Build Presence and Authority in the Job Market!

Being a Top 40 CEO in the World, and having 14 years of experience in getting people hired in their perfect role, I have come to understand the 5 crucial steps that are needed.

If done correctly, and with impeccable focus, one can manage to build the kind of presence and authority achieved by only the elite 1%.

The outcome is that that role of CMO or CFO will be yours, or you will be striding in for your first day as VP or SVP. Or maybe President or CEO might be more to your taste!


Here is the thing. It is often alleged that a Cover Letter is no longer needed. This is a myth. Of course, for many positions, it might not be. But it is very context-dependent. For a start, many SMEs still require a Cover Letter. Further still, even if you are not explicitly asked for one, it is not very prudent to go ahead and send a CV or Resume without any context. Some kind of email note will be required, of course, alongside the attachment.

The Cover Letter actually allows you to, not only sum up your range of skills and career achievements, but start to relate them to the new Job Description. At the same time, one can start to provide some specific reasoning for wishing to send an application to this particular company. Too often, executives can believe it prudent to send the same application materials to each position targeted. Be more nuanced: and therefore stand out in the crowd.


Of course, this is a very complex document to put together, but there are some common mistakes that are made. First of all, too many CV Writers are now starting to simply list ATS-keyword skills out of context, rather than using related achievements to back them up. Presumably this is to ensure better compliance with the initial scanning software; but the problem is that the CV or Resume also needs to be fit for human eyes as well. The perfect balance is to therefore have a “Key Skills & Achievements” section instead.

Relatedly, another common issue is that those achievements are often too vague in nature. Especially at senior C-Suite Executive level, it is not good enough to make too many claims like: “constantly improved customer satisfaction”. You need some tangible proof and evidence. E.g. a much stronger sentence would be: “increased customer satisfaction from 80 to 95% across a 2 year period”. The more numerical examples that you can include, then the eye of the Hiring Manager will instantly be drawn to them.


Too many high-end executives are treating their LinkedIn Profile as an online CV or Resume dump. If you have had an outstanding career for, say, the past 20 years, it can sometimes be hard to understand how employment patterns have changed. It is no longer enough to be an experienced and value-adding professional; the art of personal branding has arrived. In a crowded marketplace, visibility and memorability matter. For a start, become a content creator and thought-leader: in order to build trust and rapport in your domain. Place examples of valuable output in the Featured Section.

Furthermore, one can make the LinkedIn Profile work much better for them, such that Recruiters and Hiring Managers want to reach out (rather than constantly needing to go in search of them). Understanding about which SEO keywords to use, and the most adept locations to place them in the LinkedIn Profile, is absolutely vital. If done correctly, then thousands of search appearances and profile views will ensue hereafter. The days of sending hundreds of applications are over; be more visible and let the decision-makers come to you as well.


Once you have set up your new LinkedIn Profile Optimization, it need not stop there, because you can increase visibility further still through adept and consistent networking on the platform. We have already spoken about LinkedIn Content Creation—and therefore becoming a thought-leader on the platform—but the other task to bear in mind is value-adding comments being left on the content of others (especially decision-makers in targeted companies). In essence, the executive principle to bear in mind here is: “give before you receive” (in order to build trust and rapport with the other professional).

Relatedly, it can be tempting to wish to go straight from A to B in the process of reaching out to decision-makers, and send a generic template summary about your skills/achievements, asking to be considered for this or that role now or in the future. The problem is: you and the thousands of others are doing it. There is no chance of effective differentiation. Reach out in a more sustainable manner, therefore—by explaining what you have enjoyed about their content thus far (and add valuable ideas where it is appropriate to do so). You are onto a winner with such organic conversation!


By this point in the process, if you have done steps 1 to 4 correctly, then the indicator will of course be the fact that you are being invited to interview for a plethora of executive roles. The final hurdle, therefore, is knowing how to approach the interview process—in order to tackle commonly asked questions; but also the key differentiators to be able to stand out from the rest of the cohort.

Here is the main piece of advice. Do company-specific research! Rehearsing key skills and achievements is great; but the company wishes to know how they relate to the Job Description at this company (and therefore how you can add executive and leadership value to the new team). Likewise, the Hiring Manager will be trying to ascertain how committed you are to a role at their particular company; as opposed to how much you simply wish for any well-paying job. Looking to the future, it is important for them to know that you can derive satisfaction from their mission, rather than expecting that you plan to move on again when you get bored.

Finally, one more profound interview tip for you. Don’t quit on the conversation when they ask the inevitable: “Have you got any questions for us?”. Lots of candidates believe that this is a simple passing-the-time-of-day pleasantry; but this could not be further from the truth. It is definitely part of the interview—and probably one of the most (if not the most) important parts of such. It is the time to really inject that company-specific research; in order to show how it has informed your remaining questions about the corporation. End on a high!

To sum up, here are the 5 vital components for building executive presence and authority:






We look forward to seeing you unleash your full potential in life hereafter!

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