I've seen a huge increase in the number of executives seeking new jobs in the last several months. While you might assume the good economy and the low unemployment rate are the reasons they're looking, I'm seeing a different trend: they're jumping ship before it hits an iceberg.

A Recession Is Coming & So Is The Finger-Pointing

Multiple economic indicators show a market correction is happening soon. One big one is that companies are missing their numbers. According to some studies, we have the highest corporate debt since World War II. This forces companies to make changes in the C-suite in hopes they can fix what's broken. If you're an executive that is seeing the writing on the wall, it makes total sense to get out before you're shown the door.

3 Job Search Mistakes Executives Are Making Today

Executives in job search mode usually feel the need to distinguish themselves in a way that commands respect. They believe tools like their resume and LinkedIn profile should look different than the average professional's. But, in an attempt to do this, I see way too many executives embarrassing themselves. Here are the worst offenses:

1, Writing your LinkedIn profile in the third person. We make fun of professional athletes who talk about themselves in interviews in the third person. Well, when you write your LinkedIn profile in the third person, you're essentially doing the same thing. Your profile is yours. You write it. Everybody knows it. It should be in the first person to create a connection with the reader.

2. Creating an epic novel for your LinkedIn Summary. The definition of the word summary is "short." When you write long-winded paragraphs, you lose the reader's attention. Recruiters are skimmers. They give your profile an initial look of about 6-13 seconds. If your profile is overflowing with self-important text, their eyes will gloss over and their skepticism will rise.

Which leads to the truly worst mistake of them all...

3. Building a text-intensive, over-the-top resume.  It hurts my eyes when I open an executive resume and see it in some fancy font, stuffed with overly-detailed accounts of their activities. While it might make you feel good to read this diatribe, it's a recruiter's worst nightmare. It's their job to initially determine if you have the skills and experience to do the job. What they want is a clear, concise, and simplified summary of your work. Just the facts, i.e. stats and other numbers that quickly validate your success. When you write too much on a resume, it actually sends the message you're desperate to impress. And that is a huge red flag to recruiters. Their thought process is, "Why are they trying so hard to convince me they're such a huge success?"  Really successful executives can demonstrate their success easily. If you can't, you look like a potential imposter.

Personal Branding Shouldn't Be Taken Lightly

The key lesson to take away from this is, 'less is more.' Executives need to provide just enough information to generate interest in their backgrounds, but not so much that it looks like they're desperate to impress. As the famous actress, Doris Day said, "People hear what they see." Knowing how to create tools that send the right message is vitally important in any job search. And, at the executive level, where the stakes can feel even higher, proper personal branding becomes even more critical to success.

Published on: Jul 25, 2018