Executive Resumes, Personal Branding & Executive Job Search

Tyrone Norwood

Tyrone Norwood is a nationally recognized and certified resume writer, LinkedIn Profile writer, career expert, and former recruiter who works with career-minded professionals, from aspiring managers to executives, to develop effective job search strategies, powerful career marketing documents that get results.
Find me on:

Recent Posts

What If You Don't Meet ALL the Job Requirements? 3 Workarounds

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Dec 30, 2014 2:29:04 PM


Just about every job seeker I speak with says, "I've found some jobs I'd be a good fit for, but I don't meet all the job requirements, particularly the technical job requirements. Is it worth it to apply?"

Almost all my IT job seeker clients have many areas of technical proficiency and are “quick studies” when it comes to learning new software packages. They often feel that, even if they don’t meet the exact requirements for the position, they could get up to speed quickly and do a great job if they were hired. Is this you?

Here’s one way to look at it. First, it's important to realize that part of what the employer is doing in listing very specific technologies is trying to cut down on the number of resumes they have to review. ATS (applicant tracking systems) will not retrieve resumes that lack the keywords or a given percentage of the keywords specified by the hiring authority (HA). And there are probably enough resumes out there that do have all the key skills and keywords for the HA to review.

But you and I know that keywords are not the sole determinant of who makes a good hire.

If you have experience with technologies that are in the same class as the required ones and are confident you could get up to speed quickly on the new specified in the ad, here are a few ideas.  The task is to get the key skills and keywords on the resume that you lack in direct experience while at the same time being truthful in what you say.

Let’s take an example. What if someone has experience with Oracle ERP but not SAP, and the job calls for SAP experience? You can try one of these 3 techniques so that you can include the “SAP” keyword in your resume:

  1. You can say, but only once: “Operate in an Oracle ERP environment similar to SAP” or “Proficient in Oracle ERP, one of the top 2 enterprise-level ERPs along with SAP."


  1. Or, in a keyword list at the end of your resume, you can list the technologies or skills you are really experienced in, saying: “Power User: Oracle ERP, etc.” Then, include text that reads: “Working familiarity with other ERPs such as SAP and Epicore” or “Knowledge base also includes: SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, Epicor.” ONLY DO THIS if you have taken the time to become familiar with the similarities and differences of the packages, so that you do indeed have general familiarity with the software, SAP in this instance. You will need to get up to speed on SAP if you get an interview anyway.


  1. Or, use a keyword list at the end titled: “Other relevant keywords: SAP, etc.” This isn’t as good a solution, but if you’ve done some SAP research, it’s not false.

You can do something similar in the situation where you have experience with SAP financial applications but not the required SAP HRMS. Or in situations with other technologies.

Although the three techniques above aren’t perfect, they are truthful and will give your resume a chance to make it through the ATS screen so you can be considered for an interview. Not everyone will agree that these methods should be used to incorporate keywords and key skills. But I think it’s fair, given that the potential employer may be really missing out by not hearing about YOU!

 Jean Cummings




Topics: IT resumes, resumes, keywords, Job Requirements,, High Tech Resumes,, ATS systems

The NEW Cover Letter: 5 Crucial Ways It is Different

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Dec 9, 2014 9:47:24 AM


You'd think something would remain the same in the job search world! But one of the last bastions, the cover letter, has fallen. Traditionally, cover letters were one-pagers conveying qualifications. Today, two factors have changed how cover letters must be written to get a recruiter to take a closer look:

- If the resume gets a 6-second look from recruiters, the cover letter (read by 50%) must get just a glance, certainly not careful consideration of lengthy content

- There is much greater competittion in the job market requiring a different approach in terms of message

So, scrap the old cover letter and think about incorporating these elements into your new one:

1. Make it short - 135 words or less - so that the main message can be grasped at a glance

2. Give it a title, like this:  "Re: Penetrating Japanese Markets" and place it right before the salutation. This is the "Secret Ingredient" that will grab your reader's attention.

3. In your first short paragraph provide a match between your position, industry, specialization, and value- added qualifications and the open job you're applying for.

4. In your second short paragraph or list of 3 bullet points hit the benefits you have delivered that match what the recruiter will be looking for from a new hire - use numbers such as dollars and percentages.

5. In your last paragraph state that you would like to meet in person to discuss the value you can bring to the company.

To sum it up, make your new cover letter "Short, sweet, and to the point." And "Make them care" to quote my colleague Deb Dibb. If you follow these pointers your cover letter won't be discarded. It will be kept as quick summary showing why you should be contacted. If you're interested in seeing a sample of today's cover letter CLICK HERE.

More on cover letter writing.

Here's another relevant post.

Good luck!





Topics: cover letters, cover letter writing, free cover letter sample, cover letter example,, cover letter sample

Mayor Menino's Little House: Musings on Money and Career

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Nov 10, 2014 11:34:35 AM


Mayor Menino in front of his home in Hyde Park section of Boston

Boston and Masschusetts were honoring the life of Mayor Tom Menino last week. It is said that he had met 60% of Boston's residents and had a hand in every building project in the city over his 20-year tenure and 5 terms. He was much loved - a man of the people - who loved his city and its people. His accomplishments were many.

One item struck me as the remembrances rolled in on the radio and - though slightly off-topic from what I usually write about here - I wanted to put it out there. It was that he continued to live in his modest house in the city neighborhood he started out in. We are used to seeing big names and their big homes. What does it mean that Mayor Menino did it differently?

These are musings on money and career - on money and values - on money and freedom - on money and retirement. In no particular order, these are thoughts that are prompted, in part, from having worked with so many people over the years at different stages in their careers experiencing those twin concerns of almost everybody: how to make enough money (whatever "enough" means for the individual) and how to be happy.

1. Why is it surprising that a prominant public figure like Tom Menino never felt the need to upgrade his house to match his increasing levels of influence, power, and compensation? Is it necessary to spend and own in keeping with one's level of career advancement? What does it mean when someone steps out of this lock-step advance?

2. What can we infer about Mayor Menino's value system? We can guess that he valued his feeling of home and neighborhood and that he didn't care about house pride and wealth demonstrations.

3. What kind of freedom does owning less in terms of possessions confer upon a person or a family? Is it worth giving up the possible benefits of more comfort, beauty, space, and status in one's property for the ability to live on less and then be able to choose a lower-paying job, if it provides more life satisfaction?

4. When we see celebrities like Mayor Menino and Warrren Buffett - both top practitioners in their respective fields - decline to purchase showy properties, what does it make us feel? It makes me feel that their work is something they do because they were born to do it - they love it and it allows them to be perfectly who they are. And it is not necessary linked to a need for impressive property ownership.

5. As so many baby boomers approach or select retirement, what do the issues of spending and lifestyle during the working years have to do with retirement lifestyle? I expect we will see many creative solutions where, because financial constraints will be the norm, people will develop innovative solutions for housing as well as for how to make those years fun and meaningful. Feeling free to step out of the realm of competition in housing/possessions will become key to retirement "success" for many I would guess.

6. Here is a common pattern I see in my increasingly wealthy town, understanding that this scenario is only avalable to the top few percent. People trade up houses 2 or 3 times to get bigger. more beautiful, or high-status homes. Why did Mayor Menino do it differently?

7. A final thought: since we leave this world with nothing, what part, then, do we want things and money to play in our careers and lifesyles during our brief span of life?

Best wishes for prosperity on your terms. I'd love to hear your thoughts. And thanks, Tom Menino, for your amazing contributions and for prompting these musings!






Topics: career management, career planning, career services, careers in retirement

Why's My Executive Resume Not Working? 2 Words

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Oct 22, 2014 11:07:19 AM


Image attribution: creative arts workshop

It's been a long time since anything's been simple about executive resumes. People ask questions such as: should my resume be two pages or one, can you have three or more pages, how should it look, can I have a functional resume? And, about the response to their resumes people ask: why I am not getting called back, why aren't recruiters contacting me, why have I been looking for months with no luck?

Well, the simple answer to all these questions is, drum roll here, you have to make sure to provide, in your executive resume, a


to the job ad. That's it! That's the one important thing your executive resume has to do: provide a fast match to the employer's job ad. If you do this, you will have a resume that has a good chance of getting retrieved electronically when the hiring manager (HM) does a keyword search using the company's ATS - Applicant Tracking System.

Also, by implementing this FAST MATCH technique, the HM is likely to respond positively to your content. S/he will not be worrrying about the length or the look or the style of your resume and you will have a good chance of being contacted.

Also, by providing the HM with the content s/he is seeking in a way that is familiar to them (through their own words), you are respecting their time as well as acknowledging the reality that the HM spends on average 6 seconds scanning each retrieved resume!  

So, how exactly do you do a fast match?* We need to assume that you have selected a job to apply to that is, in fact, a good match for your skills and experience. Then you begin with the job ad. And if you're thinking there's no way you're going to write a different resume for each job ad then you'll be back to asking the questions in paragraph one:)

The first step is to highlight the keywords and key phrases in the job requisition (ad). Then you weave them into your executive resume, paying particular to the following points:

  • The title of the job you are seeking should be at the top of your summary section, like this: "Targeting: Job Title"
  • You make sure the the primary skills being sought are included in the summary you write. It is best here and elsewhere not to rely on a simple lists of keywords alone. Try to include them naturally in the points you are making. If there are too many to substitute in organically, go ahead and include a list at the end of your summary.
  • When you start listing your professional experience, use a 5-line job description to list your primarily activities and responsibilities. This is prime keyword territory! You can substitute in the keywords and key phrases in this section. By doing so, you will be showing the ATS software and the HM that you use these relevant key skills in your job.
  • When you write your bulleted list of accomplishments, be sure to weave in the keywords and phrases. You don't want to have keyword overload, but it is OK to use a given keyword more than once in a resume.
  • With the keywords and key phrases that are less important, or that you were unable to include, or that were worded oddly, you may have a subtitle "Additional Relevant Skills and Knowledge" and list those phrases at the end of the resume. Use the exact wording you find in the job ad. Don't try to be tricky and copy/paste the whole ad in.

If you have done this skillfully, you will satisfy both ATS compliance requirements and attract the HM's interest. You will have demonstrated that your background and skills are a good fit with the target job.

* A very important caveat: your resume must be able to be processed correctly in terms of format and design by the ATS. To find out how to do this please refer to one of my earlier posts.



Topics: executive resume writing, executive resume, ATS, applicant tracking systems

Don't Let Short Term Thinking Derail Your Career

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Oct 13, 2014 11:33:30 AM


Image attribution: ktla.com

Is this you? Do you find that the pressures of day-to-day work and home responsibilities keep you from doing what you need to do to get a good job fast in the future?

I think that would describe the vast majority of us. It's human nature to pay attention to what is front of us rather than what's down the road. It's also human to choose pleasures in the present (completing current projects) over pleasures down the road (getting a job fast when you want to leave your company or you get laid off).

This phenomenon is experienced by everyone who has ever tried to diet, eat more healthily, get in shape, buy less, save money for retirement, build job skills for the future, complete a degree etc.

I have no silver bullet to help us overcome this bias towards short term thinking and immediate rewards over long term planning and future benefits. What I do have is one way to approach working for rewards in the future that seems to help.

So let's shift our goal. We have to let go of expecting perfection in switching to long term thinking. A "good enough" outcome would be to make the changes you can and not to be discouraged if you don't make all the ones you know you should.

For example, let's list the "ideal" activities that will position you optimally to get your next job fast and the next one after that:

1. Build your network, always keeping your personal brand in mind.

  • Grow your LinkedIn connections to 750+
  • Post frequent status updates on your LIP (LinkedIn profile) with news, useful content, and positive comments on your connections' changes
  • Regularly make comments or start discussions on the most active LI groups you belong to
  • Get started on Twitter and tweet valuable content
  • Automate your tweets to post to LI and Facebook to help with SEO (search engine optimization) when your name is Googled or searched for
  • Start a blog on Wordpress.com to exercise and establish your thought leadership and add one post a week
  • Expand your blog into a personal website
  • Connect with alumni events and online forums
  • Make connections with people in any group you are a member of: religious organization, sports organization, clubs, networking groups, professional associations etc.
  • For every person you meet, consider it your goal to give back: find out what matters to them and how you can help them with a referral or a piece of content that might be helpful
  • Regularly communicate up, down, and across your organization about what you've been working on to promote your personal brand with future networking contacts; do this with vendors and clients and other contacts as well
  • Have frequent coffees or lunches with contacts
  • Use a contact management system that will cue you when you're due to reach out to an important contact; reach out on a regular basis, even if only by email, asking them how they're doing and perhaps including a helpful content link

2. Grow your professional capabilites in the direction of future job markets, to the extent you can discern it

  • Get the new hot certifications in your space
  • Work towards in-demand new degree
  • Volunteer to work on projects at work that will expand your skill set and knowledge base
  • Keep on top of trends and what's going on in your field by following the best blogs and following thought leaders on Twitter

3. Sharpen your marketing communications and keep them up to date: resume, LIP, cover letter, bio, etc.

  • Keep track of your achievements and projects on an ongoing basis for incorporation into your resume
  • Keep your resume and LI profile udated
  • Make sure you know what your personal brand is and have incorporated it into all your marketing communications

It certainly would be awesome to do all these things for your career! Doing them would without a doubt help you get a better job faster when the time comes. But sometimes looking at lists like these can seem so daunting that you end up doing nothing at all.

So is there a middle ground? Something between perfection and stagnation? Only you can define where that space is. It would go along with the concept of "good enough." You've probably heard it. It's a phrase that allows us be imperfect but still good. Statements like, "I'm a good enough worker, father, runner, golfer, person etc." takes away the perfectionism that can be paralyzing.

So, imagine with me what a "good enough" forward-looking career manager might look like:

  • Every week or so he goes onto his top social media sites and does one thing on each: an update on LI, a tweet on Twitter, a comment on Facebook, a comment in a LI group etc.
  • Every quarter he sends out an update with an offer to talk on the phone or help with referrals to the top people on his contact list
  • He takes a rainy Sunday afternoon soon to go to wordpress.com, set up a basic blog, and post his resume on one of the other pages
  • Then he picks up his personal website/blogsite project in a few weeks and adds another page, maybe a list of project highlights with quantified results
  • Once a month he reaches out to three people he remembers from college or from a certification course; maybe he calls a colleague that left the company awhile back, all with an eye to the idea of "givers gain"

Granted, these activities are not as broad-ranging and rich as the suggestions on the lists above. But they protect you from the despair that can happen when you fall short of perfectionistic expectations. And, doing some things, if not all of them, gives you the good feeling that you are moving ahead, not just staying in the present dreading the moment when the layoff is announced or when you get too fed-up to stay.

So start today in some small way to be a "good enough long term career planner," and give yourself credit and a reward! Food? Dinner out? Clothes? Night at a B&B? Good luck!






Topics: executive resumes

The Kind of Resume That Works Now

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Oct 13, 2014 11:27:46 AM


As a Boston resume writer and Certified Executive Resume Writer who has been active in the executive resume writing field for 21 years, I am now writing a radically different kind of resume. I call it The Executive Keyword Resume. It has evolved in response to two major systemic trends:

1. Almost all resumes are now processed electronically by ATS - Applicant Tracking Systems - and will only be viewed by a recruiter if the exact keywords are present in the resume, preferably in context. Additionally, competition is fierce due to almost universal Internet use and availability of massive data sets of qualified workers on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other sites. This fact drives the reality that only resumes containing all or most of the required keywords will ever be seen. No more is it good enough to simply use the main keywords for your field.

2. The time typical recruiters actually spend viewing a resume is now 5-6 seconds - I use the word "viewing" because "reading" is simply not the activity that is occurring! Recruiters focus on just a few areas: job titles, company names, dates, education, and key skills or areas of knowledge. Visually, are those areas the ones that stand out in your resume? Also, do you have a resume that looks familiar to a recruiter, that is, has the right standard headings for sections, information in the expected places, and traditional reverse chronological format? Summary at beginning is OK if so titled. But forget about functional resumes!

What does this mean for you? Simply this: there is no point in writing your resume in preparation for a job search. There is only a point in writing one particular resume for one specific job opening. Applying to 10 different jobs? You need 10 different resumes. And each resume you write has to pass the formatting test above in #2 as well.

The only exception to this rule is if you want a general resume to hand to a contact as a networking tool and don't have a specific opportunity in mind. I call this type an Executive Networking Resume. I make sure this resume has relevant keywords too, even though you can only guestimate them without an actual job requisition.

But this resume isn't the one that counts! Even if the networking resume ends up in the hands of HR and there is a job that might be a good match, it will be scanned into the ATS. Again, it will still be subject to comparison electronically with resumes that have the greatest number of exact keyword matches in context for the job in question. And yours surely won't be one of them. You cannot guess the exact keywords a job ad will contain.

I write IT executive resumes. As an executive resume writer in Massachusetts, a hub for high tech jobs, I work with a lot of clients who want to apply to 4 or 5 excellent job openings right away. A new part of what I do is identity the specific keywords and phrases in each job ad. I show my clients how to do this on their own so that they can independently proceed once we have done a couple together. And I can tell you that not only do the keywords differ from ad to ad, so does the title (and the title in the ad is most definitely a keyword!), even if the job responsibilities are roughly the same.

To find out how to write a resume that works with ATS see my earlier post. Other content in this blog will help you write your keyword resume and develop a personal brand that will help you stand out and give you a competitive advantage.

The takeaway here is: don't just write a resume, write a specific Executive Keyword Resume for any job you really want!


Example of a Great Personal Brand Story - What's Yours?

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Oct 13, 2014 11:20:17 AM


Image attribution: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/453998

One great thing about holidays like Labor Day is the chance to get together with new folks as as well as old friends and family. I met a new person at a party this summer I'd like to tell you about.

A strong-looking woman in a khaki shirt buttoned up to the collar and khaki pants sat next to me at the picnic table. She was there with her husband and son. The food was great, and we chatted on about various things, including her family's involvement in the Boy Scouts of America. I enjoyed speaking with her. She was forthright, firm, and direct.

Later on at the beach party I happened to be talking to one of her relatives. He told me a story I'll never forget. He said this:

"You know Rose is a policewomen, right? (I didn't, but her no-nonsense demeanor made sense now.) Last week she responded to a 911 call and as she was approaching the house she smelled gasoline. Without hesitation she charged in and pulled out a woman and child. Within seconds the house was in flames and the abusive husband was dead."

That's what I call a personal brand story! Anyone who knows it would probably respond to a question like, "Who is Rose?" or "Would you recommend Rose?" by recounting this story. To learn more about personal branding click here.

Most of my technology executive clients don't have direct life-or-death stories, but their brand stories and the C-A-R (Challenge-Actions-Results) success stories that demonstrate their brand are often high-impact in their business environment. Examples include directing information security in a mission-critical financial services environment, managing the EMR (electronic medical records) and technology environment impacting patient outcomes in healthcare, or enabling a company to beat its competitors in terms of time to market with a new emerging technology product or service.

To show you how to write a less dramatic brand story, here's another example with the name and other details fictionalized but the story line true. This is what someone might say when asked, "What does Juan do?"

"Since Juan and I were at Georgia Tech together he's been involved in some cutting edge businesses. First he grew a startup VAR company to compete with the big players in Puerto Rico. Then, he saw the disruptive potential of cloud computing and SaaS in the mid-2000s, before most companies got onboard, and he launched a cloud services company. He was recruited away by X company (F50 well-known brand) to run their S. American sales. He left there to help Y company (early to market with cloud tech) jumpstart their S. American sales. It seems as though Juan is always there where change is happening in tech. Everything he touches turns to gold."

It's a longer and more complex brand story, but one that nevertheless gives the listener a sense of Juan. It has a beginning, middle, and (for now) end. We learn about his attributes, his passions, the universe he plays in, and his value proposition. It tells us he is most likely a fluent Spanish speaker and highly entrepreneurial. He's not afraid to assume and manage risk in fast-changing markets. And he's got a record of success and an ability to predict market trends and act on that insight.

Getting your brand story up on your LinkedIn profile and supporting it with success stories is one of the best marketing moves you can make. Infuse your resume with these brand/success stories as well. Because stories have been demonstrated to be many more times as memorable than simple facts, you are planting in your contacts' minds who you are professionally, your personal brand. Doing so will help you get the top job you want.


Don't Let the Coming Tsunami Sink Your Job Prospects!

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Oct 13, 2014 11:14:22 AM


A couple of years ago, I reported that the number of contractors (consultants/self-employed persons) in the workforce was 23-30% of the total workforce. I did a double take recently when I read that Payscale.com predicts that contract workers will be HALF the workforce in 5½ years!

Do you know now which half you will be in? Does it make a difference in terms of what you do now to prepare for this major shift?

The trends we’ve seen in recent years are only accelerating:

- There is a shift from people working for decades at one company to a highly mobile workforce remaining at one company for < 4 years or working brief contracting stints. The workers of the future need new skills to continually market themselves in a highly competitive, fast changing job market.

- The rapid pace of corporate merger & acquisition activity, restructurings, spin-offs, and, yes, shorter tenures in the executive suite too makes for uncertain futures for workers caught up in the changes.

- Industry’s ongoing efforts to automate work and find ever cheaper labor solutions will continue to displace workers and render some jobs obsolete.

Employers are finding that hiring contractors with specialized skills for specific time limited projects and roles helps them be more agile in response to changing global market conditions. This practice also saves the costs of carrying employees with their expensive associated overhead (hiring, training, benefits, etc.). This trend will translate into a strong demand for the right workers, hence the anticipated tsunami of contract workers.

What can today’s workers do to come through the tsunami with a promising future whether they are employees or contractors? Here are the 3 things for the career minded executive, manager, or professional to do NOW to stay relevant:

  1. Figure out what your personal brand is: the job or contract you want to be positioned for, your target industry, your target level (senior director, Vice President, CIO etc.), your brand ROI (unique promise of value), your personal goals, values, and attributes – in short, what you bring to the table for your future employer.

The REASON this is more important than ever is that in an independent contracting environment you will be marketing yourself as your own brand. That means differentiating yourself from the competition, promoting your competitive advantage, and establishing your value-added worth in the market. (See more about branding in this blog and here).

  1. Once you have articulated your brand, develop your “proof”: those examples of and stories about how you do what you do best for the organization. They are the currency of your brand and demonstrate in a concrete way how you bring and add value to projects. The best way to so this is to follow the C-A-R formula: Challenge (or Situation) – Actions – Results.

The REASON to develop these stories is that they will convey better than any summary, statement, or statistic how you do what you do and why it’s helped the organizations you’ve worked for. You will be making it easy for the employer to grasp why you should be hired for a contract or a job. Stories become a way for people to share information about you. They are memorable and usually have a human, personal, or emotional element. Look for a coming blog post here giving an excellent example of how this works in practice.

  1. Then start pursuing the practices that will ideally become a way of life throughout your career: actively expressing your brand. Do this in your resume and your LinkedIn profile. Develop a presence on the Internet more broadly: social media, blogs, your own website, etc. Promote your brand internally to your company. And continue to network in person and online.

The REASON this is important is that employers seeking contract workers will be scouring the Internet, asking their employees about referrals, and networking to uncover good candidates. That’s what you would do if you were going to hire a lawyer, a solar energy

installer, or a home health care nurse. With so much competition you have to stand out (see #s 1 & 2 above ). You can’t afford to be invisible in the work world of the future.

Although preparing in this way now for your future employment may seem daunting, there are plenty of career and branding professionals, blog posts, and websites to help you with each one of these activities. It will pay off for you not just in terms of getting a contract or job or securing a higher compensation but in terms of long-term work satisfaction and excellent work prospects.





Who Lands a Whopping 42% of All Jobs?

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Oct 13, 2014 11:09:35 AM


We've been following CareerCrossroads' Source of Hire Survey findings over the past few years. The most recent report in 2013 yields some surprising results and interesting trends. The authors, Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler, begin their report with the caveat that no one should assume that their findings are valid, given the flawed nature of the data available. Despite this fact, I think that some very interesting trends are emerging that the savvy job seeker should take note of. Here are some of them:

- Offshoring may be declining and onshoring growing so don't assume that, if your company is going through a transition, it will be accompanied by offshore outsourcing, as has been the case over the past few years | So keep your eye on opportunities any new merger, acquisition, purchase, or reorganization may provide for you | Talk to everyone | Get creative about your career path within the new entity!

- Job boards, particularly the aggregators Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com, account for 1 out of 6 hires, although this number is complicated by the interactions between social media and other sources and methods of job search

- Social media, although a factor in several other sources of hire, does not in itself constitute a single, pure source of hire to any great degree | We know that 92%+ of recruiters use LInkedin and many use Facebook and Twitter to validate hires they are contemplating as well as to source good candidates

- Employee referrals is still a dominant source of new hires | ERPs - Employee Referral Programs - motivate current employees to make referrals | 25% of new hires results from these referrals | One out of 10 referred candidates gets hired (!)

The really interesting new finding is that the lion's share of jobs is now filled by internal employees! Fully 42% of jobs are filled this way. You can understand the hiring authority's thought process. Employees with a good track record within the company are better bets, they reason. They require less time to acclimate to the culture and to get up to speed with how things are done in the company. Simply put, they are lower risk.

One of my recent clients who was interested in taking his career to the next level and was getting ready to leave the company for another one is now considering shifting to another position with more authority internally. This move would position him to get promoted to the level he is targeting. More and more people are finding that exploring internal opportunities may yield the career growth they are looking for. It certainly is becoming a much easier way to get a job!

What is my takeaway from this necessarily imperfect Survey in terms of how job seekers should adjust their strategies? I suggest that job seekers run, not walk, to implement the following 3-point action plan:

1. Start exploring internal opportunities | This means thinking about possible career paths within your current company that will get you where you want to go, even if it might require an interim step | Talk with HR and create a career development plan with them | Network across departments, divisions, and functions to make your next move | These contacts may be worth their weight in gold when some great opportunity comes up | Don't forget the care and feeding of your network: Reciprocate!

2. Start growing your LinkedIn network | Populate it with employees of companies that interest you, the ones on your Targeted Company List | Join LinkedIn Groups where your target company's employees are members | These tactics will put you in a position to reach out to them when there is a job posted at their company | YOU want to be the one referral out of 10 that gets that great job offer! | NOTE: 1 out of 10 is a fantastically better ratio than the 1 out of +/-250 that you will encounter with most other sources!

3. Expand your social media footprint | Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others let people know about you and let you know the people who can smooth the way to your new job

I will add a 4th that isn't explicitly suggested by the data but which is the wave of the future I think:

4. Set up your own multipage website or blogsite with your entire personal brand profiled | Having a branded online footprint will become increasingly critical to landing the choice jobs of the future!

Good luck in landing your next great job!


 Topics: job search, Get a Job, hiring, how people get jobs


24 Executive Recruiter Tips for Job Seekers

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Jun 4, 2014 4:33:00 PM


At a recent ACPI-NE event, executive recruiters spoke on what they are looking for in job seekers. Attendees had a chance to ask questions afterwards. The opinions below are those of the particular recruiters at the roundtable and should not necessarily be viewed as cast in stone. But, overall, this snapshot of the mindset of these particular recruiters can be generalized to how most recruiters think.

1. Recruiters spend a lot of time on LinkedIn, so have a strong presence there

2. One trend in tech hiring is ithat recruiters are increasingly using social media to find and vet talent

3. More companies are taking search in house: Approach companies you want to work for via internal referrals (find employees on LinkedIn)

4. Recruiters doing tech hiring are looking at output that can be found on the web rather than in resumes, i.e. programmers' coding on sites like github.com and stackoverflow.com will be evaluated and considered as very important

5. We are now experiencing a tighter talent market where strong candidates are harder to find

6. If you're in a design field, you must put your portfolio online

7. Tons of contract and contingent searches are taking place, but retained recruiters are only getting the "purple squirrel" searches (meaning, they are given searches for the person with very specific, very rare combination of qualifications)

8. In software there is a shortage of programmers and a strong need for data scientists who can make sense out of Big Data and data analytics - in part following the trend towards smart advertising

9. They are seeing a lot of IT jobs and sales jobs

10. For those seeking to change industries, certifications like PMP (Project Management Professional) and credentials in BPI (business process engineering) are your best bet - they are relatively industry agnostic and the skills are more transferable

11. A lot of resumes are poor: too long, blocks of text rather than bullets, typos, have no formatting because they are saved as .txt

12. To capture job skills in resumes, reverse engineer the job description: What skills do people in the job use? And then weave them into your resume

13. Be ready for behavioral interviewing by doing #12 and practicing interview answers that show that you know how to use those skills

14. Know your target market and "trigger terms," i.e. keywords

15, Use LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Wikipedia, etc. to find out about the company you're interviewing with

15.  If you've been out of work, show evidence that you've remained active doing pro bono work, consulting actively, getting new certifications etc.

16. If you've been out of work, have a good explanation ready

17. If you're a multinational candidate, make your work eligibility status clear

18. Companies are generally unwilling to train folks in this job search environment, so get your training before you apply

19. If you've been at a company for more that 10 years, you need to show work progression in order to be attractive to recruiters

20. Some companies won't look at clients who have had more than 2 jobs in 8 years, but some recruiters see 2+ year stints as OK, especially since the dot-com bust and the recession

21.  In your resume make sure to emphasize: What makes you stand out?

22. Try mailing a FedEx envelope with your resume and cover letter to the recruiter - s/he can't help but open it

23.  Recruiters welcome consistent follow-up

24. Don't be afraid to show your personaility and be yourself in an interview, says one recruiter: They want to find out if you would be fun to talk with and work with

I hope these insights have been helpful!




Topics: retained recruiters

What's new in high tech resumes, executive resumes, cover letters, job search, and personal branding for executives in technology.

Subscribe to Email Updates

New Call-to-Action

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all

About the Author

Tyrone Norwood