7 CRUCIAL MISTAKES THAT EXECUTIVE LEVEL JOB SEEKERS NEED TO AVOID
There are a few types of executive level job seekers – those who haven’t been faced with the job search in 10 years or longer, those who have climbed the career ladder on their own by being loyal to employers/industries, and those who have relied on executive recruiters to transition from one job to another. Whatever the case, the job search has some similarities and differences for executives. It is very important to understand the job search process, and what it looks like at the executive level.
If you plan to navigate the job search yourself you might want to avoid some of the following mistakes:
BEING VAGUE ABOUT NEXT CAREER STEPS
As an executive, you have years of experience that has positioned you to be successful in just about anything (or so it may feel). However, it is important to know what kind of work you want to do, where you want to do it, and in what organizations. Having a clear idea of your next career steps can also help you develop a strong resume and cover letter, rather than something that tries to cover too many bases.
NOT HAVING A PROFESSIONAL ONLINE PRESENCE
Perhaps the biggest mistake of all job searchers is to not have a professional online presence. The lack of social networking skills may hurt your executive job search. Consider creating a LinkedIn or Twitter profile to begin branding yourself and highlighting your accomplishments for recruiters to easily access. Not to mention, social media is one of the quickest ways to network with professionals in your field.
FAILING TO COMMIT TIME TO THE JOB SEARCH
Remember the old adage “finding a job is a job”? Well, as an executive, it may take even longer to secure a position given your level of expertise and the smaller number of job openings at this level! Even if you are looking for work while you continue to work, it is important that you devote time in your busy schedule to your job search. Block off some time in your calendar to engage in networking activities.
APPLYING ONLY TO ADVERTISED JOBS
Typically, only 30% of job vacancies are actually advertised and once you achieve the executive level, it is likely that even fewer positions are advertised. Don’t forget to tap into the ‘hidden’ job market through social networking. Research companies of interest and connect with them via LinkedIn to develop relationships with the influential leaders of that company.
NEGLECTING YOUR CURRENT NETWORK
While you facilitate new connections, don’t forget to reach out to the entire network you have developed throughout your career. Let the people who you trust in your network know that you are seeking new challenges and they may provide you with leads or inform you of opportunities.
USING AN OLD RESUME OR COVER LETTER
It could be years since you needed a resume or cover letter. Your old information might not include your latest accomplishments and may seem outdated in style, format, and content. It is crucial to your job search to have a resume that looks the part. Update your resume and tailor your cover letters.
ASSUMING WHAT WORKED 10 TO 20 YEARS AGO WILL WORK TODAY
The way you went about finding your first job is going to look very different today! The Internet and technology has significantly impacted the job search process – from the way we search for jobs online to how we build social networks to find opportunities in the hidden job market. Some standards remain (i.e., resumes, cover letters, interviews) however the process of engaging in the job search has changed! Speaking to a career coach can help you understand the executive job search process, learn how to network more effectively, prepare for interviewing, and strategically plan your executive job search.