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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.

 

New Survey Reveals Whether Online Portfolios (i.e. Online Resume / Portfolio & Bio Websites) Actually Work

Did you know that a recent Hovers survey shows that 86% of employers will visit a portfolio site if given the option? This is SO interesting!

Full survey results here

Tips on How CxOs Can Optimize Their Executive LinkedIn Profiles

Many C-level executives tell me they have a LinkedIn profile but don’t really do anything with it. Other CxOs share they don’t even have a profile. Concerns range from simple lack of time or interest to privacy concerns.

I think the main issue is lack of understanding relative to value. Many executives simply don’t see how LinkedIn can benefit them. But there IS value in having a LinkedIn profile if you are a top executive. Below are several ideas and tips for leveraging those benefits:

Adjust Your Privacy & Settings

First, if you are concerned about privacy, in the security settings of your profile, you can change the setting for “Select who can see your connections” to “Only you.”

This way, your company and your competition cannot see who you are connected to. And if you wish to connect with others that may raise an eyebrow or two within your team (top-retained recruiters—or even your competition), no one can view your connections except for you.

Summary Statement

It’s a good idea to have an email—and maybe even a phone number—at the very beginning of the Summary statement. This ensures that people who may be visiting your profile can reach out to you, even if they may be outside of your first- or second-degree network of connections. If you are open to new opportunities, there is no reason to broadcast it, since you can very easily give someone a way to reach out to you!

Privacy tip: set up a new Gmail account with a variation of your name or something that is business-friendly, and use that email in your LinkedIn Summary statement.

Keyword Headings

When deciding on your keyword headings, think about what a recruiter or other key decision maker might be looking for when searching for someone like you. An advanced degree, splashy award, high-level certification, or size/scope information, such as “Fortune 500 Companies,” “Fast Growth Start-Ups,” Board Member,” or “International Expansions.” If you are looking to change industries, think of how broad your industry choice can be without looking as if you are searching for another opportunity.

Depth & Breadth

Most resume writers agree that LinkedIn profiles are best written in first-person informal. Generally speaking, the details in your profile should not be covered as thoroughly as they are in your executive resume. A good rule of thumb is to add just enough detail to create intrigue. Your profile should never, in my professional opinion, broadcast that you are looking for another opportunity. LinkedIn seems to work best for establishing thought leadership and to expand your network into specific areas.

Expand Your Network

When you expand your network with recruiters and key decision makers across a few industries and divisions, you are creating a network that can be leveraged. For example, a few years ago my husband was complaining that his LinkedIn connections were almost nonexistent. He is in the wine business, so I suggested he find those in “his tribe” through direct searches and LinkedIn groups and invite them into his network. Within 45 days my husband had more than 400 of the most powerful global connections of suppliers, distributors, wineries, vintners, wine-recruiters, HR directors, and high-profile critics in the wine industry. He regularly receives important information and job solicitations now through his LinkedIn profile.

Thought Leadership

Have your read an insightful industry article in Forbes that you agree with? Did you recently attend—or even better—speak at an industry conference? Attend or help lead a community event? Why not share that in your activity broadcast? Articles are another great way to share your insight; including pictures or videos will make them more clickable. Remember to keep it all business! This is an excellent way to solidify your brand and thought leadership within your network.

Although there are many other optimization and design tips that are important to know, these tips are great starting points to get you using LinkedIn as a tool that will give you market leverage and solidify your branding message.

How Global Corporations Pick CXO’s

imagesAECAED9CWow was I glad to stumble upon this little gem of an article! Lots of very interesting insight on Global MNC’s and cultural variances associated with CXO  interviewing/hiring around the globe.

 

This is a great read.  http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/jobs/how-large-corporations-go-about-picking-cxo-level-honchos/articleshow/52811063.cms

Harvard Business Review : The Secret to Negotiating Is Reading People’s Faces

Interesting article. I think this is very valuable information for Executives who are interviewing for senior level positions. The takeaway I got was this: slow down and remember to use all of the senses (in this case, visual) in high level interviews to determine and discern what to do and say next.  🙂

The Secret to Negotiating Is Reading People’s Faces

 

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.

NEW: COMPLIMENTARY AUDIO “QUICK TIPS”

3-minute audios on today’s most critical career topics for multi- 6 and 7-figure executives.
These short, informational audios will give you a burst of insight to utilize immediately in your job search. Here is your first audio:

Selected as a Top Career Website

Excited to announce we have been selected as a Top Career Website on Career Igniter!

http://www.careerigniter.com/career-websites/

Headhunter Hiring Secrets 2.0

My colleagues Skip Freeman and Mike Garee have just released their new edition book: Headhunter Hiring Secrets 2.0. I was going through it and am really excited about the information they have compiled!

HeadhunterHiringSecrets- 2 - FRONT COVERI would like to thank them for including me in their recommended resources section.

You can grab your copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Headhunter-Hiring-Secrets-2-0-Career/dp/1519631049

I also want to share a quick excerpt from page 38 on the job market. I agree with their comments and my clients have shared with me recently that they have been enjoying a surge of activity too!

 

THE JOB MARKET

Recent conversations I have had with CEOs and presidents of our recruiting firm’s client hiring companies also reflect the following trends and thinking:

  • Beginning in 2016 more cash will start flowing into the hiring process simply because it must. People and the companies they now work for have been spread far too thin for far too long and retention of top talent is a growing concern for many companies.
  • Forward-thinking companies are looking to increase investment in hiring to gain a competitive edge in their market niche(s). The post-recessionary approaches of cutting costs and staff, while still attempting to increase productivity and develop differentiating products and services, have already begun to produce diminishing returns.
  • Evolutionary thinking on workforce diversity continues to expand and is proving to be a key driver of future, sustained growth. The new thinking goes well beyond the traditional Equal Opportunity Employment (EEO) concepts and principles. In a truly global economy more intricately connected than ever before, the embrace of genuine diversity is accelerating people’s ability to learn and adopt new ideas, understand and accept a wider range of perspectives, broadening virtually everyone’s thinking about situations leading to more effective solutions, and exponentially increasing creativity as well as production.

 

 

 

 

Powerful Tips for Leaders on Optimizing Your Time

From Harvard Business Review:

In recent years, work has become infinitely more complex.

42-15414180Technological innovations have led to round-the-clock work schedules and mounting expectations. Our assignments have grown more collaborative, requiring more coordination, conference calls, and meetings. We now face an endless barrage of distractions, from the vibrations and alerts on our smartphones to the breaking news stories and viral videos awaiting us at our desks.

Now, more than ever, we need strategies for being productive. But where do we start?

Read more here:     https://hbr.org/2015/12/9-productivity-tips-from-people-who-write-about-productivity

 

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