JEAN'S BLOG. Best & Next Practices in: Executive Resumes, Personal Branding & Executive Job Search

20 Insider Job Search Tips from Recruiters: Ignore at Your Peril

Posted by Jean Cummings

Apr 24, 2012 9:46:00 AM

Executive recruiter tips

Have you caught up yet? I am amazed that there are CIOs of big companies out there who don't have a built-out LinkedIn profile - just name, photo, and employers. At a recruiter round table a couple of weeks ago, sponsored by the New England Network of the Association of Career Professionals International, the new picture of recruiting emerged. Successful job seekers will proactively be where recruiters are looking for talent. Here is some of what these three recruiters said and tips for being a successful candidate:

1. They want to find you in a Google search. Have profiles on Linkedin (LI), Twitter, Facebook, ZoomInfo, About.me, at a minimum.

2. They will look for you on LinkedIn. Be there - both with a profile and membership in relevant industry groups.

3. They want you to have a 100% complete LI profile. Also, get an edge by adding video, audio, PowerPoint presentations, etc. using apps available at the bottom of your profile.

4. They will look to see who your connections are and if there are any that work for their company. Then they will go through that employee to talk to you, if interested. Expand your LI network continually.

5. They will see what you are doing on Twitter and Facebook. Curate your content with an eye to your professional image.

6. Many recruiters no longer pay Monster and CareerBuilder, because they can source great candidates through Google searches, LI and social networking sites. So spend your time there.

7. They still do find some candidates on indeed.com, a job posting aggregator. So put your resume up.

8. They try to hire from within and develop employees, if they can. Have you explored that possibility where you work?

9. They rely on employee referrals for good candidates. So the more networked you are, the more likely it is that you will be known by someone in the company. Work towards 500 connections on LI. Expand your Twitter following.

10. They want you to have 10 out of 10 of the skills they are looking for. Build towards those as you manage your career.

11. One of the recruiters said she doesn't look at unemployed candidates. The other two said they certainly will. They understood that the recession was an equal-opportunity layoff machine. If you have a period out of work, fill the time with meaningful volunteer work or consulting.

12. They want change leaders. What change have you managed, how did you do it, what were the results? Get this info into your resume, LI profile and other marketing communications.

13. They're moving towards video interviews. Have someone go through some interview questions with you while filming you on their smart phone. What can you learn about the general impression you give, your tone of voice and body language, your manner? Try to be energetic and engaging, with short pithy messages and stories.

14. They are using assessment centers, competency models, job simulations, 360s, and self-assessments to help determine who is the best candidate. No longer can people get hired on "a wing and a prayer." Take your career seriously and develop the critical skills your target job requires.

15. Jobs are still hard to get. Companies are not replacing some of the employees who leave. They are expecting more work out of those who remain (the jobless recovery). Be hard to replace at the job you're in.

16. Bright Horizons (childcare & other) hired 200 people out of 10K applicants. Get an edge in whatever way you can (see above). Also, be ready with a well-defined career/personal brand, a portfolio of marketing communications, a video, a robust online presence, and a valuable network.

17. They are catering to people active on LI, Twitter, and Facebook. Be there.

18. The workforce is becoming increasingly globalized. Expand your perceptions.

19. They are relying heavily on Web analytics and ATS (Applicant Tracking System) reporting. Submit a quality ASCII/text version of your resume, along with the Word version, if requested, to avoid transmission problems.

20. They want new employees to "hit the ground running." That means you need to demonstrate that you already have the skills required to start up fast.

Does this list seem overwhelming? It is, but it's the future. As you can see, even top IT leaders aren't always up-to-speed. But if you take these suggestions to heart, you will have an edge in job search now and throughout your career.

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Topics: career management, executive recruiters, executive job search, Get a Job, applicant tracking software

Job Search Tip! Five Sites Where Recruiters Could Be Looking for YOU

Posted by Jean Cummings

Jan 26, 2012 8:05:00 AM

 Sites recruiters search

Job search today is bewildering to many. Social media. Job boards. Recruiters. Networking. Should you have your resume out on the Web? Or not? How do you get on recruiters' radar?

Today I'm only going to talk about one piece of the picture: the free sites recruiters visit to source candidates and, therefore, the sites on which you may well want to build out a presence.

1. LinkedIn Groups. Everyone by now knows that LI is a top resource for recruiters. But they may not just be doing keyword searches to pull up candidate profiles. They may also be joining groups where they look for the right kind of candidates. So join prominent groups in your industry and function. Also try to link with recruiters. And grow your network. If you're up for it, become a LION (LinkedIn Open Networker) to exponentially expand your network so that your chances of being found in a recruiter search go up.

2. Twitter. "Rapidly becoming a search engine in its own right," Nick Leigh-Morgan says in his post on "Free Hiring: the secret to $0 cost per hire." Now is the time to think seriously about developing a Twitter profile and starting to tweet on interesting ideas and resources in your field and function. Recruiters ARE searching Twitter for job titles, industries and functions in the hope of turning up interesting candidates. Can you afford NOT to be where they are looking?

3. Jigsaw.com & ZoomInfo.com. Like LinkedIn, these sites allow you to set up your profile with the career brand you want recruiters to see. Recruiters will be sourcing candidates here, so don't pass up this easy way to be found onlilne. Also, being on these sites will improve your searchability. Because recruiters also Google search candidate names, it pays to be on the Web on multiple properties.

4. Blogs. A great way to be more visible to recruiters is to comment on some of the top blogs in your field or function. If you use gmail, use Reader to identify those blogs and interact with them. Also, consider starting one yourself if you are willing to post once or twice a week.

5. Facebook. This one is a little trickier. The melding of personal and professional is sometimes happening and sometimes not. BeKnown, Monster's creature, is making inroads in this area. Another issue is that Facebook is often used by recruiters to rule people out not in. But, all that said, Facebook is HUGE and will assume a larger share of recruiter attention as time goes on. If you think you can maintain a Facebook presence that references your line of work while using it to keep in touch with friends (never veering off into areas you don't want the world to see), then by all means start now.

Of course, if you're not a senior executive and you want to post your profile on job boards, there are dozens where recruiters may be looking. Don't neglect the niche job boards.

But for everyone, take seriously the need to build a presence across most if not all of the five websites above. Just a few years ago, these five sites weren't prime recruiting grounds. Now they are. Just a heads up for savvy job seekers!

 


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Topics: job search, personal branding, executive resumes, executive recruiters, retained recruiters, executive search, using recruiters

Thinking of Consulting? Think Twice! Career Management Tip

Posted by Jean Cummings

Apr 19, 2011 10:10:00 AM

Image consultant resized 600

Consulting has become a go-to choice for people out of work. It gives them a way to keep their hand in their areas of expertise and brings in some income while they are conducting a job search. And some people commit to a career of independent contracting or consulting by choice.

But there are still more who use the term "consultant" on their resume to cover a period of time in which they weren't employed just to fill in that period of time, even if they are consulting very little.

It's these latter who are causing the problem for all those who are genuinely pusuing full-time consulting, out of choice or as a serious activity while they are job hunting.

I've had the opportunity to sit down in small groups with several executive recruiters lately, and they consistently say they view a candidate who currently uses "consultant" or "consulting" to describe what they are doing in a negative light. They agreed with one another, "It's just a cover for being unemployed." They also said that being an independent consultant in the present would rule someone out as a candidate. (These are headhunters, remember, not hiring managers, who may have more generous views).

I think this is attitude does a great injustice to those who are serious consultants.

When I probed into the question of why a consultant wouldn't make a good candidate for an executive-level job, one of the recruiters said that the concern would be that the person wouldn't stay long, because they are used to working for many different companies.

These attitudes, fair or not, suggest a couple of things about executive resumes and career management very strongly:

1. If you embark on a career of consulting, consider it long and hard, because it may be very hard to jump back into a line management position in a company again.

2. If you use "consulting" on your resume to describe what you've been doing while conducting a job search, be sure to document your activities in detail so that the reader understands you have been practicing your profession seriously!

One of the recruiters suggested that it would be better for unemployed people to get involved in volunteer work and document that. (He is assuming, of course, that the individual is not seriously consulting!)

Takeaways? Everybody needs to pay a lot of attention to their career path, to their brand, and to how to present themselves on paper in order to have successful careers now and in the future. Careful handing of these three areas will give you a significant advantage over the long term.

 

 

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Topics: LinkedIn, personal branding, executive resumes, technology executive resumes, personal brand, executive resume writing, executive resume, technology resumes, CIO resumes, career management, career planning, executive recruiters, executive job search, consulting, consultants, consultant

Attributes Executive Recruiters Look For

Posted by Jean Cummings

Mar 22, 2011 9:22:00 AM

Attributes Executive Recruiters Look ForThis is Part 2 of my blog posts on what executive recruiters are looking for in executive candidates. Wayne Mitchell of Cabot Consultants listed the qualities he likes to see in candidates he will present to his clients:

These adjectives and attributes top the list:

1. Driven

2. Energetic (take note people 45+)

3. Entrepreneurial (that includes executives in non-entrepreneurial companies)

4. Resourceful

5. Tenacious

6. Strong interpersonal skills

7. Collaborative

8. Flexible

9. Friendly

10. Persuasive

11. Proactive

12. Team player

13. Self-confident

14. Intelligent / bright

15. Creative

16. Decisive

17. Intuitive

18. Logical

19. Quick study

20. Pattern of ongoing learning

21. Possessing Integrity

22. Honest

23. Trustworthy

Look like a dream list that no one person could embody? In reality, internal and external recruiters can actually find the "dream" hire - because the Internet - specifically LinkedIn - provides a large top-applicant pool. So they don't "settle."

What does that mean for people growing their careers? I think it suggests that they build towards these qualities and characteristics, if they don't have them already. In my mind, they fall into these clusters:

LEADERSHIP: collaborative, team-based, decisive, proactive

ETHICS: honest, trustworthy, has integrity

BUSINESS APPROACH: entrepreneurial, flexible, creative

MENTAL CHARACTERISTICS: intelligent/bright, intuitive, logical, quick study, driven, self-confident, intent on lifelong learning, tenacious

INTERPERSONAL SKILLS: good with people, friendly, persuasive

Interestingly, there are a few ones missing from this list that can be of critical importance in corporate leaders: strategic, visionary, inspirational, out-of-the-box thinking, charismatic, able to execute.

One takeaway from this is that achievements alone are not sufficient and that the above attributes need to be demonstrated in particular success stories.

These concepts are viewed as desirable in executive leaders. Other sets of attributes may be more desirable for other jobs, such as sales, hands-on technical jobs, finance, operations, etc.

We tend to think that the above list of "soft skill" would be relatively unimportant, but it appears that they are highly valued in a new hire. This is good news, I think.

 

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Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, technology executive resumes, personal brand, executive resume writing, executive resume, career management, career planning, executive recruiters, career services

What Executive Recruiters Want

Posted by Jean Cummings

Mar 21, 2011 2:15:00 PM

Image executivesearch experts
I had a chance this past week to hear a presentation by an executive recruiter at the Career Thought Leaders Conference in Baltimore. I interviewed him afterwards to learn more about what he is looking for in resumes, candidates, and careers. Here's what I found out:

  • Values are important: how someone feels about work-life balance, family, work, relocation, etc.
  • A culture match with the target company is critical.
  • He wants to know how someone goes about achieving their (quantifiable) accomplishments.
  • Putting "consulting" in to cover recent work periods is a red flag; it's usually a cover for unemployment. He'd rather see worthwhile volunteer work listed.
  • Recruiters look for candidates who are currently working in a similar role and industry - not people who are currently unemployed, underemployed, or part-time consulting.
  • A pattern of ever-increasing levels of responsibility and achievements over the course of a career is what he looks for.
  • It's harder to get a job now, because the Internet has increased competition and enabled recruiters to find ever closer matches to their ideal candidate.
  • Transitioning as a business owner/founder/CEO to a c-level role within a company's org chart is possible, but only it there is a steady record of relevant and outstanding accomplishments in the same industry.

What does he recommend that candidates do when there is no possibility of recruiter recommendation? In the case of smaller companies, he suggests approaching the CEO and members of the Board of Directors and perhaps the venture capital firm that has capital in the business.

The take-away for executive resumes, executive job search, and executive careers?

- Be very careful about your career progression, including downsizing from a large company to a startup or early-stage company.

- If you switch industries, have it be part of a long-term strategic plan for your career. You may not be able to return to your earlier one.

- Think twice about gaps in your work history. If necessary, fill the time with worthwhile volunteer work where you can use your professional skills to deliver real results.

- Don't count on executive recruiters being interested in you if your background is not fairly standard for the target position - including your having held a similar role for a competitor in the same industry.

That last point eliminates a large percentage of job seekers from using the recruiter channel to get a job. Hence, there is a high priority placed on leveraging 2.0 networking and advanced job search methods to get a job, such as I wrote about in Turbocharged Networking for $100K+ Jobs.

The new age of competition is a daunting one, but:

- the economy is picking up

- there may well be a labor shortage as the baby boomers gradually leave the workforce

- and savvy executive job seekers can learn how to get in front of a hiring authority more easily than before.

Never has it been more important to establish, build, and promote your personal brand as it evolves over a lifetime and strategically and proactively manage your career!

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Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, CIO resumes, career management, career planning, executive recruiters, Get a Job, career services, Online ID, reputation management

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