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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.

 

The Future of Startups is… Women

I never say this, but I will today: I sure wish I invented a smart doorbell maker!

Oh and also AngelList says that First Round Capital says the future is women. From AngelList:

In the first two months of 2018, First Round Capital had 3 billion-dollar+ exits. It’s only March. As early investors in Uber, the venture capital firm was able to sell 40% of their shares to SoftBank back in January (netting approximately $800M). Last month, it was announced that pharmaceutical giant Roche is acquiring Flatiron Health for $1.9B, and less than two weeks after, Amazon acquired the smart doorbell maker Ring for $1.2B. First Round was an early investor in both.

First Search, First Round’s search engine for the best tactical startup advice, was also nominated for the Product of the Year Golden Kitty Award a few weeks back. It’s been a good start of the year for First Round.

The first thing you see when walking into First Round’s San Francisco office is a poster on the wall: The future is female founders.

Yet still less than 2.19% of all venture capital funding goes to female-led startups. In honor of International Women’s Day, here are 20 Female Founded Startups to Join in 2018 that are growing quickly and hiring. For more, we created an ever-growing list of over 1,300 startups founded by female founders. Check it out.

U.S. Job Openings at a 16-Year High

The monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, released by the Labor Department on Tuesday shows job openings at a record high.

Read more here!

US Technology & Manufacturing Corporate Expansions – Fish Where the Fish Are

Per the White House:

Today we are excited to announce that Intel has pledged to make a $7 billion investment in Arizona, creating 10,000 jobs!
Companies across America are making the commitment to creating thousands of new jobs everyday:

  • 11/29/2016: Carrier pledges to create 1,000 new jobs
  • 12/28/2016: Sprint and OneWeb announces it’s creating and saving 8,000 jobs
  • 01/17/2017: GM pledges $1 billion in manufacturing to create 1,500 new jobs

 

Growth Industries USA

whats-driving-job-growth-in-2015Job creation WAY way up in November/Private sector, service industry jobs dominate: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/30/us-private-sector-jobs-nov-2016-adp.html

 

And another:

 

wind_and_solar_energy   Solar and Wind Energy Industry hopeful under new Trump administration: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-renewables-idUSKBN13N0X7

 

Resilience is About How You Recharge Not How You Endure

jun16-24-611469745-1024x576Fantastic article from Harvard Business Review.  I always tell my clients to increase double their play time & get their executive transition search activities down to 2 hours a week.  At first they think I am crazy but it works so well! This article explains why.  Read more here

Executive Career Moves & Appointments in the Global Financial Industry

fffBig moves and senior level / global appointments at Goldman Sachs, UBS, Nasdaq and German financial technologies investor group, Deutsche Börse…to name a few.

Details here:  http://www.efinancialnews.com/story/2015-12-25/financial-news-careers-25-12-2015

Connect with Executive Search Firms & Find New Opportunities

bluestepsI’d like to introduce you to BlueSteps, a premier career management service that provides its members with exclusive access to executive search consultants looking for qualified executives at the senior level. As a member of BlueSteps, you’ll have access to numerous tools and services you can use to progress your executive career from one stage to the next, including:

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

Become a member today!

Is Your Networking Approach Missing These 3 “Must Haves”?

Networking is a hot topic. It’s common to hear that the majority of jobs are won through some form of networking, so if you plan on getting another job in your lifetime, then learning about networking is a wise choice!

If you are wondering where in the world to start learning how to network, if you are apprehensive to network because it’s new to you, or if you have had a negative networking experience in the past, here are three simple but powerful must-haves to quickly get started.

Must Have #1: Focus on Them

When you are talking with someone, you are meeting for the FIRST time. You must keep your focus on them. In other words, this is not the time to introduce what you need, but rather, ask a few questions about them.

If you are one of those professionals who really get stage fright before a networking opportunity such as a mixer, then a great tip for you is to write down 5 questions you feel comfortable asking. This will boost your confidence and help you avoid that feeling of being tongue tied.

Must Have #2: Reciprocate

Networking is more about what you can do for someone else then what they can do for you. In other words, if you put the focus on helping others, not only does it take the pressure off of you, but it creates a positive exchange between you and your networking contact. Examples include sending a key decision maker of a company you want to work for a positive article about their company, passing on a valuable bit of mentoring to a junior executive, or referring one of your top vendors to another company. The more you get in the habit of helping others in these small ways, the more you will see your network extending their help to you exponentially.

Must Have #3: Don’t Play the End Result

Maybe you are wondering with all this gifting you are doing just when you are going to get to network?! That’s understandable. The answer is, you definitely will have multiple opportunities to network in order to take action towards your goals.

When you approach your network for information, it’s important to be polite, gracious and clear about what you want. But don’t play the end result. That means when you follow up with a key decision maker after sending in your resume, connect with an executive to ask for a short mentoring meeting, or query your friends about who they might know in your industry of interest, it’s critical that your only expectation at that moment is the opportunity to pose the question.

Your success rides more on how many people you network with and how you ask someone for something than the actual response you get. Some contacts will be able to help you and some won’t. Knowing this, you can relax and keep your expectations in check. The person on the receiving end will certainly pick up on this intuitively and respond in kind.

The Executive Job Search and My Success Rates

I am often asked by potential clients what my success rates are. They usually follow with, “I know it can be hard to say…”

The truth is that with the right planning, marketing collateral, and job search strategies, job searching and career transitioning can be easy. And it is for A LOT of people that hire me to help them. However, for some it is not.

So why is it easy for some but hard for others? Let’s take a look.

Generally speaking, the job seekers who enjoy an easy experience have these things in place:

  1. They know what they want and where they are going. They are focused on a particular industry and title. They align themselves with opportunities: industries that have solid growth and a good long-term economic outlook. They fish where the fish are.
  2. If they are changing industries, they have a game plan and now what they need to do to keep moving forward toward their goal. This could include establishing a stronger foothold with the thought leadership in their industry of choice, or immersing themselves in new associations or additional certifications. In other words, they are on it. They hustle.
  3. They take responsibility for their job search. They are fully aware that they are the ones who are responsible for not only implementing strategies, but keeping a leadership/positive attitude. They realize that they are the only ones who have the power to maintain that.
  4. They are willing to learn and embrace new job search strategies that help them leverage themselves in the market. They hire certified professional help, because they know that help and support accelerates their results.
  5. They understand marketing 101. Much like how businesses spend roughly 10% for their marketing budget, executives should set aside at least 1% to properly market themselves in their job search; and just like a business, they expect a much higher return for their investment.

So who calls and emails me telling me I helped them change industries, get 50k pay increases or triple their salaries? It’s these guys and gals. Is there a guarantee their salary will increase by 5k or 100k? No, but we can minimize the guessing through good strategy and planning, which is why the large majority of my clients land in this category!

For those job seekers who have difficulties, it may be that they are:

  1. Looking in an industry that is in decline or in an economically soft geographical area, and for whatever reason, are unwilling to change or move.
  2. Call it quits too soon. They unfortunately try something once or twice and give up when “it doesn’t work” instead of reaching out for help. They end up trying so many things, they can’t get any traction.
  3. Struggling with maintaining a positive attitude, which has a boomerang effect.
  4. Unwilling to step up and perform the extra effort it takes to move into a new industry.
  5. Expecting to get all of their interviews by submitting to jobs on job boards.

I am sure there are other factors I haven’t covered here, but the main point is that it all comes down to a positive attitude. We have much more control of our destiny – at least when it comes to our career transitions – then perhaps we realize!

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