An executive job search can be exciting and stressful all at the same time. Like any job search, it can seem like you’re on a daily roller coaster of emotions until you finally land a job. If you take some strategic steps and avoid common mistakes, you’ll be able to reduce the length of your search. Using executive resume services is a good first step to get you on the right track, but before you do that, be sure to heed some of these common mistakes executives make with their job search.
1. Failing to Target Your Search
At first, it may seem like a good strategy to cast your net far and wide. However, this method doesn’t produce great results most of the time. The top resume writing services will suggest tailoring your resume to specific companies, rather than trying to write a general one. Resume targeting is a key aspect in an executive job search, but it’s also one of the things executives fail to do.
2. Not Networking
The days of sending in a resume online and getting a call for an interview the next day are virtually over. Executive resume services suggest handing your resumes to people in person at networking events, rather than replying to an online job post. The power of networking should never be underestimated, but you would be surprised at how many executives don’t see the importance.
3. Being Unprepared
Always be prepared, whether you’re networking or doing anything related to your job search. Being prepared means cleaning up your social media profiles, enhancing your online presence, visiting with executive resume writers and more. You need to be prepared if a potential employer decides to contact you.
4. Not Changing Strategies
Just like you have to adapt to the ever-changing business world, you have to change job search strategies occasionally also. Doing the same thing over and over again can get frustrating when you continue getting similar results. Be open to changing your executive job search strategy if you aren’t getting the results you desire.
5. Spending Too Much Time or Not Enough Time
Searching for an executive job is a full time job itself. However, just like an actual job, spending too much time or too little time doing it can lead to underperforming. Find a good balance and speak with executive resume services if you find yourself hitting a rut in your search.
Sometimes executive resume writers can help you avoid mistakes in your job search before you make them. Feel free to contact us with any questions about other mistakes to be aware of.
Resumes are hard work. As one of the leading teams of executive resume writers, we’ve witnessed this fact up close several times over and we understand. It’s tricky to know just how to market yourself and appeal to potential employers, regardless of what industry you’re in. To help make it easier, we’ve put together this list of potentially great additions to your resume that could be of interest to a recruiter!
Depending on what the job posting says, you may want to go into more detail with this section. Consider including how long you’ve utilized this particular skill in the workforce, as well as anything else that will help you look especially qualified, such as any related professional skills.
3. Details and Numbers
As a senior level professional, you’ve almost certainly heard of personal branding. Implementing it into your professional life, however, is a very different story. The idea of establishing and maintaining a personal brand is very new after all, having arrived on the coat tails of the Internet and the rest of today’s technology. If you’ve spent a considerable amount of time assuming c-level personal branding isn’t worth your time, you may want to reconsider! This is a very important aspect of your professional career, for a few significant reasons.
Personal Branding Sets You Apart
While this line sounds cliché, it is very much the truth. Consider these questions:
- How do you stack up against your competitors?
- Would your degree(s) be enough to convince companies to hire you instead of someone else?
Thousands of other people hold the exact same academic achievements as you. Plus, the longer you’ve been out of school, the less your academic career matters. It’s the sad reality that many people face.
Rather than focusing on this, look back on the other accomplishments you’ve earned within your field. Think about who you are as a executive and a person. Personal branding for senior level managers involves getting to the meat of these two concepts. It involves presenting your positive qualities and expertise in a way that appeals much more readily to those in charge of hiring you.
You’ll Experience a Quality Jump with Your Job Search
Naturally, focusing on your skills and personal talents boosts your own self image. This means you will become far less likely to settle for just any position that matches your skill set. You will gradually start to approach your job search in a different way as your personal brand gains more and more attention. Once this happens, it will enable you to think about what you really want from a company and what conditions you are not willing to deal with.
As a result, you will start to push forward with your professional life and only accept those who meet your newfound standards. If the idea of constant professional growth appeals to you, then you’ll want to put together your personal brand as soon as possible.
Your Personal Brand Gains You More Benefits and Professional Success
Simply put, a personal brand boosts your chances of being hired. It creates a clear picture of your strengths and what you can offer a company, which will appeal quickly to employers. If you’re currently struggling with your job search, a personal brand may help you finally find the position you’ve been so diligently seeking in ways you could never have anticipated!
Everyone who has written a resume knows the difficulties involved: listing out all of your adequate experiences and education, figuring out the most efficient way to format and, most importantly, doing all of this in a way that will catch the attention of any prospective employers. This is a challenge for every job seeker and especially so for those on opposite ends of the spectrum. For people with little experience, it’s a matter of not having enough things to list. For those in executive positions, there’s often too much. If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably part of the latter group. In this blog article, we’ve compiled a list of great tips to help executive resume writers craft the best possible resume.
Put Any Academic Information Last
This is only relevant for position candidates who have also recently graduated from school. It is also worth noting if you’re going to list where you went to school, your university is the only relevant information needed. If it’s been a while since you graduated, your work experience takes much larger priority.
Give Recruiters Access to Your LinkedIn or Similar Profile
There’s a high possibility your potential employer will want to see it in the first place. We recommend taking this step to prevent any confusion that could arise if a recruiter tries to search for you on their own.
Don’t Include Footers or Headers
It’s certainly pretty, but it can easily confuse most systems used for tracking applicants. The same goes for charts and other graphic elements people use for aesthetic purposes.
Keep Things Consistent
This is especially useful for those with common full names. You may want to go by a nickname, use your middle name or some similar method to help distinguish yourself. Whatever you decide, make sure you use it across every professional social media account you have to make yourself as easy to find as possible.
Keep Images Out of Your Resume
This goes for any kind of graphic, from graphs to portraits of yourself. Much like using headers, this can be confusing for the company’s tracking system for applicants. Using pictures of yourself presents other, more unfortunate problems as well, such as hiring discrimination. You want to give yourself as fair a chance as possible.
Always Provide an “Elevator Pitch”
This is of vital importance to executive resume writers. When you create an elevator pitch, you’re telling your prospective employer how you can benefit their company, why you’re interested in working with them and about your specific skills and talents. This section should be no longer than five sentences and no shorter than three, about a 30 second-long read.
Additionally, if you need a little extra help making your resume the best it can be, hire only the best executive resume writing service. They can help you revamp your application process in multiple ways, whether through resume advice or a cover letter writing service.
In a sea of social-networking sites that are primarily useful for, well, socializing, LinkedIn is a breath of fresh air for professionals. When you are active on this social-networking site, you’re not just wasting time creating and reading pointless postings. You’re improving your marketability as a job candidate, making valuable job-seeking connections, and increasing the odds of discovering or getting your next lucrative job.
Your LinkedIn Profile is Like Your Personal Brand
If you are looking for an executive level job, it is imperative that you optimize LinkedIn profile appeal so you will generate more profile views. The more people who view your profile, the higher the odds that the right person will view it. There’s really no point even being on LinkedIn if your profile is incomplete, lacks important keywords and has a paltry network of connections.
Ever Heard of “Social Selling?”
The concept of social selling is relatively new, but it’s important if you’re trying to market yourself. Essentially, social selling involves building up a strong reputation (selling yourself) as an expert in your chosen field by being an active participant in social media (particularly LinkedIn). Every aspect of your LinkedIn profile, including your headline, photo, connections, executive bio and summary, should be crafted with care and to elicit a specific response should a potential employer view it.
How Should You Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile?
Now that you understand the importance of optimizing your LinkedIn profile, you’re probably wondering exactly how to do that. By far the smartest way to go is to partner with a skilled and experienced LinkedIn profile writing service. When you are looking for an executive position, you can’t afford to take risks with something as critical as your LinkedIn profile. Certified resume writers at a LinkedIn profile writing service know how to use keywords effectively, add rich media that will generate attention, strategically organize a skill list to appeal to hiring authorities and more.
It’s always a wise move (and one that will save you time and anxiety) to outsource things not in your wheel house to someone who specializes in them. When your car needs an oil change, you could probably muddle through and do the job yourself. But you likely opt for the smart alternative and take your car to your auto repair shop. The same holds true for writing a resume, cover letter, executive bio and LinkedIn profile. If you have a computer, you could sit down and create these documents yourself. But if you trust a pro to do the job, these important components of your job search will probably be exponentially stronger than what you could create on your own.
Building resumes that get you hired can feel like an insurmountable task. It can be difficult to determine which information is essential and what is better left unsaid. Below are some resume “don’ts”:
If you look at resume examples for lower level jobs, you will see an objective line at the top that details the goals of the individual. When it comes to executive level resumes, however, this section is unnecessary. Applying for the job indicates your goal. Instead, consider writing an executive summary that succinctly details your achievements.
Too Many Details
In the case of resumes, less is often more. You don’t need to list every employer you’ve had since your first job. Instead, focus on only the jobs that lend skills for the job in question. Consider focusing on one or two areas in which you have made the biggest impact in your career.
Professional executive resume writers emphasize leaving out the personal details of your life. Your resume is not the place to list your age, personal interests, relationship status, hobbies, school GPA or other details considered personal. This includes providing a photo. You want to make the first impression in person.
If you’re used to putting your references in your resume or even including the phrase, “references available upon request,” reconsider it. If the company you are interviewing with wants to talk to references, they will ask for them without prompting.
An Unprofessional Email Address
One of the best parts of a personal email address is you can let your creativity shine. However, it’s best to make sure the email address you include in the contact information on your resume is professional. Instead of using your cutesy personal email address, set up a special account for your job hunt that includes your first name, last name, initials or a combination of these.
Current Employer Information
When you’re dealing with executive-level positions, you don’t want to be contacted at work when you’re looking for a new position. For this reason, it’s best to leave off contact information related to your current job. Likewise, it’s best to forgo listing salary information on your resume. Your goal is to promote your skills, not your monetary worth.
The best executive writing services can help you re-evaluate your resume and eliminate the unnecessary information that could cost you the positions for which you’ve applied. Learning how to create resumes that get you hired will be an invaluable tool as you make your way up the corporate ladder.
If you’re looking for professional executive resume writers to help you polish your C-level resume, contact us. We can help you start from the beginning to develop an attractive, yet concise resume, including why you would be an asset to an employer. We can also evaluate your current resume and eliminate the unnecessary details causing more harm than good as you seek the ideal career path.
Recently, I was honored to be among industry experts discussing current trends in resumes and cover letters on a Mashable Biz Chat. Tracy Edouard, Marketing and Communication at Mashable, gives us the highlights of Mashable’s #BizChats Twitter chat on how to transform your resume and cover letter for the better and you can see different professional perspectives on these questions:
- Is it important to have both a cover letter and resume when submitting job applications? Why or why not?
- How can someone truly make their resume stand out from the competition?
- What features are important to showcase on someone’s resume? (GPA, school, skills, etc.)
- What are employers and recruiters looking for in resumes and cover letters?
- What are the biggest cover-letter mistakes professionals are making?
- How important is design when it comes to creating a resume and cover letter?
- What are the top resources available for resume and cover letter support?
- What final tips do you have about creating great resumes and cover letters?
These are all good questions. And the input from the various professionals involved is valuable without a doubt. But do you know what the most striking thing about this Twitter chat is?
There Isn’t An Excuse For An Ineffective Resume & Cover Letter
We have the ability to pull experts from all over the place for a chance to pick their brains. Every expert tweeting is linked to a site with a wealth of information, and there is no reason a job seeker with access to an expert can’t get expert advice. Much of that advice is free, too!
The overwhelming consensus is that you can have an effective resume and cover letter by putting the right effort into it. Sometimes that effort involves doing the research on current trends and revamping it yourself, sometimes it takes a resume critique from a professional to help you see what needs to be done, and sometimes your best investment is in a professional resume service.
The help you need to have a powerful resume and cover letter is out there and you can find it easily, along with a wealth of career advice from experts in your field.
Sometimes, the difference between a job application that makes an employer say, “Wow!” and one that makes an employer say, “Whoa…skip that one” is a simple mistake that is easy to avoid. In a recent Daily Worth article, Natasha Burton looks at 9 common job application mistakes that can cause that application to get tossed. Her list is:
- not following instructions
- applying for “any” position
- sloppy grammar
- outdated resume
- listing responsibilities instead of what you accomplished
- over-the-top resume
- passive voice & too many skills
- unsolicited salary requirements
- inappropriate cover letter/email
Pay Attention To The Details
Every single item on this list could be avoided if the applicant is paying attention to detail. It’s pretty easy to go into an automatic zone when you are submitting a lot of applications, but that’s when the mistakes happen. Electronic job applications, for instance, are increasingly common and can put everything in the wrong box if you aren’t careful.
Handwritten applications are still being used, and that means your handwriting has to be legible. Is it? Hard-to-read scrawls are one big reason a good candidate goes un-interviewed. Slow down and write clearly if you are asked to fill out an application by hand.
Many times, it feels redundant to fill out an application when you have all that information on your resume. But often, an employer will use it to cross-check your information. It’s a good idea to have a copy of your resume — the updated one you submitted — so that the details are easy to access. Nobody remembers all the little details of a job history without help, and why add stress to your life? It’s easy to have your resume along and use that to fill in the application quickly.
Probably, the most important mistake to avoid is not following instructions. If you have a tendency to skim quickly and assume you caught the gist, slow down and make sure you also catch the details that could change the way you do things.
Some of us liked math class, and some of us did not (I am in the latter group). But like it or not, numbers are essential in your career, from resume to retirement and everywhere in between. Job performance numbers are particularly useful for at least three reasons:
- they look good on your resume
- they help with salary negotiations
- and they give you confidence
Performance Numbers Validate Your Resume
When you can state that your work for a past employer resulted in a 15% increase in sales, that is an authoritative statement. It had better be a true statement that you can back up with more information, too! The fact is. illustrating your success with hard numbers always gets a good ROI on your resume because it is specific proof of your worth. Employers looking for a good return on their investment in hiring you will be impressed.
Performance Numbers Bolster Your Salary
When you come into a salary negotiation equipped with the numbers showing your worth, you have a powerful argument for getting a raise or added benefits. You have provided the company with more profit and are worthy of a bigger wage. Again, the numbers need to be backed with additional information so it can be verified if questions come up. If you are due for a salary increase, be prepared to bolster your claims with the numbers to prove it.
Performance Numbers Boost Your Confidence
When you are keeping track of what you do at work and the difference that it makes, there’s a record of your valuable input. Even something as simple as attendance means you were on the job — and if you are tracking all the numbers of your particular job you should see which numbers will be valuable for your resume and salary negotiations. You will also begin to see indications and trends in your personal work habits and opportunities that will help you establish goals.
Keeping track of your own job performance numbers puts you in control of your own career.
Are you one of those people who talk when they are nervous? It’s pretty easy to do — and very damaging to your career if you don’t learn how to control it. That old adage about having two ears and one mouth so you can listen twice as much as you talk is actually good advice for every part of your working world, from the interview to get the job to the moves into management and executive leadership.
The Big Mistake You Can Make
When you sit down for an interview, one of the big questions in the interviewer’s mind is what you will be like to work with. It’s a valid question because most jobs do involve some level of teamwork. So in order to answer the big questions, the way you answer smaller questions is observed. Speaking without listening is a red flag because it indicates that since you don’t listen here, in the job interview, you won’t listen later, on the job.
If you are rehearsing your “hire me” job spiel in your head, waiting for the chance to present it, then you aren’t going to be hearing the questions they ask. You’ll be answering the questions you think they will ask — and that is not the same thing at all.
It is a good preparation tactic to think through questions that may be asked in an interview. But that’s not a script you are rehearsing, and the interview may not involve those questions at all. It’s better to make sure you actually hear what is being asked so you can answer the question.
The Leadership Skill of Listening
One of the reasons that the skill of listening is a mark of leadership is because truly hearing what people are saying gives added perspective to a problem so it can be solved. Listening is a mark of respect for the speaker, and true leaders value those on their team as important contributors. Learning how to listen is part of honing your interview skills, but being able to listen and contribute value to the conversation by being on the same page is a skill you will need all your life.