to Landing a CEO Job

At the CEO level, your career transition landscape has a unique terrain: there are fewer C-level positions, they come up less often and each has its specific requirements. As a smart CEO, you will first plan your upcoming transition by defining and writing down your wants, needs, career goals and driving motivators. You will want to layer in some due diligence respective to the short and long term economic growth and stability of the industries you have in your sights. The reason this due diligence is so critical is because today’s leadership resume must be written to what you wish to do moving forward vs. a chronological list of what you have done.

Demonstrating you can communicate your focus, your purpose and your value inspires confidence and will attract the positions you wish to explore.

Once you have a plan in place, this is the bull’s eye that you can now create and design your CEO resume for. A primary complaint from C-level executives, and one of the major issues with C-level executive resumes, is that they contain too much information. You may find that you have done and achieved so much in your career, you can’t find the objectivity needed to understand what to leave in and what to leave out of your executive leadership resume.

As a CEO, you need to communicate certain things in your resume that demonstrate your value in a C-level role to potential companies. In addition, you may be interviewed by a board of directors, and often in these cases, they like to see an executive biography in addition to your resume.

Hiring a professional resume writer to help craft a CEO resume can not only serve as a huge weight off of your shoulders, but bring you a substantial ROI in many ways, including:

  • Helping to present yourself in a highly professional polished manner.
  • Helping to showcase the metrics of your accomplishments.
  • Helping to communicate the value that you bring to the table.

All of these benefits can and do have a positive effect on your interviews and offers. Regardless of who writes your CEO resume, there are two critical factors you must not miss.

The first is to write to the positions you are focusing on. You can start this process by finding 2 or 3 representative positions and then literally highlighting the keywords and phrases in those positions that match you. From this you will be able to see running themes and gain clarity on your own personal branding (what you are attracted to) as well as understanding what keywords and phrases to layer in.

The second is to be sure you are speaking to the needs of the companies with whom you have defined represent ideal positions for you. At the CEO resume level, it is a mistake to use an old resume or a 6-page resume which may contain task-oriented details from past positions you held 15 or 20 years ago. At this point in your career everything needs to be recalibrated. Older positions may be placed in a “Past Career Highlights” section and given a brief nod with perhaps one notable accomplishment listed. For more recent positions, again, be sure to omit any task-driven details and concentrate on leadership skills. You may wish to emphasize leadership skills such as your visionary ability, how you empower organizational change, drive profitability through developing and initiating business goals, provide overall corporate direction, and inspire core teams across various divisions and reinforce corporate branding.

If you find yourself unsure of what accomplishments of yours to highlight, simply refer back to the ideal career positions you unearthed. Whatever they are asking for, those are the skills you match and reflect back to them using quantifiable accomplishments wherever and whenever you can.

If these basics are not reflected in your CEO resume, it could cost you a job interview or offer. You don’t have to list your entire detailed career history in your leadership resume. Simply present a polished document that shows what kind of a CEO you could be to their company.

You are invited! You can still register for my free teleseminar – Recession-Busting Job Search Techniques That WORK!

Date: Wednesday, May 6th 4pm CST

With Mary Elizabeth Bradford, The Career Artisan Internationally Certified Advanced Resume Writer & Internationally Certified Master Career Director

Space is filling up fast but you can still register for free here now:

http://www.maryelizabethbradford.com/teleseminar050609.php

Know someone who would benefit from this information? Please, pay it forward and pass this information on!

Learn step-by-step techniques for identifying and connecting with companies who want to hire you – yes, even in a recession! (I am also going to be offering you an incredibly special gift).

No matter what level you are at in your career, or if you are in a passive or active job search, you are going to love this information!

On this 60-minute call, you’ll discover:

The two barriers most job seekers hit that cause instant disappointment and anxiety – and how to avoid them.

My top 3 job search strategy recommendations that are proven to work to get you quality interviews and offers.

My two best job search time saving strategies that immediately fr^ee up your time preserve your energy and enthusiasm for your job search!

My top recommendation to help you identify industries that are hiring!

Register for free here now:

http://www.maryelizabethbradford.com/teleseminar050609.php

I hope to “see” you on the call.

***You may wish to call in 5 minutes early to make sure you get a spot on the call! If for some reason you receive a busy signal (indicating the call is full when you dial in) or you can’t make the call, an audio recording will be sent to you within 24 hours of the call as long as you are on the list – so you can still benefit from this valuable information!***
Inspiring your success,

Mary Elizabeth

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