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First Impressions

Wednesday, May 8, 2019  by Bailey

The resume and cover letter are the first impressions for a new employment opportunity. The resume is an opportunity to showcase your skills and experience for the role and company that you are interested in. 
There are two types of readers: (1) the decision makers and they rarely will read cover letters; and (2) the non-decision makers and they might read every word submitted. Resumes should be composed for decision makers. 90+% of resumes are boring and fail to communicate the appropriate information for the targeted audience.
Here are the most common mistakes on resumes:
  1. Wrote the resume for yourself and not the reader…..most people ended up writing a career autobiography rather than a marketing presentation of your abilities for that specific opportunity. Resumes should be tailored.
  2. Business Parallels…..every job is a reflection of the business model and culture. Most forget to describe the business model (e.g. product/services, markets channels served). Any parallels in the business model of recent employers to the business that you are applying for is a big advantage.
  3. Lack of Contributions & Accomplishments….too many resumes are bland, more duties and responsibilities focused….if you have supported revenue growth, improved business processes, partnered on cost savings, and/or teamed on change management, then you need to have that in your resume and describe the action steps and not just the result.
  4. Personality….most resumes have no personality, yet soft skills are always valued at 50% or greater on any interview. Having a “Professional Summary” at the top of the resume is an opportunity to use adjectives that describe your personality as well emphasize those skills and business model parallels for the opportunity that you are applying for.
  5. Resume Content…..the last seven years is the most valued and appropriate experience. Resumes should start off with a Professional Summary and then most recent or current employer. Promotion are important. 75-80% of the content on the resume should be contained in the last 7 years and explained well. Resumes should not exceed two pages…you are marketing skills and appropriate experience….you are not writing an essay or a book. 

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Success! Completed Searches

Friday, May 3, 2019  by julie

Here are some examples of successful searches completed by the B&B team: 

Assistant Treasurer, Global Technology Products Leader 
Audit Director, Global Building Products Manufacturer 
Automation Engineer, PE Funded Waste Treatment Industry 
AVP Financial Reporting, Investment Management Firm 
Board Administrator, Utility 
Business Analysis Leader, Investment Management Software 
Business Finance Manager, Medical Products Industry 
CEO, Non-Profit Healthcare Organization 
CFO, National Commercial Bank 
CFO, PE backed Precision Products Industry 
Controller, Privately-Held Chemical Industry 
Customer Insights Director, OTC Consumer Products Leader 
Demand Planner, Safety Testing Leader 
Digital Marketing, Senior Manager, Healthcare Products Distributor 
Divisional CFO, Specialty Chemicals Leader 
Domestic Tax Manager, Global Holding Company 
Engineering Project Manager, Tier 1 Automotive Supplier 
General Manager, Capital Equipment Distributor 
Human Resources Director, Energy Products Manufacturer 
Human Resources Leader, Customer Packaging Industry 
Human Resources Manager, CPA Firm 
Human Resources, Senior Manager, Consumer Products Distributor 
Marketing Analyst, B2B Software Management Firm 
Marketing Manager, Healthcare Holding Company 
Marketing Director, PE Financed Medical Products Mfg 
IT Director, Automotive Components Industry 
IT Infrastructure Engineer, Security Products Leader 
Operations Controller, Precision Products Industry 
Operations Manager, Power Management Company 
Product Manager, Building Product Industry 
Purchasing Manager, Electronic Controls Manufacturer 
Quality Engineer, PE Finance Metal Stamper 
Quality Manager, Healthcare Products Industry 
Quality Director, Aerospace Products Manufacturer 
Sales Administrator, Capital Equipment Manufacturer 
Sales Director, Healthcare Products Marketer 
Sales Engineer, Precision Products Manufacturer 
Sales Operations Director, PE Infused Technology Products 
Sales Support Manager, Capital Equipment Manufacturer 
Strategy Associate, B2B Financial Services 
Supply Chain Manager, Adhesive Products Manufacturer 
Tax, Senior Manager, Regional CPA Firm 
VP Finance, PE funded Metal Forming Industry 
VP Human Resources, Healthcare Services Organization 
VP Manufacturing, Metal Coatings Industry 
VP Sales, Laboratory Equipment Manufacturer

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Uncommon Interview Questions

Wednesday, May 1, 2019  by Bailey

We found an article interesting from that detailed some of the most uncommon interview questions that CEOs have admitted to asking. Here’s what they said:


“Would you rather be respected or feared?”

This speaks volumes about your leadership style and how it would fit the company in question.


“Why are you here today?”

This can give a gauge on how self-absorbed a candidate is – are they committed to contributing to the organization, or are they just in it for the personal benefit? CEO Gordon Wilson says he looks for a 75-25% split between the two.


“What’s your biggest dream in life?”

No answer is too ambitious, according to Zhang Xin, co-founder and CEO of SOHO China.


“How were you treated?”

This question is directed towards the drivers and receptionists who came into contact with a candidate on the way to their interview, allowing Rick Goings, CEO of Tupperware, to see how candidates act in real life.


“What is your favorite property in Monopoly, and why?”

This is a great way to hear about how candidates think of risks and rewards, according to Ken Moelis, founder and CEO of Moelis & CO.


“Tell me about when you failed.”

CEOS love to dissect past failures, which can allow them to pinpoint resilience, creativity, and humility in candidates


“Who did you want to be when you were seven or eight?”

Barbara Byrne, vice chairman of investment banking at Barclays, uses the “airplane test” on her interviewees, where she tests if she can sit on a plane from New York to LA with a candidate and not be “bored out of her mind.” Questions like these are common on these long-haul flights.

The wine list test

Charles Phillips, CEO of Infor, takes a candidate out to dinner with some senior execs in place of a traditional interview. Here, he is able to see how they handle themselves in an unstructured environment by giving them the wine list – the person has to convince the group that they know a lot about wine, pretend that they do, pick the most expensive bottle, or ask for help. How they choose and how successful they are in explaining their choice is part of the test.


Walk the talk

Atul Kunwar, president and CTO of Tech Mahindra, goes deep into candidates’ hobbies. When one candidate said he was a keen singer, Kunwar asked him to sing in front of a panel of senior executives.


Though it’s unlikely you’ll ever be faced with many of these questions, it’s certainly interesting to think about how you would respond to them.



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B&B Specialty: The Confidential Replacement

Friday, April 26, 2019  by Bailey


About 30% of the searches our team manages annually are confidential replacements. The primary driver is that the business has outgrown the incumbent and leadership is stymied. Due to employee loyalty, this can be difficult but it is necessary to replace the bottleneck for the betterment of the business.

Recently B&B was called upon to facilitate a confidential replacement:

A multi-state professional services firm had expanded quickly due to new services, diversity of customer base, and acquisitions. The plan was to double revenues over the next 4-5 years and the current CFO was a legacy employee who had risen through the ranks.

B&B met with the executive team to learn more about the recent history of growth, gain a better understanding of services and culture, appreciate strategic goals and horizons, define existing organizational structure, discuss the role and where there were opportunities for improvement.

B&B was retained and partnered on search milestones, criteria, and the interview and hiring processes. B&B completed the research, identification, and evaluation phase within two weeks and presented a slate of candidates that included commentary, soft skill assessment, current resume, and recent compensation history. B&B conferred with all parties, set up three candidates for interview and following a 2nd round, an offer was made and accepted.

Confidentiality was maintained for all parties and the transition was complete. Search process from initial call to acceptance was under 8 weeks.

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Culture Can Make or Break Company Success

Wednesday, April 24, 2019  by Bailey

A winning work culture has never been more important. In order to have a top-performing company you need top-performing talent. Talent that is motivated and has the values, mindsets, and behaviors that constitute an environment conducive to success.

Culture is as important as strategy for business success. What exactly is a winning culture? And, just as important, how can a company’s leaders instill it? A winning culture has some defining characteristics. So how do you get there? 

1. How well do you know your companies culture? Do an audit or survey and set goals.

2. Get everyone on the same page even top level management and executives. Getting the team aligned can be the most difficult part.

3. Set targets for the business with accountability.

4. Clarify accountabilities for key jobs. This is crucial, as is building performance metrics that reward desired behaviors.

5. Communicate and reward the business when you see the culture has changed and is on the right path.


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