Before you start your job search – save time, money and even heartache – by reading what Stacey Moore from Gravitas Executive Search has to say about conducting a professional job search. Stacey is one of the most talented recruiters around. I knew she would bring great insight to my readers during our interview and she does not disappoint. Below is candid advice from an executive recruiter that you won’t hear anywhere else.
Q. As a Managing Partner of an Executive Search firm what is the most common mistake you see senior level job seekers make?
Candidates forget to translate their skills to the job that they are talking to the recruiter about. Also, not being prepared for the basic strength and weakness question…both are important, but your weakness answer can be a deal breaker. You don’t need to share the worst thing you’ve ever done in the workplace as an answer to this question. Even at the C-suite level, my clients ask about strengths and weaknesses of the candidates in one form or another.
Q. We all know that LinkedIn is the place to be regardless if you are active or passive in your job search. Besides the basics of having a LinkedIn profile & photo what other advice do you recommend for job seekers when it comes to using LinkedIn?
I highly suggest that candidates take the free webinar for job seekers so you know how the system works or hire someone to teach you.
Q. What are the 4 most common reasons hiring managers give when they reject a candidate?
Not a fit culturally
Polish and business acumen
Can’t see them long term
Q. How much weight do recruiters and hiring managers put on executive presence (suit, confidence, grooming, etc.)?
More than I would like to admit. Also, don’t forget these days with video conference interviews the recruiter and employer are also judging on the décor (what they see behind you…plants, photos, dog, décor, etc.).
Q. If you were looking for a job in today’s market what would your job search strategy be? Where would you start? What resources would you use?
Start by being honest with yourself, are you really committed to starting a job search and do you need help being accountable and developing a plan? Pending your answer, find the right resources for the tasks below.
1. An executive resume and LinkedIn profile to include a professional picture
2. Write out/put in your iPhone notes and revisit often, companies you want to work for, positions you would love be in and characteristics of the job that you want.
3. Develop a networking strategy based on what you are looking for whether it be a full-time or part-time job. List out the people you know, do your homework of who they might know on LinkedIn and/or what positions they could help you find based on your list from #2.
4. Start grabbing lunch, coffee, or phone calls with people to ask for help. However, do not forget to ask how you can help them and make sure you follow-up with their needs as well.
Even as a recruiter I would hire someone to do my resume. Doing your resume can be like doing your taxes or trying to lose 10 pounds…you can procrastinate and keep putting it off and then all of the sudden it is April 15th or you need to fit in that black dress and even a pair of Spanks aren’t going to get you into that dress. Don’t wait for the dream job to come along and find yourself rushing to throw something together.
Q. What advice do you have for candidates who have been unemployed form 6+ months? What can they do to overcome this gap in employment that is actually now a barrier to employment?
Volunteer and or consult. Get a career coach immediately to find out what you can do differently in your job search. Don’t wait any longer.
Q. What should candidates do if they don’t hear back from a company?
Candidates who are in the final stage of a recruitment process should keep the hiring manager or recruiter informed of their other job prospects especially if the candidate is in the final stages with another company. I’ve witnessed this impact the speed of hiring decisions on multiple occasions.
Bonus Question: Do individuals actually hire you on retainer to help them find a job or is that an old wives tale?
I have heard that there are companies out there that do this as well. That said, I have never heard a success story or compelling metrics to even suggest this to a friend or family member as a job search strategy.
And there you have it, advice from an Executive Recruiter. Thank you Stacey for your terrific insight for senior level business professionals.
Do you have questions?
Post questions in the comments section below and Stacey and/or I would be happy to respond.