Don Straits

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Executive Opportunities

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"I wanted to pass along another ‘real world’ comment from a VP of Worldwide Sales... In his words, ‘your online resume has been the buzz of this company.’ Great endorsement for you..." - MK, Fair Oaks, California

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I Have Over XX Years Of Experience! Deal Killer.

Throw that phrase out!! Deep six it! Can it! Shred it! Delete it! Burn it! Take it off your resume! Take it off our LinkedIn profile! Take it off your bio! If I read another resume with that phrase, I think I will be sick. Which means, probably this afternoon, I will be sick. UGH.


*Text version provided below the video player.

If you want to make certain that your resume looks just like everyone else, then begin with the phrase (or some variation thereof): "I Have Over XX Years of Experience." While my evidence is not definitive, over 75% of all resumes begin with that trite, worn-out cliché. (Note: I probably have over a 1000 resumes scattered around my office and thousands more on my computer. In a quick review, well over 75% use a variation of that phrase. It is actually closer to 90%.)

While there may be a few circumstances where you can use that phrase, in most cases, particularly for executives, it means nothing, and in fact may get you rejected for an interview. If you are a senior exec, they know that you are not a kid any longer. Of course you have years of experience! By mentioning years of experience, the only thing you are doing is bringing age into the equation. What is relevant is how you have driven revenue, cut costs, maximized profitability and EBITA, improved productivity, streamlined operations, generated funding, directed mergers and acquisitions, and implemented exit strategies for your organization.

Number of years is typically only relevant when a company is seeking well defined experience in a specialized discipline: i.e. three years as an HTML5 programmer, five years in network engineering, four years as a geothermal chemist You get the idea. 

Here is an example of a more powerful introduction for your resume portfolio. Instead of saying "I have over 22 years of experience in leading sales teams." you might try something like this: "At XYZ organization, drove over $18 million dollars in personal sales revenue (35% over quota) and $68 million through my sales team (lead the nation) as illustrated by the following graph." Now, you have accomplished several goals in that one statement: 1. demonstrated your personal performance capabilities; 2. highlighted your leadership ability to drive a peak performance team; and 3. visually demonstrated your performance through a contemporary graphic presentation and maybe even an infographic. Remember, visuals are worth a thousand words. You have set yourself apart from others and you are becoming the standard by which all others are measured.

So turn your search around by focusing on your track record of performance, leadership talent and vision instead of being a Dilbert clone talking about years of experience.

If you enjoyed this post, we would love to hear your comments and feedback.

Have an awesome day! 

Submit Linkedin Profile To Apply: We Don't Want Your Resume

Guaranteed anyone who might consider you for a position will view your LI profile.   LinkedIn is a platform for over 277 million  resumes and supporting documentation.  It is imperative your profile presents powerful insight into who you are and the value you can bring to an organization.  This short video addresses the shifting career paradigm and how you must adapt.  Would love your comments and feedback.

The Parallel Between CEO's And Football Quarterbacks: An Evolutionary Model Comparing "Field Generals" To "Boardroom Generals"

I just read a great blog post by Scott Landstrom on his Driving Accelerated Growth Blog. It discusses the parallels between leading championship football teams and leading corporate organizations. Since we all just finished the Super Bowl, I thought you would really like this article. It has some great insights.

The Parallel Between CEO's And Football Quarterbacks: An Evolutionary Model Comparing "Field Generals" To "Boardroom Generals" [Click to View]

Never Hire Anyone Over 30

How To Destroy Your Network

We spend years developing our network through close personal contacts as well as digital contacts. But that which we spent years to build can be destroyed over night.
In this video, we examine seven classic mistakes that executives make with their networks. Would love your feedback on ideas to build your network and what kind of mistakes to avoid in destroying your network.

*Text version provided below the video player.


Let's exam seven classic mistakes that executives make with their networks.

1.  Failure to Show Gratitude and Acknowledge Contributions.  A simple thank you or inexpensive gift can be priceless

2.  Critical of Everything.  Be positive and receptive.  But if you must disagree, agree to disagree agreeably.

3.  Not Listening.  Probably one of the best ways to destroy your network is the failure to show honest interest in your networks ideas, stories, or conversation.

4.  Promote or Pontificate about Religion, Politics or Sex.  It's OK if it is expected by your network. otherwise exercise extreme caution. In today's over kill on political correctness, guaranteed you will offend someone.

5.  Focused on Yourself rather than your Network.  You will turn-off your network if everything is about you.  Caution on self-promotion, selling and spamming.

6.  The Best Conversationalists are the Ones who say the Least.  Ask great questions and you will be recognized as a great conversationalist.

7.  Lack of Engagement.  If you ignore your networks comments, connections, and email messages, they will soon lose interest in you.  On a fairly regular basis, reach out to people in your network, either personally or collectively, to show your sincere interest in them.  Provide them with something that will make a difference in their lives.

So the care and feeding of your network is imperative to building great relationships that are mutually beneficial.  It takes time and considerable effort, but the return on your investment can be priceless.   Think very carefully about how you are interacting with you network, and make changes where necessary to create ties that bind.

Would love your feedback on ideas to build your network and what kind of mistakes to avoid in destroying your network.  Please hit your Like button if you enjoyed this post.   Have an awesome day.