Five Strengths http://fivestrengths.com Career Transition Experts Tue, 24 May 2016 14:19:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Your Job Search Might Get You Fired http://fivestrengths.com/2015/08/12/job-search-might-get-you-fired/ Wed, 12 Aug 2015 12:38:29 +0000 http://fivestrengths.com/?p=6394 Recently, I was speaking with a terrified job seeker. She wants to leave her current role ethically, with a new role secured. However, she’s terrified that word might get out she’s looking--in the past, a few of her co-workers were fired when the executive team learned they were on the market. Could you get fired for looking for a new executive job?

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Your Job Search Might Get You Fired

Recently, I was speaking with a terrified job seeker. She wants to leave her current role ethically, with a new role secured. However, she’s terrified that word might get out she’s looking–in the past, a few of her co-workers were fired when the executive team learned they were on the market.

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Could you get fired for looking for a new executive job?

Can They Fire You Merely for Looking for a New Job?

Your Job Search Might Get You Fired
Utah in particular is an at-will employment state. In other words, according to the Labor Commission of the State of Utah, the employee can quit a job at any time, and an employer can terminate the employment, at any time, without giving notice. The exceptions to this at-will rule include “(1) when the termination violates clear and substantial Utah public policy; (2) when an implied or express contractual term requires dismissal only for cause; or (3) a statute or regulation restricts the employer’s right to terminate.”

Do any of these exceptions cover “employee is exploring other options outside the organization to further his or her career”? The answer is murky.

The Employee’s Position

Your possible position, as a potential job seeker:

  • Your current company is not supporting you the way you need to be, so you might need to explore other options.
  • Your career is important, so advancement outside your current company might be essential.
  • What you do on your own time, outside of work hours, is your own business.

The Employer’s Position

Possible outcomes, if your current employer finds out you are looking for a new position:

  • It might begin planning for your departure, a structural change that might legally force you out of your current role.
  • Your co-workers might no longer regard you as a team player.
  • Your executive leader might choose to assign plum project to other personnel, in case you choose to leave your current role.

The Confidential Job Search

Your company culture, irrespective of your state’s employment laws, might support an employee’s termination if he or she is engaged in a public job search. Here are a few tips to keep your job search confidential:

  • Do not post your resume to job boards.
  • Apply only for positions that you would accept if the job was offered to you.
  • Tell recruiters you are working with that your job search is highly confidential.
  • Do not use your work email and/or work computer for your job search (under any circumstances).
  • Turn off your activity notifications on LinkedIn so your contacts won’t get emails when you update your profile.
  • Do not mention that you are looking for a new position in your LinkedIn profile. Instead, make sure it meets LinkedIn’s guidelines for “profile completeness” and you will be more findable.

Need more strategies for a confidential executive job search? Reach out to me; I’ll keep our conversations in the strictest of confidence.

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The Dreaded Informational Interview: What It Is, What It Is Not, How to Do It http://fivestrengths.com/2015/08/04/informational-interview/ Tue, 04 Aug 2015 13:38:02 +0000 http://fivestrengths.com/?p=6387 Informational Interviews: Even if you’re a senior executive with 20+ years’ experience in your field and industry, you need to set up, strategize for, and do informational interviews. Your job search might fail without this critical job search strategy.

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The Dreaded Informational Interview: What It Is, What It Is Not, How to Do It

People hire people, not resumes. So you need to be a person before you’re a resume–to engage with individuals who can support your candidacy. You need to do informational interviews. Even if you’re a senior executive with 20+ years’ experience in your field and industry, you need to set up, strategize for, and do informational interviews. Your job search might fail without this critical job search strategy.

Informational Interviews: Not Your Grandfather’s Job Search

If you’re frustrated with your job search, I’d be willing to bet that your strategy included at least one of the following:Dreaded Informational Interview

  • Reading job boards, tailoring your resume to each position, and sending it out.
  • Skimming companies’ career web sites, and uploading your resume.
  • Generating a list of companies, and sending it out to “Dear Sir or Madam.”

There is a better way, and you can do it: The informational interview.

This Is Not an Informational Interview

“Hi, thanks for speaking with me today/having me here today. I’d like to tell you about my experience, assets, and abilities, because I’m looking for a job. Do you have a job for me? If not, do you know who is hiring? And furthermore, if you look at my resume [hands over resume], where do you think I fit in your company?”

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Tone: Desperate.

Content: Me-centered.

Only possible outcome: “Sorry, I am not hiring now.”

Subtext: I’m looking for a job.

This Is an Informational Interview

“Hi, thanks for speaking with me today/having me here today. I have heard so much about your company/product/service, and I’m truly curious about the processes and people that go into producing it. How did you get into the role you currently have?”

Tone: Curious and interested.

Content: Outwardly focused.

Only possible outcome: “Sure, let me tell you how I was hired here” / “I originally went to school for X, but I wound up doing Y” / “I’ve been in this company 15 years…”

Subtext: I’m looking for a job.

That’s a good start to an informational interview. It focuses on what the audience can offer about his or her experience and asks open-ended questions, none of which are “Will you hire me?” Of course, the subtext in any informational interview is that the candidate is in a job search, but that’s not really the focus of the discussion; it hovers in the background, but it’s not at the center of the discussion. The center of the discussion, then, is the person with whom you’re speaking. Give them the platform, be authentically curious, and learn from them.

How to Engage in an Effective Informational Interview

Overall, Informational interviews are not actually interviews. They are not about you, the candidate. Informational interviews are opportunities for you to ask questions and learn. Informational interviews are not only for new college grads; they can be useful for senior executives as well. They might be formal in-office conversations, or they might be brief phone calls. Either way, any way, they are targeted discussions about the individual with whom you’re speaking and the company.

Get ready for your informational interviews:

Prepare: Learn as much as you can about a handful of individuals with whom you wish to speak.

Secure meetings: Ask for 10 minutes on their calendars; follow up in a week if you do not receive a response. Move on from those clearly unwilling or unable to fit you into their busy schedules.

Ask open-ended questions: How do these people interest you? What do they know that you don’t? What drives them to go to work every day?

Capitalize on the connection: Who do they know that you might benefit from knowing (and vice versa)? Are they willing to make an introduction?

Follow up: Thank the individual at the end of the call or meeting. Send a follow-up thank you, expressing gratitude and referring to the action steps the person agreed to take on your behalf, if any.

Reach out to recommended connections: Start the process over; fairly soon, you’ll have added dozens of people to your personal informational interview pipeline.

Service Orientation for Your Informational Interviews

Remember, informational interviews are two-way streets. Be service-focused, and give as much as you take (or ask for). Be a helpful resource in any way you can for the individual with whom you’re speaking.

Feeling Overwhelmed in Your Job Search?

Still daunted by the prospect of developing and executing a strategy for executive job search? Not sure why informational interviews will help your specific executive job search? No idea what you can offer in return for someone’s assistance in your job search? Reach out to me; I will help you construct your executive job search plan and coach you/teach you to execute it.

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Quit the Job Search Panic: Find Your Destination and Define Your Strategy http://fivestrengths.com/2015/07/28/quit-the-job-search-panic-find-your-destination-and-define-your-strategy/ Tue, 28 Jul 2015 11:42:41 +0000 http://fivestrengths.com/?p=6359 Quit the Job Search Panic: Find Your Destination and Define Your Strategy Every week, I speak to at least one executive job seeker who is in panic mode. These executives are in job search panic, and you might be, too, for a variety of reasons: You heard the company is restructuring and you might lose […]

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Quit the Job Search Panic: Find Your Destination and Define Your Strategy

Every week, I speak to at least one executive job seeker who is in panic mode. These executives are in job search panic, and you might be, too, for a variety of reasons:
Quit the Job Search Panic Find Your Destination and Define Your Strategy

  • You heard the company is restructuring and you might lose your job.
  • You know the company is laying you off soon.
  • You have been assigned to a new manager or executive.
  • You’ve been out of work for some time.
  • You’re a go-getter, and any time spent job searching is better spent actually working in your next role.
  • Or, the biggest cause of job-search panic: The wait between developing your resume and hearing back.

If you are experiencing any one of these panic-inducing scenarios, then you’re probably very concerned about when that next job offer is coming. You might even be applying like mad to every likely possibility on job boards or LinkedIn. I’ll bet money that it feels like a ton of work. I’ll bet it also feels like you’re a hamster on a wheel, exerting a ton of effort and going nowhere fast, and increasing your sense of panic all the while.

Calm the Job Search Panic: Get off the Job Search Hamster Wheel

Can you imagine a job search that fees calm, controlled, and panic free, not to mention EFFECTIVE?

Having worked with hundreds of clients throughout their job search, I’ve seen these situations come up dozens of times. In every case, an executive job seeker can shorten the time between job search panic and job search success with one or more of the following strategies:

Define your job search goal: If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there. Drive your job search forward by determining the type of company, the industry, the level, and the role you’re after.
Read voraciously: Explore industry resources, regional business journals, company web sites, and public relations pieces to inform your knowledge of the industry. You’ll learn more about the state of the employment economy by learning which companies are getting funded or are growing by reading about their goals and strategies than you will by reading their job postings.

Talk to people of influence: By “influence,” I mean people who can inform your strategy. These can be peers, industry insiders, and hiring managers. Remember: Not every conversation should start with a question about whether the person is willing to hire you.

Set up a job search project plan: As Rudy Giuliani said, “Because ‘change’ is not a destination, just as ‘hope’ is not a strategy.”

Quit the Job Search Panic: Find Your Destination and Define Your Strategy

By taking control of your job search and establishing your process and goal before you start, you will manage your job search panic, whether you’re concerned about your company’s layoffs or in the midst of an active job search now. You know the pieces of the puzzle you can control, so take action on your executive job search now to avoid that paralyzing job search panic.

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Third-Degree LinkedIn Connections Matter for Your Executive Job Search http://fivestrengths.com/2015/07/21/linkedin-connections/ Tue, 21 Jul 2015 13:09:57 +0000 http://fivestrengths.com/?p=6288 The most powerful number on LinkedIn is your total third-degree LinkedIn connections. If you're not in the LinkedIn network of a hiring executive or executive recruiter, you will not appear in any search results on LinkedIn.

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Third-Degree LinkedIn Connections Matter for Your Executive Job Search

How many first-degree connections do you have on LinkedIn? 40? 100? 500? 10,000? That number is indicative of the number of people you have influenced to join your inner circle. But it’s not indicative of the power of your influence overall on LinkedIn. The most powerful number on LinkedIn is your total third-degree LinkedIn connections.

What Are Third-Degree LinkedIn Connections

Before we talk about the value of these third-degree connections, let’s define what we mean. Imagine you’re standing in a circle that contains only you. Everyone with whom you’re connected directly is your first-degree connections. Now imagine one of those first-degree connections standing in his or her own circle; everyone to whom that person is connected (unless they are also your first-degree connections as well) is your second-degree connections.

Example: You are connected to Mary. Mary is connected to Joe, Tom, Jack, and Donald. Joe, Tom, Jack, and Donald are your second-degree connections (assuming they’re not also first-degree connections of yours to start).

Now imagine that Joe is standing in his own circle. He has first-degree connections, too. These individuals are your third-degree connections (unless they’re more closely connected to you in some other way).

Example: Tom, Jack, and Donald (your second-degree connections) also have pools of first-degree connections. This entire set of connections-of-your-connections’-connections comprises your third-degree connections.

What Happens to Your LinkedIn Connections When You Connect with Someone New

As the graphic illustrates, your inner circle is only as large as it is; of course, you can expand it via a number of techniques, and you definitely should do so as you progress through your executive job search. When you do add a first-degree connection, your second-degree circle expands, but your third-degree circle grows exponentially. Furthermore, when one of your second-degree connections adds a new member to his or her inner circle, your third-degree pool also grows. Considering that LinkedIn has 364 million global members, with 2 reported to join every second (2013 metric), the number of connections in your broadest circle is growing exponentially, even while you sleep, even when you are not active on the platform.

Why Third-Degree LinkedIn Connections Matter for Your Job Search

Third-degree connections matter on LinkedIn because no relationship activity valuable to you specifically happens outside of your network. In practical terms, this means that you can’t know about someone’s participation on the platform if you do not share some type of relationship (connections being only one flavor, but certainly the most powerful and reciprocal).

From a search standpoint, all search results on the platform are dictated by relationship status. When a hiring executive or executive recruiter who is looking for someone like you conducts a search, for practical purposes, his or her results will include only those who are first-, second-, or third-degree connected. For you, this means that this hiring executive or executive recruiter will not be able to find you unless you are part of that person’s extended network. You simply will not appear in the search results for that individual. You won’t be on that person’s radar, and if you’re not in the differential, you won’t be in the diagnosis–if you’re not in the pool of candidates, there is no way you can be chosen even for initial evaluation of candidacy.

How to Build Essential Third-Degree Connections

In many ways, the number of third-degree connections you have is largely out of your control. However, if the majority of LinkedIn users abide by roughly the same principles, every new connection that you make or someone else makes deepens and strengthens all levels of connections. To actively increase the number of third-degree connections you have, start by connecting with individuals whose brand is to be a hub on LinkedIn. These individuals are called LinkedIn Open Networkers, or LIONs. Search these LIONs out by region, industry, job function, or company, and connect with them; most do not reject connection requests.

Connect with me on LinkedIn now.

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I Suspect Your LinkedIn Profile is Fake, or 5 Rules for Identifying a Fake LinkedIn Profile http://fivestrengths.com/2015/07/02/fake-linkedin-profile/ Thu, 02 Jul 2015 13:57:18 +0000 http://fivestrengths.com/?p=6243 Despite LinkedIn’s best efforts, some LinkedIn profiles are fake. Here are 5 Rules for Identifying a Fake LinkedIn Profile. Don't appear to have a fake LinkedIn profile--be authentic online and in person.

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I Suspect Your LinkedIn Profile is Fake, or 5 Rules for Identifying a Fake LinkedIn Profile

Savvy LinkedIn users know the value of the circles of connections–why my first-degree contact has first-degree contacts, who are now my second-degree contacts, the contacts of whom are my third-degree contacts. Some become LinkedIn Open Networkers, or LIONs; some keep their contacts more or less private. Wherever you are on the spectrum, you need to know that despite LinkedIn’s best efforts, some profiles are fake. Be wary of these false profiles, so you don’t get sucked in to their scams.

How to Recognize a Fake LinkedIn Profile

  1. Your name is in all lower-case letters. I’m not sure why improper capitalization correlates to a fake LinkedIn profile, but it does, anecdotally speaking.
  2. No photograph or headshot. Although not having a current photo is not necessarily a reason to decline to connect with a prospective contact, the fact that a profile has no personal or professional information leads me to believe that I’m reading a fake LinkedIn profile.
  3. The LinkedIn profile does have a photograph, but when a quick search of that photo on Google’s image search function yields some alarming search engine results. Typically, these images show that these images are being posted to multiple profiles, none with the same name. Sometimes they come from paid image sites. You need to judge whether the photo is credible.
  4. The text of the LinkedIn profile is thin. The person’s education is unlikely, given the person’s location and current profession. The work history is spotty, unusual, or unrelated to anything else in the profile. There is no description of the person’s employment, and there is no summary statement explaining the individual’s career path and what he or she offers the marketplace.
  5. The LinkedIn profile has fewer than 50 contacts.  Of course, every new entrant into LinkedIn has zero contacts–this is hardly the worry. A new profile with legitimate content and built out appropriately raises no red flags. But if the profile has few connections and some or all of the foregoing issues, there is high probability for this to be a fake LinkedIn profile.

A Real-World Example of a Fake LinkedIn Profile

Let’s take this to the streets and evaluate a connection request I received yesterday. The email included the generic request for connection. While this isn’t a huge red flag necessarily, it’s never a great idea to generically invite someone to connect. But a fake profile “owner” can’t invite someone authentically, with a real request, because there’s no actual network to invite someone to.

When I clicked through, I see the following LinkedIn profile:

Take a look at the elements of the profile relative to the enumerated description above:

  1. The person’s name is in all lower-case letters.
  2. There is a photo today, but there wasn’t yesterday, when I first viewed the profile.
  3. The photo is not of the profile “owner.” I saved the photo and searched for it on Google Images. As I suspected, the image is someone’s private photo (as posted on Flickr, of an individual celebrating Manila Day). Clearly, this is not a professional photo of the profile “owner,” as the individual named in the private photo is different.
  4. The content of the profile is thin, misspelled, and not descriptive. Typically, profile owners write their actual job titles, not a vague description, and savvy LinkedIn users fill out their complete profiles. Moreover, the place of employment is listed on the company’s web site as Iowa. The profile owner lists Houston, TX, as his place of employment.
  5. The profile has <50 connections.

Are These Faults Enough?

You might say that none of these faults in this particular LinkedIn profile definitively indicate that the LinkedIn profile is fake. You’re probably right–any one of these, independent of the others, is not cause for particular alarm or disconnection. However, taken together, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. I’m 99 44/100% sure that this is a fake LinkedIn profile. It lacks authenticity and honesty, and doesn’t even attempt to represent a real human being.

How to Be Authentic in Your LinkedIn Profile

There are many resources on how to write a terrific LinkedIn profile. Rather than describe the many ways to engage in an effective LinkedIn strategy, I’m going to offer one piece of valuable insight: Be authentic.

To design and implement an effective LinkedIn profile, not only do you need to complete the fields within it appropriately, you need to demonstrate that who you are online is who you are in person.

The reason fake LinkedIn profiles raise eyebrows–if not all-out alarms–is that there is no substance behind the skimpy text. What is your substance, and how does your online presence match your true self in the eyes of your audience?

Want to report a fake LinkedIn profile? LinkedIn’s customer service can help.

Connect with me (Amy L. Adler) at http://linkedin.com/in/amyladler.

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Find a Mentor for Executive Job Search http://fivestrengths.com/2015/06/30/find-a-mentor-for-executive-job-search/ Tue, 30 Jun 2015 11:56:27 +0000 http://fivestrengths.com/?p=6218 Find a Mentor for Executive Job Search Throughout your executive career, you have probably mentored several people. Now, you are looking for a mentor for your executive job search. Finding a mentor for your executive job search is not difficult if you know your specific expectations, goals and objectives. You want to look for someone who […]

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Find a Mentor for Executive Job Search

Throughout your executive career, you have probably mentored several people. Now, you are looking for a mentor for your executive job search. Finding a mentor for your executive job search is not difficult if you know your specific expectations, goals and objectives. You want to look for someone who will assist you in achieving what you desire. Their knowledge and experience will provide you with different perspectives on issues, career challenges and opportunities.Mentor for Executive Job Search

To find your mentor in your executive job search, you should be willing to:

  • Look outside your field–A mentor does not have to be in the same field or industry as you. Often, you can get insight and objective opinions from someone who is not involved in your industry. This type of mentor may expand your thought processes about your career.
  • Collaborate on projects–This is a great way to get to know potential mentors. You are both invested in a common goal. Working together can deepen your relationship and provide you with common interests.
  • Make your relationship reciprocal–Your mentor will want to know how you are doing, what progress you are making, and what is working for you. Share your results. Offer your insights should you be asked for opinions on projects that your mentor is involved in.
  • Determine when and how often you will meet–You both are busy people. Predetermining this information sets the expectation that you both will be professional and prepared to work. This is not a social meeting.

Your meetings with your mentor will vary in length and topic, depending on your needs. Prepare for your meetings and the ensuing discussion. Your meeting may consist of updates on your current projects, potential opportunities, and professional development strategy.

As you develop your relationship, your interaction with your mentor may change. Your mentor may discover that your opinion is a valuable resource for his or her own endeavors, and you might have insights that can inform that person’s growth as well.

Remember, you are sharing knowledge, insights and opportunities.

Your relationship with your mentor can become a long term commitment that is beneficial for both of you.

 

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Job Search Research on Target Companies: Prepare for Your Interview Success http://fivestrengths.com/2015/06/23/job-search-research-target-companies/ Tue, 23 Jun 2015 11:41:42 +0000 http://fivestrengths.com/?p=6214 Job Search Research on Target Companies: Prepare for Your Interview Success You’ve done a lot of work preparing and searching for a job and now it is time to research the company prior to the interview. Researching a company is critical to having a successful encounter with the hiring agent. You want to be able […]

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Job Search Research on Target Companies: Prepare for Your Interview Success

You’ve done a lot of work preparing and searching for a job and now it is time to research the company prior to the interview. Researching a company is critical to having a successful encounter with the hiring agent. You want to be able to walk into the interview with confidence.

Research the Company BroadlyResearch Your Target Companies for Interview Success

  • Check the website-you can discover a tremendous about of useful information about a company’s financial health, recent news and community involvement.
  • Check with your network-see what your partners know about the company-both pros and cons.
  • If possible talk to current and past employees-check out the work environment.
  • Learn who the competitors are and what impact they have on the company.
  • Research local business journals, national news, databases, and more. Learn whether the company is growing or contracting, if it has recently launched new products, or if it has received an influx of investment money—this can tell you a great deal about the company’s current trajectory.
  • Research the company’s top employees on LinkedIn.

As you prepare for the interview, keep in mind that you are not just learning about the company and its culture, you are learning about the type of people that they hire. Through this type of research you are developing your own presentation plan on how to handle the interview itself.

Narrow Your Research to Prepare for Your Interview

  • Review your information and target key areas that you may want to discuss during the interview.
  • Determine how your strengths can help the company move forward and achieve its goals.
  • Create talking points that you will be able to use to discuss the company’s unique values.
  • Be prepared to explain how hiring you will benefit the company.
  • Develop questions to ask during the interview. Show your interest in the company. Don’t be afraid to ask about future goals of the company.
  • Use LinkedIn and Google to look up the name of the interviewer. Learning names and titles can help you feel more comfortable during the interview. Check to see if you have any common interests.

The more that you learn about a company prior to an interview, the more confident you will be going into the interview itself. You will have an idea ahead of time if you are a good fit for the company culture.

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Resume versus Job Application: What’s the Difference? http://fivestrengths.com/2015/06/16/resume-vs-job-application/ Tue, 16 Jun 2015 12:07:10 +0000 http://fivestrengths.com/?p=6210 Resume versus Job Application: What’s the Difference? . . . and why does it matter? Many companies require that you fill out a job application even though a resume is already in the hands of the hiring manager. While this may seem to be unnecessary repetition on your part, there are several reasons that companies […]

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Resume versus Job Application: What’s the Difference?

. . . and why does it matter?

Many companies require that you fill out a job application even though a resume is already in the hands of the hiring manager. While this may seem to be unnecessary repetition on your part, there are several reasons that companies want both the resume and the job application–reasons that benefit both the candidate and the hiring company. But if the information you provide on these two important career documents do not match, proceed only at the peril of your interview, and possibly your career.

Your Resume

Your resume is different from your job application.

Think of your resume as an advertising vehicle on your background. It provides the branding that you want to bring to your interviewer and makes you shine in the interview process.  It develops your branding and details the assets you bring to a future employer.

A resume provides a job candidate with an organized and structured method to present work experiences and achievements, educational background, membership in professional organizations and pertinent community involvement. Continuing education courses should be added to the resume especially if they are aligned with the prospective company’s interests.

Your Job Application

The job application offers a company a legal document that states that all information provided is true and allows the interviewer to look further into your background. Well-designed employment applications often will ask for more complete details as to why a person left a position or compensation history.

Applications are part of your official record with a company. Making sure that your resume and application information aligns is important. An interviewer will catch discrepancies even if done in error.

Both the resume and job application need to be complete and written honestly. Lying on either is an issue, especially since the job application is considered a legal document. Most applications have wording that states that all information provided is true, complete and accurate. Should a company discover that information was falsely stated, could result. It is wise to be completely honest on both the resume and the job application.

Does Your Resume Match Your Job Application?

Recent news, including notable cases at major media companies, suggests that a mismatch between your resume and job search is cause for immediate rejection by a target company (or termination, if you’re already employed). Don’t risk it. The more honest you can be about your career history, the more authentic your career story is. If you are having trouble telling your career history, due to some complexities in your career timeline (terminations, job hopping, and so on), then find an expert career coach and resume writer who can help you message that story appropriately.

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4 Easy Steps to Preparing for Your Interview http://fivestrengths.com/2015/04/29/4-easy-steps-to-preparing-for-your-interview/ Wed, 29 Apr 2015 12:23:41 +0000 http://fivestrengths.com/?p=6026 Congratulations! All of your hard work has paid off—you got the call for the interview! Now you need to prepare for a successful interview with the person or team who makes the hiring decisions. There are several steps that you can take to maximize the value of this meeting for you and for your future manager and to make your interview go smoothly. Follow these 4 steps to preparing for your interview to put yourself on track.

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4 Easy Steps to Preparing for Your Interview

Congratulations! All of your hard work has paid off—you got the call for the interview! Now you need to prepare for a successful interview with the person or team who makes the hiring decisions. There are several steps that you can take to maximize the value of this meeting for you and for your future manager and to make your interview go smoothly. Follow these 4 steps to preparing for your interview to put yourself on track.

4 Easy Steps to Preparing for Your Interview

1. Research the company prior to going to your interview—Your research on the company is the foundation for your questions for the interviewer about the needs and experiences of the company. Learn what the company’s values, missions, and goals are, and be prepared to ask interesting questions about the company’s position in the marketplace. Good sources of company information, beyond the company’s own web site, include Indeed.com, Glassdoor.com, regional business journals, and publications by industry associations.

2. Put yourself in control by being prepared and showing your positive attitude. Your insightful self-knowledge about your experiences and expertise will help to open career doors for you during your job search. Study your own resume, and practice your answers in front of a mirror or camera, so that you can retell key points of your career history that are relevant to the position you’re seeking. Practice answering the hard questions: “Why were you terminated” and “Tell me about yourself” are perhaps the two most difficult, but these can be interview killers if you do not prepare ahead of time with answers that succinctly address the question and focus on the future.

3. Clean up your social media—Many companies will search your social media prior to hiring to look for red flags. Items that can cause you to lose that spot in the hiring lineup. Apps such as Social Sweepster can help eliminate posts to your social media that may cause concern to potential hiring managers.

4. Look the part—You need to be perceived as a member of the team and as someone who can fit in with the company’s culture. Whether the environment is business casual or office professional, you need to know how to present yourself. This having been said, you will not go wrong by dressing “up,” even for a casual environment; you can always hang your jacket on the back of your chair if everyone else is in t-shirts, but you will not ever be able to dress up a golf shirt if everyone else is in suits and ties.

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Build Confidence to Launch Your Executive Job Search http://fivestrengths.com/2015/04/20/confidence-executive-job-search/ Mon, 20 Apr 2015 15:15:25 +0000 http://fivestrengths.com/?p=5974 An executive job search is one of the hardest things that you will ever do. Going through this procedure can often leave you feeling bruised and beaten down. Your level of confidence can get hit pretty hard if you have been turned down for a position or haven’t been able to get an interview. Instead of focusing on the discouragement, work on changing your perspective.

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Build Confidence to Launch Your Executive Job Search

An executive job search is one of the hardest things that you will ever do. Going through an executive job search could leave you feeling bruised and beaten down. Your level of confidence can get hit pretty hard if you have been turned down for an executive position or haven’t been able to get an interview so far in your executive job search. Instead of focusing on the discouragement, work on changing your perspective.

As you prepare to conduct your executive job search you might currently be without a job, but previously employed—or have a job and want a change. Decades ago, people would start with one company and retire from the same company. In today’s world people can change jobs or even careers many times in their career lifetime. Factors such as corporate reorganizations, mergers, technology changes, and increased performance expectations have caused a huge increase in those looking for a job. These are all external factors to your job search, whereas a change of your internal mindset truly can affect your success.

Build Confidence to Launch Your Executive Job Search

There are several approaches that you can take to adjust your attitude and raise your confidence in finding that great job opportunity.

  1. Look at the whole picture—Write down what is working well and not so well for you. Focus on what you do well and work to change what does not work well. Recently, I learned that many companies coach their employees to play to their strengths, for the greater success of the entire team. You can take this approach in your executive job search.
  2. Ask others—Reach out to those that know you well or have worked with you in the past. Ask for their perspective on skills or attributes that they have noticed in you.
  3. Use your skills—Maintain your skill set. Keep current by using your skills either through volunteering or continuing education. When you do not keep current, you take the risk doubting whether you are still “up to the job.”
  4. Practice interviewing—Research and record a list of potential interview questions and practice with a trusted person. You will find yourself more at ease during an interview if you are prepared. At the same time, review your executive resume to brush up on your own history, so you can answer interview questions with confidence.
  5. Keep involved with your network—Your network is the key to your finding a new executive position. Not only will you keep up on your industry, but you also might discover job opportunities that become available. Feeling shaky on the networking front? Contact us for guidance.

Keeping yourself in a positive frame of mind is difficult when you are faced with the challenge of a job search. You can help yourself keep a positive mindset throughout your executive job search with these 5 reminders.

For more information on building confidence in an executive job search:

Is Your Lack Of Confidence Holding Your Job Search Back?

How to Build Your Job-Search Confidence

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