It an ever-changing world, you might find yourself out of a job after decades of hard work. Even senior-level executives have to roll up the sleeves and join the job hunt sometimes. While years of experience and networking put you ahead of the competition, complacency has no place when you are seeking a new job. Learn the common mistakes other C-level candidates make and avoid them to land a dream job.
The Job Will Find Itself
With years of experience on your side, you expect companies to line up and compete for your attention, offering outrageous salaries and bonuses, while you are free to choose the one that suits your interests most.
The sad truth is the market is oversaturated with job seekers, and the number of vacancies diminishes every year. Even if you have glowing recommendations and a resume to die for, you still need to put much effort into the search. You have better chances of getting an offer than most job seekers, so don’t waste it.
You Mail the Resume via USPS and Expect Quick Results
You have been with your company for decades, and never expected to search for a job again, so you do it the same as you did it 25 years ago. You print the resumes, mail the envelopes, and wait for a call that will never come.
In the digital age, an executive of your level should have a LinkedIn profile and a professional Facebook page. Once you set up a social media presence, join networking groups, and enter discussions, you never know who will refer you for an interview. Depending on your industry and experience, you might want to invest in a website or create a portfolio.
Your Resume Speaks for Itself
With so many big names and high positions on your resume, you are guaranteed to get an offer, regardless of your performance during an interview.
However, the resume will only let you get the foot in the door, provide you with a chance at a face-to-face meeting, nothing more. The interview is the hardest part of the job-seeking process, so brush up on your soft skills, and let them shine during a conversation with the HR manager. Be an active listener, engaged conversationalist, show your sense of humor, if appropriate. It is your only chance of making a stellar first impression, seize it while you can.
You Are in Charge of the Interview
You are used to coordinating and leading a team of ten, a hundred, or a thousand employees under your command, so you expect the hiring manager to answer all your questions and fill in any blanks you have about the company.
However, in this instance, you are not in charge, and asking too many questions, let alone making any demands, will not end in a callback with a job offer. Let the HR manager do their job and take the lead. Wait until the end of the interview to ask your questions, but do not overwhelm the interviewer. Hiring managers will answer your questions, but you must be smart about what you ask.
You Know Everything about Everyone in Your Field
As a C-level executive, you have heard about all the major players in your industry, know their strengths and weaknesses, so there is no need to learn about every company that invites you to an interview.
This attitude will not win over your interviewer. HR managers expect you to know the mission and vision of the company, understand its philosophy and be able to recognize its latest achievements. The research won’t take long if you start with the company’s website, LinkedIn and Facebook pages. Search the company name on Google News to learn about the latest achievements that made the headlines.
You Don’t Have to Go Into Details
With so much experience under your belt, you can talk about your past positions for hours, but you don’t remember any names, numbers, or details.
However, the hiring managers want to hear anecdotes and stories that showcase your leadership, reliability, and loyalty, not your empty proclamations. To prepare for this, look through a list of the typical job interview questions, and think of at least one anecdote to share. It does not have to be lengthy, but the more details you include, the more believable your story will be.
Every Point of Your Extensive Experience Is Vital
You can’t fit all your work history on two pages, so your resume is a 4-page long account of every position you have ever held, from your part-time waiter gig in your freshman year to a VP of an international corporation.
However, hiring managers are only interested in your RELEVANT job experience. They don’t want to sift through your full autobiography to find what they need to know. Before sending out your resume, reread the position posting and delete all irrelevant points in your work history list. Anything older than 15 or 20 years should go unless you deem it essential to show your climb up the career ladder. Don’t think your accomplishment will go unnoticed if you take them off the resume, you can always talk them up during an interview. Just don’t turn your answers into a two-hour-long lecture about your employment history.
You Will Find a New Job in a Week
Your resume, cover letter, and recommendations make you a perfect candidate for any C-level position, so you will find a new job in a few days, a week at most.
The longer your Inbox remains empty, and the calls don’t come, the more impatient you become. Anger, annoyance, and desperation are not a good look on a job seeker. To avoid undue stress, lower your expectations in advance. Even if there are positions tailor-made for your experience and skill set, you might have to wait a month for a call and an interview invitation. Moreover, there is no guarantee the first interview will result in an offer, so be prepared for every eventuality.
Find a way to spend your days productively instead of checking your email every 5 minutes. Volunteer at a non-profit organization, make a dent in your to-read list, enroll in a Coursera specialization to further bulk up your resume. When you are feeling productive, your chances for a perfect interview performance soar.
Armed with this knowledge, you are miles ahead of the competition, but there is a way to further improve your chances. Get a professional recruiter to go over your resume, cover letter, and CV. At Resume101, our writers know the HR-speak and can translate your list of accomplishments and positions into a two-page pitch to sell your professional and personal qualities to the highest bidder. As an executive, you know the value of smart delegation, so get your resume from us, and concentrate on interview preparations to make the job-seeking process efficient and quick.