Don Straits

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I Am Open To Relocation For The Right Opportunity. DEAL KILLER!

You may have kids in school, parents who are in need of support, you're established in the community, church, friendships, and more. But how bad do you want a job? The job market is incredibly competitive and you must be willing to relocate.  In this video, Don Straits discusses the importance of being open to relocation during an executive job search.

Case Study: Utilizing Exceptional Research To Land An Executive Position (Part 2/2)

In my last video, I shared a success story of a former client of mine who landed a job by using unique research tactics. In this follow up video, I discuss methods of utilizing both online research as well as field research in order to produce a summary of observations and insights to aid you in your job search. This will show the key decision makers that you know what, where, when, why, and how to solve problems, implement solutions, cut costs, and drive revenue. I would love your feedback or personal experiences on this topic. 

Case Study: Utilizing Exceptional Research To Land An Executive Position (Part 1/2)

Conducting thorough research on a company prior to interviewing is a must.  In a highly competitive job market like today, having any kind of advantage is invaluable. In part 1 of 2 of this video, I talk about the importance of gathering and utilizing information about a company. I share a story of a former client of mine who landed a job by applying these exact research tactics. I would enjoy any of your success stories that may be similar, please feel free to post them! Stay tuned for part two of this video next week.

Linkedin Connections Are Priceless. Are You Using Them Effectively? Here's How!

Managing and leveraging your LinkedIn connections is worth its weight in gold....literally, in fact, it will generate revenue for your business or open doors for new employment opportunities. In my latest video I decided to share some of the methods of managing your Linkedin Connections, including a short tutorial on exporting your connections into an Excel spreadsheet as well as sorting them into groups based on specific criteria. This a powerful tool that is underutilized by most Linkedin users. I encourage you to try this. If you are familiar with these tools already, how has it been of benefit for you in your business or job search?


Managing and leveraging your LinkedIn connections is worth its weight in gold....literally, in fact, it will generate revenue for your business or open doors for new employment opportunities.  Here is some insight on how to make your connections work for you, as well as a simple tutorial on how to export your connections.    



You should have an objective of building at least 1000 connections on LinkedIn.  That will take some time, but if you work at it for just a few minutes each day, you will be amazed at how fast it grows.  Focus on connections that are relevant to your industry or functional area.  Do not accept invitations just for the sake of building your numbers.

Here are just a few reasons why you should build your connections:


  1. If you are a blogger....and you should can email your  new blog posts to your connections. (See my videos on blogging).  That is far more powerful than just adding your blog post to your LI updates.  Your readership will skyrocket.  If you choose to do mass emails to your connections, use caution when doing so as you may end up on spam blacklists.  I recommend you use an email service like iContact.  It is inexpensive and enables you to manage all of your mailings.

  2. Update your connections on any change in your employment:  i.e.  new position, new company, or in transition.

  3. Give your connections relevant content that could be of benefit to them....discuss industry trends, technologies, emerging new businesses or products.  Don't just shamefully try to sell your products, services, or seek employment.  That's a good way to lose your connections.  First, provide a solid benefit, then it is acceptable to mention your company and/or service.

  4. Organize your connections into groups based on criteria.  You can sort your connections by location, industry, company, name, and more. This is effective for targeting a specific group of colleagues to contact, rather than contacting all of your connections at once, or sifting through your connections and finding them one by one.  For example, since I represent senior execs seeking new positions, I sort by recruiters, VCs, PEs, corporate decision makers, members of boards, key influencers, prospective clients, current clients, and miscellaneous.  I can now communicate different email campaigns to each segment.


Simple Tutorial on Exporting your Linkedin Connections:

Step 1: From the Linkedin home screen, mouse over the “Contacts” tab.  This will open up a drop down menu.  Within the drop down menu, select “Connections.”

Step 2:  If you would like to just quickly export all of your connections into an Excel spreadsheet, click the link on the bottom-right that says “Export Connections.” Simple.  

Step 3: Additionally,  this page allows you to sort through all of your connections based on criteria. Note that the “Tags” represent each person's connection to you (Friend, Classmate, Colleague, Partner, etc.).  Each connection is placed into one of these groups when you initially send a connection request.  You are able to add additional tags in order to sort your connections as you wish.

Step 4: When you have figured out which group of connections you want to export into an Excel document, you can either individually check the box next to their name, or you can click “Select All,” in order to get them into the right Excel column.  All of the names that appear in the right column will be exported into a spreadsheet.

If you are diligent in building your connections and managing those connections effectively, it will be priceless for your business and your career.  If you are only using the free basic LI service, I encourage you to consider upgrading to a paid level.  Select the one that is most relevant to you.  We use the Premium Business account at $19.95/month.

If you are seeking a new challenge, we would enjoy talking with you about your search. Make it an awesome day.



Blogging Tips To Drive Your Executive Search

In a recent video, we examined why executives should be blogging to drive their career.  I recommend you watch that video as well, as it provides great insight into Blogging for Executives as a Game Changer.  A link to the video is provided on the screen.
I confess, one of the biggest hurdles I face is to educate executives on the power of putting their strategic thinking and vision into writing.  The most common concern is that blogging will be too time consuming.   In fact, once the blogging infrastructure has been put into place, it should only require about one hour a week to keep it current.  But the impact a thought leadership blog can have on driving your search for a new opportunity is extraordinary.


Here are just a few tips and tricks on how to leverage blogging to drive your search.


1. Create a design that is contemporary with a title and subtitle that reflects your expertise and focus for your blog.  Don't be afraid to have a provocative or "catchy" title that will stimulate people to read your blog.
2. Ramp up quickly by posting at least three posts per week for the first two weeks, then two posts per week for the next two weeks, then at least one post every week thereafter.  As soon as you have at least six posts on your blog, you are ready to make blogging the game changer.
3. Every time you apply for a job, always reference and include a link to your blog within your email or cover letter.  You will be amazed at how many recruiters and decision makers indicate they reviewed your blog and that it was a key factor in selecting you for an interview.
4. Always include a link to your blog in your email signature file, for both new and reply emails.  You want people to have easy access to your blog.
5. Include a link to your blog within your Linkedin profile and include all new blog posts in your Linkedin Updates.
6.  On occasion, include a video blog post (Vlog) on your blog.  Google algorithms loves videos. All you need is a flat wall with a lamp, plant or picture and you are in business.  If you don't know how to do it, get the 16 year old kid who lives next door to help out.  They get it.
7. Develop an outstanding email database and send your database an email for every new blog post.  Include industry influencers in your database such as corporate presidents and editors of industry publications.
8. Did you know you can export your LinkedIn contacts into an Excel file and segment as necessary.  This is a great way to manage and leverage your LI connections and directly send them an email for each new blog post.
9. Write compelling posts for your blog.  Take a position and defend it.  Be provocative.  Encourage discussion and comments with opposing view points.  Do you want to be a Dilbert Clone or do you want to stand out and stand for something.  Leaders are risk takers.  Leaders are sought out by growth organizations.
10. Cross Post.  Essentially, you will invite other industry influencers to post to your blog and vice versa. 
11. Invite decision makers you interview with to post in your blog.  This can be a grand-slam home run, but it also has its problems.  If we work with you on our blog, we can guide you on how to do this tactfully.  We can also guide you in developing short posts of one or two sentences and effective long posts.
12. Interview Industry Influencers for articles in your blog.  It enhances your own credibility and helps drive Search Engine Optimization SEO.
13. Speaking of SEO, as part of your long term strategy, you will want to make effective use of key words and tags to help drive traffic and build community for your blog.
14. Once you land a new position, do not stop blogging.  I cannot emphasize this point enough.  It will have a long-term profound impact on your career.


Now I could go on and on. I have just scratched the surface. But if you follow these blogging tips, they will be a game changer in driving your career.
If we can be of help in driving your search, we would enjoy talking with you.  Thank you in advance, and we wish you the best of success in finding a new opportunity.


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