Don’t commit these job-search mishaps.
Much of the job-search advice out there these days is directed toward entry-level candidates — the recent graduate who's looking for a big break in the real world. But you're an executive, a C-level professional. You have years of experience, but just because you've worked your way up the ranks doesn't mean you don't need some job-search advice.
In fact, you might need a little more help than those just starting out. You've got some strong competition, and, chances are, you've been with your company for a while, so you're a little out of practice.
Not to worry: Here are the 10 biggest mistakes C-level candidates make when seeking new jobs — and how you can avoid them.
Mistake #1: Relying on your years of experience to carry you
Your resume is stacked full of experience, but you can't rely on that to carry you all the way to a job offer.
Brush up on your soft skills. If you're working with a headhunter or recruiter, build a relationship with them. When you interview with a hiring manager, be an engaged conversationalist. It's not that you're not friendly, it's just easy to lean on your resume for all the support — and you don't want to do that.
Mistake #2: Focusing on your entire career
Focusing on all your years of experience is a lot of ground to cover — especially when it comes to writing your resume or talking about your career in a job interview. It can be easy to launch into a monologue outlining your last 20 years in the industry, but it's important to stay focused.
Think about your elevator pitch — that quick spiel that clearly explains what you currently do and what type of opportunity you're seeking. Once you've perfected your revised elevator pitch for the roles you are seeking, don't forget to update your resume's Professional Summary and LinkedIn profile summary to reflect this, as well.
Mistake #3: Interviewing the company too much
When you schedule a job interview, remember this: The main objective of your interview is not to see if it's the right fit for you — the company's representatives are interviewing you.
Absolutely ask all the questions you need to at the end of the interview to double-check your interest in the company and role, but you're still there to impress the hiring manager and interviewers.
Mistake #4: Assuming this is a one-and-done process
The dream might be to find the perfect job, make the move, settle in, and retire with that company. Done and done.
Unfortunately, that's not always the case, so if you work with a recruiter or connect with hiring managers, make an effort to build a relationship with them. You might need to keep those lines open for future opportunities.
Mistake #5: Forgetting you have to actually search for a job
This might sound silly, but even though you have a ton of great experience, you'll probably still have to put some elbow grease into your job search. Recruiters and hiring managers aren't necessarily going to immediately flock to you.
Make sure you update your LinkedIn profile and get your resume on a senior-level status.
Mistake #6: Failing to research a company before the interview
Sure, you have a ton of knowledge of your industry, but don't skimp on researching a company before you interview. Interviewers want to see you have a strong understanding of their specific company, its values, and its mission.
Study the company's website, look through its LinkedIn page, and comb through Glassdoor information. Do a quick “Google News” search to see if it's been in any headlines lately, as well.
Mistake #7: Not recalling specific anecdotes
This is an honest mistake. You've spent years building a career, so when an interviewer asks you to recall a specific example, it might be difficult to think of just one. Spend some time before the interview running through sample questions and answers.
Need help preparing for your big interview? Our sister site, TopInterview, offers you the chance to work with professional interview coach!
Mistake #8: Tiptoeing in the digital sphere
You might've been with the same company for years and had no intentions looking for a new job.
Well, it's time to get with the times and build up your digital presence. Create a LinkedIn profile (or polish up the one you made years ago), join networking groups online, and tap into industry information through Facebook groups. Depending on your profession, consider investing in a personal website and portfolio. There are a ton of ways to stay connected online, so be sure you're taking advantage of your options.
Mistake #9: Not stepping out
Stepping out into the “real world” is just as important as establishing that digital footprint. Don't clam up and lean on LinkedIn to find your next job. Make an effort to attend networking events, say yes to coffee with recruiters and industry leaders, attend conferences, and even volunteer for a nonprofit. You never know who you'll meet.
Mistake #10: Becoming impatient
Although you do have a leg up when it comes to experience, you have to be just as patient as other job seekers. There's a whole pool of qualified C-level candidates out there, so temper your expectations and be realistic in your endeavors.
Remember: You've come this far in your career, so don't be afraid to hold out for the perfect opportunity.
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