Tag: job search tips (page 1 of 4)

How to Manage Your CEO Job Search

Most of my CEO and other CxO clients who initially come to me for executive resumes tell me that this is the first time they have ever had to look or plan for a new position and that most of their CEO job opportunities have come to them through inside channels. Others state that their relationships with recruiters have helped them to vet new executive CEO job opportunities.

If you have also had a run of opportunities come to you—that’s great! But there seems to come a point in every executive’s career when they are called to ‘make rain’ and find opportunities that are a good fit for them. Another consideration regarding market leverage is that if you know how to do it, you don’t have to rely on opportunities that are coming to you at any given time, and you can actually set up and easily manage your own transition.

Here are a few resources and strategies my CEO clients use to get full market leverage in their executive job searches:

Job Boards 

Yes, you can use ExecuNet or Bluesteps as paid executive job board options to find Chief Executive Officer job opportunities. You can also just set up email alerts for CEO jobs using an aggregator like indeed.com. LinkedIn also has a feature for setting up job alerts. The benefit here is that you set it up once—and the positions come to you daily or weekly. You can quickly scan them for relevancy in just a few minutes per week. Be sure not to spend too much time on this one; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, positions paying more than 300K are only represented online at 10% of the actual jobs available, so you don’t want to spend too much time here. You can also use these CEO jobs that are delivered to you as a market indicator. Look for running patterns and themes, and note who is growing and hiring in your niche, and what recruiters are posting multiple positions that match your interest.

Executive Recruiters 

Identify recruiters who say they place CEOs and have Chief Executive Officer Job Postings. You can also research those executive recruiters who work with CEOs that work in your industry too.  They often have contracts to fill positions, the majority of which will never be advertised.

If you are making a radical change of industries, a recruiter who places CEOs may not be the best source for you as they will be looking for “a match.” Having said that, there are generalist recruiters who have CEO job searches across multiple industries.

You can do an internet search for CEO recruiters+your industry. You can also look up CEO recruiters on LinkedIn. I offer a recruiter distribution here, and an in-depth course on how to work with executive recruiters here.

Direct Company Contact 

The secret to finding CEO jobs by going directly to companies of interest to you is in the numbers. Contacting a company directly (knowing full well they probably have multiple open positions that are not advertised) is a great way to demonstrate leadership and take control of your job search. Are you interested in looking at the higher-education market in your state or the top organic food manufacturers in the U.S.? Or maybe the fastest-growing healthcare-oriented businesses in your city? All of these “lists” are accessible to you and allow you to easily tap right into your market of focus!

Here are a few ways you can connect with them to get interviews:

Send a letter to the CEO or Chairman at larger companies

They might need you as a GM, COO, or Division President. If you’re the CEO of a small company, perhaps you would fit in as the EVP, COO, or Division President of a larger company.

Send a letter to the CEO at smaller companies

The incumbent CEO might be looking for a successor because of retirement, business expansion, or just because he or she wants to move on and open a new company. Or, the existing CEO may want to step back, step down, or step up as the Chairman. The reasons don’t matter—what matters is that they need help more often than you’d expect.

Send a letter to the Money Brokers

Reach out to the VCs, Investment Bankers, Holding Companies, and others who invest in companies. There are more than 20,000 in the database, and they might need you for a portfolio company. If you have money to invest and/or mention that you’re looking for a stake in the outcome, this can significantly increase your odds.

An accident of timing

Sending a value proposition letter to those decision makers who are most likely to hire you is an accident of timing with predictable and statistical odds (85% in 90 days). And, it’s the only way to reach thousands of decision makers at the same time … when you’re available.

You can learn much more about the lucrative hidden job market and how to tap into it, here.

Use LinkedIn

Think of LinkedIn as a CEO job database. If you connect with companies in industries and geographical areas that are of potential interest to you, you will grow your network on LinkedIn—and not only can you then tap into it as a talent source, but you will be in the first, second, or third degree network of MANY more companies that will now be able to see you in their network. So … when they are searching for candidates (like you) using LinkedIn (and most of them do), you will now rank in their search results!

Don’t be dispirited if you’ve never realized this before; this is not information that LinkedIn actively promotes. You can learn the mechanics of how to easily use LinkedIn to passively pull opportunities to you by growing your network here.

I have been coaching CEOs on their job-transition strategies for nearly two decades. If you take away anything from these tips … I hope it is that you DO have ample power, control and market leverage over your CEO job search! A clear focus of direction—supported by a CEO executive resume and two or three good CEO job search strategies layered in—should deliver in short time the interest, interviews, and offers you are looking for.


Approaching a Potential Employer Cold – How to Cold Call for Executive Jobs

If you read my blog or E-zine you know I am ALL about taking both leadership and control of your executive job search—and that includes not just investing in a professionally certified executive resume writer but fully leveraging market opportunities as well. It takes a little planning, initiative, and guts—but the payback is amazing, and you get to pick your low-hanging fruit in terms of the companies YOU are interested in working for.

download  dfbfbThis article I read on CareerCloud is a great example of a plucky recruiter taking the initiative in a memorable and authentic way that answers the questions every job seeker must answer: What good are you to me, and why should I be reading this?

And even though this recruiter is not at the E-Suite yet, I bet they will be! And that makes the best employers sit up and take notice. I think it is often forgotten, when we are in job seeking mode, that just as our main challenge is to find the right opportunity at a good company—a COO’s primary challenge is generally to find and retain exceptional people. So be that exceptional person and the opportunities will follow.



Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s Blog Named Best Career Advice Blog of 2015

Best Career Advice Blog 2015Mary Elizabeth Bradford has been selected as a winner of the eCollegeFinder’s Best Career Advice Blog of 2015 Award! The Career Artisan Blog stood out amongst stiff competition and is now featured on eCollegeFinder’s site as a recommended technology resource for their readers.

Winners were selected as providing readers and staff with the best career advice and personal development blogs on the web, including tips, advice, news, and facts to help readers gain insight on the best ways to land a great job and maximize their happiness with their career choice. Read Mary Elizabeth’s eCollegeFinder interview answers here.

BIG Company Expansions: Hiring Surges

Remember hiring at the lower levels indicate movement and opportunities at the top too! Accenture hiring 5,000 Vets over the next 5 years, Community Health Systems hiring 1,500 in Nashville and more here: http://jobs.careercloud.com/

4 Things You Must Know if You are Using the Internet to Find Your Next Career Opportunity

When I talk with new clients, one thing I almost always hear in our first conversation is that they have been sending out countless resumes over the internet with nearly zero response from potential employers.

The internet can be a successful way to find jobs, but if you do it wrong, you can find yourself feeling burned-out and anxious from hours of surfing, sending and waiting.

Here are four powerful tips to get your internet job search activity running smoothly and easily with great results.

Tip #1: Use a Job Aggregator and Set Up Email Alerts

This single tip is worth its weight in gold. Using a job aggregator (a beta search engine) works just like Google. You type in what you are looking for and where you would like to find it, and it returns results from major and minor job boards, associations and companies. My favorite is indeed.com. When you set up daily email alerts you cut out all that wasted time surfing around for jobs. Now you simply have your coffee in the morning, quickly scroll through the open positions, save what you want, ditch the rest and you are done!

Tip #2: Don’t Just Use the Internet to Search for Jobs

To truly be committed to making your next career move a really good one, you must honor that commitment by using other, non-traditional methods to look for jobs. I prefer tapping into the 80% of the job market that isn’t advertised. By doing this, you can quickly identify your target market, best companies and associations to contact, land more interviews, and get bigger offers.

Tapping into the hidden job market works because positions that have yet to be advertised are generally more creative and flexible in terms of salary range and what the company is looking for. The hiring process in general is also strikingly easier and more informal than the typical rigid HR process entails.

If you want more in-depth instruction, be on the lookout for an upcoming invitation to my new Career Power Strategy Sessions coaching call on “How To Tap Into the Hidden Job Market” (of course, you have to be on my mailing list to receive it)! To get you started now, here is a quick tip: you can begin searching the hidden job market by using Google Maps to find companies in your geographic location and industry and Google News Alerts to track growing companies in your industry.

Tip #3: Delete Your Other Job Board Email Alerts

If you have been jumping from board to board setting up email alerts and accounts, now is the time to delete (yes delete) all of them. This will eliminate much of the overwhelm (and lots of junk advertisements) that has been filling your email in box. Replace it with an elegant and powerful job aggregator that you can easily set up email alerts with, and brand new positions that are matches for you will be delivered to your email inbox daily.

Tip #4: Use LinkedIn to Grow Your Network

Grow your network of recruiters and key decision makers in your industry of interest through LinkedIn! This is something you can do by finding and reaching out to these people through LinkedIn’s search box or your groups. If you are connected and they are looking for people like you, you will show up in their top search results!

And one last small tip: I recommend spending no more than 30 minutes each day reviewing jobs on the internet. Yes, you may find your next dream job from the internet, but creating a plan to use 2 or 3 other techniques for landing the job you really want will serve you much better than the small 1 to 4% response rate internet jobs generally yield from electronic job boards.

How to Avoid The 8 Most Common Job Search Pitfalls So You Can Move Confidently Towards Your Career Goals: Part 2

As I mentioned in Part 1, job search can be challenging. Here are my last 4 common pitfalls and how you can avoid them:

Pitfall #5: Not Being Open to Try New Job Search Methods

In this job market you are going to have very little success if all you do is answer a handful of posted jobs.

The Solution: Put Yourself Out There and Do Something New

My clients who are having success right now are the ones that are using direct mail programs, learning how to research and use strategies to tap into the hidden job market (actually quite easy) and learning how to leverage LinkedIn to pull opportunities to them.

Pitfall #6: Putting All Your Eggs in One Basket

I worked with a client once who secured three interviews a week after I sent this client her final resume copies.

She was so excited and I was excited for her. But when I asked her how her job search strategies were going, she said she was just waiting for her immediate interviews to pan out before she did anything else. Though I encouraged her not to do this, her mind was made up.

Six weeks later, all three potential job opportunities fell through and my client was left with an empty basket and the daunting task of starting all over again from scratch.

The Solution: Keep Going

You can avoid this pitfall by keeping your pipeline full and your job search activities consistent until your first day at your new company.

Pitfall #7: No Strategy

In order to be successful in your job search, you MUST have a foundation of basic goals and a clear understanding of your driving motivators. If you don’t, you aren’t going to know what to focus on or where to best invest your time and energy.

I have worked with job seekers who when they first came to me shared that they had been in “I’ll know it when I see it” job search mode for over a year with nothing to show for it.

The Solution: Know What You Want

Know what industries you are targeting and why, what your salary goals are, your time frame, and your basic game plan before trying to move forward. You’ll be so glad you did!

Pitfall #8: Work/Life Imbalance

You can’t job search 8 hours a day. Well, you can, but if you do you will probably be feeling drained and burnt out in no time at all.

During a job search you will most likely be experiencing more stress than normal, so it’s important that you take better care of yourself and take more time off then perhaps you are accustomed.

This isn’t a luxury! It’s actually a vital part of your successful job search.

The Solution: Strike a Balance

Eat right, get plenty of rest and do plenty of those things you love to do. This way you will have lots of energy for creativity and strategy. You will be rested, clear-headed and enthusiastic in your job interviews, which will make a positive impression.

So, if you see yourself in any one of pitfalls, take heart and use these simple techniques to break through the hurdles so you can stay focused and confident as you move toward the career opportunity you really want!

The Value Proposition Letter: How to Write the Most Powerful Cover Letters on the Planet

Would you like to learn how to write a powerful “cover letter” that gets results?

For over 10 years I have been writing crisp, concise, value proposition letters (today’s cover letter) for professionals all over the world that has helped them to secure multiple quality job interviews and offers. Many times my clients tell me their salaries increase 10k, 35k, have doubled, or more, Why? The right marketing. The right materials. Its not magic. These are people probably a lot like you.

And now, for the first time ever, I am hosting a personal coaching session to show you, step-by-step, exactly how to create your own value proposition letter.

On top of that, I am including several value proposition letter templates, a quick-start checklist and LIVE Q&A time with me to answer all of your questions and coach you personally, to make sure your value proposition letter is perfect and gets you results.

The course is 50 minutes and the investment is just $47. These sessions fill up fast and I do limit the group so sign up now to grab your virtual “seat.”

Don’t worry if you can’t be on the live call with me. I will send you everything including the call recording – all you have to do is register.

Click here to register for this session now!

These letters are of such critical importance and so tremendously valuable, I currently charge $297 to write value proposition letters for my clients. This is one of those topics that you learn once and benefit from over and over again.

Here is what you will learn and receive:

  • The most common cover letter mistake that leads to qualified professionals being passed over for interviews.
  • Battle-tested, step-by-step strategies to create a cover letter template that is powerful and gets results.
  • How to easily tweak your cover letter to work for networking, recruiters, human resources and decision makers.
  • A step-by-step plan to ensure your value proposition letter gets read… from beginning to end.
  • My trick for adjusting the way you see yourself and communicate your value to others; so you shift from simply telling them what it is you do, to what happens when you do it.
  • The one critical thing to leave OUT of your letter that will ensure more calls and interest.
  • A 15-point action checklist that is easy to follow and check your letters against to ensure you are creating your value proposition letters correctly for maximum impact.
  • 5 value proposition letter templates that you can glean from so you can see for yourself the subtle changes between each and what powerfully communicates branding, value and results.
  • LIVE Q&A for the last part of the call so I can personally coach you and answer your questions (this portion is BONUS for those who want to join me on the LIVE call!).
  • Extra BONUS: My bestselling e-book: The Career Artisan’s Interview Follow Up Secrets. In this guidebook I show you exactly what to do post-interview to make it to the final offers. Plus, I include a thorough troubleshooting section so you can avoid all of the typical mistakes people make, including the one where the interview ended great but no one called back – one of the most frustrating mysteries ever.

Click here to register for this session now!

Cover letters are one of the most common areas I see professionals making mistakes. This is an investment in yourself. Learning evergreen strategies (that are not going to be replaced by something new next year) once will create value for you again and again during the life of your career and will prevent avoidable mistakes that may be costing you interviews without even knowing it.

Inspiring your success,


Most of what you have been told about job searching IS misleading, skewed, or just plain wrong.

I was excited to be a guest on The Power Women Magazine! Deb Bailey is a great host and we really got into some juicy topics regarding why traditional job search methods are just not working and what to do about it.


6 Tips For Avoiding Burnout In Your Job Search


7 Ways To Supplement Your Income During Your Job Search

Are you in a full-time job search? Many job seekers who are, find that supplementing their income until they land their next job takes a lot of pressure and anxiety off of them and helps to build their confidence and keep their energy and motivation up.

You can create one or more temporary income streams using the following strategies:

  1. Management Consulting – Jobs in management consulting (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) have DOUBLED over the last 10 years. If you are experienced in your niche, this can make exceptional additional income! Guru and Elance are great sites for getting the word out and giving you the ability to instantly bid on projects. Flexjobs has an annual fee of $49, or you can sign up by the month – word from my clients is that this is an excellent site and resource. RealMatch is yet another option. 
  2. Higher Ed Adjunct Teaching – Teach part-time in your area of expertise and get paid for it! Adjunct teaching is increasingly popular with state and local colleges as they do not have to cover benefits. 
  3. Ebay/Craigslist – The business you can do using these mediums is pretty phenomenal. I know many people who generate significant passive income off these sites. 
  4. Interim Executives – Many companies are looking for interim executives for various reasons. Most of the largest recruitment firms in the U.S., including Heidrick and Struggles, Russell Reynolds, Spencer Stuart and Spherion, now have specialized practice areas for interim executive placement. 
  5. Corporate Project Assignments – Gear a version of your resume toward project assignments, highlighting the key skills/strengths you are really experienced in. This strategy appeals to companies (even for some full-time positions) because these positions don’t require automatic long-term commitments or benefit packages, and contracting projects can generally meet many corporate challenges at significant savings to them. The benefits to you are clear, including getting your foot in the door for more permanent work and giving you a chance to see if you and said company are a fit! 
  6. Register With Your Local Temporary Agency – Employers hire entry AND mid-level professionals for project assignments through temp firms. 
  7. Earn Income From Your Hobby – A few things I have seen people do in the past include selling fresh baked bread or veggies at their local farmers market, dog boarding, day care, ghostwriting, graphic design, selling antiques, equestrian lessons and photography.
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