How To Deal With Imposter Syndrome for Executives

Career & WorkplaceSuccess Strategies
Journal open with a pen and marker resting on a page that reads "am I good enough" in hand written lettering by someone dealing with imposter syndrome

“Am I good enough?” I hear that question from highly successful and qualified executives more than you’d think.

Why?  Imposter syndrome.

In the grand theater of life, imposter syndrome is an uninvited guest that often sneaks into the front row, casting shadows on our achievements and robbing us of the applause we deserve. If you’ve ever doubted your own success, felt undeserving of your accomplishments, or lived in constant fear of being exposed as a fraud, then you’re not alone. I suffer from it sometimes as well.

In the high-stakes arena of trailblazing executives, imposter syndrome can loom even larger. As this is something we see more than you’d think, I’ll unravel the enigma of imposter syndrome, especially for those navigating the executive landscape. Without any further ado, let’s pull back the curtains and let the show begin. 

Understanding Imposter Syndrome

Before fully diving into tips on how to deal with imposter syndrome, let’s break down what it’s like to suffer from it. Imagine achieving monumental feats, only to hear a voice in your head whisper, “You don’t belong here.”

Welcome to the world of imposter syndrome.

This psychological phenomenon affects high-achievers, making them question their competence despite concrete evidence of success. It’s like having a persistent internal critic who scoffs at accomplishments, attributing them to luck rather than capability. This syndrome thrives on self-doubt, undermining confidence and shattering self-worth. 

For executives, imposter syndrome can be particularly insidious. It latches onto the immense responsibilities and expectations that come with executive roles, casting doubt on leadership capabilities and strategic decisions. Basically, high achievers are usually continually striving to learn and grow. Therefore, they are fully aware of what they don’t know. On the flip side, underachievers are less likely to suffer from imposter syndrome because they are content in their knowledge – they don’t know what they don’t know. 

Recognizing the Signs of Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome has a knack for masquerading as humility. Humility is good though, right? The difference between humility and imposter syndrome is: humility is based on an accurate assessment of one’s own incapabilities. Whereas imposter syndrome stems from a feeling of inadequacy in spite of proof otherwise. It thrives on self-effacement and can lead to self-sabotage. Signs can range from overworking to compensate for perceived inadequacies to downplaying accomplishments to colleagues, setting unrealistic goals, and even burnout. In the senior executive world, it might also manifest as a reluctance to step into leadership roles due to a nagging fear of not measuring up.

Strategies to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Does any of this sound familiar? Have you heard that nagging voice telling you that you’re not good enough and don’t belong? You’re certainly not alone. Let’s jump into some tips on what you can do to quiet that inner monologue. 

Cultivating Self-Awareness and Reflection

Peeling away the layers of imposter syndrome begins with self-awareness. It’s about acknowledging your feelings of self-doubt and scrutinizing their origins. An effective technique is journaling, where you chronicle your achievements (both professionally and personally), no matter how insignificant they might seem. Reflecting on your journey helps build a solid foundation of self-belief. This will also help you develop a positive mindset. Challenge negative self-talk by replacing it with positive affirmations. We all experience setbacks. Don’t let imposter syndrome tell you that yours proves your inadequacies. 

Embracing Achievements and Positive Feedback

Take a pause and bask in the glory of your accomplishments. Train yourself to accept compliments and positive feedback without brushing them aside. They’re not random nods; they’re testaments to your hard work and expertise. Owning your achievements is a giant stride towards silencing the imposter syndrome’s voice. It’s OK to be proud of yourself. It is your right. 

Setting Realistic Goals and Expectations

Executives often bear the weight of unattainable expectations, both real and perceived. By setting realistic, achievable goals, you can defuse the ticking bomb of self-doubt. Aim high, but don’t set yourself up for failure by pursuing perfection. 

Seeking Mentorship and Professional Support

Mentorship is a powerful antidote to imposter syndrome. Engage with mentors who have danced with self-doubt and emerged victorious. Their insights and guidance can provide much-needed perspective. They’ve navigated the treacherous waters of executive careers and can offer a reassuring hand.

Embracing Continuous Learning

Believe it or not, imposter syndrome thrives on stagnation. It says to you, “See? I told you that you weren’t [good, smart, skilled] enough for that promotion.” Combat that voice by embracing continuous learning and skill development. Stay updated with industry trends and advancements. By acquiring new skills, you not only enhance your expertise but also disrupt the imposter syndrome’s narrative.

Celebrating Progress and Success

Amidst the whirlwind of executive life, pause to acknowledge your journey! Celebrate your milestones, no matter how incremental. Each accomplishment is a brushstroke on your canvas of success. By celebrating progress, you silence the self-doubting whispers. So pop that champagne, have that nice dinner, or do whatever you do to treat yourself. You deserve it! 

Imposter syndrome might be a formidable opponent, but it’s not invincible. By understanding its mechanics, recognizing its signs, and employing proactive strategies, executives can vanquish its grip. If it all feels too overwhelming, please feel free to reach out. I’ve been there! But for now, remember this. Mastering imposter syndrome isn’t just about personal triumph – it’s about sculpting a confident, unapologetic professional executive identity. Through introspection, positivity, and professional support, you can stride into your executive role with head held high, leaving the shadows of self-doubt behind.


Is Your LinkedIn Profile Executive Enough?

Smart phone on a desk open to LinkedIn with sunlight coming in from the window in the background - How to create a executive-level LinkedIn profile

One question I get often is: just how important is it to optimize my LinkedIn profile? Short answer: very! In today’s fast-paced professional landscape, LinkedIn has emerged as a critical platform for executives seeking to enhance their online presence and attract valuable opportunities. As an executive-level professional, your LinkedIn profile should serve as a powerful tool to showcase your skills, achievements, and unique value proposition to potential employers and industry leaders. In this blog post, I’ll help you explore the significance of an executive-level LinkedIn profile and provide valuable insights to help you optimize your online presence effectively.

The Power of LinkedIn for Executives

There’s no doubt that LinkedIn has transformed the way executives approach job searches and networking. With over 900 million users worldwide, including top-tier executives, this platform offers unparalleled opportunities for professional growth and visibility. As an executive, your LinkedIn profile is more than just an online resume—it’s a dynamic platform to demonstrate your professional capabilities, industry knowledge, and thought leadership.

A well-optimized LinkedIn profile allows you to position yourself as a sought-after executive, attracting the attention of influential decision-makers and potential employers. By leveraging LinkedIn strategically, you can establish yourself as an innovator in your industry, build meaningful connections, and open doors to unadvertised executive opportunities that you may otherwise miss out on.

Key Elements of an Executive-Level LinkedIn Profile

These facts are all well and good, but how do you actually make that happen? Let’s dive in. To create an executive-level LinkedIn profile that stands out among the crowd, I’d like to call out some of the key elements of your LinkedIn profile.

1. Professional Headline and Summary

Your professional headline and summary are the first things visitors see when they land on your LinkedIn profile. These sections must be compelling and tailored to highlight your executive expertise, unique strengths, and career objectives. When writing this headline, we believe in focusing on crafting attention-grabbing headlines and impactful summaries that leave a lasting impression. There are 220 available characters–use them!

2. Showcase Executive Achievements and Impact

As an executive, your track record of accomplishments is invaluable. Use your LinkedIn profile to showcase your professional achievements and focus on those that demonstrate your ability to drive measurable results. Describe how your leadership has positively impacted organizations, teams, and bottom-line outcomes. Be sure to think about what potential employers are looking for and what sets you apart from the rest.

3. Optimizing Experience and Skills Sections

The experience and skills sections of your LinkedIn profile are critical components as well. Structure your experience section to effectively present your executive roles, responsibilities, and career progression. Emphasize leadership achievements and initiatives that set you apart from other candidates. It is important to optimize your LinkedIn profile to ensure that your professional journey resonates with the executive opportunities you are seeking.
Make sure you fill out all 50 skills (pinning your top 3) for optimal results.

4. Leveraging Recommendations and Endorsements

Recommendations and endorsements from colleagues, superiors, and clients add credibility to your LinkedIn profile. It’s one thing when you claim you’re good at something, it’s even more powerful when this claim is backed up by somebody else. Positive endorsements highlight your skills and expertise, reinforcing your executive brand. Consider leaving them for others. I bet they’ll reciprocate!

5. Maintaining a Consistent and Professional Brand

I say this a lot, and today is no exception: consistency is key when it comes to building a professional brand. Ensure that your LinkedIn profile aligns seamlessly with your executive resume and other professional branding efforts while still staying true to yourself. A cohesive brand message across all platforms strengthens your executive identity and enhances your credibility in the eyes of potential employers.

Building a Strong Executive Network on LinkedIn

Building a strong, optimized profile is only one part of a strong LinkedIn strategy. LinkedIn is all about networking, after all, and the importance of networking can’t be overstated. I’ve found that a robust executive network on LinkedIn can significantly impact your career trajectory. Here are two essential strategies we recommend to grow your connections and visibility:

1. Expanding Connections with Industry Leaders

Don’t be shy! Reach out to and connect with influential professionals and industry leaders to expand your network. Engage with their content, share your insights, and establish genuine relationships. We’ve all heard the old adage: “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” LinkedIn is an excellent tool to aid in growing that circle of people that you “know.” In today’s digital age, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never met your connections in person.

2. Joining and Engaging in Executive Groups

Participating in executive-focused LinkedIn groups allows you to engage with peers, share knowledge, and build meaningful relationships. Showcase your expertise by actively participating in discussions and providing valuable insights.

As an executive-level professional, a well-optimized LinkedIn profile is an invaluable asset in your career toolkit. It’s crucial to take advantage of LinkedIn’s vast potential to showcase your executive skills, achievements, and unique value proposition. If all this seems a bit overwhelming, that’s what we are here for! We’re dedicated to helping executives like you optimize their LinkedIn profiles and unlock exciting opportunities. Please feel free to reach out with any questions! If you haven’t already, it’s time to embrace the power of LinkedIn, elevate your executive brand, and drive your career success.

Am I Being Ghosted? Real Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting a Callback After Applying for a Job

Job Search
Frustrated business man with head resting on crossed arms on desk staring at open laptop awaiting callback for executive job position

If you have spent any amount of time in today’s job market, you likely understand the frustration that comes from sending your resume and application into the great oblivion that is the internet and never hearing back. It’s such a common scenario, that we’ve gotten feedback from many job seekers who are excited to even receive an email informing them that the company has gone in a different direction. “At least this means that somebody saw my application!” If any of this sounds familiar, you’ve fallen prey to the all too common phenomenon that is job application ghosting, and I am here to help! In this blog post, I will delve into the reasons behind why you are not getting a callback after applying for a job – 👻 aka getting ghosted – and offer valuable insights to help you improve your chances of receiving that coveted callback for your dream job position.

Common Reasons for Job Application Ghosting:

Competitive Job Market and High Volume of Applications

The executive job market is highly competitive, with numerous qualified (and unqualified, for that matter) candidates vying for limited positions. I think employers are often overwhelmed by the volume of resumes they receive, making it challenging for them to respond to every candidate. To stand out from the crowd, it’s essential to have a resume that captures attention, showcases your unique value proposition, and why you are the most qualified for that position.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Challenges

Applicant Tracking Systems play a crucial role in the initial applicant screening process. These automated systems scan resumes for relevant keywords and qualifications. To optimize your resume for ATS compatibility, it’s important to carefully tailor your cover letter, resume, and LinkedIn profile (if applicable) by strategically incorporating keywords that are applicable to your desired executive position. Need help navigating the ATS landscape? That’s what I’m here for! Feel free to reach out.

Lack of Tailoring and Customization

Another common reason for job application ghosting is the failure to tailor your resume to the specific job requirements. I discussed the importance of adding relevant keywords for the sake of ATS, but the tailoring goes behind that. Employers are looking for candidates who demonstrate a clear alignment between their skills and the job description. By customizing your resume for each application, highlighting relevant experiences, and addressing specific job requirements, you significantly increase your chances of getting noticed by the human beings who will actually do the hiring.

Weak or Inconsistent Branding

Finally, your personal brand plays a crucial role in executive-level job applications. When an employer receives and views your application and resume, it’s highly likely that they will do some research on you. This is especially the case if you are applying for an executive role. It is very important that what they find matches your professional resume and application. A weak or inconsistent personal brand can hinder your chances of getting a callback. It’s important to carefully develop and consistently communicate your personal brand through your resume and online presence.

Strategies to Improve Callback Chances

Now that we’ve discussed some of the most common reasons you may be getting ghosted by potential employers, let’s talk about some practical steps you can take to improve your callback chances.

Networking and Personal Connections

Networking is a powerful tool in today’s job market. Building and leveraging professional connections can open doors to opportunities that may not be advertised publicly. It’s crucial to actively engage in networking activities, both online and offline, and align your resume with your networking efforts. LinkedIn is an excellent resource for online networking that can showcase your talents and personality and has worked well for many of our clients. By integrating networking strategies with your resume, you can increase your visibility and referral potential.

Following Up Appropriately

Following up after submitting a job application can demonstrate your enthusiasm and professionalism. However, it’s important to approach follow-up with tact and precision. Craft a professional follow-up message that expresses your continued interest in the position without appearing pushy.

Professional Resume Writing Services

One highly effective strategy to increase your callback chances is to enlist the services of professional resume writers. Professional resume writing services offer expertise in crafting high-quality executive resumes that leave a lasting impression. With a deep understanding of the intricacies of executive-level applications, ATS, and what employers are looking for, experienced writers can effectively tailor your resume to showcase your unique skills and achievements.

There is no doubt that job application ghosting is an extremely frustrating and discouraging part of the job search, but understanding the reasons behind it can help you take proactive steps to improve your callback chances. Tailoring your resume, optimizing it for ATS compatibility, strengthening your personal branding, leveraging networking, and following up appropriately are all essential components of a successful job search strategy. By utilizing these tips (and more), I have seen much success in overcoming the ghosts of dream-jobs past, present, and future!

Should I use ChatGPT for Executive Resume Writing?

Resume Writing
laptop open to chatgpt screen to write a resume with cup of coffee on a desk

There is no doubt that Artificial Intelligence software such as ChatGPT has infiltrated many aspects of life as we know it in both the professional and educational sectors. With its rapid development and improvements in writing, many are using it to write emails, social media captions, and even term papers and essays with mixed results. It’s natural to wonder, “if ChatGPT can do all these things, can it write my executive resume for me?” In this post, we will explore the positives and negatives of using AI like ChatPGT for resume writing. Read on to fully understand its capabilities as well as its limitations so that your resume is best suited for you and your dream job.

Can ChatGPT Actually Write a Resume?

The simple answer to the question is yes. Technically, ChatGPT is capable of writing a resume. However, like most things in life, the simple answer is not always the complete answer. When using AI language technology it is important to remember that at its heart, it is a computer program. With computer programming, there is an old adage: garbage in, garbage out. This applies here. Responses generated will only be as good as the prompts you put in. So if you are going to use ChatGPT as your executive resume writer and builder, be sure your prompts are as thorough as possible. Otherwise, you’ll be generating a whole lot of, well… garbage. Remember: just because something can be done, doesn’t necessarily mean it should be done. We’ve seen it with clients who’ve used it to write their resumes.

The Pros And Cons of ChatGPT for Executive and Senior-Level Resumes

Now that we’ve established that AI language tools are ready and willing to write your resume, let’s get into it. Should they? In order to help you from falling into the common pitfalls of resume writing, we’ll break down the positives and negatives of using ChatGPT for this service.

Pros of AI Resume Writing

1. Convenience and Accessibility

The free version of ChatGPT is readily available for everyone. All it takes is a quick Google search and an email address for the account, and then you are off to the races. The AI software is ready to hear your prompts and give you its best responses.

2. Content Generated Quickly

Similarly, once you have an account set up with OpenAI, ChatGPT will generate a response in mere seconds which is undeniably quicker than any human could accomplish.

3. Cost-Effective

Let’s be real. Who doesn’t like a free service? The standard version of ChatGPT is available to anyone with an email address. In today’s economy with inflation on the rise, this positive cannot be ignored.

4. High Chance of Passing the Applicant Tracking System

More and more companies are utilizing Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) in their hiring process. ATS is a computer software designed to scan resumes for certain keywords and weed out the ones that don’t match. Since many of these ATS are supported by AI algorithms, it’s likely that your AI resume will pass that initial screening.

Cons of AI Resume Writing

1. Lack of Human Expertise and Insight

When prompting ChatGPT to write an executive-level resume, it will scour the internet for data on how to do this. This can often include incorrect and outdated information. When hiring a professional resume writer, you can rest assured that he or she is educated and up-to-date on all the current best practices for resume writing. This includes tools to pass the applicant tracking systems, industry-specific knowledge of executive-level requirements, important keywords, and more.

2. Limited Personalization and Customization

Part of resume writing 101 is to tailor your resume for individual strengths as well as job-specific requirements. It is possible for ChatGPT to accomplish this quickly, but it will not always be accomplished effectively. Hiring managers are becoming more adept at recognizing the generic verbiage of a resume written with AI. I know I can spot one a mile away. When hiring a professional to write your resume for you, he or she will be sure to highlight your skills, achievements, and experiences in a way that represents you. This human connection could be the difference between you and the other dozens or even hundreds of resumes received by the employer.

3. Formatting and Design Challenges

We have already discussed thoroughly that ChatGPT is able to spit out written content quickly. What we have not discussed is that the content of your resume, while obviously extremely important, is not the whole of the resume. It is important for a resume to be visually appealing while remaining well-structured for ease of communication. ChatGPT will struggle with knowing how to best structure the information and will have no knowledge of the design and layout. On the contrary, a professional resume writer will have the knowledge and skillset to seamlessly create a beautiful and effective resume to help you stand out amongst your peers.

4. Complex Prompts Needed for Accurate Information

As mentioned earlier, ChatGPT is only as good as the prompts it is given (garbage in, garbage out). It will even go so far as hallucinating in order to fill in the information it doesn’t know. It will make up information about your job history, skillset, achievements, etc. to fill in the blanks left from a vague prompt. That said, you may end up spending so much time figuring out the best prompt for an accurate resume that it negates the speed at which AI language tools can create content.

Let a Professional Write Your Resume and Get Noticed By Employers Faster

Technology is all around us, and it is advancing at a rate of speed that is almost incomprehensible. The capabilities of Artificial Intelligence tools like ChatGPT are not to be ignored. However, we need to remember to treat them as such: tools. If you needed to pound a nail into a wall, you wouldn’t reach for a spoon. You would reach for a hammer. Similarly, ChatGPT can be a great tool, but not for resume writing. While it has some perceived advantages such as cost, speed, and accessibility, the cost of using it to build your resume could cost you your dream job. By utilizing a professional resume writing service, you gain the advantage of human expertise and insight, personalized attention to showcase your unique skills, and a polished and impactful design, all without the need for guesswork.

If you are looking to polish your resume and finally get that callback you’ve been waiting for, turn to the professionals with human intelligence rather than the computers with artificial intelligence. We would love the opportunity to work with you on your job-hunting journey. If you are interested in reliable, professional, and personal resume writing services, let’s chat, and we can come up with a plan that works for you.