5. Employers and headhunters do not use resumes to qualify candidates; they use them to DISqualify candidates.
Zero tolerance on errors or inaccuracies of any kind. Provide a résumé employer as late in the game as possible. Don’t just send out your resume so freely. When possible, use a cover letter, initially, to communicate with prospective employers. Be brief and to the point.
Demonstrate that you understand the challenges they face and detail (briefly) that you have faced those challenges in the past and conquered them. Chin up. Use your hands, take up space, but don’t fidget.
6. Don’t be TOO anything.
Too long. Too short. Too informal. Too formal. Too nice or Too cold. Too eager. Or too aloof. Don’t ever be late, but don’t be too early. And above all, don’t be needy or desperate.
A healthy amount of desire for the job is fine, but neediness has a stench all its own. They know you’re interested. Convey that you always have other options.
7. Never be caught off guard by an interview question.
There are only so many. Get the marbles out of your mouth before the interview. Create a series of elevator pitches. Practice them and then throw them away so they don’t sound rehearsed. Your employment history. Your education.
Your x-factor – what makes you different.
Your values – what type of person you are.
Your ideal – what you are looking for.
Above all, your value proposition – what you can bring to the table.
Each one is a few sentences at most. 60 seconds tops. Yes, time it. When a headhunter or prospective employer calls you and asks you to tell him a bit about yourself, launch into your elevator speech. This is money in the bank.
8. Don’t be Generic.
Do research online and learn about the organization. Avoid clichés. Generic management and leadership jobs do not exist. Companies face very specific strategic challenges during their life cycles. You need to know what those are and articulate why you are the person to tackle them.
9. Don’t lie.
Ever. If there is something that you don’t have experience in or familiarity with, look him in the eye and say so… and that you are looking forward to adding that skill set.
10. Take total responsibility for your life.
For everything. Own it all. With power. No excuses, no blame. No resentments over previous employment. Like a typo on a resume, excuses, blame, victimization are instant disqualifiers.
On the other hand, a person who really gets..”IF it’s to be, it’s up to me”….makes you irresistible. And this self-awareness is the most powerful antidote to a lack of experience.