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6 Biggest Mistakes Executive Level Candidates Make When Seeking a New Job

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Let’s say you’ve been working in an Executive Level position in your present company for 15 years now. You’ve handled your responsibilities really well and you’ve established a reputable profile within the organization. You have a healthy working relationship with your superiors, peers and subordinates, and you were able to inspire change. You also managed to overcome major challenges along the way. Things happen the way you want them to, which is good because, you either met or exceeded what was required.

But we have to admit that despite all the great events that are happening, there’s a part of you that will look for something new; a new environment, new colleagues, new challenges. And then finally you’ve decided, “Time to get a new job.”


So what would a top-level candidate do to start this new journey?

Most of the time, candidates make a list of potential companies they would like to work for. What usually follows is, they would get in touch with a contact from that company and ask for an “informational interview”.

It seems like a great plan. However, it poses a lot of risks. Typically, headhunters make sure that walk-in applicants are kept out so only interesting candidates get scheduled for an interview. Second, not everyone keeps their contacts, commonly just their peers, and they may be unwilling to lend help.

These are just some of the mistakes we have to avoid if we are planning to take our careers to the higher level . Here are the 6 biggest mistakes that every executive level candidate should avoid:


  1. Not planning their Executive Job Search tactically

This is comparable to putting up your own business. How will you do it if you don’t know where to start? If you just randomly call your associates, send out resumes to companies or rely on Linkedin, it’d be like shooting an arrow without knowing where the target is. You need to have a clear sense of the job post and the company you wish to pursue. You need a unique positioning and a strategy for creating appropriate introduction.


  1. Not having a clear personal brand

Don’t assume. A comprehensive CV is not enough to publicize your knowledge, skill and credentials to recruiters. Try to Google yourself. The internet plays a vital role, not only in our social life, but in our professional life as well. Executive search firms also use the web to find top-brass candidates.


You should also check your LinkedIn profile. Does it sufficiently discuss your career goals? Are there any indications or proof of your achievements, like endorsements or testimonials? Were you engaged in groups that showcase your interests and leadership style?


When updating your CV, don’t just add bullets. Make sure that it is convincing enough to engage and excite recruiters. CEOs and other high level officials look for people with potential so you have to make certain that you’re giving them a glimpse of the benefits of hiring you.


Dress the part, because if you’re not dressed appropriately, the interviewer will question your preparedness and motivation. You have 10 seconds to give a great and lasting first impression.


  1. Not having a good professional relationship with Executive Search bodies

No matter how accomplished you are, you should not take recruiters for granted. Be accommodating. Promptly answer their emails and calls because rudeness and lack of courtesy will affect you bigtime. It’s likely that they will look past your credentials and will no longer consider your application. Chances are, your dream job was already at the tip of their fingers but it fell off your hands without you noticing.


  1. Not being competently prepared for the interview

One of the biggest disappointments every head hunter goes through is  interviewing a candidate who is clueless about the position he or she is applying for. This is annoying because recruiters preconceive that you already know the post because you want it and are suited for it. If you can’t even provide information about the company’s background and current state, they will know you were unprepared and they will most likely consider someone who did their homework.


Take time to check the company’s website and social media accounts. Google all the information you can as well. If you are invited to apply for a position, don’t forget to ask for the job title and its description. Familiarize yourself with who they are and what they do. Then, picture yourself as someone who can provide them with means that would help them reach their goals. In this way, they will remark that you’re a strong candidate.


  1. Not using the interview strategically

Being polite and affable during an interview creates a good impression. However, if excessively done, this could make you too passive. Executive level interviews should be two-way. The interviewer will ask questions to see if you are the right fit. On the other hand, you should also ask questions on how this position can help boost your career growth as well. Be sure to have a list of questions and prepared answers. Make sure that your inquiries are relevant and not already discussed in the job description. You can also proactively “suggest” opportunities for win-win solutions to their business concerns, without making yourself sound like a know-all.



  1. Not properly “closing” the interview

Advertising yourself doesn’t end when the interview ends. You can also promote yourself by sending a “thank you” note. Wait for a few days or a week before you send it. Thank them for the interview and remind them how your qualifications and background suit the specifications of the job. Be sure to make it short, notable and concise. This will show how enthusiastic and committed you are.

Here are the top 6 biggest mistakes that Executive Level job seeker commit. Do you find this list helpful? Tell us what you think. Share our article in your social media accounts.

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