8 Common Executive Job Search Mistakes to Avoid

8 Common Executive Job Search Mistakes to Avoid

Speak with any executive job-seeker, and you’ll be sure to hear a few bits of wisdom about how to find your perfect executive role. However, many of these yarns are chock full of misguided tips that can hinder your job hunt rather than helping it. Learn the truths behind these 8 common job search myths and you’ll enjoy a more efficient and effective executive job search.

1. Not knowing your market value

Research and personally assess your value in the open market before you attend a single interview. Without knowing your professional worth, you may be underselling your knowledge and experience and hurting your negotiating power..

Tools like compensation benchmarking can help you decide what your market value is based off of your technical skills, experience, and even geographic location. Consider using one of these tools, such as PayScale.

2. Your resume should give all of the details about all your past work experience

It is important to remember the true purpose of a resume. A resume is simply a job hunting tool that is supposed to assist you in getting called in for an interview. It does not have to be an overly detailed autobiography of your professional history. Therefore, you can omit the experiences you gained as a waiter while you attending university; it is highly unlikely these details will play a large role in your executive candidacy.


A resume should give pertinent information to show the benefits you have brought to other businesses and what you can potentially bring to theirs in an executive capacity. The job of the resume is to intrigue and persuade the reader that you are worth taking the time to interview.

3. Going overboard matching your resume to the posted position’s keywords

Hiring personnel have to evaluate more resumes than you can even imagine. If all of these are full of keywords from their posted job description, they will naturally have a difficult time finding a candidate that stands apart. Rather than intentionally stuffing your resume with keywords, fill it with words and phrases that describe you and your unique expertise; this is more to your advantage as you will stand out when actual individuals, rather than application software, enter into the fold and begin to evaluate candidates.

4. You need more schooling or certifications to acquire an executive job

You don’t have to have an MBA or a vast selection of certifications in order to find an executive role that suits you. Keep in mind that two of the wealthiest executives in the world, Bill Gates and Carlos Slim, do not have these graduate school credentials. What is important is having the capability to utilize your intelligence and to demonstrate your expertise and professional experience.

5. Carelessly ruling out opportunities

Don’t overthink the stated job description. Treat the published job posting as an ideal. Often the job description is a wish-list of what a business would love to see in a new executive; but in all honesty, the organization only views a number of the stated requirements as absolutely essential. Don’t take yourself out of the running for great roles without thoroughly evaluating the situation and your professional value.

6. You have to go through Human Resources

Human Resources is not the only way to connect to an organization and influential board members. Networking can be equally,if not more, effective. Connecting with a person who may be your future boss may even culminate in a better response. Take the time to find and connect with these people in a more personal setting; these can include networking events or through social media channels such as LinkedIn.


7. Networking is all about obtaining help from others

Networking is not a one-way street. It is about building relationships, not viewing people only for the help they might afford to you. Putting out the message, “Can you help me to….” isn’t going to cut it when nurturing your network.

Like any strong relationship, network-building takes time. It regularly involves getting to know other people and forging personal connections. It may also require that you consider how you can help others as well as what they might be able to do for you. Be prepared to put in the effort when networking. As an added bonus, it can even lead to lasting friendships.

8. Letting others control your executive job search

While working with a recruiter, resume expert or job search specialist can certainly be helpful, make sure you always stay in control. Sometimes business professionals get carried away following the advice of these third parties, rather than using their own acumen and following the instincts that make them viable executive candidates in the first place. For example, don’t let recruiters change your resume without your explicit permission, and make sure you approve before allowing them to approach companies and opportunities on your behalf.

Make sure you’re ready to to take your career to the next level. Sign up to the CI Executive Career Management programme and get access to a Career Coach to guide and coach you through your C-level journey.

Start Your Executive Job Search Now!

← How to Gather LinkedIn Recommendations for Your Executive Search How to Prepare for Networking During Ramadan →

About the author

Josh Fraser

A graduate from Jacksonville University, Josh has been helping individuals reach their professional aspirations by providing meaningful and germane insights. His expertise will provide an invaluable understanding into how you can penetrate into the saturated executive job market.

Comments are closed