The Key Ingredient of an Executive Search

Caroline has been looking for a job since she was laid off from her SVP Sales position for a large consumer good company in August. When she realized she wasn’t going to quickly land a new role, she followed a friend’s advice and joined ExecuNet Premium to get some guidance on what an executive-level job search looks like these days.

business-woman-looking-papersInitially, she’d been quite optimistic about her chances. After all, she’d crushed it for years and had great reviews and results to fill out what was clearly an excellent resume. Getting laid off wasn’t the stigma it was a decade ago. Departments restructure; top leadership changes and brings in their own people; and people’s salary outgrow the job. It all happens, and it’s accepted.

She soon realized that being “optimistic and in the market” isn’t a strategy.

Her optimism changed to hope…hope that she could get something. Get some interviews, get some attention. Hope can be good…if you do something with it. At a loss for direction, Caroline joined ExecuNet Premium and had her free strategy session with one of our career strategists. They are former CEOs and recruiters and because ExecuNet wrote the playbook on executive job search, know how to position talent in today’s executive job market.

Caroline learned that while she was indeed good talent, something there’s always a market for, she wasn’t searching in the right places for the ideal job and that she had to approach the search differently than she had in the past. Telling her LinkedIn network “I’m looking!” is a small percentage play, and posting and/or applying to the major job boards is likely to be an exercise in being unseen and unnoticed.

Her ExecuNet Career Strategist helped Caroline to understand that she had to become an expert in explaining how her skills could move the needle for a company. Most executives can relay what they have done but are not overly skilled in sharing why a company should really care. That, she learned, is the art of telling one’s Value Story…the key ingredient of an executive search.

The Value Story should be what people hear when they interact with you, and it should be visible to them when looking at your resume. The executive-level resume, unlike a manager-level resume, is not simply a list of titles, companies, and duties. The executive’s resume weaves a story of metrics and accomplishments, which support the Value Story.

Executives who are in demand understand how to share their Value Story and have personal marketing materials that are reflective of their status as an executive. Think about it: would a Major League Baseball player step up to bat with a Little Leaguer’s bat? Of course not! So, if you’re looking for an executive-level position, you need an executive-level resume. You need the right equipment.

For the executive, their talent must be obvious. Caroline learned to stop hoping the other person would connect the dots for how she could help. She learned to talk about her value in a way that was focused and clear, and her resume supported that story. This individualized approach to demonstrating value is what makes all the difference in an executive-level search.

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson is ExecuNet's president and chief economist. An Arjay Miller Scholar, Mark received his MBA from Stanford University and a BA in economics from Yale University. He joined ExecuNet in 1993, with extensive marketing and new product and business development experience, having served as president and founder of A&M Associates, an investment management firm. Mark's corporate leadership experience includes several senior marketing and financial positions with RCA Global Communications (a GE subsidiary) and American Can Company.

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