Executive Job Search Top Mistake #3 of 6 — Crappy Preparation
Executives, you have so many skills and experiences, but your preparation for networking, applying and interviewing are, well, pathetic. You can stand out just by doing better homework than the next candidate.
I’m Dana Manciagli, author of Cut the Crap, Get a Job! and here are some real examples of “crappy preparation”:
- During an HR or recruiter screening: They ask you what you know about the company and you say “Not much” or “Well, there is so much on the internet but I didn’t know what to read in particular until we spoke.” The listener hears: “I didn’t do any research on your company.”
- During a networking event, the association president asks you “Why are you interested in the XYZ Company?” and you respond “because I think they can use my help, leveraging my skills in finance.” The president hears: “I think I’m just that good and any company should hire me and win.”
There are so many more, but more helpful might be to share the three main categories of preparation you must do during the job search process:
- How to do research: Take notes! Organize what you learn into categories and write short bullet-points that help you remember key concepts.
- When to do research: Prepare before every encounter, regardless of how small an event: phone screen, phone interview, informational networking meeting, through interview.
- What to research: (3 types of content, minimally)
- The company, the division, competitors, market, recent speeches, and recent news.
- People: Try to find out the names of the people you are about to meet with. Read their profile on LinkedIn or other social networking profiles, search for anything they’ve written professionally.
- You vs. the Job. Prepare a brilliant answer to “Why are you the best candidate for this job?” Prepare the top 3 reasons why you are the best candidate. State your value to THEM. They are the customer, you are the product.
Best of luck!