If looking for an Executive level creative role, what should I include in my portfolio (other than the work)? Should I write a lot about the strategy and biz challenges, biz results of each campaign, etc...)? Or is that best left to a conversation? What are the people who hire at that level looking for?

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Have an executive level resume or cover letter. Yes I k is it’s weird for us to do that but at the executive/ agency leadership level, c suite expects you to be great creatively. They want to know you understand the business but more importantly know how to grow it. If you can’t point to new business wins, growing organic growth by x%, ways you made your department more efficient/decreased attrition, etc. then you probably aren’t ready. Personally, I have a long cover letter that outlines my growth and impact I had at my last three jobs. Cover letter allows for that. Everyone hates long CVs. Could try an info graphic approach as well. Good luck.

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In the major market in the US Midwest. Actually, most large agencies when you go above a certain level will require you to have a resume one or the other. Personally, I’ve found that the business results cover letter kills and gets me to the front of the line for most gigs. I’ve only had to use it three times but each time I got the job and the money I was asking for. For example a rather snooty digital shop was interested but said their salary capped out at 20k below my asking. I sent them the cover letter and I not only got hired but got the salary I had asked for. Another time a large traditional agency was interested but asked me why I was better than all the other candidates for the job. I hit them with my business results letter and boom I was hired with a salary 15% above what I had asked for. Because most creatives don’t do it is why I stand out. It makes CFOs way more likely to rubber stamp my salary than without it. It’s as simple as knowing your audience and talking to them in a way they understand.

I would love to hear others thoughts on this too. I’ve tried lots of different tactics and find I’m often just pigeonholed back into roles I’ve already done or even manage by the HR gatekeepers. 👀

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