Sweeping competitive changes and market consolidation are two critical factors that impact an executive’s job search. Candidates cannot afford to make mistakes when they are looking for a job in these uncertain times.

common mistakesOur informal research shows that the average executive looking for a new position, will have six or seven serious opportunities in a 12-month period.

That said, it is surprising how many executives do exactly that — they make common errors that hamper their chances. In a job search, where their may be hundreds of applicants, you simply cannot afford those odds.

Here are 10 common mistakes that the majority of candidates make:

  1. Their resume is not ready for prime time. It is not up to date, it fails to provide quantifiable evidence of accomplishments or they got fired and their one and only copy was on the company computer they no longer have access to.
  2. Lack of understanding of their defining value statement — a compelling statement of why a company should hire them.
  3. Little or no investment in developing a value-based professional network. Fifty spot-on contacts is far too few; between 500 and 1,000 is more impressive, provided they are targeted.
  4. They do not have a working relationship with an executive recruiter. They waste a lot of time calling recruiters who rarely return phone calls unless they need you.
  5. Complete lack of knowledge of social media platforms like LinkedIn and how powerful they can be in building a professional brand.
  6. They have no recruiting plan — targeted potential employers, lists of LinkedIn contacts or professional association contacts who can make introductions within the targeted companies
  7. Lack of job search discipline. They have not set a home office from which to work, a limited rolodex and a resistance to cold calling that can provide actionable business intelligence.
  8. Poor preparation for interviews — telephone, video conference and face-to-face. Recruiters in all industries say this is a major reason an otherwise qualified candidate is eliminated. Lack of preparation includes doing the necessary homework to poor communications skills.
  9. Poor execution in selecting references and the management of this key phase of the search.
  10. Poor transparency and misleading or misrepresenting accomplishments, reasons for leaving their last position, current certifications, memberships, etc.

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