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executive job interviews | Mary Elizabeth Bradford - The Career Artisan

Posts Tagged ‘executive job interviews’

Why Your Resume is Critical to Landing a CEO Job

Monday, May 5th, 2014

At the CEO level, your career transition landscape has a unique terrain: there are fewer C-level positions, they come up less often and each has its specific requirements. As a smart CEO, you will first plan your upcoming transition by defining and writing down your wants, needs, career goals and driving motivators. You will want to layer in some due diligence respective to the short and long term economic growth and stability of the industries you have in your sights. The reason this due diligence is so critical is because today’s leadership resume must be written to what you wish to do moving forward vs. a chronological list of what you have done.

Demonstrating you can communicate your focus, your purpose and your value inspires confidence and will attract the positions you wish to explore.

Once you have a plan in place, this is the bull’s eye that you can now create and design your CEO resume for. A primary complaint from C-level executives, and one of the major issues with C-level executive resumes, is that they contain too much information. You may find that you have done and achieved so much in your career, you can’t find the objectivity needed to understand what to leave in and what to leave out of your executive leadership resume.

As a CEO, you need to communicate certain things in your resume that demonstrate your value in a C-level role to potential companies. In addition, you may be interviewed by a board of directors, and often in these cases, they like to see an executive biography in addition to your resume.

Hiring a professional resume writer to help craft a CEO resume can not only serve as a huge weight off of your shoulders, but bring you a substantial ROI in many ways, including:

  • Helping to present yourself in a highly professional polished manner.
  • Helping to showcase the metrics of your accomplishments.
  • Helping to communicate the value that you bring to the table.

All of these benefits can and do have a positive effect on your interviews and offers. Regardless of who writes your CEO resume, there are two critical factors you must not miss.

The first is to write to the positions you are focusing on. You can start this process by finding 2 or 3 representative positions and then literally highlighting the keywords and phrases in those positions that match you. From this you will be able to see running themes and gain clarity on your own personal branding (what you are attracted to) as well as understanding what keywords and phrases to layer in.

The second is to be sure you are speaking to the needs of the companies with whom you have defined represent ideal positions for you. At the CEO resume level, it is a mistake to use an old resume or a 6-page resume which may contain task-oriented details from past positions you held 15 or 20 years ago. At this point in your career everything needs to be recalibrated. Older positions may be placed in a “Past Career Highlights” section and given a brief nod with perhaps one notable accomplishment listed. For more recent positions, again, be sure to omit any task-driven details and concentrate on leadership skills. You may wish to emphasize leadership skills such as your visionary ability, how you empower organizational change, drive profitability through developing and initiating business goals, provide overall corporate direction, and inspire core teams across various divisions and reinforce corporate branding.

If you find yourself unsure of what accomplishments of yours to highlight, simply refer back to the ideal career positions you unearthed. Whatever they are asking for, those are the skills you match and reflect back to them using quantifiable accomplishments wherever and whenever you can.

If these basics are not reflected in your CEO resume, it could cost you a job interview or offer. You don’t have to list your entire detailed career history in your leadership resume. Simply present a polished document that shows what kind of a CEO you could be to their company.

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Job Interviews: How to Become a Job-Offer Magnet

Friday, March 6th, 2009

As a reader of my blog and/or ezine, I know you have tremendous skills and abilities in the ways you can help companies grow or operate more smoothly or achieve their goals in some way. Spending some quality time looking inward and just identifying what you love to do and what happens when you do it is an important part of your job search success.

But what if you are one of those people that cringe when it comes time to communicate those strengths and “sell” yourself in a job interview?

I would like to offer you another perspective or belief system about what selling is – different from the one you might have now. It’s so important you know how to sell yourself because when you are able to communicate your strengths in a way that compels others, you are doing yourself and them a great favor. After all, you can’t help a company that doesn’t hire you.

To boost your know-like-and-trust factor in your job interviews, it’s vital you know how to encourage potential employers to hire you in a way that’s full of integrity and authentically you.

What this means for you is that you will attract the interest of more employers, receive bigger and better job offers, and feel confident in the way you’re communicating to the ways that you can help potential employers get the results they want…and that only you can deliver.

So, here are three tips to help get you started:


Tip #1: Steer the interview by frequently mentioning your value

So, if you’re offering turnaround expertise, you will frequently refer to your turnaround projects.

If you are a marketing expert, you will frequently share the results of your marketing efforts throughout the interview.

By focusing on the results you get, you will quickly and easily build the value of who you can be to your potential employers.

Tip #2: Create before and after stories
Everybody loves to hear before and after stories, even in an interview setting. And the best ones clearly paint a before and after picture

Think of all the problems, challenges and dire situations with your past company (or companies) and how great things are now that you have helped them.


Tip #3: Make THEM an offer they can’t resist

The point is to create an “offer” that’s so irresistible, your interviewers think, “We have to hire this person!”

To do this, you need to offer something they believe they can’t get anywhere else. Be creative!

Here are a couple examples:

One of my clients quickly received a robust offer because HE offered to produce at least two potential solutions to a challenge the company was facing and he said he would do it in 60 days.

Another client of mine set up as part of her interview process a 1/2 day on-site observation of the potential employer’s media company. She then presented an outline of 10 ideas to improve their work environment and boost their ratings. They offered her a whopping 100k over what she had been making previously. All this even after she was let go from that previous position. I love it.

When you learn how to communicate to your interviewers that you are willing to invest getting the right information into their hands that is going to help them, you are removing all the obstacles (including money, time and your competition) that might otherwise stand between you and the job offer(s) you want.

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