Approximately 60 percent of executives I speak with will share with me in our initial conversation that they have always been recruited for positions – and that for the first time in a very long time, they are faced with finding their next opportunity themselves. They may have some contacts and even a few recruiters they keep in touch with. But their resume has not been updated in over a decade, they don’t do much with LinkedIn, and they are aware the job search landscape has changed … but don’t feel prepared for the trip. They generally think the right next move is to “update their resume and see what is out there…”
If that sounds like you, the tips below will help bring clarity regarding the correct steps to take to move forward confidently. It is a positive place to be, filled with opportunity since you come with no preconceived notions of the job search!
Equally important to note is you want to start your executive transition the right way. The reason why is because the wrong resume, the wrong approach, the wrong job search techniques and the wrong expectations can sap your energy and leave you feeling frustrated in a matter of weeks or months.
Here are some key tips to prevent that from happening to you:
DETERMINE YOUR FOCUS OF DIRECTION
First, you have to plan. A few things you will want to know are:
- What key skills do you want to use?
- What size company do you want to be with?
- What titles would you find enticing?
- Do you have a location preference?
- What industry would you like to be in?
- What are your driving motivators? (The things you have to have no matter what. This could be an industry change, a compensation range, a location or other.)
- What is your time frame and sense of urgency?
- How is the industry you are interested in doing economically? It is growing or stable? Is it in decline? Ideally, you want to fish where the fish are biting so bear that in mind if your industry is lagging … you may want to look for industries that are connected or on the periphery that present more opportunities.
BUILD YOUR EXECUTIVE RESUME
Now that you have defined the points important to you, you can (and must) build your resume TO them. That means beginning at the end and working backward. Your CXO resume is a marketing document, not a historical career narrative. A very valuable exercise is to explore online jobs to gauge what you are drawn to. Once you have found two or three, you can look for running themes in keywords and phrases. You want to use these as the basis for designing your executive resume.
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