Tag: Executive Job Search (page 3 of 6)

Announcing Affiliate Partnership With BlueSteps

blueSteps_logoI have always liked Bluesteps as a great way to shine the spotlight on executive positions as well as a way to connect with top recruiting firms. I am excited to announce our new affiliate partnership with BlueSteps! Below is a quick snapshot of member benefits and a link to learn more.

Increase Your Visibility to Top Executive Search Firms

As a member of BlueSteps, your career details will be confidentially provided to hundreds of the world’s leading retained executive search firms in over 75 countries.  Benefits include:

  • Confidential, lifetime career profile searchable by over 8,000 executive recruiters
  • Access to hundreds of executive jobs for which search firms are actively recruiting
  • International directory that allows you to network with a targeted list of recruiters
  • Helpful podcasts and exclusive articles on a wide range of executive career-level topics

Click here to begin connecting with executive search firms. >>

4 Tips to Help CFOs Build Their Brand in the Executive Job Search Community

network of CFO expounds on why it is so important for executives to hone their networking skills when it comes to their executive job search in “Don’t Miss Your Next CFO Job Opportunity.”

LinkedIn for Executives: Tips VPs to CXOs MUST KNOW to Leverage the Power of LinkedIn – Part 1


Each week I talk with senior-level executives about their career needs and invariably the subject of LinkedIn always comes up. The conversation usually goes like this:

Me:  So, how is your LI profile? Do you get many job opportunities coming to you through LI?

Them: Honestly, my profile is just sitting there. I have a fairly good network, but I don’t really see much action from it, and don’t really know how to change that.


Them:  As COO of a billion-dollar company, I often wonder what I should be doing on LinkedIn—if anything—being so highly visible.

Your Audience

To begin making decisions about LinkedIn you must first have a clear vision of your audience. Who is your audience? Let’s look at it this way: If there were no obstacles to your next ideal career position, and that position was located in a pond, what kind of fish would be in that pond? Those fish are your audience.

Are your fish private equity firms? Top retained executive search firms? Fortune 500 technology companies? Fast-growth, mid-market companies in the (fill in your blank) industry? Presidents of security technology firms?  Maybe a combination of the above?

Do you want or need to stay in your geographical location? Then limit this list to your geographical preference (minus the recruiters and PE firms – they have holdings/clients all over and are not geographically tied to their own physical location).

Your Goals

You need to fish where the fish are, so get your driving motivators down—including your industries of choice—and make sure those industries are growing, stable, or at least not in decline!

Your Platform

Social networking (for business) is a very effective advertising medium that makes it easy for you to reverse engineer your job search by connecting to your audience. Initially your only interest should be in connecting with them. Nothing else. This is the first and most important step!

Why reverse engineer your search? Because if you make $250k and up per year, only 10% of open jobs at your level are posted on the Internet.* Most executives think, “Well, that is why I depend on recruiters.” But the other 90% of jobs at your level are not held by recruiters. MOST are filled BEFORE a company has to hire a recruiter to find you. Let’s let that sink in for a moment…

LinkedIn is a platform that helps you cut the middleman out in many cases and can put you in direct contact with a key decision maker. In other words, you can be the leader you ARE—even in your job search! And I know that is where you are most comfortable. LinkedIn allows you to retain your leadership role, and control your own personal job transition, many times without having to be at the mercy of a chain of predetermined screening events with built-in competition.

The Bottom Line

If you are a top executive, the name of the game is threefold:

  1. Connect with key players.
  2. Keyword optimize your profile so that when people find you and want to pitch job opportunities your way, your profile is already aligned with your greatest preferences.
  3. Use LinkedIn to develop thought leadership.

I share more details in Part 2. Do you have questions about this article you’d like me to answer? E-mail me at maryelizabeth@maryelizabethbradford.com.

Executive Job Search Networking: 5 Tips for Success


Networking is one of those dreaded and feared activities that every executive job seeker has to face throughout their career. However, it’s also well known that over 50% of jobs are landed through some form of networking!

Here are 5 tips to get you started in your networking success:

Tip 1: Stand Up and Smile

When networking on the phone, stand up and smile! No kidding; it improves your tone and your energy level.

Tip 2: Create a Simple Script

Create a short, simple script for when you are at a networking event or following up on the phone, and practice it out loud a few times. You will be amazed how much more comfortable and confident you will feel with this extra foundation of support!

Tip 3: Make a List

Create a list of everyone you know that might have information on your industry of choice. Your list can include friends, associates, family, people you worship with and people with whom you do business, such as your banker, CPA or realtor. This is my favorite network because I am their customer and people in service industries completely understand the benefits of networking.

Tip 4: Social Networking

Even if you are not on LinkedIn or Facebook, it’s never too late to sign up! You will be amazed how quickly you can build a network, join groups and get the word out through social networking.

Tip 5: Don’t Ask For a Job

Networking is best done in a diplomatic way that puts the focus of interest on the person you are talking to. This is primarily true when meeting someone for the first time, but also when asking to be mentored by someone in an industry you want to get into.

When you are networking with your friends and associates in order to gather information, be sure that you are only asking whether they know of anyone in your industry who may be able to give you some guidance. This takes the pressure off of them and increases your positive responses.

Then if you show up (so to speak) the job interviews will come.

Want more great tips and strategies for networking? Checkout my popular online program “Savvy Networking Secrets for Executives.”

Is Your Executive Resume Missing These 5 “Must Haves”?

Are you dusting off your VP or CXO resume for an active or passive job search? Making sure your executive level resume is a powerful marketing document is a wise investment in your career. It can set you apart from your competition, maximize the amount of interviews you land and ultimately play into how much a company offers you.

After all, you are negotiating with potential employers from the moment you connect with them to the time the offer is made. So everything that happens in that window of time plays into your offer … including how well targeted, well designed and compelling your resume is.

Here are five elements you will want to make sure your resume has:

#1: Targeted Format

Your resume must be compelling for the type of position you are focusing on. If you are a sales executive and you have a VP of Business Development resume or Senior Global Sales Executive resume for example, you are going to want to quantify your sales skills in terms of territory development, revenue generation, and types of skills associated with sales, plus secondary support skills such as client management customer service, public relations and marketing. The best way to match up your skills and create a magnetic attachment to your next position is to simply find a few representative positions and highlight all the keywords that match and resonate with you. Many of my clients successfully up-level their position titles using this method, which is simply writing TO where you want to go, not FROM where you have been.

#2: Value Proposition Statement

Under the heading of your resume you should have a value proposition statement, which is a 3 to 4 sentence overview of your focus and your strengths. Here’s an example of a value proposition statement for a technology executive:

Innovative & highly competent business and technology leader with 15+ years experience developing creative technology solutions that enhance performance, effect change, drive profits and growth. Proven reputation to…

Note: A value proposition statement is different from a personal objective statement because a personal objective is about what YOU want. A value proposition tells your potential employer what skills and strengths you have to offer THEM.

#3: Quantifiable Achievements

This is one of the most important components to your executive level resume. You need to communicate in your resume not just what you do, but what HAPPENS when you do it! This technique also helps employers envision you working with them and helping them with similar challenges and issues.

#4: Keyword Rich Content

Keywords, organized into a group called “core competencies” or something similar, will do two things for you:

  1. Influence the Scanner: It serves to potentially qualify you for more interviews, assuming those companies you are submitting your resume to use keyword scanning technology.
  2. Influence the Reader: Keywords are strengths that stand alone and therefore allow the reader to view your competencies independent of any past company associated with them. This has a positive psychological affect because it enhances the reader’s ability to picture YOU in the position they are working to fill.

#5: Two Executive Resume Versions

You will always want to have two versions of your executive resume:

  • Clean Word Format: Your word version can be both printed out as a hard copy or attached as a Word document in an e-mail.
  • ASCII Text Format: This will be used for all of your electronic submissions. Plain text retains its formatting and thus looks much cleaner on the receiving end. When saving a copy of your resume in this format, you will need to go in and clean up all of the symbols and spacing.

Economic Growth / USA / Minerals & Metals

Minimageserals and metals drive America forward. Automobile enthusiasts have descended upon Washington for the Auto Show starting today to preview the newest models and advancements in the industry. While many will attend to preview the Chevrolet Camaro Z28 or the historic GM Futurliner No. 10, others will join policymakers to discuss important issues facing the U.S. auto sector.


Read more here:  http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/energy-environment/230402-minerals-and-metals-drive-america-forward

50 Best Places to Work in 2015, Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice Awards

Glassdoor has announced our seventh annual Employees’ Choice Awards, honoring the Best Places to Work across the U.S. and the UK. Winners were determined by the people who know these companies best — their employees.

Executive Job Search Secrets: The ONE Thing Every Job Seeker MUST Have to be Successful that Virtually No One Talks About

Whether you are changing industries, changing up your position, relocating or just looking to work for a better company, there is one thing you must have to be successful. It’s something that is rarely talked about in direct terms by job seekers, recruiters, resume writers or career coaches. Sure, you can muddle through some job search techniques and develop some marketing collateral to get you pointed in the right direction, but without this ONE thing, your success will surely be limited.

So, what is it? It is called VIRTUE. The thread that weaves itself through your every job search technique and interview strategy is truly virtue. And by focusing on developing and increasing your virtue, you stand to improve every facet of your job search.

So what kinds of virtue do you need to be a highly successful job seeker? Every kind. Temperance, fortitude, kindness, patience, graciousness, politeness, truthfulness, courage, excellence, high morals, high ethics, servitude, honesty, tactfulness, discipline, fairness, flexibility, commitment, diligence, integrity, honor, and my favorite: humility.

A word about humility: It seems we rarely hear the word humble anymore, especially as it relates to success or successful people. Perhaps that is because in western society, humility is erroneously connected with weakness. However, the opposite is true. It takes a strong, gracious and grounded individual to express true humility. And humility is one of those beautiful gifts that cannot be hidden. It comes through in a person’s tone, their voice, and their mannerisms. It is a prize and treasure to possess humility. Even just a little.

A truly humble person stands to greatly impress a key decision maker when introducing him or herself over the phone. For example, a humble person often makes a tremendous positive impression in an interview. And it is often the humble individual who earns the respect of their team or rises up through the ranks to become a cherished and respected corporate leader.

There is a story about a corporate executive who was trying to switch industries and obtain a position in academia. When a key university contacted him about a job, they indicated they needed to see his college transcripts before they could submit his application. Instead of complying, this executive wrote a scathing email to the director of human resources complaining about the overemphasis on the legalities of applying. Needless to say, this executive did not get an interview.

The daily successes and losses of a job search require diligence in achieving your career goals, patience as you move forward each day, and kindness to those who agree to speak with you and help you. Each of us possesses virtues that are more developed than others. Which ones are yours? Once you have defined them, you can LEAD with them in order to maximize your job search success.

How to Take Control of Your Executive Job Search in 3 Easy Steps

focusDo you want a simple yet powerful way to secure bigger job offers?

In searching for your ideal position, are you taking the “I’ll know it when I see it” route? Well, this kind of haphazard job search usually results in a lot of time spent searching the Internet and changing your resume in an attempt to make a match with all the various positions you are going after. What’s worse, you may soon find yourself wondering why your efforts aren’t paying off in job interviews.

When you start your job search without a clear focus, it’s difficult to leverage yourself in the market to the extent necessary to get results. You may be a very talented and deserving career professional, but if you are letting your job search “control” you, you’re probably not going to be happy with the results you get.

The good news is that getting focused is much easier than you might think. It’s also the most important step you will take in finding and getting the job you really want, because it’s what drives all your other activities.

Some of the benefits you will experience by developing your focus include:

  • A renewed positive energy and enthusiasm (which always happens when we have that “aha!” moment of knowing where we are going and are excited to get there)
  • A dramatically increased possibility of a much shorter job search
  • More productive interviews, and an easier time networking

There are two sets of criteria you will benefit from focusing on. One is what I call your “driving motivators,” and the second is the criteria that defines your dream job.

Step #1: Identify Your Driving Motivators

Think of these driving motivators as the top three things you must have in order for you to feel like your next move is one that meets your needs.

Sometimes your driving motivators will run counter to your dream job, and that is okay. Give yourself permission to define these because they will affect your job search.

Your driving motivators can include how much money you need, a city or state you need to stay in, or an industry you absolutely have to “get out of.”

Step #2: Identify Your Dream Job

Now you need to identify what you love to do most, what excites you, and what you are best at in your career; basically, all those things that make you want to jump out of bed and go to work each day. Let’s call this your dream job.

To identify your dream job, start with a list of things you love to do. Another way to look at it is to ask yourself what you are doing when you are at your best.

Step #3: Identify Particular Jobs and Industries

Go to any major online job board and type in the positions and the industries you are interested in.

When you find the job or jobs that really excite you, print them out, highlight the keywords and phrases that you are resonating with, and add them to your “dream job list.”

These techniques are subtle and refreshingly easy, but don’t underestimate them! You will be amazed at the powerful results they will produce for you.

With your driving motivators and your dream job lists side by side, you have two distinct areas of focus to build on. This is the first and most critical step to taking control of your job search so you can land the job you really want.

Using these simple techniques will help you keep an emphasis on your skills and abilities as they relate to the position you are interviewing for, and set the tone and pace for a bigger and better offer!

What to Do When Companies Aren’t Saying Yes

I would like to share a personal story with you. I remember a couple of really lean months after I started my business. My husband and I would sit down at the table and I would start to tick off all the things I had done to market my business properly. “I have done everything right. So what’s WRONG!?” I would exclaim.

The truth of the matter was, I hadn’t done anything wrong, per se; it just felt like that because I didn’t have the amount of clients that I had expected.

Interestingly enough, in all other ways I had succeeded in meeting all of my business goals and timelines. However, those achievements were overshadowed by the anxiety caused by not having a long line of clients waiting to work with me.

Turns out, after about 6 weeks (which felt more like forever), I had plenty of wonderful clients.

You would think as a job search coach, I would not fall into this trap! But when we are going through “the fire” it’s easy to panic and quickly lose perspective.

When you are in a job search, it’s not much different. There are highs and lows. Sometimes the phone never stops ringing; sometimes it may feel like all potential employers are purposefully avoiding you. Inevitably one wonders, “What have I done wrong?” No doubt, it can be a confusing time. So here are some tips that will provide you with a very helpful dose of reality.

Tip #1: Expect the peaks and valleys.

It’s true: every job search or career transition has its peaks and valleys. And yes, it’s uncomfortable.

If you are experiencing a dry spell in your job search, you need to look at a few things before you can accurately determine the cause. These include:

  • Is your resume powerful enough to get attention? Have you had it professionally written?
  • Do you have a plan to focus on a particular industry and position? Does that plan include strategies that you are implementing?
  • Have you investigated the health of the industry you are targeting? Is it in a growth mode or is it shrinking?
  • Do you know how to tap into the unadvertised job market? And if so, have you been using those strategies consistently and persistently?
  • Have you given your job search enough time? The average search in a good market can take 2 to 4 months for a mid-level professional and 6 to 12 months for a senior executive.

Tip #2: Get realistic about marketing figures.

Direct mail campaigns do the heavy lifting for you and I recommend them. They usually yield a 1% to 7% return.

Unadvertised job market strategies can take your positive responses up 20% to 60% in a good market and slightly less in a bad economy. Regardless, pursuing the unadvertised market beats out using large (major) job boards by a long shot. Large job boards are the toughest job market in which to compete. Period.

The bottom line: even when you do it right, most companies are not going to respond to you. I am not trying to be negative, but rather, demonstrate that it doesn’t mean you’re not good enough or not doing something right. Job searching is marketing. It’s a numbers game. The solution? Check your search against tip #1 and then increase your numbers.

Tip #3: Don’t get down on yourself.

There are loads of things you can do that can actually help emotionally, mentally and physically in a job search. A few of these include:

  • Use a coach to keep you motivated, make sure you are using the right techniques to leverage yourself in the market, and to keep you on track with setting and reaching your goals on a weekly basis.
  • Work (i.e. job search) and life balance are incredibly vital! Set several hours aside each day to work on your job search and write out what your main activity is for each day. Take the rest of the day off (yes you heard me right!) to rest, relax, be with your family, enjoy sports or other activities, work on continuing education, read or whatever else you like to do. This will keep you sane and balanced while you are waiting for your efforts to pay off.
  • Join a church group or a support group. The positive support helps. Just trust me on this one.
  • If you hit a dry spell, remind yourself that it’s not you and it’s not personal. Getting depressed and feeling desperate is not the vibe you want to be taking into your upcoming interviews.
  • Do what you have to do. One executive client I know took a part-time job in a grocery store while he was looking for a full-time executive position. He said that it helped him feel like he was still contributing monetarily to his family, and just getting out and working part-time kept his head clear.

The wise job seeker and career changer knows that dry spells in a job search don’t signal the end of a career as they know it. 🙂 They use the time to market even harder.

Remember that every marketing effort is an accomplishment in and of itself and does contribute to action, forward movement and future activity. By looking at the situation realistically, using techniques to boost your activity, and keeping your focus on what you want (not what you are afraid of), you will maximize your leverage and move consistently forward to the results you want.

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