"Colleen has provided phenomenal expertise, insights and leadership as I have worked on my executive job search strategy and increased my personal web presence. While I've used the internet for years for research, I didn't connect it w/ "career" branding for others to find me in their executive candidate research. Far more than a LinkedIn guru, the scope of what Colleen teaches is much broader and will serve me for the rest of my career. She knows how to use the web for visibility, create a strategy for networking with the right people and on through to how to package your unique expertise and communicate effectively with recruiters and hiring managers along the way. Colleen has over 20 years in the executive recruiting business and has now become a leading Job Search Coach -- she knows how employers and recruiters work from inside the hiring machine. As a B2B Sales expert, I've always been a forward-thinker when it comes to using technology to create value. Thanks to Colleen's approach to online executive branding, I now understand how web software is increasing my personal value. I recommend Colleen without reservation. She is a first class professional who is super talented, works hard and delivers results."
"As a senior sales executive in the technology sector, currently as a Sales Director for Oracle, I’ve dealt with many executive coaches and executive recruiters over the years. None have morphed so effectively as Colleen Aylward from the world of retained recruiting to that of Executive Career Search Coach. This is why I’ve referred her to close business associates on multiple occasions. Her expertise from 20+ years at the helm of Devon James Associates, plus her years spend on OUR side of the table (as a technology sales executive herself) make her the perfect coach for those who need to understand the landscape of today’s executive recruiting world works, as well as, the extreme importance of executive online branding of yourself in today’s information rich world. As driven executives in technology, none of us has had the time or inclination to work on “social media” or “online branding” or “SEO” of that brand. Colleen couples her easy going attitude with the inside knowledge how people search for executives, what they want to see, where they want to see it, and how to rank highly for those eyeballs. I have come to realize how important an executive brand is, and how critical it is to have ubiquitous social proof of one’s niche expertise. Her book “from Bedlam to Boardroom…” is an easy read and gives you the road map steps of marketing one’s self – your own brand– and of ensuring that the right people find you when they need your expertise. Her passion about executive branding, her technical expertise in this area, and the fact that she can understand and pinpoint the unique skill sets of just about any executive these days, is a rare and wonderful combo in today’s world of a million coaches…"
"As an Amazonian manager, I came to Colleen only because I thought I needed a few tips on researching possible next steps in the Seattle area. Because I had always been heads down in my career – not out in the job market -- I was blown away about several things she showed me: No matter how great you are on paper, it’s now all about social proof. Secondly, you cannot push yourself out to employers and recruiters these days UNLESS you have your solid brand out there on the web AND have social proof of your worth. And thirdly, it’s not even about pushing yourself out to recruiters. It’s about building your “expertise” brand as a magnet, so that employers and recruiters actually come to you – are drawn to you in their searches -- instead of the other way around. In a few short months, with Colleen’s coaching, I built a solid brand presence all over the web, and received two awesome high-level job offers. I would highly recommend using Colleen as your executive coach, whether it’s for an immediate job search, or simply to catch up with your competition in branding yourself as an expert on the web for the future."
"When I met Colleen at an Angel investing event, I was excited because I already knew her as not only one of the top executive recruiters in Seattle, but also as the author of the most cogent articles I had ever read on executive recruitment, resume writing and career growth. Little did I know that Colleen had shifted over to providing career counseling and executive coaching. Or that she had expanded her writing into a powerful book and a comprehensive program for personal branding and career advancement in the digital age. Colleen's perspective and advice are invaluable. After a day in one of her workshops I learned in vivid detail how fundamentally the process for searching for proven executives and expert consultants had changed! From developing a thought leadership strategy to authoring content and making the most of LinkedIn, Google and social media, Colleen had it covered. I was able to triple traffic and inquiries to my LinkedIn profile with just the first set of recommendations she offered. If you are looking to build a strong brand around your greatest strengths, generate new career opportunities or simply grow your presence and authority, I can't recommend Colleen too highly."
"Years in Seattle's tech ecosystem have been hugely beneficial to me in building a solid skill set in venture capital and entrepreneurship, but one undeveloped attribute was personal brand building and self promotion. For this I retained the expert services of Colleen Aylward, whom I've known for years in the technology industry. Colleen's experience includes leading an award-winning Executive Search firm, founding an innovative software startup, and now providing Executive Coaching with an insider's view of How to get Visible and Discovered as an executive brand. Colleen helped me craft a personal brand that resonated with who I am and helped me prioritize what I wanted to do with my expertise moving forward. In a series of modules that focus on defining strengths, putting them on paper, gathering the social proof to validate an individual brand, and then getting that brand in front of the right eyeballs, Colleen brings an executive's brand alive and "discoverable." I recommend Colleen highly as a professional brand-building coach for any executive, whether you're looking to build a personal brand, enhance one, or just get it out to the right people. This is something I could not have done without Colleen's keen sense of executive marketing and her deep knowledge of what recruiters and other professionals look for in seeking out high-profile achievers."
"Colleen Aylward is a tremendous asset for executive-level career and branding advice. Although not a warm & fuzzy consultant, she hit right on the mark with her straight-forward (and humorous) critique of my existing online brand, and gave me expert job search advice to quickly increase my visibility and ranking out on the web. Just a few critical changes and additions helped get me on the radar, and served as social proof that I, in fact, am an expert in my field. Hence, I had much less explaining to do once I was found by a recruiter, and when the CEO actually interviewed me, it was more of a peer-to-peer discussion than a question / answer exercise... I would highly recommend Colleen to any executive who needs to increase their "expertise brand" and their visibility to the right people, whether it is for a promotion negotiation with their current employer or for an update to their online brand in order to be found and pursued by recruiters and hiring managers. Before Colleen I thought my presentation expressed my "truth", I've come to understand that my framing of my story isn't necessarily the frame others will view it. Without Colleen on my team I'd likely have continued with the tepid results I'd experienced previously."
"I am pleased to recommend Colleen as an executive career coach. More than anyone I have met, Colleen "gets" executive branding and optimizing personal and professional profiles in this LinkedIn and SEO-optimized era. I read and have recommended her book, From Bedlam to Boardroom, to many friend and colleagues in transition or considering a career change. Her book is spot on for executives looking for work. The game has changed and she not only knows the rules, she knows how to leverage them to her client's advantage. In a simple 1.5 hour meeting, I learned more about the new executive branding game than I had over the last five years as a marketing and sales executive. Colleen's 20+ years inside a top Executive Search Firm gave her a keen understanding of the systems and personalities that executives must navigate to find the next great role. Colleen digs deep and finds the uniqueness that is her client's real value to the market."
"Colleen is one of the smartest, most creative business people I know. She stays at the forefront of the latest trends and truly understands the challenges of the job market. She has a network of clients, friends, and colleagues like no other. Colleen is a great adviser with a high level of integrity and the most amazing work ethic I've ever seen. She is always positive, direct, and gives you the straight scoop when you need it the most. I have never hesitated to refer friends and colleagues to Colleen and will continue to do so."
"I have known and worked closely with Colleen for more than 20 years. She is one of the more creative, driven and professional Human Resources professionals it has been my pleasure to collaborate with over my own 35-year career in that field. Colleen is particularly adept at translating often complex management concepts into lean, spare and understandable written prose. I am not the least ashamed to admit that I have often appropriated her work (with her permission) to utilize with my own executive clients, and they have invariably complemented both the thinking and the writing contained in her work. I recommend Colleen without hesitation."
"In the cluttered world of experts offering advice for the job seeker, Colleen is simply a breath of fresh air. Her insights stay current (I've benefited from them over a number of years), and she readily adapts to the best tools at hand whether it's blogging, Linkedin, video interviews, or her personal services. She's funny, energetic, and an incisive truth-teller. In my experience, she always comes straight to the point and is always on target, even when the target is a little painful to hear. Her new book, "From Bedlam to Boardroom" is a great example. It isn't puffed and fluffed like most of what you find in the business section, rather it is pithy, targeted, and invaluable for anyone looking for state-of-the-art job search advice. I've recommended Colleen and her work to just about every executive job seeker I know and they've all gotten smarter by sharing her witty wisdom."
"As an executive in the healthcare field for the last 30 years, I am now entering Phase 2 of my career – offering my expertise to organizations who need my advice on healthcare operations, health care reform, product and program development, technology and processes affecting the industry. I found myself faced with pushing a different brand out to the market for consulting work. As luck and timing would have it, I was referred to an all-day executive career coaching seminar by Colleen Aylward. I was struck by the critical value of getting my expertise known online -- and not just on LinkedIn. Colleen gave us a full 8 hours of non-stop advice on the HOW and WHY of executive branding and the social proof needed for our niche expertise, whether we are in job search mode or want to expand our consulting business “brand,” or simply to negotiate a promotion at our existing employer. Very helpful to see how recruiters actually find us nowadays, and to see how Google and LinkedIn rank us according to the newest rules and algorithms. Since Colleen has been a technology executive herself before, and then spent 20 years at the helm of a retained executive recruiting firm, her insider advice is invaluable since I didn't want to waste a lot of time or money on just a LinkedIn expert. She showed us WHAT recruiters and hiring managers are looking for and WHERE they look for us, and showed us the importance of being proven and ubiquitous online. I can’t recommend her highly enough for her insider grasp of the executive visibility tools and rules today! "
"Obviously, there is no better source of information to an executive candidate searching for their next position than one who has sat on the employer side for decades, screening for and filling executive positions. Colleen is such a source. From her NEXT Seminars, which provide much food for thought and direction in terms of networking and personal branding to candidates beginning or perfecting their own job searches; to her one-on-one consulting assisting executive candidates focus their efforts and target employers in this economy; to candidate packaging and presentation, using all the tools at her disposal to help candidates manage and control their personal brand and search; Colleen can offer whatever level of assistance would be appropriate to a candidate's search efforts."