Marketing Yourself for Your Executive Job Search

Marketing Yourself for Your Executive Job Search

The key to marketing yourself for your executive job search is balancing self-promotion and humility. But when it comes to personal branding and messaging, many executives downplay their strengths and successes and find active expression of individual achievements somewhat awkward and unnatural. They are more comfortable including basic facts and figures on their resumes, yet employers need a cohesive narrative to connect the dots and recognize value.

Compounding the aversion to self-promotion is a respected character trait on the leadership spectrum — humility — which can seem at odds with tooting one’s own horn too vigorously. While projecting humility is an admirable quality — employees who perceive altruism from their managers tend to be more engaged and innovative — effectively translating business value into words is paramount when positioning yourself for your next role. The job market is far too fast-moving and competitive for hiring executives to interpret a candidate’s restraint as anything other than a direct reflection of leadership ability and performance.

In my latest article for Forbes—“How to Balance Hype and Humility in Your Job Search”—I examine the reasons many senior leaders struggle to promote themselves, including:

  • They are focused on the aggregate effort
  • They are cautious in the delivery of their communications
  • They are already at the top of the pyramid

I also provide examples of how to self-promote without broadcasting arrogance. Marketing yourself both effectively and authentically is an exercise in balance. If you are too self-aggrandizing, you run the risk of transmitting arrogance and a contrived narrative. On the other hand, if you’re too reticent, you potentially engage in self-sabotage, underselling yourself and downplaying your stature, influence and worth.

Gravitas can be portrayed in career marketing documents when done correctly through discerning content selection, word choice, writing style and voice. The key is to remain fact-based while expressing leadership strengths and impact.

Read more about how to strike the right balance of self-promotion and humility by visiting Forbes, or contact me to discuss your executive job search strategy.

Industry Associations Energize Your Job Search

Engaging with Industry AssociationsSenior leaders frequently cite their engagement with industry associations as an essential component of their career management. At its essence, active involvement in industry associations makes you more valuable internally and more marketable externally.

Engagement at a paramount level, such as serving on the board of directors or on an executive committee of an industry association, means collaborating with corporate leaders of an entire sector and contributing to decision making that could shape the future of the industry. This broad exposure and experience presents individuals with opportunities far greater than any single company.

In my latest article for Forbes—”How Engaging with an Industry Association Can Energize Your Job Search”—I examine the short and long-term takeaways gained through industry association engagement, including:

  • Comprehensive perspective of an industry and the competitive landscape
  • Insight into best practices and knowledge sharing
  • New challenges
  • Fresh thinking and innovative ideas
  • Talent identification
  • New business deals and partnerships
  • Professional network growth
  • Leadership skill development

The key to return on investment with an association is getting involved and engaging with other members. The dividends don’t appear overnight, and trust needs to be established, but in the long term, engagement with the association can have an outstanding impact on your career. You’ll gain invaluable experience seeing your peers in action, contributing on a broader scale and having the opportunity to listen, observe and learn from industry leaders.

Read more about how to maximize your relationship with an industry association by visiting Forbes, or contact me to discuss your executive job search strategy.

Leader to Senior Leader: Making the Jump

Leader to Senior Leader: Making the Jump

Advancing from leader to senior leader can be frustratingly elusive. Many people reach a point in their careers where they see others seamlessly making the jump to top functional roles and wonder what they are doing wrong. While a certain level of self-analysis is beneficial, its escalation to self-doubt is counterproductive.

Sometimes, career advancement is a matter of gaining the right experience and knowledge and, other times, it’s a matter of building skills that can be difficult to define and harder yet to develop, such as executive presence, strategic agility and influencing decisions outside your sphere of authority.

Regardless of the precise formula, the road to senior leadership begins with taking ownership of your own development and engaging in high-value development activities that will put you on the right path.

In my latest article for Forbes—”Leader to Senior Leader: Making the Jump”—I provide a roadmap for achieving senior leadership at your current job through such activities as:

  • Asking for feedback
  • Stepping beyond your role
  • Focusing on the right things
  • Actively observing
  • Communicating your ambitions

If you’re at a point in your career where more senior opportunities are limited internally, and upward mobility is not in your foreseeable future, it may be time to explore your options externally.

How you position yourself for a step up from leader to senior leader is crucial to your job search success. Since your resume serves as a prospective employer’s first impression of you and reveals you how view your career, you want to be sure that it effectively transmits your fit for a more senior assignment. Simply put, your resume’s content should reflect the job you want, not the job you have.

Read more about making the jump from leader to senior leader at Forbes, or contact me to discuss your executive job search.

Company Loyalty: Does It Carry Weight in the Job Search?

Company Loyalty: Does It Carry Weight in the Job Search?

It used to be that company loyalty was a valued attribute and considered a major asset. It implied commitment. Ten years with a company? Great. Twenty years? Even better. Today the tables have turned — now a diversity of experience trumps longevity.

Recruiters and hiring managers like to see that candidates, especially executives, have operated and flourished in a variety of environments, alongside different colleagues, leaders and circumstances.

Whether people leave for a bump in pay, career advancement, or a new experience, a one- or two-year stint at a company is no longer considered a blemish on a resume. Rather, it’s increasingly becoming the norm — even valued.

In my latest article for Forbes—”Company Loyalty: Does It Carry Weight In The Job Search?“— I lay out the implications of a long stint at a company on your career and I recommend what you should focus on when seeking a new job after a long term at your current job, including:

Highlight Diversity of Experience and Impact

Provide a career snapshot that illustrates how you progressed, remained engaged, were challenged by new leadership experiences, solved problems and — crucially — made an impact.

Demonstrate Ability to Lead Change

Focus on the aspects of the job that demonstrate a direct influence on driving change, since it is a highly coveted and transferable skill set. That can mean how you:

  • Led your team and organization through significant periods of growth, ownership changes, corporate restructuring  and strategic business shifts
  • Reinvented the business as a response to changing market conditions, consumer demands or the competitive landscape
  • Shepherded a new business start-up or turnaround

Avoid Company-Specific Language

The acronyms, phrases, and overall jargon some have been using for decades are not always transferable to other companies and may imply that one is too steeped in another corporate culture to succeed elsewhere.

To read more about the effect of company loyalty on your job search, visit Forbes.

If you are looking for a partner to help you prepare for your executive job search, contact me to learn more about how we can work together.