Delegating An Executive Job Search Or Manning Up

blogYou’re an executive, a visionary leader who develops big picture operating plans and strategic roadmaps then delegates different roles to your teams to carryout as you spearhead the implementation. That’s been your M.O. for success throughout your career, so why not do the same with your job search?

First, let me say that no one likes looking for a job. Even executives who voluntarily elect to change positions in an effort to find a new, more challenging role or to advance their careers. Why? Because it takes time, commitment and some hard work. It actually goes against human nature, which is to take the path of least resistance. But these are people who consistently push themselves out of the box, who are not satisfied with the status quo and have the drive to excel.

Even so, there are times when these high fliers and hard workers believe they can delegate a job search or career transition to someone else. I’m here to tell you that while you should work with coaches and experts who will absolutely make your job search more effective and successful, you still have to do some heavy lifting.

For an apt analogy, let’s take a look at fitness and weight loss.  Here’s a multi-billion dollar industry, capitalizing on human nature and our desire to find the path of least resistance. Instead of putting in the hours at the gym and/or the self-restraint and discipline of dieting, people want an easy alternative, the magic fad diet, the revolutionary weight loss pill, or the weight loss without working out; this when we all know what it takes, diet and exercise.

For a specific example of someone willing to put in the time, let’s take a look at quarterback great Peyton Manning. The future hall of famer had to sit out the entire 2011 season enduring numerous neck surgeries. He was written off by many for lack of arm strength due to the surgeries and time off, yet Peyton put in the work and came back in a big way. It took time, effort, thousands of throws, drive and determination. And yes, work with some great coaches.

As is often quoted, “anything worth having is worth fighting for.” People who are successful put in the time. You can’t delegate someone to run, cycle or workout for you, but you can hire a trainer that will make you more effective and help you achieve outstanding results. The same is true of a job search. A great resume writer and career transition coach can make you more marketable and a far better competitor in the challenging job market, but at the end of the day, it’s you who has to take the field in order to be a winner.

~Linda

Job Search: Don’t Get Hung Up On The Phone Screen

Phone InterviewCountless times, I’ve heard clients say to me “It’s just a phone interview.” Just a phone interview! Like it’s no big deal. Well it is a big deal, because if you don’t make it through what’s also known as the phone screen, you don’t get the face to face interview, which means  you also don’t get the job.

The phone screen has become a rite of passage for someone making a career transition. Before a recruiter decides to advance your resume to his or her client, before an HR professional sends you to the hiring manager, before a hiring manager takes the time to meet with you in person, there has to be a phone interview.

In today’s competitive market, the phone screen is necessary to whittle down the pool of candidates. Without some sort of screening mechanism, no work would be done, there would just be interviewing. That means the phone screen is not to be taken lightly.

A common mistake made by job seekers is not taking the phone interview seriously enough. How do you prep for a phone interview? The same way you would get ready for a face to face encounter. Research the company, prepare to answer questions about your background complete with anecdotes, and have questions ready for the interviewer.

The disadvantage of a phone interview is you don’t have the visual cues like body language, to see how your answers are going over. But there are some benefits. You can have notes in front of you that highlight your successes and why you’re a perfect fit for the position. In addition you can have your own questions written out so you don’t forget to cover everything.

Another thing you can do on a phone interview that you can’t do in person, without looking mildly insane, is to smile and stand up while your speaking. Smiling and standing dramatically improve your delivery. Smiling adds a positive energy to your voice while standing adds more power. They’re two simple tricks, but if you’re doing them and your competition isn’t you’ll be the stand out candidate.

~Linda

Does BMI Trump IQ and ROI in an Executive Job Search? It Can.

ExerciseI recently read a Wall Street Journal Blog, Want to Be CEO? What’s Your BMI? The blog cites new research suggesting “that a few extra pounds or a slightly larger waistline affects an executive’s perceived leadership ability as well as stamina on the job.”  Which begs the question, if your body-mass-index is having an impact on your perceived ability when you already hold the position, what kind of impact is it having when you’re looking to make a move?

According to Ana Dutra, the CEO of Korn/Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting, there is a new fitness imperative for executives. It used to be expected that they spend every waking hour on business, but now being fit and exercising is factoring into the executive equation.

Right or wrong, your appearance does play a significant role in the job search process. Because it takes only a matter of seconds to make a first impression, you’re expected to “suit up” and look your best for job interviews. What does that mean if you’re overweight? According to Amanda Sanders, a New York-based image consultant, excess weight can convey weakness or a “lack of control.”

This means an executive who is looking for a new challenge needs not only to demonstrate their ability to achieve significant ROI and to be thought leaders with superior IQs, they also have to go the extra mile (so to speak) to achieve a low BMI.

Now if you’re approaching a job search, in addition to shaping up your resume and executive biography, you might also consider approaching a gym. While content is king in your marketing materials, perception is reality when meeting someone in person.

~Linda