Execs2

Searching for executive jobs in today’s world can be tougher than ever. It’s imperative that executive-level job seekers stand out from their competition and prove to their potential employer that they offer a high return on investment. To do this, job seekers need certain tools, including the essential job-search documents needed to effectively market oneself in the job hunt: executive resume, cover letter, career biography, reference dossier, etc.

If you are a part of the executive job hunt remember that personal branding is important to strategically position you ahead of the crowd. It links your key personal attributes, passions and strengths with your value proposition. Does your resume brand you? What about your LinkedIn profile? Does that let the reader know that you are the leader their company needs? If done right this will translate into a crystal clear message that differentiates your unique promise of value that will resonate with your target audience. By showcasing your expertise and unique personal brand in the best possible light, you’ll open doors that others can’t and be in charge or your career destiny.

Make sure you do your research! Tap into the hidden job market by taking advantage of all that’s available online in the way of targeted industry and company research. Check out websites of companies that interest you and start by identifying the challenges they’re facing, learning about the company culture and attempt to track down warm leads at those companies. It’s important to pinpoint how you can have a positive impact and help those companies reach their goals. Save time by identifying and connecting directly with top decision makers at companies through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or other online social networks when possible. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you’ve never met. LinkedIn is known for its members welcoming connections from unknown contacts. The point is to expand your network and make new connections.

A good executive resume will be the backbone of your job search. It’s important to identify exactly what you want your resume to convey before you get started. Remember, every resume is a one-of-a-kind marketing communication that should tell your story. In order to do that it’s imperative that you make sure your executive resume is well designed and executed. There are a lot of DIY resources and resume writing tips available on the internet that you should take time to review, but in the end it may be better to hire a professional to convey your personal brand. Either way, with a good executive resume in hand that translates your unique attributes you are sure to be on your way to the executive job of your dreams!

 

 

 

should your salary be on your resume?
One of the uncomfortable parts of a job search is discussion of salary. Most of us don’t really like negotiations over salary and fear that putting our current wage on paper might doom us to repeat it. For the most part, you really don’t need to put salary history on your resume. At the same time, if a job posting asks you to include salary history or requirements when applying, they will be looking for that information when you apply.

Employers have various reasons for requesting salary information. They may want to screen out those who expect more than they are willing to offer or find someone who is qualified and willing to take the least amount of compensation. They certainly want to know you will follow instructions. You could comply with a request for salary history in several ways:

  • attach a salary history to your resume on a separate page
  • include it in your cover letter
  • use a salary range rather than the specific amounts

It should go without saying that your salary history should be accurate. You will be jeopardizing your career when they check with former employers and discover the truth. At the same time, if you think you were underpaid, there’s no reason to avoid saying so if it can be said diplomatically.

Salary requirements can be handled with statements that show your flexibility and willingness to negotiate the overall compensation package including benefits. Here, too, a range can be helpful as long as it is within reasonable limits. Tools like a salary calculator help you figure out what the range for your expectations should be. Salary may not be on your resume, but it is definitely on everybody’s mind, and you need to be prepared to discuss it.

 

 

set your goals with a salary calculator

Many times, we set our goals using the wrong data. We have dreams of a certain job or lifestyle, but the steps it will take us to get there in reality are nebulous. The Job Search Resources page has a number of tools for your use, and the variety of salary calculators listed there will give you real help.

Using a salary calculator to find the reasonable expectations for what your job should pay gives you the range of salaries you can expect for that job. Location, skill set, education, and experience can be factored in. That means you can look at where you currently are and decide if there are steps you can take to get to where you want to be:

  1. Is this the field you want to stay in?
  2. Can you meet your financial obligations with your current salary? How about the top range of salary in your bracket?
  3. Are there other, higher paying jobs within this field (or others) that interest you?
  4. Do you have the skills, education, or experience to reach that level?
  5. What practical steps can you take today to gain the skills, education, or experience you need to reach your goals?

The salary calculator is simply a tool that equips you with facts. You can print out a graph or data sheet showing what your level of experience in your location should reasonably be paid and show it during salary negotiations. You can answer confidently when an interview question about salary expectations comes up. At the same time, you have a reality check about the job market.

Like any tool, this one is only as effective as the person using it, but the person using it can learn how to use it properly to get great benefit from it. Your goals are achievable with the right tools!

 

how to stretch your salary when you're stuck

Sometimes your salary isn’t paying quite enough to cover all you wish it could. Maybe you got promoted to an exempt position that looks good on your resume but now that lucrative overtime bonus is gone. You could have been offered benefits that you truly need (medical insurance, for instance), and on paper it all looks good, but in your wallet there’s not enough cash.

This is where that “B” word — Budget — comes in to help.

All the experts start with an honest assessment of where your money is currently going. If you don’t know where your money is currently going, how can you control its flow? Write down all the ugly reality on paper so you can look it in the face and deal with it.

The problem isn’t automatically solved by a higher salary; it is solved by controlling the way you spend what you earn.

You can see this in the sad tale of many lottery winners whose huge chunks of money are gone in a few years or the way even high earners go bankrupt. This means that you have hope because you can control your cash flow by choosing to work with the real numbers instead of the dream numbers.

Look at the real numbers and come up with a real plan and follow it.

  • Do some research on money management. There is so much wisdom and free advice or seminars out there that your head will spin, but the reality is you have to make it work for your situation.
  • What are you willing to sacrifice to keep that steady salary or those benefits?
  • When you make the choice NOT to spend, remind yourself that you are saying “no” to this thing and “yes” to controlling your cash flow. You are the boss of your spending.
  • Pay the minimum on your bills if you have to, but add a little when you can. Somehow, that extra gives you a sense of power.
  • Allow yourself some “mad money” that you can spend on whatever you like, but when it’s gone, it’s gone until you get paid again.
  • Somehow, keep saving for emergencies. Even a little bit adds up!
  • Sell some stuff and put the money on the biggest bills.
  • Come up with ways to reward yourself that don’t cost money.

Keep a reminder of your plan, and your goals, in view. You aren’t “stuck” with that salary, you have chosen to stay in the position for a reason. Is your reason still valid? Can you ask for a review and a raise? Are you utilizing all the benefits you have? You may need to sit down and crunch numbers with others who are involved with your money decisions, but it will be worth the time and effort that takes to get everyone on the same team in this!

 

 

 

Are You An Underearner? What Your Salary Might Say About You

Recently, there was an article on LearnVest titled “Hello, My Name is Tom and I’m an Underearner”. It’s an interesting read about the characteristics of underearners and the presence of an AA-type support group called “Underearners Anonymous,” (Who knew such a group existed?) It got me thinking about how salary means more than money: It can affect how others see you, and how you see yourself, like a dirty window on the world.

One of the problems that can develop during a job search is a completely unrealistic idea of salary. It’s easy to undervalue your abilities and ask for too low a wage, or to assume you can demand the paycheck someone with years of experience in your field would get. If you add up your monthly bills and just ask for that much, you aren’t using all the information that should go into salary ranges.

Underearners are people who are not getting the salary that someone with their qualifications would reasonably expect. This could be because they don’t value those qualifications or are afraid to ask for a raise. It could be because they’d have to live up to their potential and they are afraid.

There are a lot of reasons why salary and self-esteem are connected. In some cases, there is discrimination causing salary issues, but this cannot be assumed because sometimes the reason for the lower paycheck is actually performance-related.  You need to dig deeper to find out why that paycheck is that amount.

During a job search and interview, salary is a subject that you should be prepared to confidently discuss with a prospective employer without being demanding. The more you understand your worth, the easier it is to see that you deserve (earn) a wage that is accurate. There are two excellent resources available to you:

  • Job Search Resources — this page has a wealth of information, including salary calculators and self-assessments
  • Job Search Success System — this is a full course that will give you the skills to show your worth accurately to potential employers.

When you are getting the salary you should be getting, it’s like seeing your world through a clean window.

salary history

Salary can be a very touchy subject when it comes to negotiating a job offer. It’s an issue that can cause candidates to walk away, force employers to spurn one candidate in favor of another who will work for less, and make for tense dialogue between an employer and a would-be employee. Many job seekers are uneasy talking about their salary history with prospective employers. Divulging salary information first can often put you at a disadvantage, but you may have no choice. Potential employers may require a salary history before even considering you as a candidate. In this case it is helpful to know, ” Why do some companies ask job applicants for a salary history?”

The answers are fairly simple and they even make sense.

Requesting a salary history may just be a part of the employer’s screening process. It is their policy with every job applicant and that includes you. Give them the history, get in there and set the hook, get the offer, and then be a good negotiator.

Now, while that is a perfectly reasonable answer, there is one that is even better. As an applicant, you are a “business of one” and you are selling your services. With that in mind, would you buy from a business that, when you asked how much the product cost, responded with “We are not going to tell you until you buy?” In order to “make the sale” to your potential employers you need to name your price.

Your best course is always to do your homework before going into a negotiation. If you know what you are talking about, then you are more likely to get what you want, even if you have already given a salary history to your potential employers.

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.

money faucet

There seems to be a rule of thumb out there that if you land a job you should always try to negotiate for more money as a matter of course. If you’ve done your homework and realize that the salary offer is too low for your level of education and experience, you should at least try to negotiate a higher salary. However, negotiating your salary just because you think you should can hurt you in a number of ways.

Contract positions are usually set at a certain rate and are only sometimes negotiable. If you try to negotiate a contract job offer, chances are that you delay many onboarding tasks such as drug screening, background and references checks and getting signed up for benefits. You may also find that the employer still expects you to start on the original date stated in the offer, leaving you scrambling to comply.

If you can negotiate your salary higher for other types of positions, you may leave yourself vulnerable to layoff if your salary is higher than your peers’. Your salary may be the first on the cutting block when it is time for your employer to make budgetary cuts.

Negotiating a salary higher than what you originally stated you would be willing to take may make a potential employer think that you did not do your salary homework or are trying to get more money just because you think you can. This does not leave the employer with a good impression of you. Of course, you could prevent yourself from being boxed into a corner like this by not giving a specific dollar amount answer to the question, “What are your salary expectations?” If hard-pressed by an interviewer, give a wide salary range because this question is often used as criteria to weed out a large candidate pool.

Many companies require prospective employees to complete a job application form when you get to the interview. These documents are fairly easy to fill out, but there are some things you need to be aware of. The application has two common areas, your personal information, which is basically a repetition of your resume and questions that assist the interviewer in determining if you are a good fit for the position.

It may seem redundant to document your name, address, and employment history when it is already available on your resume, but it gives the employer additional insight. It allows the person you are interviewing with to compare the information you have stated on your resume with everything you state on your application. Any inconsistencies are subject to further investigation, either in an interview setting or with phone calls to past employers and/or educational institutions.

Be honest and concise when answering the questions. Answer specifically what was asked and do not offer additional information. One reason to steer clear from providing additional information is that employers are looking to see if you can follow directions. Another reason is that you don’t want to provide everything the employer is wanting to know about you at one time. Do not put “see resume” on the application because it shows you do not follow directions.

The purpose of a job application form is to identify the job for which you are applying and the salary you expect. One of the best ways to handle this question is to do your research on the company before you ever get to the interview. If you don’t have an ad to work from, find out what jobs are available before you walk in the door or send your resume in. Make phone calls.

The second question requires the same legwork as the first question. Know what the position typically pays. You should have a general idea what employers in your area and in your field are currently paying for employees who do the work you expect to do. In addition to this, think about what you are willing to accept as a minimum salary. Sometimes it’s good to list a range on the application rather than a specific figure.

Finally, consider what the opportunities are for advancement and what the benefits package involves. These are also major aspects of a career that cannot be overlooked. Although a benefits package doesn’t offer a dollar benefit that you can easily identify with, there is a significant amount of money the employer is paying for your insurance. A solid career advancement plan is simply delayed earnings potential.

Application forms are commonly used in many industries and companies ranging from very small family operations to large multi-million dollar corporations. Do what needs to be done in order to assure yourself an opportunity to get a face-to-face meeting. Get your foot in the door. Get the interview. It is worth filling out another piece of paper, no matter how closely it resembles your resume if it means you might get the perfect job.

Salary Requirement

The number one dreaded question during the interview process is “what salary requirements are you expecting.” This question alone can either make or break the interview. Not only that, it tends to make a lot of interviewees freeze up and say the wrong things.

It is very easy to under or oversell yourself. If you are afraid of stating too much, chances are you will undersell yourself and make less than you were anticipating. After all, companies use this question to feel their applicants out. And, of course, if they can get you for a lower wage, they will.

It’s not going to go well if you ask for too much income. For instance, you can’t possibly expect to hire on as customer service but expect to be paid $20 or more an hour. Just won’t happen.

Interview process protocol dictates that you should never bring the subject of salary up yourself. Wait until they do. You only address it when the potential employer brings it up.

A good answer is that you are negotiable. That way, the both of you can meet in the middle somewhere with their requirements. At this point, you need to make sure what salary you can budget for with your personal expenses.

A good idea is to do research for the type of position you are applying for and see what the going rate for certain positions are. You don’t want to be out of the ballpark by asking for too much income when the trend is lower for the same position.

It’s all about negotiation. You may not get exactly what you want as far as wage goes, but you may also be offered a different position that offers more after they evaluate your skills. So, remember, don’t blow it by over or underselling yourself.

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