Executives in job search mode, regardless if you are searching within your company or outside, you need to look the part and perform like it’s the most important thing to you right now. Isn’t it? If your job search is not important, no need to read on. If it is, re-think your approach and take accountability for your job search actions.
Job search advice: Executives, you have so many skills and experiences, but are you appearing and performing appropriately for today’s job search era? If you have not had to search for a job in the last five years, you are not only out of practice for interviews, but may be out of date with the way to appear ready to compete for a job. And I don’t just mean clothing.
Here are some examples of the job search appearance and performance mistakes executives make in their job search process:
- Resume has not been updated by a resume specialist and describes your jobs in highly technical terms that nobody can understand. Or nobody cares about. Old font, 5 pages long, blah, blah, blah. No LinkedIn profile or it’s incomplete.
- Cover letter, if you have one, uses “I” about 20 times and simply regurgitates your resume. It makes no attempt to make it relevant to the job you are applying to. The receiver knows, in an instant, that it is a standard cover letter.
- Interview attire: Old suit, out-of-date accessories, you get the picture. My video might help you.
- Interview preparation: Very little research, did not bring insightful questions for them, did not prepare the most common interview questions.
- Interview performance: No pen and paper since this is all about what you’re going to say vs. what the interviewer may say. If it’s HR or the interviewer is 20 years your junior, they couldn’t possibly have anything important to say, right?
- Non-verbal clues: Your posture is slumped down in the chair, shows disinterest, or displays “come and get me if you want me.” You did not “go for the close” or ask about the next steps in the process or state how interested you are in the role and why.
- Follow-up: No thank you note back to each recruiter or interviewer.
For an executive job search tip, I recommend you re-boot, re-start and re-energize your job search process end-to-end. I’ll help you. Specifically, here are two pieces of job search advice about your job search appearance and performance:
- Invest in updating your appearance. Digitally, get to 100% completion on your LinkedIn profile. Assure your Facebook has the appropriate content and privacy settings. If you don’t know how, seek out help. About your communications, assure your grammar is accurate, e-mail signature is professional and your follow-up is first class, including thank you notes. Physically, Invest in a new interview suit, work out, stand up straight and smile. Interviewers, recruiters and HR professionals want to hire happy, healthy, up-beat people.
- Dial up your energy level. Every single job search touch point is important. A meeting with a networker, a phone interview, an e-mail and face-to-face interview are all examples of job search touch points. You need to dial it up! Assure you smile, have a good handshake, energy in your voice, your step, your eye contact. Most importantly, show energy about the company and interviewer. For phone interviews, you get to have notes so be prepared with your best answers to the most common interview questions.
Executives, Cut the Crap, Get a Job! You can do so much better and leave a much more lasting, memorable impression if you appear and perform to the best of your abilities. Good luck!