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  • Writer's pictureRenata Bernarde

Don't Make These Mistakes!

Episode 236 - Common Mistakes Executives Make on Their Resumes, Job Interviews, and when Networking

Navigating career transition, even for the most experienced professionals, can be daunting. The path to a new job can take longer than anticipated, and sometimes this happens due to missteps professionals make that occur from lack of experience in job search, networking, and the recruitment process.

In this episode of The Job Hunting Podcast, we address several mistakes often made by professionals looking for work. Some are subtle, and others are more conspicuous.

Your journey to securing a new role doesn't need to be perfect or flawless. I just believe it can be well-considered and well-articulated by reflection, planning, and strategy. Knowing how to speak about your past, understand your present, and navigate your future with a strategy that aligns with your goals shows a sophisticated approach to your aspirations and can provide you with a competitive edge.

So, please listen to this episode so you, too, can avoid these common mistakes, and your path to the next role will be more straightforward.

Here is a summary of the common pitfalls that could undermine your job search:

Over-selling yourself: Be careful not to go Grandiose in Your Self-Presentation

Humility can be a superpower in the job market. While you have undoubtedly achieved remarkable milestones, resist the temptation to embellish. Recruiters and hiring software can easily differentiate between confidence and hyperbole. Ensure your resume and LinkedIn profile are grounded in facts, letting your actual achievements shine without the fluff.

Not Showing Your Receipts: Failing to Back Up Your Claims

Your career is a tapestry of successes that should be quantified to demonstrate your impact. Avoid vague assertions. Instead, present concrete metrics that substantiate your accomplishments. Phrases like "I've led a team to increase sales by 20%" carry far more weight than "I'm a great leader."

Misunderstanding the Recruitment Process

Every step of the recruitment process, from sending your job application to signing a contract, requires a particular strategy and understanding. Furthermore, different levels of seniority have different approaches to recruitment and selection. For example, senior-level interviews often eschew structure in favor of a more conversational approach. For senior managers and executives, your job is not just to answer questions but also to gauge the culture and leadership style of the organization. Listen as much as you speak, and remember, it's as much an interview of them as it is of you.

Overlooking the Power of Practice

Never underestimate the value of rehearsal. Practicing for job interviews and critical conversations can dramatically improve your delivery and help to alleviate stress. By refining your talking points, you can articulate your vision and value proposition with confidence and clarity.

Not Seeing Yourself Clearly

As an experienced professional, it's essential to introspect. Are you a specialist or a generalist? What type of roles align with your skill set? Clarity in your career identity is the compass that will guide you to the right opportunities.

Failing to Honor the Job Description

How many times have I noticed in my career consultations that the job seeker, as desperate as they may be to get a new job, has not thoroughly read or understood the job description and the requirements for the job application? The key is to treat the job description as the roadmap to your application. Tailor your resume to mirror the language and requirements laid out. Ignoring the specifics can lead to your resume being overlooked by both automated systems and human eyes.

Losing Sight of Your Social Media and LinkedIn Presence

Your digital footprint is often your first impression. Ensure your social media profiles, especially LinkedIn, are polished and professional. Privacy settings should be managed carefully, and your online activity should reflect the professional image you wish to project. Your LinkedIn presence is about more than just your job history. It's a platform to showcase your professional brand, share insights, and contribute to conversations in your industry. A compelling headline, clear photo, and appropriate banner can make a world of difference.

Forgoing Leveraging Your Network

Your professional network is an invaluable resource for job opportunities, industry insights, mentoring, and advice. Engage with your contacts consistently, offering value and seeking guidance. Remember, networking is a two-way street.

Email Etiquette

In our digital age, your email address can speak volumes about your professional brand. Ensure it conveys the right message and doesn't pigeonhole you into a role or industry you are looking to transition away from. Listen to this episode to learn more.


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