Expert Advice for Senior Leaders in Transition

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
An executive job search requires strategy and finesse. Let me remind you of a number of less obvious things you should do (I am not going to tell you to have a great resume).

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00:00 Intro
01:07 Capital conservation
01:38 Define your brand
02:51 Explore company cultures
03:26 Expand your network
04:15 Get your online presence in order
04:45 Hire a career coach
05:20 Consider interim roles
05:47 Get feedback from people
06:12 Be selective with references
06:30 Negotiate your start date
06:51 Give a professional resignation
07:22 Outro

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Today, I want to offer some less obvious advice for senior leaders looking to transition into a new role. And that’s whether you’re a VP, director or a C suite executive, you’re going to have to take a strategic approach to landing your ideal position.

I’m Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I worked in recruiting for many years, and now people hire me for no BS job search advice and career coaching globally, because I make the process so much easier for people.

Now, there are 11 things I’ve identified that fall into the realm of the less obvious. You don’t need me to tell you to have a good resume or LinkedIn profile. You know that already. But there are other things that you may not have thought about in recent times, that this could be useful for whether you’re in the search now, whether you’re in the transition now, or considering it, it’s good to have these in place.

And the first thing starts off with a plan for capital conservation. You don’t want to be looking at your investment accounts and thinking about what you need to liquidate to pay your bills if something happened. Make decisions at the beginning of the search or before the search that will allow you to implement the plan later and be dispassionate about the plan. Think about how you’d pay for your kid’s tuition, or your streaming media spend or your mortgage payments. Yeah, how would you handle those sorts of things? When would you have the conversation with the mortgage company about your plan, or you’re in need of support from from them during this difficult time?

Number two is to define a personal brand for yourself. Think about your values, passions, strengths, and craft an elevator pitch that summarizes who you are, as a leader. Follow the framework of “people hire me to (fill in the blank) because I (fill in the blank). For example, mine is people hire me for no BS job search advice and career coaching globally because I make the process so much easier for people. You don’t notice my little, “so much easier for people;” it’s theatrical. So think of it for yourself, what do people hire you to do and why. Make this a very compelling 30 second pitch that you can use to introduce yourself without coming across as being phony, obnoxious, a jerk. Or worse.

Number three, start exploring company cultures. Look beyond the prestige and the compensation and find places with missions and values that may energize you start to look at company websites and press releases and reviews and their social media and to get a sense of the work environment and ethics because you want to align yourself with your own principles. And being in an organization where you’re just doing it for the money because you’re desperate is an unpleasant position to be in.

Four, before you need to expand your network, connect with recruiters. Join associations and build relationships outside of your inner circle. attend conferences, check LinkedIn for shared connections and reach out for informational interviews. The broader your network, the more potential opportunities.

How Recruiters Steal Your Best People: Having Unrealistic Expectations of Them

Now I’m not saying to talk to a 22-year-old, if you’re a 62 year old as a way of broadening your network. Although truthfully, if it’s a former subordinate of yours, that’s not a bad thing to do. But think in terms of connecting with interesting people and seeing what you can do to help them as well as learn from them what it’s like for them to do what they do.

Next, get your online presence in order. Google yourself. Clean up social media, showcase your achievements on LinkedIn. Manage your personal brand by removing unprofessional posts, or political posts folks. Optimize it with keywords because when firms are looking for people, they’re using keywords to find you. Think in terms of the terms that might be used to locate someone like you.

Number six, hire a career coach. An outside expert can help you identify opportunities and develop an effective narrative for your experience and what’s going on with you. A

A coach provides accountability, acts as a sounding board and ensures you communicate your value effectively. It’s worth the money. And if you’re interested in speaking with me, visit and schedule time for a free discovery call or schedule time for coaching so I can help you.

Next, start to consider interim roles. Taking a temporary executive position lets you obtain new skills, increase your marketability. You can look for an interim COO role, a  VP or consulting projects to add capabilities while searching and not have that gap in your background that can become longer than you really want it to become.

Number eight. Ask for feedback from people. Understand how others see you and correct any myths and misconceptions. Market the real you. Thank them for their candor. It’s like getting a personalized 360 review of yourself and adapt your messaging and executive presence based upon what you’re hearing from people.

Number 10. Negotiate your start date. Allow time off between jobs to recharge and avoid burnout. If you’re moving from one role to another directly, be upfront about pending travel plans just like you wanted people to be with you when you were hiring folks. They’re going to want the same from you.

And lastly, craft your resignation carefully and discuss your transition professionally. Leave on good terms.  Offer to consult for a little while. If you need to script your conversation for this so that you don’t burn any bridges.  Offer tohelp during the transition and keep any emotions out of it because an executive job search requires strategy and finesse.

Take control of your brand and build connections. Uncover the right organizational fit. And you’ll be able to land an opportunity that you’ll be happy with, at least for a couple of years because we all know that these things go south. So good luck.

Hope you found this helpful. I’m Jeff Altman. Visit my website, There’s a ton in the blog that can help you. Plus, you can schedule time for coaching with me, ask me questions through Trusted Advisor Services. Find out about my video courses, books and guides. There is a lot there that will help. Lastly, connect with me on Linkedin at My network tends to be a lot larger than most of yours. Connect with me. Have a terrific day and most importantly, be great!

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People hire Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter to provide No BS Career Advice globally because he makes many things in peoples’ careers easier. Those things can involve job search,

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

hiring more effectively, managing and leading better, career transition, as well as advice about resolving workplace issues. 

Schedule a discovery call at my website,

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2700 episodes.

Website: (schedule a paid coaching session, a free discovery call or ask questions using my Trusted Adviser Services)



Books and Guides:

Resume & LinkedIn Profile critiques


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