Job Search Myth 1 – “The Feel Good School” – Here are a few statements that top the list of job search myths. “I’m working on several leads and I am sure I’ll get an offer” OR, “I know I’ll find something soon” OR, “I have a couple of interviews coming up and I should be fine” OR, “I am among the finalists (meaning I’ll surely receive an offer).” These thoughts may be comforting, but they create a false sense of security and reinforce self-deception.
Intuitive feelings about securing a job offer are fictitious and detrimental. The truth is that the competition is tougher than it has ever been before. If your interview does not translate into an offer, you will delay securing a job by weeks, if not longer. Time wasted erodes financial stability and reduces your choices. Moreover, multiple rejections can lead to depression, and depression erodes the efficacy of a timely executive job search. So the question is, “What can you do to make sure you really are the finalist?”
Job Search Myth 2 – “I’ll be recruited, like I’ve always been.” I’ve never had to look for a job. They’ve always found me. This is not true in today’s economy. A recent position we are aware of – a CFO job for a major Fortune 1000 company – received 225 resumes from highly qualified applicants, followed by 50 initial telephone screenings, 10 final phone screenings and 2 final face-to-face finalists flown into their corporate headquarters. You do the math then refer to myth 1, above. Today it is essential to be proactive.
Job Search Myth 3 – “I always receive the offer.” All I need is a chance to get in front of the interviewer because when I do, I always get an offer. With competition so stiff in today’s market, do you really believe that you will eliminate all of the other highly-qualified candidates and receive the final offer? At the 100K+ executive level, SC&C has interviewed a vast number of employees. We have discovered that most executives still think interviewing is about interviewing. It is not; it is about eliminating the competition. Because you simply sit in an interview and present your case does NOT mean you know how to interview. For 20 years, we have proven this to be true. What is your strategy to eliminate your competition during the interview process?
Job Search Myth 4 – “I feel great, I can ignore my age.” Don’t fool yourself: age discrimination is real and it will eliminate you from certain positions. Trends tell us that after leaving a company, many executives find their careers seriously blocked because the new company knows little or nothing about them except a guess at their age. If age is an issue for you, how do you package and brand yourself to enhance your chances of securing interviews and then getting through the interview process and receiving an offer of employment? What will you do to eliminate the younger MBAs who give the impression that they are more energetic, more flexible and will work for less money? This is your competition. What are you doing, right now, to position yourself to overcome these competitors during the selection process?
Job Search Myth 5 – Promises, Promises. “I just spoke to a company who says they’ll get me a job in 12 weeks and if I am not employed, they will redo my campaign.” Not a day goes by that candidates don’t tell us they just spoke with a salesperson from some career marketing company claiming that their company has “spent millions on their databases and systems and that they can guarantee me an executive position in twelve weeks or less.”
We recommend avoiding anyone claiming such nonsense. They are just telling you what they think you want to hear in order to get you to buy something from them. As the cowboys say, “It’s pure cow pieography!” Furthermore, firms promising quick results in your job search have absolutely no control over who a company hires or how fast they move to hire someone.
ExecuNet, a national executive job search consortium, published an article about job searches stating that corporate hiring decisions now take longer. Companies are concerned about the economy, their current tentative growth plans and sometimes they are even changing position specifications right in the middle of the search process! Common sense should tell you that guarantees of a job offer under such conditions are ludicrous.
Job Search Myth 6 – “More is better, OR, put enough out there and something will stick.” Many career marketing companies offer resume blasting services or large direct mail programs in an attempt to lure you into thinking that by contacting 500 or 1,000 companies in a shotgun approach, you will increase your chances of success. The problem is companies are looking for specific people to fill specific needs. A general resume has little likelihood of meeting what the company is looking for when they hire above the 100K level. Moreover, no one can seem to get them to define the word “contact.”
In your capacity as a senior executive, you already understand the importance of targeted marketing. So why would you blast your resume all over the place without consideration for targeted results? You’ve been exposed to marketing departments before. If your marketing team had proposed this for a product would you accept that strategy? Why would you now accept similar behavior that directly affects your own job search or career change?
The shotgun approach to a career move is not your friend and it will waste precious time and money. Direct mailing (in which 1% effectiveness is considered outstanding) to hundreds or even thousands of unknown companies or recruiters is futile. The rifle approach is far superior. It targets known companies and contacts within those companies. The rifle approach targets companies that are in sync with your specific career objectives and goals. Ask yourself, what is the marketing plan you are using now and is it yielding multiple interviews and significant offers?
Job Search Myth 7 – “A J.O.B is a career move.” Anyone can find a J.O.B. There are four things, however, that make for a well-balanced career move. They are: Fit & Challenge, Happy Factor, Geography, and a Great Financial Package. Making a career move that is an ideal balance of all of these is difficult to achieve. To find the right career-enhancing move often requires professional assistance.
Furthermore, your emphasis should be on the right position. The real focus should be on effectively managing your career. Smart executives manage their careers; the rest accept an offer and take a job. The truth is this: there is a big difference between finding a job and securing the right position. You are just like every other job seeker. Seeking help really is okay. Finding the right help for your specific situation in your life and career requires diligence on your part. Stop fooling yourself; wake up and start focusing on your career. Call SC&C and let us help you with your next career move.