Briefcase Coach's Career Briefs: Job Search Smarter

Expert advice on preparing for performance reviews, updating your resume, effective use of LinkedIn, creating leaders and more...

Dear Reader:

If you have been a reader of my newsletter for a while, you know I love sports, especially college football (Go Dawgs!). As I watched games over the weekend, I couldn’t help but compare these college athletes' preparation for the game and one's preparation for performance reviews.

Just as a seasoned athlete dedicates countless hours to practice, drills, and studying playbooks, we must commit ourselves to self-evaluation and strategy as we prepare for our performance reviews. It's a time to reflect on our past plays—the wins, the areas of improvement, and the lessons learned.

Legendary football coach Paul Bear Bryant once said, “It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” The same can be said for our journey towards a successful review. As we suit up for our reviews, let's approach them with the same fervor and preparedness as a college football player stepping onto the field for the big game.

I recently wrote a playbook to help prepare for performance reviews. Included in the article is advice from career coaches and experts on best practices to have a successful review and walk away with more - more money, more

Your performance review may not come with a physical trophy, but the rewards of career advancement and personal satisfaction are no less significant.

Rooting for you,

End-of-Year Resume Refresh: Key Trends for a Strategic and Personalized Document

As the year ends, it is a great time to revisit your resume, whether you are actively preparing for a job search or not. As you update your resume, it is important to keep current executive resume trends in mind to ensure your resume stands out. I was honored to share insights into these current trends with Adrienne Tom of Career Impressions. Tom highlights trends that reflect a shift towards a more strategic and personalized approach in resume writing, ensuring that executive job seekers effectively communicate their unique value and fit for leadership roles. Trends include recommendations from resume experts such as prioritizing relevant content, quantifying achievements, addressing shorter tenures and more.

Expert Insights on Increasing Visibility and Attracting Recruiters on LinkedIn

I am asked several times a day “What is the best way to use LinkedIn?” or “How do recruiters find me on LinkedIn?”. In this digital world, first impressions are happening on a screen, and more likely than not on LinkedIn. So, how do you increase your likelihood of being found and then appeal to the recruiter looking at your profile?

In this article, HR Executive James Hudson helps answer some of those questions as he explains how recruiters use LinkedIn. “With more than 2 million posts each day, separating the signal from the noise can be challenging, especially when it comes to understanding how to maximize your presence on the site.” The article provides really great insight into how the algorithm works behind the scenes and opportunities for candidates to increase their visibility by understand how they work.

Making a Transition in Q1: Prepare Now

Almost a quarter of U.S. companies offer end-of-the-year performance bonuses, with the average annual bonus being 5.6% of wages.

For a senior director making around $200,000 a year, that bonus of $11,2000 is not insignificant.

It's no wonder that many mid- and senior-level leaders wait until after January bonus payouts to start looking for a new job.

𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗻𝗼𝘄.

There are three things I would recommend that you do before January.

1. Nail down your ideal next role. A lot of people start their job search thinking, "I could do this... or that... or maybe even...." This is an undefined namby-pamby job search strategy. Having clarity will help you have more effective networking meetings, stronger and more targeted career collateral, and most importantly, will help you know where to spend your time searching.

2. Build out a target company list AND identify recruiters in your field.
This is the most overlooked step in the job search process and one of the most important. If this is a new concept for you, I have two videos for you to watch. 1) I have a free course on the LinkedIn Learning library called Find a Job in the Hidden Job Market. It introduces this concept at the most basic level. 2) I have a deep dive YouTube video that goes in-depth on how to actually find people. You can also use this multi-tab spreadsheet to organize your search. (note: this is a public link. If you plan to use the spreadsheet, make a copy and save it as a new file name)

3. Lastly, update your resume.
I'm biased-- I am a resume writer and own an award-winning resume-writing firm. I believe in the value of well-written career marketing documents. Whether you hire the Briefcase Coach, another professional writer (happy to share names at different price points) or you decide to do it yourself (also happy to send you free resources), this is an important step in the job search: 𝗜𝗻 𝗮 𝗳𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝗰𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗶𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗸𝗲𝘁, 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗹𝘆 𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗰𝘂𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘃𝗮𝗹𝘂𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝗽𝗮𝗽𝗲𝗿

Post-Great Resignation Dilemma: Companies Grapple with Overstaffing

Following the period of the Great Resignation when companies struggled to keep staff, they are now facing the challenge of no one leaving. Many companies are finding themselves over budget on certain teams. Other bosses worry about how to keep star employees engaged when there are far fewer vacant positions internally, making it harder to move people into new roles. In periods of low turnover, companies will often get tougher in performance appraisals, pushing employees to quit, or offer incentives, such as buyouts, to motivate employees to leave. In this article Wall Street Journal reporter Chip Cutter looks at this growing trend and how companies are coping.

4 Key Habits for Exceptional Leadership

Marcel Schwantes is a leadership expert and coach who delivers keynotes on the topic around the world. In this article Schwanes shares 4 habits that help ensure one has exceptional leadership skills. These habits are:

  • Have faith in your team’s abilities - know their strengths and listen to their ideas

  • Model respect to members of your team and organization - help boost morale and motivate employees

  • Show a true interest in your people - encourage your teams’ career aspirations and discover what motivates them

  • Provide autonomy with accountability - trust your team to make the right choices and be there to help when needed

Growing Need for AI Expertise Among Board of Directors

Artificial intelligence experts as members of a Board of Directors are of significant importance in the modern business landscape, as industries become more reliant on AI technologies for operational efficiencies and strategic decision-making.

According to a Heidrick & Struggles survey, less than 1 in 3 executives believe their board of directors possess sufficient AI and ML knowledge, and more than 2 in 5 executives do not have adequate exposure to boards of directors.

AI projects haven't yet made a major impact on next year's tech spending forecast, but CIOs must convey their importance to business strategy to win approval for new spending.

 💼 takeaway: If you are an executive with expertise in AI, now is the time to start positioning yourself for paid board opportunities.

Businesses Embrace Unique Perks to Lure Employees Back and Boost Culture

In an ongoing effort to entice employees back into the office and enhance company culture, businesses are adopting unique perks. Travis Lindemoen, founder of recruiting and hiring platform Enjoy Mondays recently shared his thoughts on the increasing popularity of these unconventional benefits with The Wall Street Journal. In the article, Lindemeon suggests that job seekers should not hesitate to ask about available perks during negotiations. “If your office doesn’t feel like a carnival, you might be missing out on some increasingly common amenities.” These benefits illustrate a broader trend where companies are going beyond traditional perks to foster a healthier, happier, and more engaged workforce. (article has paywall)

Can you do me a favor?

I’m on a mission to help job seekers land amazing jobs. Would you consider doing one of the following:

  • Forward or use the referral link below to share this newsletter with your job-searching friends or post about it on social media. This small act really helps!

  • Reach out to us about featuring your executive job posting in our newsletter. We are looking for hiring managers, founders, and search firms to talk on video about their ideal candidates.

  • Consider sharing my company name with your HR leadership. We are a great “white-glove” boutique option for executive outplacement

  • Recommend me as a paid speaker for your company events on networking, job searching, or leveraging LinkedIn

  • Recommend my services to high performers wanting to work one-on-one with an executive resume writer / or experienced interview coach

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