Finding a CFO Position …

A few weeks ago I had a Linkedin connection email me with this question …

Are there REALLY any good job boards for senior finance executives?

And then earlier this week, Matt Bud, the Executive Director of FENG, posted a great editorial in his newsletter  entitled “The Easy Button” … and that visual propelled me to finally write this blog post.

Job search is not easy. And, it almost always takes much longer than you think it will; be more frustrating along the way than you ever imagined; and force you out of your comfort zone if you truly want to be effective. It’s just the nature of the beast, I mean, search.

But, before you can even get to the search, you need (and must have) a resume that highlights your proven ability to do the job. Matt and I have always disagreed about who can and should write your resume. He is a firm believer that everyone should write their own resumes, but that opinion does not take into consideration that …

– not everyone is a writer; and

– sometimes our own self-limiting perspective is the biggest impediment to value positioning.

But on this comment in his “Easy Button” article, Matt and I find some common ground …

The reason is that although others can facilitate the process for you, no one can actually write your resume for you and no one can prepare a proper 90-second announcement for you unless you have already done 90% of the work. And, you will do a lot better with whoever is working with you if you have done 95% of the work.

In order for your value proposition to shine, you must be intimately engaged in the process. An hour on the phone with you is not serving you. In fact, I would venture to say it is doing you a grave disservice while charging you for it.

Think of the partnership with your resume writer as being akin to a coach standing on the side of the field watching a player on the field. The coach has a unique vantage point and perspective that the player, involved in playing, cannot see. The coach’s position and expertise allows him to coach the player to be more effective based on what he sees from his vantage point. But both the player and the coach have to be engaged in order for the player to receive the benefit.

It should work that same way with someone you hire to work with you on your value positioning. The coach is your guide to get you outside your own limited, and limiting, perspective. That requires hard work on both sides. You have to dig deep to find your value and then be comfortable enough to confidently message your unique value. The resume is merely the end result of the critically important process of identifying how you can solve a company’s problems so they will not only want you, but pay well to get you.

The process of finding that next position just isn’t that easy, but unless you feel absolutely confident in your ability to identify and message your value -and- write a 2-page resume that is compelling and value-oriented, why would you risk making the process even more challenging -and- perhaps missing that next, great opportunity because you somehow believe “you” are the only one who can write your marketing documents? Maybe you are, but maybe you aren’t.

Do companies hire marketing teams or outsource their marketing? Or, do they decide to “do it themselves” even though they are not marketers? When / if they choose the latter, is their a potential cost associated with that decision?

P.S. My answer to the question posed above is no, there really aren’t any good job boards for senior finance executives. Furthermore, playing the posted position game is the least effective job search strategy, particularly at the senior or C-level.

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