Kevin Kermes: Hey, so Kevin Kermes and Olivia Gamber back again from Career Attraction. We want to talk to you guys about some of the biggest mistakes, actually the three biggest mistakes that we see executives making in their job search. So, Olivia, number one.
Olivia Gamber: The biggest one we see and this has to do with your message. That’s when you’ve got 20 plus years of experience, you’ve done a lot, you’ve worn a lot of hats, you’ve solved a lot of problems, but with your message, whether it be your résumé or how you’re talking about what you do, you’re trying to be everything to everyone. In turn, what it does is it confuses the market and it dilutes your message to where it’s not memorable.
Kevin Kermes: That leads into the second one, which is not being targeted. When you think about targeting, now you have a more specific message. You need to get it in front of the people who have the pain that you can solve. This is one of the main things that our talent agents do here, which is helping our clients market and getting them in front of new audiences in particular when they’re looking at transitioning industries.
There’s another piece to this in terms of the targeting and another benefit, which is and this is where we see the differentiation between savvy executives and, I hate to say it, not so savvy, which is every conversation you walk away with collateral. If we’ve refined someone’s message, we’re getting them out now in front of CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, whomever might be the decision maker, as they are finding where there’s a fit, that’s great.
But sometimes they’re finding there’s not a fit and that leadership is looking for something else. Now they have some information that they can go ahead and take forward. They become more of a hub in the search, so that information is passing through them. That’s the collateral. Particularly if you’re looking at transitioning industries, you immediately have some collateral in this new network, value of information that you can trade and you can exchange and can open up doors and basically warm up some calls.
There’s an opportunity in there once you’ve got your message really tight and you’re very targeted in who you’re going after. But then there’s a third one, and we can kind of typify this as being a little more passive in the search than you should be. Olivia?
Olivia Gamber: Yeah. This has to do with relying on the résumé or a headhunter to do the heavy lifting to get you high quality interviews. What we’ve learned is this passive approach just leads to frustration. It leads to delayed search. It just leads to low quality interviews, and a bunch of just rejection, bottom line.
Unfortunately, what we’ve seen is you are the brand, you are the product. You’ve got to actively market and get very specific and targeted about who is that audience, and get that message in front of them proactively and not just rely on the cold application process as we talked about all the time. That’s just a surefire way to be positioned as a commodity.
Kevin Kermes: Yeah. Something we see as we’re making introductions for clients is that this is warming up the process. This is kind of priming the pump by making some warm introductions that quite often lead to interviews. But also on the flip side for people who are transitioning industries, many times what it’s doing is allowing sort of a, can’t believe I’m going to say this, but sort of a safe space to test out your message before you take it out to a mass market. To get some qualified feedback from some people who are truly going to tell you what they think, and not nod their head and politely smile and say, “That sounds great,” when they’re going, “I have no idea what in the hell you’re talking about,” or, “That has zero value for us.”
That’s, like Olivia said, I think missing one of the biggest opportunities, which is to have you be the ambassador for your brand. We know that making shifts is not easy, that to try to decide when it’s time to go or should I stay, should I go, it’s not something we take lightly, which is exactly why we’ve put together this free guide for you below, to be able to work through that. It’s a discussion, first of all, reflectively to have with yourself. I think to talk to your spouse or significant others in discussing any major shifts, because it’s a big decision for all of us.
Like all our information here, we don’t charge for that. It’s not what we do. Advice, counsel, and kind of stewardship through the search is what we provide for clients. Download that below. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to post it here or drop us an email. We’d love to hear from you.