Tag: the career artisan

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.


Attention CXO’s: How to Fake It When You’re Not Feeling Confident

Great article in Harvard Business Review titled:    

How to Fake It When You’re Not Feeling Confident

My favorite takeaways from this (I do these myself!) very insightful little piece:

  • Emulate what your mentors/those you admire do
  • Baby steps: smaller pieces
  • Don’t beat yourself up for not being ready – just move forward.

Top 100 Blogs for Developers in 2015

I am honored to be included in the list of Top 100 Software Developer Blogs for 2015 on Ben Brumm’s site at Complete IT Professional, thank you!

imagesX1X2DM7PGreat list for Tech execs and software developers…check it out! http://www.completeitprofessional.com/top-100-blogs-for-software-developers

My Dad, Ford Trucks & What I Learned About Success

To commemorate the passing of my father I would like to invite you to read this post I wrote in memory of my father – successful entrepreneur and decorated war veteran, Robert C. Fike. May his Memory Be Eternal.

My dad was a self made millionaire. But when he died, he was driving an old beat up 1970’s Ford Truck.

I had never seen him drive a vehicle that wasn’t really nice.  He always bought a brand new SUV each year.

But right before he died he had a transformation.

He started wearing an old straw hat.

He listened to Johnny Cash.

And he started driving an old white Ford truck that he picked off of the used car lot that he owned at the time.

My dad found out just a few months before he died that he had pulmonary fibrosis.

A grim feature of this unfortunate diagnosis was the oxygen tanks he had to haul around with him.

He had a portable oxygen tank and also a larger one for the house.

I remember right before he died he wanted to go up to our cabin at the base of Yosemite Valley.

My family begged him not to go. The elevation was high and the population was sparse.

If there was a problem it would take an hour just to get him to the hospital. Too late for help when you need air.

But my dad didn’t seem to care.

In fact, he seemed defiant.

He was going to make the 3.5 hour drive up to the mountains with our without us.

So I went with him.

Just me and my dad.

For a week’s “vacation” in the mountains Northern / Central California.

I followed him up in my car.

He strapped the big oxygen tank to the back of his “new” old ford truck, put on his straw hat, inserted a  a Johnny Cash tape in the cassette deck and drove off into the sunset as I drove behind him.

Though it was 20 years ago, that picture will be etched in my memory forever.

My dad had a lot – but now he seemed to want to shed those material things he had and simplify his surroundings. In the end, it wasn’t money or things that were a reflection of my dad.  And somehow he needed to get in touch with that. He wanted to be surrounded with reflections of who he truly was. And he was, at his core, a simple man, who enjoyed simple pleasures. He loved God and loved the land.

And he loved the rugged, grounded simplicity of that old Ford truck.

And I, as the daughter of this pioneering entrepreneur, have followed in his entrepreneurial footsteps.

When I was a teenager, my dad used to talk to me a lot about owning businesses and the opportunities we have in as Americans – in this great Country – to work and be successful from the fruits of our labors.

But the greatest lesson he taught me about true success was one he wasn’t trying to teach. It was watching him “show” me right before he died – what was truly important in life.

I guess that is why in my business today – I have been called a contrarian …provocative…and a maverick.

When you work with jobseekers, people who have families to take care of, when you get to know their stories….little else besides getting them educated on the truth of what really works in today’s job market is important. At least to me.

And although people hire me for over $200 an hour – not everyone can afford that.

So I decided to write The Career Artisan Series eBooks and offer them for just a few dollars each on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Because in the end it’s not money that truly matters, is it?

So if you know someone who needs help in their job search and you want to help… you can share this link with them:


You know, my husband keeps telling me he wants to buy me a new vehicle.

But I really do prefer my old  Ford truck.

Special Announcement – New Affiliate Program for Certified Resume Writers

Are you a certified resume writer who would like to provide your clients with gold star job search coaching that helps them successfully tap into the hidden job market?

Last week, I was honored to be interviewed by Laura DeCarlo, President of Career Directors International, on my brand new Job Search Success System and affiliate program for resume writers. The interview is about 15 minutes long and you can listen now here

I am so excited to announce the official launch of my brand-new affiliate program! If you are a resume writer what this can mean for you is:

You can provide your clients with a system that leads them through how to set up and manage a turnkey job search that focuses on the hidden job market and truly gets them great results.

You can be free from career and job search coaching you may not wish to do.

You can very easily create a significant additional passive stream of revenue for your business.

I have been helping all levels of job seekers tap into the hidden job market and secure more interviews and get bigger offers in both good and bad markets for 15 years.

If you would like to talk with me personally please feel free to call me at 830.331.9398 or email me at maryelizabeth@maryelizabethbradford.com.

***Listen to the interview here: http://www.audioacrobat.com/play/W3Q4BD64.

***Check out the Job Search Success System website here: http://job-searchsystem.com/.

***Register to be an affiliate here: https://www.mcssl.com/SYS/?m=130706&c=s.

*Please note, to protect the integrity of my affiliate partnerships and success of my clients I am ONLY accepting affiliate registrations from certified professional resume writers.

Get Energized: New Opportunities in Alternative Power


Source: Excerpt from CareerProNews

It’s clear we need to change our power sources. But so far, the answers are expensive. Alternative energy researchers are trying to find new ways for natural resources to power our lives at lower costs. Natural renewable resources — like wind, solar and geothermal power — renew quickly and are cleaner alternatives.

But there aren’t enough qualified people to work in the field of alternative energy, says Craig Dunn. He is president of WellDunn Consulting, a geological consulting firm for the energy industry. He says the demand for alternative energy is going to increase. Companies involved in alternative energy are going to keep growing. However, at the same time, the workforce is getting older.

“I would suggest the engineers and scientists that are willing to venture into the youthful alternative energy industry will have skill sets that will put their services in demand in future,” says Dunn.

What needs to be done?

“There are a lot of areas that need to be improved, from developing better technologies, to figuring out how to get that energy to the places it’s needed,” says Bonnie Jonkman. She is a scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “In the U.S. right now, there is an effort to increase wind energy to 20 percent of our total energy mix. To meet that goal, we will need more people working in this field.”

Investors have caught on to alternative energy, and green is the new gold. Although renewable energy produces only a small percentage of the world’s total energy, it brings in 18 percent of the world’s investment in power generation. That’s according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2007. Wind generation is bringing in the most investment, with solar and biofuel energy technologies growing quickly as well.

Energy blowing in the wind

Wind turbines take energy out of thin air. The wind turns the blades of a turbine to generate electricity. Compared to other sources of renewable energy, the wind sector is fairly mature. The UNEP says money is pouring in to develop new technology, and to manufacture and sell it.

“Wind turbines are getting larger all the time (with rotors bigger than a Boeing 747), and the number of wind turbines being installed is increasing every year,” says Jonkman. “It will require a large workforce with a variety of skills to address the technical challenges and to meet the demand for more turbines. We need construction workers to erect wind turbines, maintenance workers to keep the turbines running, engineers and scientists to solve the design challenges, and politicians to develop sound policies.”

Energy in plants

Biomass is plant matter grown for use as biofuel. Researchers in this area try to find out whether burning plant matter, such as corn and sugarcane, is better for the environment than burning traditional fossil fuels, such as oil, coal and natural gas.

Biofuel is second only to wind power in the amount of money being invested, says the UNEP. It says there was a huge growth of interest in 2006. Interest was due in part to the growing corn-based ethanol industry in the U.S.

Although energy can be harvested from corn, the method for doing so is inefficient. Alternative energy researchers must refine the method to make ethanol. It must become more efficient — and less expensive — before it can compete with gasoline as a fuel source.

Energy beaming down on us

Heat from the sun produces solar power. Photovoltaics is one device that can harness the sun’s energy. The energy travels through an electrical circuit to power anything electronic — from your calculator to your home.

Photovoltaics has been around since the 1970s. However, in the past decade prices on solar power have dropped. Scientists hope the next generation of photovoltaics will keep shrinking the price-tag on solar energy.

Experts predict that in the next 10 years, alternative energy researchers will be able to cut the cost of solar energy to make it competitive with petroleum. Solar energy has the potential to meet the entire planet’s electric and fuel needs. That’s according to chemist Harry Gray in an article entitled, “Expert foresees 10 more years of R and D to make solar energy competitive.”

Energy from the depths of the Earth

Geothermal energy is heat taken from far beneath our feet. Although the surface of the Earth is cool, the base of the Earth’s crust is about 1800 F. This heat can be converted into renewable energy.

That’s what Craig Dunn works towards. “We are offering opportunities to improve and solutions for the next generation,” he says. Research is the first step, he adds. He warns that newcomers to alternative energy need courage. Alternative energy is all about venturing into new research areas.

“There is a great deal of uncertainty in the energy industry in general and with emerging or alternative solutions. And there is no clear cut solution for North America’s energy needs. Continued education is fundamental to your work if you hope to stay ahead of the curve,” says Dunn.

Energy flowing in rivers and oceans

Water is key to a few types of alternative energy. Hydroelectric power comes from moving water — often a dammed river. The water drives a turbine and generator. This generates electricity. The flow of the river constantly renews the energy needed for hydroelectric power. That’s why it’s a “renewable” source.

Similarly, tidal power uses the natural energy from tides — the rising and falling of sea levels. Also, waves create energy on the surface of the ocean. This energy is being captured too.

In the U.S., there is a lot of potential to develop more hydropower plants, according to the National Hydropower Association. It estimates that 5,400 sites could be developed. This would boost hydroelectric generation by more than 50 percent in the U.S.

There are always new technologies being developed to capture energy more efficiently and cost-effectively. Opportunities will flow to alternative energy researchers in the hydroelectric field.

Imagination is important

“I think [the alternative energy research field] is just going to get bigger. It’s a growing job. The word ‘green’ is bigger than ever. You see it all over the news and in so many industries. It’s a huge market,” says Jay Gill. He is the national sales manager for Global Resource Corporation.

Global Resource is a petroleum research, engineering, development and manufacturing company. It discovered a way to use microwave technology to harness the energy in automobile tires to make oil and gas. Yep, that’s right — they zap old tires to create energy.

So the limits of alternative energy research are really only limited by researchers’ imaginations. Ever dream of being a superhero? Alternative energy researchers work every day to save the world — and they don’t have to wear tights.

Net Sites

Energy Kid’s Page
Find games and fun facts about energy

Climate Change Kids Site
Read about climate change from the United States Environmental Protection Agency

TIME for Kids
Read a special report on global warming

Bytesize Science
Watch or listen to educational podcasts for kids

Careers in Wind
Search the job board from the American Wind Energy Association

American Wind Energy Association
Learn more about the association for wind energy companies

National Hydropower Association
Learn about “blue energy”


Career Spotlight: Adventures in Children’s Literature

Source: CareerProNews

“Children’s literature has always been popular, but in the United States we have the most prolific children’s book industry in the world,” says Charles Temple, author of four children’s books.

“Nearly 5,000 new titles are published every year, and 50,000 children’s books are in print,” he says.

“Six years ago, families surpassed schools and libraries as purchasers of children’s books — and that was before the Harry Potter phenomenon really caught hold.”

Why the Growth?

The success of Harry Potter “forces people to take children’s literature more seriously, now that they can see the potential in the concrete terms of sales figures,” says Cora Lee. She works with a children’s book center.

“I like to think of Harry Potter as a good starting point for ‘new’ readers. There’s no limit to what a reader can find, once hooked on finding a good story.”

Another reason children’s books have become increasingly popular is that parents — perhaps more than any generation before — understand the vital role reading plays in their child’s development, says Dave Cutler. He is a freelance illustrator and author who recently published his first children’s book.

“Educators rightly encourage parents to read to their children from very early childhood,” says Temple, who is also an education professor.

“Reading to children helps them learn language, and also gives them a leg up on learning to read later on. Reading aloud to children is consistently shown to give a significant boost to their language, their general knowledge and their predisposition to read themselves. You just can’t overemphasize its importance.”

Getting Into the Market

“There are still plenty of publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts, but this number gets a little smaller all the time,” says Alice Pope. She is the editor of Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market. “And publishers get more and more manuscripts in their slush piles all the time.”

So what are publishers looking for?

“They are looking for quality writing — for stories with compelling characters, for stories full of humor and adventure as well,” says Stephen Mooser. He is president of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. He is also the author of more than 60 children’s books.

“Children’s books need to draw kids in right away,” says children’s writer Kathryn Lay. “For the younger children, it’s the excitement of illustration and text that rolls off the tongue, begging to be read again and again. For older kids, it’s a great story and characters and dialog, just as with adults.”

One children’s authors organization says only one or two first-time authors are published each year.

“I think publishing is a very difficult field and it’s hard to figure out what anyone is looking for at any given time,” says Tom Mason. He has co-written about 20 children’s books and more than 130 episodes for children’s television.

“If a publisher says they’re looking for books about ‘cheese,’ by the time you write one, they’ll be looking for books about ‘not cheese.’ By the time a book is written, edited and published, a period of least a year or two has passed and that makes it difficult to predict trends in popular cultures or audience tastes. Everything just changes rapidly.”

Mason suggests studying the types of books each publisher releases. But don’t forget why you got into the field.

“You should write what you want, what interests you — write the kind of book you’d like to read,” Mason says. “Worry about the market later.”

Insider Advice

Write. That’s the best advice successful writers consistently give to aspiring authors.

“Quit talking about it and start writing,” Mason says. “We run into lots of people who talk about how they want to write but then they don’t sit down in front of the computer and do the heavy lifting. We write every day.”

Read in the genre you hope to write in. “Become familiar with what’s out there and what particular publishing houses are doing,” says Noreen Violetta. She works with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

“Don’t forget the many kid’s magazines out there either. They are a good place to begin to submit manuscripts or illustration samples to.”

And learn to accept rejection – you’ll run into it a lot. “Sadly, rejection is part of the job,” says Dan Danko. He is Mason’s co-author.

“Whether you’re writing for books, TV or movies, you’ll encounter more people who say ‘no’ more often than ‘yes,'” he says.

“For this reason, it’s important to know why you want to be a writer. If it’s to get rich and have your name on the big screen, go to law school. You’ll be happier in the end. But if it’s to fulfill a desire to create and do what you love, then always hold on to that, no matter what anyone may tell you.”

Net Sites

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
A professional organization for children’s writers

Writer’s Digest
Research the various markets


Children’s Literature Web Guide
Offers a wealth of resources

The Institute of Children’s Literature
Read the latest writer’s news

Recession-Busting Job Search Techniques That WORK

Did you make the call Wednesday titled: Recession-Busting Job Search Techniques That WORK?

Well, if you couldn’t make it, or you called in and the line was busy (sorry, we filled up fast!) here is a link to the audio recording of the call.

You can listen here now:

I really opened up about detailed strategies and resources that you can use in your job search right now.

Plus, I extended a VERY special invitation that will enable you to get job search coaching and support directly from me…I think you will be really pleased and excited to hear about it!

Here is that link:

*Many of you emailed me to ask for the resource links I mentioned on the call, so I had my team post them for you on the same page as the audio. Enjoy!

-Mary Elizabeth

FREE Job Search Help!

Are you like so many people I have been talking with recently that are frustrated with their job search?

If so, I would like to invite you to join me for an absolutely fr^ee, no strings attached teleseminar titled:

How to Find a Job in Days, Not Weeks

I recently shared with you in my ezine that one of my goals for 2009 was to help as many job seekers as I could. I can’t think of a better way to kick off the New Year than with a program that can turn your “frustration” into “excitement!”

Date: Tuesday January 20th, 2009

Time: 5pm CST

Register here now:

*When you register, you will receive the call-in information.

Hosted by two of the country’s leading experts on job search techniques:

* Mary Elizabeth Bradford, a certified resume writer and job search coach with an executive recruiter background, creates custom, turnkey job search strategies and marketing materials for her clients, helping them to easily and quickly attract the attention they deserve. Her strategy leverages research, detail and focus.

* Mark Hovind of JobBait.com helps executives find jobs by going directly to the decision-makers most likely to hire them. His specialties include value proposition letters, targeting, mailing list (CEOs, Presidents, etc.), websites and video clips. His strategy leverages quality, volume, and speed.

Mark and Mary Elizabeth have combined forces to help job-seekers find a job as fast as possible, specifically in the hidden job market.

Please note: this teleseminar is for serious-minded job seekers who are willing to commit to do what it takes to land their next position. Come prepared to take notes and feel that mix of euphoria and relief when we show you the light at the end of the tunnel!

***Only 98 spots available – this call will fill quickly!***

Register here now:


Inspiring your success,

Mary Elizabeth

P.S. At the end of this teleseminar, you will KNOW which decision-makers to contact and have several options to reach them right now…today if you want to.

P.P.S. There is no catch except that once you find a job, we ask that you “pay it forward” and don’t forget to share your story with us!

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