Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What NOT to Include on Your Executive Resume

Alison Doyle writes some very insightful and savvy articles about different aspects of job search, and one she penned last month about The Top 15 Things Not to Include in a Resume was excellent.

She is correct that what you DON'T include can be just as important as what you DO include. You want to avoid providing any content that might lead the potential employer to doubt your qualifications or commitment to the job.

Among the top items that can mean trouble for you are:

1) Long, dense patches of text that do not invite the reader to delve in and can also bury key qualifications.

2) A "Me" oriented objective or summary, that's all about what you want to get out of the relationship, not what's in it for the employer.

3) Boring general or overly detailed lists of your duties, with no indication of how well you performed those duties. (And rife with phrases like "Responsibilities included...")

4) Irrelevant, long-ago experiences that can also expose you to age discrimination.

5) Photos of yourself... Definitely a no-no in a discrimination conscious environment in which your resume may be rejected BECAUSE it has a photo.

6) Reasons for leaving employers... This is not a job application.

7) TYPOS!! - No need to explain this one.

To view the other 8 items NOT to include on your executive resume, see the full article at:

15 Things Not to Include on a Resume


Labels: , , ,

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Cities with the Worst Job Prospects if You're Over 55

The Atlantic online magazine recently published a list of the ten cities with the highest unemployment rates for Americans 55 and older. There has been an unfortunate trend nationwide for higher unemployment among older workers, which is particularly notable in these cities. Although the overall rate of unemployment was 5.1% in September, the rate in this age category actually increased, with about 1.3 million Americans over 55 actively looking but unable to find a job. The real number is probably higher, due to the phenomenon of "closet unemployed" retirees.

Strangely, the unemployment rate for older workers seems to be higher in the most vital and vibrant cities. The ten cities with highest unemployment rates for older workers as of 2014 (the latest data available) range from San Jose (8.4%) and El Paso, Texas (7.3%) to Reno, Nevada (6.9%) and Raleigh, North Carolina (5.3%).

These facts make it all the more important for an older worker to have an effective executive resume in hand, show digital-age savvy by creating a strong presence and network on LinkedIn, and use the latest proactive networking and search strategies in his or her job search.

For the full list and an analysis of possible reasons why this is so, see the article at:
Worst Jobless Cities for Older Workers.


Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Increase Your Career Visibility Through LinkedIn Status Updates

There are various ways you can increase your visibility to the industry and recruiters on LinkedIn, and in so doing increase the likelihood of requests for your executive resume as well as direct contacts from recruiters and hiring managers. A tried-and-true method is to join relevant industry groups and either start or participate in existing discussions. Your participation in these discussions can also be featured in your status updates and show up in your connections' news feeds (assuming you have your privacy settings set to allow this).

Another, less frequently leveraged strategy is to make a point of regularly updating your status on LinkedIn. While I routinely recommend this to my executive clients, I do understand why some may be hesitant to do so: Coming up with interesting comments and content on a regular basis can be challenging. To make this a little easier, here are some suggestions about things you can share to keep yourself constantly in view:

  • Blog posts you have written
  • YouTube videos you have posted
  • Slideshows you have prepared
  • News you have found about your company or target companies
  • Tips and strategies related to your area of expertise
  • Your thoughts on issues in your industry
  • Questions that you would like to pose to industry experts
  • Interesting infographics
  • Quotes from people that you admire
  • Amusing pictures or cartoons (professionally appropriate, of course)
  • Info about upcoming events of interest to your connections
  • Info about events you have attended (conferences, etc.)
  • Status updates from others in your network - Help them brag!
So to get started... Click on "Share an Update" near the top of your Home screen, or if you have a lot to say, consider clicking on "Publish a Post" and wax eloquent!


Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Stealth Executive Job Hunt

You've decided it's time to move on. You've polished your executive resume and LinkedIn profile. Now the last thing you want is for your current employer and colleagues to find out that you are on the hunt. So, lacking Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, how can you search on the sly, but still conduct an effective search?

The first and most important rule is: Do NOT use your work email address for sending out your executive resumes, applying for positions, or corresponding with employers and recruiters. Your personal email is the only way to go for electronic job search communications.

The same goes for phone calls. It is best to use your cell phone versus your work line, and when doing so to either be in a closed door office situation or perhaps go out to your car or the nearby McDonald's to have your phone interview.

Posting your resume on executive-level job sites is risky, unless there is an option for confidential posting. Even in this instance, it may not be too difficult for your current employer to figure out who you are if they stumble upon your resume. A better option is submitting your resume directly to recruiters at the companies that interest you, or going through their corporate website to apply, versus an aggregator job board.

As far as interviews are concerned, if you are out of the office frequently during the day on outside business, your boss will of course become suspicious. As much as possible, schedule interviews for early morning, just after close of business, or at lunchtime.

Discretion is key. Avoid telling co-workers, no matter how sympathetic, that you are looking. Don't discuss it on Facebook or Tweet about it.

And needless to say, don't indicate that you are looking for a job on your LinkedIn profile. Include material that promotes the company. Be prepared with a good answer if your boss or colleagues happen to notice that you've updated the profile recently.
For example:

"I routinely update my profile to effectively portray my position as a representative of the company and expert in my field."

"... for business development purposes, to build up our sales prospect pipeline/generate leads."

"...as part of my ongoing efforts to expand my network (and thus our company's visibility).

"to enhance the company's competitive position and public image,"

...or a combination of the above.


Labels: , , ,

Friday, September 04, 2015

Know When to Quit Negotiating on the Job Offer!

Your fantastic executive resume and well-honed interviewing skills have landed you an offer for the new executive position of your dreams. You negotiated a base salary above what you had asked for, and even managed to get a sign-on bonus for moving expenses. You accepted the offer over the phone.

This is when it gets interesting. A reader of Nick Corcodilos' blog "Ask the Headhunter" described this situation to Nick and then asked if he thought it was too late to negotiate for more, "kicking himself" for not doing so.

As Nick points out, it is NOT OK to go back for more after you have already accepted an executive job offer. He likens the situation to buying a new car, and when you go to pick it up, down payment check in hand, the salesman informs you that he wants you to pay a few thousand more. Imagine your reaction! This is exactly what you would be doing to your future employer, and I do agree with Nick that if I were that employer, I'd rescind the offer immediately. What would trying to renegotiate say about your integrity? A deal is a deal.

For more on this situation and your options, see Nick's article.


Labels: , ,

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Landed that Phone Interview? Here's What to Do Before, During, and After

All that hard work you did in preparing your executive resume and identifying companies to approach has paid off. You've got a phone interview scheduled with a company you'd like to work for and potentially the job of your dreams. Here are some tips to make sure you don't blow it now.

BEFORE THE INTERVIEW, thoroughly prepare:

  • Analyze the job and its requirements thoroughly.

  • List the key requirements they specify in the job description and make sure you have the matching skills, experience, and aptitudes.

  • Craft what you will say to demonstrate to the interviewer you have the key requirements.

  • Research the company thoroughly, and mine your network for possible inside contacts who could potentially put in a word for you and give you a competitive edge.

  • Rehearse your answers to common interview questions. This may seem silly while you are doing it, but it can pay big dividends.

  • Assemble documents to have at hand during the phone interview. These would include the lists you compiled above, your current resume, references to provide the interviewer with, questions you want to be sure to ask.

  • Specify that the interviewer call on your land line number, so you won't have to fear dropped calls, disconnection, or a poor connection.

  • If you have call waiting, turn it off. Beeping from incoming calls is distracting to you and annoying to the interviewer.

  • Position a glass of water close by to keep your voice smooth and rescue you if you happen to start coughing or your voice gets scratchy or rough.

  • Place a notebook and working pen by the phone so you can jot down quick notes.


You might think that this advice that is commonly given for in-person interviews would not apply to a phone interview. However, the following three actions can have a major positive effect on your performance:

1) It might seem unnecessary to dress for the interview (after all, the interviewer can't see if you are in your sweats or PJ's, can he?). However, you'd be surprised at the confidence being well groomed and dressed in at least business casual clothing will provide.

2) A well-known and very effective technique used in phone conversations by salespersons, telemarketers, etc. is to SMILE. Smile as you answer the phone, and continue to smile in appropriate places as the conversation continues. The smile brings a welcoming and rich tone to your voice that helps to establish rapport.

3) For the same reason, pay attention to your body language and posture. Although the person on the other end of the line can't see it, they can sense it and it will carry through in your voice.


Send an email thank-you immediately, and follow that with a snail-mailed handwritten note. If your handwriting looks like hen scratching, you can type the note.


Labels: , , ,

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Hearing Nothing But Crickets on Job Interview Call Backs? You're Not Alone

You’re not imagining it: The time it takes to get a call back from a recruiter, or for the interview(s) you had to turn into a job offer or at least a polite decline is increasing. A report released last week by Glassdoor presented an analysis of over 340,000 “interview reviews” that visitors to the Glassdoor career site have submitted.

Whereas the typical length of the interview process was about 13 days in 2010, it has since nearly doubled to 23 days in 2014. One theory advanced was that there has been a shift away from more cut-and-dried jobs to complex ones that require more judgment, and thus the screening process is harder and more painstaking. Employers are using skills tests, doing more thorough background checks, drug tests, etc.

Another study using Labor Department data cited an all-time high of 27.3 working days to fill a job opening. Of course, the lead time does depend greatly on the type of position. A waiter or cook hire can take as little as 7 days, but an SVP can expect a lengthy interviewing process of about 55 days.

After you've submitted your executive resume and received that first call or phone interview with the recruiter, you have good reason to be excited. However, you will make it through the interviewing and hiring process with greater peace of mind if you maintain realistic expectations about timelines.

For more details, read the full article here:
Interviewing for a Job is Taking Longer Than Ever


Labels: , , ,