You’ve been working hard for years. You’ve got extensive experience and you’re extremely good at what you do. But that doesn’t mean you’re good at finding a new job.
In fact, you may be worse at it than someone who is right out of college because its probably been been years since you’ve had to peruse the want ads (and if you’re still calling them “want ads” you should DEFINITELY keep reading).
So what mistakes could you be making?
You’re networking all wrong!
For senior level leaders and executives, it's not all about the resume, but more about making connections and demonstrating your value to a company. How to do that?
I highly suggest participating in a panel discussion hosted by your alumni or industry association. Or even better: Organize a panel discussion yourself. In addition, speak at MeetUps, BNI groups and other community business events.
Speaking at these events and listening to other executives, allows you the opportunity to be surrounded by people who are at higher levels than yourself.
Your professional online profile isn’t up to date
The idea is to be updating your online profile, more specifically LinkedIn, every few months and then as well when you start a new job. Highlight not only what you've done in quantifiable ways, but what you'd love to be doing more of.
For example, if you want more leadership responsibility, highlight where you’ve lead successfully, and make sure ‘leadership’ is listed in your skills. And one of the biggest pitfalls executives fall into is not staying up-to-date on their skills. Recruiters will notice you online if your profile and skills are current.
You should also be using social media to stay current on trends, thought leaders, and events in your industry. Follow influencers online, share interesting articles and blog posts with your followers on social media, and make sure you're using a recent picture in your profile. But don't spend useless time on social media. Have a plan!
You assume the recruiter is your advocate
A headhunter or executive recruiter may have multiple candidates for a position—so they’re not necessarily focused on making sure that you land the job. You need to be firm with them and request specific feedback and demand timelines. Focus on building a relationship with them. Recruiters enjoy working with people who treat them with respect and build solid relationships with them. Plus, if they are working directly with the potential employer, the more they trust you and you trust them, the better opportunity you have to get the job.
You’re not asking the right questions and didn't consider the culture
At this stage in your career, when an interviewer asks you if you have any questions for her, don’t attempt the usual patter.
You need to be asking questions that regard to the culture. For example, ‘Why is this position vacant? Do you like working here? Is risk-taking encouraged, and what happens when people fail? Titles aside, who in the organization has the power to gets things done?
Remember, as we get older, we tend to settle more into our own temperament, so there’s less of a desire and less of an ability to adapt to a culture that’s very different from our own personality.
Pay attention to the corporate vibe as well as job statistics. Talk to people who work there. Research reviews on Glassdoor. You could even go as far as calling their customer service and seeing how they treat their customers!
Your resume has not been assessed
After gaining top-level experience and working your way up the corporate ladder you may find it easy to rely on the same resume you've been using for years. What you don't know is that you could be sending a completely different message than you intended by relying on obsolete buzzwords or it doesn't get through the automated tracking systems.
If you’re a leader and this is your time to make a change, let’s make sure you nail the effort. You’ve made it this far for a reason, and I’m guessing that’s because you kill it at what you do.
Now, let’s see to it that you kill it at the job search.