There are many different tools you need to have as an executive looking for a new job. Using these strategies will keep you on par with your competition, and your job search strategies can put you over the top. However, without utilizing every resource available to you, there’s a good chance you’ll be left behind. Whether it’s updating your LinkedIn profile or optimizing your resume, there are certain things you must have with your job search.

Executive Biography

Your executive resume biography tells a story and is more conversational than a resume or cover letter. This is your opportunity to go into detail about a particular situation that highlights your skills, brand and personal attributes. Some executives focus more on resumes and cover letters, but a strong executive biography can tie everything together.

professional resume writing servicesExecutive Resume

Writing an executive resume today is much more difficult than it was a decade ago. With so many automated systems used to identify keywords, you have to be precise with the words and phrases you use. Many times, executives will leave the resume writing to professional resume writing services to ensure their resume gets noticed.

Updated LinkedIn Profile

If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, it’s time to get one. If your LinkedIn profile isn’t up-to-date, it’s time to update it. Recruiters and HR managers will sometimes look on LinkedIn to find candidates. Other times they will look on LinkedIn after they’ve viewed a resume to get more information on a candidate. Your LinkedIn profile gives you the opportunity to go beyond the information on a resume, so take it seriously and don’t just rehash your resume.

Networking Card

There’s a difference between a business card and a networking card. When networking, you need to have a card that displays your personal email address, cell phone, branding statement and social media accounts. A traditional business card may not be the best for networking with new people to find new opportunities. Having both could be beneficial, but a specific networking card is unique and will help you stand out.

Professional Resume Services is here to help ensure you have everything you need to be successful with your job search. Whether it’s writing an executive resume biography or just giving you tips on how to approach your job search, contact us any time you feel like you need a boost.

Networking seems so simple, but so tricky at the same time. Many professionals and executives believe they will have easy access to a job if there is a family member or friend in the company. However, this isn’t necessarily true. And even if it is partially true, you have to be careful how you approach the situation.

Personal branding for senior level managersWhen it comes to personal branding for senior level managers, always having a professional approach is critical. You could be putting your family member’s or your friend’s reputation on the line by asking for a favor. Here are other things to consider.

Use Them, But Don’t Abuse Them

There’s no harm in asking someone you know to help you get your foot in the door. But you don’t want to make them go out of their way and potentially damage their own reputation and success on your behalf. As you know, c-level personal branding takes a lot of time and effort to build, but can be damaged instantly. Don’t abuse your close connections by pressuring them to fight for you, especially if you may not be completely qualified.

Verify Your Qualifications First

The best thing you can do right away is ask your close connections whether you are qualified for a position they have available. You should also learn how to optimize your LinkedIn profile before you even reach out to them, just so your information is current. The worst thing that can happen to both your reputation and your friend or family member’s is to make the effort to get your foot in the door, only to find out you don’t meet the necessary qualifications.

Understand Their Risk in Helping You

Family and friends can boost your networking efforts, but also take into consideration the risk they are taking in helping you. They’ve worked hard to get in the position they are in just like you have. If they recommend you and you don’t fit with the company for some reason, their own c-level personal branding could take a hit. Sometimes it’s not worth the risk for them, so take that into consideration before asking any favors.

Professional Resume Services can help you with your networking efforts. Whether you need to learn how to optimize your LinkedIn profile or brush up your resume, we are here for you when you need us. Feel free to reach out to us at any time.

what can you do today that makes your job better?

Have you noticed that small things can affect the way you feel? For instance, when I look at this picture of spring flowers, it makes me smile and think about Spring (if it ever comes back). I like looking at certain things, and when I arrange my surroundings to include those things, then I feel better about my job. I’ve learned that I need to do certain things to be productive and content.

The things you do every day make a difference in your job, don’t they? Of course they do! And those little things add up because a contented, productive worker is valued. When I say “contented,” I don’t mean you have no ambition. You can be very ambitious about your career and still be content in your daily surroundings because you have exercised control over your workspace. Here are a few ideas on how to do that:

  • Control the clutter. There are at least 3 ways clutter affects your career: you lose important information, you get overwhelmed, and you look inefficient. It is worth the extra minute or so at the end of the day to restore order to your desk.
  • Keep things clean. Use the canned air to get the crumbs out of the keyboard, and wipe off the mouse and anything else that you touch all the time. If you have disposable wipes in a fragrance you enjoy, all the better. Clean spaces feel better. Maybe because you aren’t breathing all that dust.
  • Put some plants around. There are plants that will do OK in office environments. If you can’t do that, put something you like to look at in the spot you stare at while you ruminate.
  • Keep a fun glass of water at your desk. Most offices have water dispensers, and you can pick up some beautiful goblets and tumblers at thrift stores because you only need one for yourself. You aren’t running a marathon. You are sitting at a desk, so you can add crystal elements to your work space if you find something you like. Mix it up and keep it fun — have a collection to choose from. And drink more than one glass of water a day because office environments are dry.
  • Exercise. Getting your body moving is going to have a positive effect on everything you do. Forbes has a list of the 10 best exercises to do at your desk, and they are entirely doable. I did a few of them… and felt it the next day. Definitely worthwhile.
  • Cut people a break. Their grumpiness probably has nothing to do with you, and a smile exercises your cheek muscles. It also gives you more control over your response to the situation.

The job you have today might be temporary. Your job might be “searching for employment,” You may not currently have a desk to put a crystal goblet of water on or a workspace to call your own. But you do have a daily environment that you can begin to control, and that will make your day better.

do you want a job or a career?

That may sound like a dumb question, but it really is one designed to make you think. A job gives you a paycheck to be able to do things like buy groceries, pay bills, and support your child’s activities. That is not a bad reason to have a job. In fact, I’d say it is the only reason to have a job. If you need money, get a job. Right?

But a career is different.

Two people can be working side by side at the same task in the same workplace and one will have a job while the other has a career. One is focused on the paycheck, the other is focused on the future. If you are taking the time to improve your skills, paying attention to more than your job description, and getting ready for the next opportunity, then you have a career.

Improve your skills by learning to do things that intimidate you a little bit. Read more. Write more. Take some classes or tutorials about using software that might be helpful. Learn to do your job and be open to learning how to do any other jobs around you.

Pay attention to more than your job description by noticing how things happen. What’s involved with getting the product to the shelves or the service to the customer? How is this business managed? What other businesses feed into it or support it? Expanding your perspective opens your eyes to networking possibilities and possible career paths.

Get ready for the next opportunity by keeping your resume up to date and looking for ways to stay current with the job market. Seek out an executive resume writer to help bring your resume current. The Job Search Resources page has a lot of ideas here. It may say “Job” in the title, but it says “Career” in the result. The difference between a job and a career is the attitude you have about your long-range plans.

navigating uncertain times in your job

Every so often, uncertain times come to a large part of the economy. It might be a government shut down, severe weather, or a variety of other calamities can happen that affect your job. Even when uncertainty affects a small part of the economy, if it affects your job, then you need to be prepared to navigate unknown waters.

Here are a few basic points to keep in mind:

  • There will occasionally be uncertain times — look back in history and you can see that financial and political crises happen all the time, all over the world. Even if most of the economy is good, if your job is uncertain, then you have every reason to be concerned enough to do something about it. Job-related stress has symptoms, but it also has resolutions.
  • It is always a good idea to prepare for uncertain times — work on paying off your debt load even if all you can do is pay a little more than the minimum every month. Put some money in savings every payday, and don’t use it unless it is a last resort. Work out your budget so you have a handle on what you are doing with your money. Talk with your family about how you will get through a crisis; it’s like a fire drill that prepares you for emergencies.
  • Don’t waste today’s energy on worrying — do something about what stresses you. Take a walk every day instead of eating a donut for breakfast (not that I object to donuts–believe me, I don’t–but a walk is de-stressing where sugary snacks backfire). Look at your worries and work on what you are in control of. If you can’t control the thing that worries you, how will worry help? Answer: it won’t.
  • Forget about drama and smile at the people in your life — we are in the boat together. It makes the journey so much easier when we treat one another with kindness. The people you work with, the people you live with, and the people you interact with as you go through your day are all on the same ocean, and we all do better when we are smiling.

negotiating salary

Negotiating salary is a scary proposition for some people. It’s also quite difficult if you are rusty on your negotiation skills. I’ve put together a few tips for helping you get through the process with less sweat and more leverage.

Step 1: Don’t discuss salary until the employer makes an offer

A good rule of thumb is to refrain from mentioning salary expectations in your resume. If the the ad you are responding to requests past salaries as some do, then comply. Otherwise, don’t bring up salary at all. If asked during the interview, try to avoid the question. Respond in a manner such as:

  • “If you decide I’m right for the position, then I’m sure you’ll pay a fair and competitive rate, right?”
  • “I’d love to discuss salary with you, but before we get to that, I’d like to know more about the position. Tell me more about ______.”
  • “Is this a formal offer?”
  • “The going salary range for that level of responsibility is between _______________ and _______________. You pay in that range, correct?”

Step 2: Allow the interview to make the offer

She who speaks first loses. In salary negotiations, the first figure mentioned is the starting point. You don’t want to sell yourself short. Let the interviewer make the offer and you go from there. That way, if the salary they offer is way off base and you don’t see any way to meet in the middle, then you can gracefully bow out.

Step 3: Do the research

Don’t negotiate in the blind. After your potential employer makes an offer, do a little research to determine the going salary range for your level of skill and experience. Check a variety of sources for the sake of comparison or you could end up getting less than you deserve.

One useful source of information is the U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics). They publish annual salary data by occupation.

You can also perform a Google search to find other salary information online. Be aware that salaries can vary according to location and whether or not will be employed in the public or private sector or in a profit or non-profit organization.

Step 4:
Let negotiations begin

You want to get the highest salary possible. Your employer wants to pay the lowest amount to increase their bottom line. You should strive to be fair while maximizing your own value.

Determine your value to your company and make an offer based on that.

Step 5: Close the deal and keep negotiating

Your salary is only one component of the negotiating process. You can also negotiate perks and benefits such leave time, profit sharing, bonuses, etc.

Cover Letter

Both cover letters and resumes are essential when applying to a job. However, each format has its own specific style so it is important not to confuse the two in the preparation process.

The cover letter introduces the candidate as well as explains to the prospective employer the reasons and qualifications for applying to the specific job.

A resume is the listing of experiences, accomplishments, and education that one has accumulated over the years.

These are the five ways that cover letters and resumes differ:

  • While the resume is brief in nature, the cover letter should expand on any details that the resume may have left off, including explanations for inconsistencies.
  • The cover letter should be an actual letter with complete sentences and divided paragraphs while the resume can have bullet points and phrases.
  • The cover letter attempts to get further consideration from whomever reads it while the resume is the basis for which they see the candidate’s background and qualifications.
  • A resume outlines past accomplishments and experiences while a cover letter expresses future goals.
  • The cover letter can express more enthusiasm in the language while resumes should follow a rigid and professional tone.

As you can see, the two go hand in hand. So, be sure to have your cover letter prepared and detailed for each job posting that you apply for.

 


The year 2012 will have a diverse mix of jobs available as the year progresses. Of course, things don’t always go according to plan. However, there should be something for every one on the job market this year.

The top three industries are Health Care, Technology and Science. Health care will always be top because we need health care no matter what, and it doesn’t matter if you have insurance. Everyone has to go to the doctor some time or another.

Information technology is growing by leaps and bounds, partly due to the internet. Degreed positions in this field are commanding a higher starting wage than some of the other fields. Everything from computers, cell phones to data storage require more and more positions.

Science is growing as they are building on the molecular level creating robots, micro-organisms and other areas.

At the same time, blue collar jobs will have a lot of openings as baby boomers begin to retire. Machinists, welders, truck drivers, construction workers are still needed in spite of the technology that abounds.

A good thing about blue collar positions is that many of those do not require a college degree. They may need a certificate or license, but it is still easy to get into a good paying job in these fields.

Now is a good time to dust off your resume and update it with all new information. Make sure that all information is current and that you have a good list of job skills listed.

There are many job search resources available on the internet so that you can decide which area of expertise you wish to pursue.

Fancy Resume

Do you know when it’s time to move from a regular resume to an executive resume? There are a few subtle differences but will speak volumes when presented for certain types of positions.

Usually at the top of a regular resume is an objective statement. This is where a person will tell in paragraph form what they are looking for in a job and any expectations they may have. An executive resume will have an opening paragraph that will highlight their strongest points, often in bullet points and what that candidate can do for a company.

Executive resumes will typically be at least 2 pages but no more than 4. This is because they may have detailed educations, publications they have written or any awards they received. It is all relevant on an executive resume.

An executive resume will also have bolded words, highlighted or underlined sections so as to showcase their skills, achievement or awards. Additionally, the wording and structure will be much more sophisticated than regular resumes.

Once you have reached a certain level of experience, education, awards or achievements in your career which will now enable you to seek for more executive type jobs is the time to start using an executive resume.

It won’t do any good to present a regular resume when the position calls for a more professional applicant. So, don’t forget to update your regular resume to an executive resume.

Job Related Stress

Everyone knows about job related stress. But few know how to resolve it or to reduce it. Job related stress can make your life absolutely miserable and it’s important to get rid of it altogether, or at least get it reduced so it doesn’t affect your everyday life.

It is estimated that a whopping 62% of Americans feel their work is the major cause of stress in their lives. Yikes! At the same time, stress levels have increased 50% since 2007. These are very significant numbers.

Some of the things that induce job related stress are impending layoffs, problems with co-workers or superiors, overtime, no time off, and simply not being in the right job position.

Any number of these things can cause physical problems such as things upset stomachs, frequent headaches, sleep issues and even grinding your teeth. More serious health issues are increased blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain and psychological problems.

No one wants any of the above mentioned problems. Therefore, it’s important to make a change. Possible changes include taking time off from work, working out any differences between co-workers and superiors, making sure you are prepared in case there are layoffs, and if you are just unhappy in your position, start searching for another position. Remember, nothing in this world is more important than your health and your well being. A vacation or a job change will affect your income, but it’s important to understand that it’s better to make adjustments and rearrange a couple of bills in order to make things easier on you.

You don’t want to have problems with family or have psychological problems over job stress. If necessary, find a new job.

Make the new year count by reducing the stress levels in your life. It is never too late to make changes so that you can live a more balanced, calm life.

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