Embarking on the journey to secure an executive-level position is no small feat. It’s a path paved with ambition, years of hard work, and an unquenchable thirst for success. However, this journey often takes unexpected turns, including rejection and failure. In this post, I want to delve into a reality that many executives face but rarely discuss openly – the inevitability of rejection and failure in the executive job search process. I like to remind my clients that though these challenges feel like roadblocks at the time, in the long run, they are essential stepping stones toward their ultimate career goals.
The Reality of the Executive Job Search
The executive job market is an arena of fierce competition and unique demands. It’s a realm where qualifications, experience, and expertise are merely the entry tickets, not the guarantees. Executive roles often come with stringent requirements, and the search for the perfect fit can be daunting. The reality is that rejection and failure are not exclusive to those who lack skills; they can happen to even the most accomplished professionals. Recognizing this is the first step in navigating this complex landscape.
Understanding and Managing Rejection
Rejection isn’t just about professional setbacks; it can take a toll on your emotions and confidence. It’s natural to feel disheartened and discouraged when you’re turned away from a position you’ve set your sights on. To cope with rejection and maintain confidence, consider strategies like seeking support from your network, focusing on your accomplishments, and practicing self-compassion. These emotional coping mechanisms are vital in the executive job search journey. Keep an accomplishments journal (or create one) with your wins and if you’re feeling down, review the successes you’ve had.
Dealing with these emotions is no easy task – rejection can be a bitter pill to swallow! But it’s also a powerful teacher. When coveted executive roles slip through your fingers, it’s essential to view them as an opportunity for growth. Rejection often comes with valuable feedback, shedding light on areas where you can improve. Whether it’s a missing skillset or a specific qualification, these insights can guide your efforts to become a stronger candidate.
Embracing Failure While Searching For Executive Roles
Failure is often portrayed as the opposite of success, but in reality, it’s an integral part of the journey towards it. Many (if not all) successful executives have faced setbacks and failures along the way. These experiences, while painful, can serve as stepping stones to greater achievements. They offer lessons that cannot be learned any other way. The old adage “sometimes you just have to learn the hard way” is true for a reason. Embrace that and remember that you’re not alone in this experience.
Navigating failure also helps develop your resilience. The ability to bounce back from adversity stronger than before is a quality that every executive needs in their toolkit. When failure knocks on your door, resilience is your shield. Strategies for building resilience include cultivating a growth mindset, seeking support from mentors, and staying focused on your long-term goals. Resilience doesn’t eliminate failure, but it equips you to rise above it.
Strategies for Navigating Rejection and Failure
Continuous Learning and Adaptation
Staying current in your field is not only a professional necessity but also a strategic move to reduce rejection. The job market constantly evolves, and executives who adapt to these changes are more likely to succeed. Continuous learning and adapting to market trends can make you a more attractive candidate. Additionally, having a plan for continuing education regardless of the amount of rejection faced while on your executive job search will give you a purpose and boost your confidence.
Seeking Feedback and Mentorship
After a rejection, don’t hesitate to seek feedback! Understanding why you were not selected will provide valuable insights for improvement. Take that feedback and add it to your plan of continuing education. Mentorship also plays a critical role in gaining guidance and perspective from experienced professionals who have navigated similar challenges. Reach out to people who have been in your shoes and come out the other side. LinkedIn is a great tool for connecting to those in executive roles for guidance.
Perseverance and Tenacity
In the face of rejection and failure, perseverance is your most valuable weapon. Keep your eyes on your goals, stay motivated, and remember that setbacks are not permanent! The ability to persevere is often what sets successful executives apart from the rest.
In the executive job search process, rejection and failure are not signs of inadequacy; they are part of the journey. Embrace them as opportunities to learn and grow. I understand the complexities of the executive job market and am here to support you every step of the way. Always remember this: rejection and failure are not roadblocks; they are the stepping stones that will lead you to your next executive success.
One of the worst things anyone can do when searching for a new job is sending in resumes randomly. Not only will the chances of landing an interview at one of those companies be very low, but it’s only going to prolong the job search process. Taking the time to prepare for a job search is well worth your time. It could even be valuable to visit an executive resume writer a few times to brush up your resume and get some tips on how to present it to potential employers. Here are some tips for preparing for your job search.
Personal Branding is Important
As much as employers want to know what hard skills you bring to the table, they also want to know your soft skills. A lot of this comes from c-level personal branding and can be a major factor in setting yourself apart from the competition. Your personal brand comes from your interactions with people, how you are perceived online, via social media and more. When you focus on c-level personal branding, your job search will fall into place more easily.
Do You Know What You’re Looking For?
It’s difficult to reach a goal if you don’t have a target to aim for. You don’t necessarily have to have a specific list of companies you wish to work for, but it’s important to know what you’re looking for in a company. Whether it’s the culture, the type of work they do, how you want to contribute to the growth or anything else, finding what makes you a good fit for any given company can help you narrow down and target specific companies.
Evaluate Your LinkedIn Profile
Nowadays, employers and HR managers are going to look at your LinkedIn profile when they see your resume. It may be worth your time to visit a LinkedIn profile writing service to ensure yours demonstrates your c-level personal branding clearly and doesn’t include anything that could potentially damage your chances of landing an interview. LinkedIn is an important tool for people searching for a job, so make sure your profile is cleaned up and ready to be viewed.
Start Networking Early
It’s never too early to start networking. Even if you currently have a job and may be considering a new job search soon, networking now could get your foot in the door for your next opportunity. Meeting with an executive resume writer first could be valuable, just to ensure your resume is as current as possible and optimized for success. Professional Resume Services enjoys helping executives with every aspect of their job search. Whether it’s crafting the perfect resume or cover letter, talking about c-level personal branding, LinkedIn profile development or anything else, we are here to help. Feel free to contact us if you’re in need of any kind of assistance with your job search.
Anyone who has applied for a job before should know the importance of having a quality resume. If you’re searching for your executive dream job, even the tiniest mistake on your resume can lead to you missing out on a great opportunity. Writing resumes that get you hired can be challenging, so you definitely need to take your time and focus on the details to prevent a mistake from happening. Here are our top five ways to give you a better chance at landing your dream job.
Highlight Relevant Achievements
Most executive resume writers have a knack for identifying the most relevant achievements pertaining to a job you’re applying for. The key here is to think about the achievements relevant to the job you want, rather than the job you have or had. Something you accomplished may have been great for your previous company, but if it doesn’t translate into potential success for your dream company, then it won’t strengthen your case.
Don’t Focus Solely On Previous Job Accomplishments
The best resume writing service will ask you for as many previous job accomplishments as you can think of. However, it doesn’t mean all of them should be included on your resume. Always keep the job you’re applying for in mind when writing a resume. Provide an important accomplishment from a previous job, but be sure to clearly indicate why the skills you used can help at their company as well.
Use Numbers and Statistics
Numbers and statistics are your friends when it comes to writing resumes that get you hired. In a page full of text, a number will stand out when an HR manager scans through the resume. Just make sure the numbers you put on your resume are important, since it will get their attention.
Don’t Get Too Wordy
You have about six seconds to impress an HR manager with your resume to keep it in the stack for consideration. If your resume is more than two pages and is filled with big blocks of text, it may not even get read. Keep it short and to the point, and only highlight the most important accomplishments to give yourself a better chance to be considered.
Keep Your Resume Simple and Clean
Finally, a simple and clean resume is better than a long and detailed one. And we can’t emphasize enough the importance of proofreading it thoroughly. Many people use professional executive resume writers to proofread their resume one final time before submitting it, just to make sure an important detail wasn’t missed. Professional Resume Services takes great pride in helping executives land the job of their dreams. No matter where you’re at in the job search process, we will help you in any way we can. Be sure to contact us if you’re struggling with any aspect of your job search and we will do our very best to help you continue your career where you’ve always dreamed to be.
Can Your Family and Friends Boost Your Networking Success?
Networking seems so simple, but so tricky at the same time. Many professionals and executives believe they will have easy access to a job if there is a family member or friend in the company. However, this isn’t necessarily true. And even if it is partially true, you have to be careful how you approach the situation. When it comes to personal branding for senior level managers, always having a professional approach is critical. You could be putting your family member’s or your friend’s reputation on the line by asking for a favor. Here are other things to consider.
Use Them, But Don’t Abuse Them
There’s no harm in asking someone you know to help you get your foot in the door. But you don’t want to make them go out of their way and potentially damage their own reputation and success on your behalf. As you know, c-level personal branding takes a lot of time and effort to build, but can be damaged instantly. Don’t abuse your close connections by pressuring them to fight for you, especially if you may not be completely qualified.
Verify Your Qualifications First
The best thing you can do right away is ask your close connections whether you are qualified for a position they have available. You should also learn how to optimize your LinkedIn profile before you even reach out to them, just so your information is current. The worst thing that can happen to both your reputation and your friend or family member’s is to make the effort to get your foot in the door, only to find out you don’t meet the necessary qualifications.
Understand Their Risk in Helping You
Family and friends can boost your networking efforts, but also take into consideration the risk they are taking in helping you. They’ve worked hard to get in the position they are in just like you have. If they recommend you and you don’t fit with the company for some reason, their own c-level personal branding could take a hit. Sometimes it’s not worth the risk for them, so take that into consideration before asking any favors. Professional Resume Services can help you with your networking efforts. Whether you need to learn how to optimize your LinkedIn profile or brush up your resume, we are here for you when you need us. Feel free to reach out to us at any time.
If your goal is to get a new job this year, here are seven things you need to do to prepare yourself for your job search.
1. Update your résumé. While ideally your résumé is customized for a specific job, having an up-to-date résumé targeted for a specific “type” of position is the next best thing. So if you’ve taken on additional responsibilities in your current job, or you’ve changed your job target, or you’ve added new training or educational credentials, now is the time to talk with your résumé writer about updating your résumé. (And if you don’t have a résumé at all, now is definitely the time to put one together! A professional résumé writer can help!)
2. Develop — or update — your LinkedIn profile. A LinkedIn profile doesn’t replace the résumé…it complements it. Someone looking for a candidate with your skills and experience might conduct a search on LinkedIn and find your profile. Or, someone in your network might be interested in recommending you, and forward your LinkedIn profile URL. So make sure you have a LinkedIn profile — and make sure that it’s updated. (Yes, this is something your résumé writer can help you with.)
3. Know what you’re worth: conduct salary research. One of the most often-cited reasons to consider a job search is to increase your salary. But how do you know what you’re worth? There is more salary research data available than ever before. Websites like Glassdoor.com and Salary.com can help you see how your current salary and benefits package stacks up.
4. Build your network. It’s estimated that 70-80% of jobs are found through networking. Networking effectiveness is not just about quality — although that’s important. It’s also about quantity. It’s not just about who you know. It’s about who your contacts know. Many times, it’s the friend-of-a-friend who can help you land your dream job. Grow your network both professionally and personally. You never know who will be the one to introduce you to your next job opportunity.
5. Manage your online reputation. More and more hiring managers are checking you out online before they interview you. What will they find when they type your name into Google? How about if they check out your Twitter profile? Or find you on Facebook? Now is the time to conduct a social media assessment and clean up your online profiles.
6. Define your ideal job. “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” That line, from Alice in Wonderland, is important to remember in your job search. If you don’t know what your dream job looks like, how will you know how to find it? What job title and responsibilities are you interested in? Do you want to work independently, as part of a team, or both? Do you like short-term projects or long-term projects? Who would you report to? Who would report to you? Answering these questions can help you define your ideal position.
7. Create a target list of companies you’d like to work for. Like your ideal job, you probably have a preference for the type of organization you want as your employer. Things to consider include: company size, industry, culture, location, and structure (public, private, family-owned, franchise, nonprofit, etc.). Once you’ve made your list, look for companies that fit your criteria.
I hope you are on LinkedIn, because it is one of the fastest-growing ways to network with other professionals. The site does a good job of helping you figure out how to improve your profile and potential network, too. One of their helpful tools is found in their Targeted Status Updates list of 10 tips for engaging followers. Under tip #2:
Informative, useful updates receive the highest engagement rates because that’s the information members expect from companies they follow on LinkedIn. After all, your followers are active on LinkedIn because they want to be more productive and successful professionals.
60% of members are interested in industry insights (my emphasis)
53% are interested in company news
43% are interested in new products and services
Now, a job seeker may not have too much in the way of company news or new products and services. But every job seeker should be staying current on the industry they hope to join once they are hired. You should be doing a lot of reading about your career field anyway, right?
When you update your status with industry insights, you are targeting the majority of professionals in your industry. It doesn’t have to be all original content, either. You can link to something that made you think and add your commentary on the subject, just like I am doing here. I am giving you two things: an authoritative source (LinkedIn) for some useful information and my unique perspective in it.
If you were an employer, you’d say,
Hmm…this person knows where to find valid industry information and knows how to expand on it.
This is good, because the more a potential employer can find on your thought processes, the easier it is for them to give you a chance at a job. Networking is an essential part of the job search, and this simple way to target your status updates strengthens your network and increases your authority.
The job search process can be long, boring, and more than anything, disappointing.You may spend hours searching the internet and newspapers, and will come up with almost nothing that sounds like the job you’re looking for. Which brings up another problem-do you even know what it is you are looking for? This aimless searching leads to wasted time, energy and disappointment.
Fortunately, you can make the job search easier on yourself if you take some time and decide what it is you want to search for. If you have an idea of what kind of job you want to do and a job that you would enjoy, then your search will be more fruitful and you will waste less time aimlessly searching. First, you need to decide what it is you want to do.Think about what you enjoy, what you know how to do, what you have been educated in, and where you want to be in your career. If you take the time to think through what it is you want, then you will be one step closer to getting a job and a career that you can enjoy. Next, as you begin your search, keep focused. You have decided what it is you want to do, so don’t stray from that path. If you do, you will only be wasting valuable time that could be spent on a targeted search. Use job search sites that have filter so you can search for specifics such as: full time, part time, education needed, distance from where you live, and the type of work.
If you know what you want to search for before you even begin the path to a new career, not only will you spend less time searching for a job, but the time you do spend searching will be more fruitful and you will be more likely to find a job you will love.
Instead of just sending out a generic resume, today’s job candidates need to take the time to tailor their resume to fit every job being applied for. While this may make the application process take longer, it will be well worth the effort in the long run. Here are a few tips to tailor your resume and help make the application process go faster:
Keep the information on your resume up to date. Just got a new cell phone? Change the contact information right away. It is easy to forget to change such a small thing, but you shouldn’t wait until you’re applying for a new job. An out-of-date phone number can have big, negative consequence (such as not being contacted for your dream job).
Read the job qualifications and duties carefully. Add the same keywords to your resume so that it will make it through the recruiter’s software scanner.
Use separate resumes for experience in different industries or a functional resume for two or more closely related industries. It makes it easier to add crucial keywords to your resume when tailoring it to a specific position.
Learn to be a cut and paste, toggle expert. Not all job application databases will let you upload a resume into different information fields. Become familiar with Control+C and Control+V to copy and paste. PCs use the Alt+Tab keys and Macs use the Apple+Tab keys to toggle between screens. Copy text from your resume first, then toggle to the job application page and paste the text into the information boxes.
Name your resumes generically and modify the name each time you upload it to an application database. For example, label your updated resume “Edit512” for the industry it addresses and the date you updated it. Do not name your resume with a company name. It is too easy to upload your Xerox resume for an IBM position, and forgetting to change the name will count against you as a job candidate.
Following these easy tips will help you to be more prepared for your job search.