4 Executive Job Search Blunders

by Meg Guiseppi on June 25, 2012

Wonder what career professionals in the thick of the job search landscape say are the worst things they see job seekers do . . . things that are sabotaging their chances to land the jobs they want?

My good friend Hannah Morgan (Career Sherpa, @CareerSherpa) recently put the question to a number of us — career coaches, resume writers, recruiters and HR professionals — and got a variety of answers, posted in Part One and Part Two of “What Is the Biggest Mistake Made By Job Seekers?

The two main themes were:

  • Saying the wrong things, and
  • Coming across as lacking focus and a plan

Here’s a teaser . . . three of my favorite job search folks’ answers (with their Twitter handles – check out their conversations there for more advice):

1. Job seekers don’t worry enough about their online reputation and the possibility that mistaken online identity is sabotaging their job search efforts. The solution is Defensive Googling.  ~ Susan P. Joyce, @JobHuntOrg, Job-Hunt.org and WorkCoachCafe.com

2. Simply asking people if they know of appropriate job openings is not networking! It creates awkward silence since people are not walking job boards. Instead, asking who else they know that would be a worthwhile contact for you is generally much more productive. ~ Harry Urschel, @eExecutives, The Wise Job Search

3. Most job seekers do not establish clear and tangible job search objectives. They leave their network with no clear idea of how they can help. ~ Tim Tyrell-Smith, @TimsStrategyTim’s Strategy

And my own contribution:

4. Understandably, job seekers can make many mistakes in the complicated new world of job search, but the biggest ones are these two, that go hand-in-hand:

→ Skipping over the essential first step – identifying the kind of job you want, targeting the companies that will be a mutual good fit, and researching their current needs and challenges to determine how your expertise can help them.

→ Running straight for your old resume (if you can find it) and updating it – without first knowing who you’re targeting, defining your personal brand, and creating content (for your resume, online profiles and other materials) designed to market your unique value proposition and resonate with your target employers.

Go to the two articles for lots of good advice from people in the know.

Related posts:

Today’s Executive Job Search Toolkit

5 Executive Job Search Tactics You Need To Try

Self-Google or Doom Your Executive Job Search

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meg Guiseppi June 25, 2012 at 9:34 am


You bring up an important point about moving into job search with confidence. Knowing who your target audience is and what they’re all about, as you plan and navigate your strategy, will give you that confidence to excel as a candidate.

Thanks so much for commenting!

2 Tim Tyrell-Smith June 25, 2012 at 9:10 am

Love your contribution, Meg. Having a strategy makes all the difference. Not only are you more likely to be doing the right things, but you are also doing them with more confidence.

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