So, Your New Year’s Resolution is to Find a Better Job… How are You Going to do That?

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Rob Waite, author, speaker and business strategist offers advice on how to make your New YearÂ?s resolution to find a better career happen.

Rob Waite, author, speaker and business strategist offers advice on how to make your New Year’s resolution to find a better career happen.

I’ve held positions at three different large publicly traded companies that I achieved through utilizing a prescriptive method that I outline in my interactive CD, “The Six Figure Job Search” ( or I’ve also hired numerous managers and executives throughout my career. I’ve learned from these experiences that there are ten mistakes that job seekers make that will stand in their way in finding that new position. And I report them here for your reference.

This report is a qualitative evaluation developed through inter¬views of some of the nation’s top executive recruiters, hiring executives who regularly deal in six figure income hiring and successful six figure salary job searchers. We would especially like to thank Michael Allen, the CEO of Allen Search ( ) for his valuable input.

1. Resumes that do not focus on results.

Too many executives write their resume as though it is a job description. What recruiters and hiring execu¬tives are looking for are accomplishments. You can describe your job in two or three sentences, maximum. The balance of the wording under each job you’ve held needs to focus on accomplishments achieved in order to stand out from the crowd and get the recruiter’s or executive’s attention.

An accomplishment is a specific result, which you can state numerically, that was achieved by a specific action you had taken. Start with number result, solving or creating what situation, and then the actions you took to get the results.

2. Lack of Networking

We should say, real networking. Executives who don’t come from a sales or marketing discipline are often uncomfortable with networking. But survey after survey proves that effective networking is the number one executive job search tool that yields success.

To begin the process, first make a list of everyone who possibly could know of a potential position. Sec¬ond, make a list of everyone who may know of someone who knows of a potential position. Your network could be derived from former colleagues, your social network, suppliers, customers, trade associations and recruiters you’ve maintained a good relationship with.

3. Lack of Preparation for the Interview

This is an area where entry level employees do a better job than experienced executives! Experienced ex¬ecutives are comfortable speaking with people and generally convey an air of controlled self confidence in their business dealings. However, this is true when it comes to their companies and their job functions. But when it comes to selling themselves, many executives find themselves at a loss for words. They ramble and don’t effectively communicate their ideas. This is because they are not prepared. Beyond simply researching the companies they are interviewing with, they need to prepare an “infomercial” designed to answer the typical “tell me about yourself” interview question. The infomercial should not take any longer than two minutes to say at a conversational rate. The infomercial provides the basic details of who you are and the top three accomplishments you have that say the most about what you can do.

4. Discussing salary too soon

Recruiters and hiring executives are notorious at asking early, and often, what your current compensa¬tion is. By answering this question too early in the process you can leave tens of thousands of dollars of compensation on the table. Why? Because you want the recruiter or executive to be absolutely convinced that you are the ideal candidate for the job. Then you can command top dollar. Throwing a number out too soon will only limit you. Also, why should what you are making in your current job be any guide as to what you are worth in the job you are interviewing for?

There are a few ways to professionally deflect this question. The first is to say, “I would be happy to discuss with you my current compensation a little later in process if the opportunity we are discussing is appropriate for me.”

5. Caught in the Web

Many six figure salary seekers spend far too much time on Internet searching through job banks and post¬ing their resume everywhere they can, feeling as though they are productive. These resources are impor¬tant, but they need to be managed intelligently. Many executives will hide behind their computer screens thinking that they’re working very hard and diligently at finding a job and all they are doing is surfing through the same old jobs.

6. Spend too little money conducting their job search

Job searches are not free. The key is to spend your money effectively in order to achieve the six-figure job you are looking for within a reasonable time frame. The recruiters and executives interviewed for this study told us again and again about qualified candidates that had poorly written resumes, didn’t distribute their resumes widely enough, weren’t prepared for interviews, etc, etc. Each of these items can be fixed with a wise investment in the right services.

Finding a resume writer is not easy. Look for sites that offer free resume critiques. This way you can get a feel for how each firm would approach your resume and then you can select the one you are most comfort¬able with. Remember, you don’t always get what you pay for, so interview the resume writer and ask a lot of questions before shelling out $300 to $600 dollars.

Also, invest in a subscription to services such as to get information on the companies and contacts that would fit your search profile. Recruiter data can be found at and

7. Spend too much money conducting their job search

While job searches are not free, some executives spend far too much money on their search with little results to show for it. The two biggest areas that searchers told us that in hindsight they spent too much money are in resume distribution and in hiring an agent. BUYERS BEWARE!

Many resume distribution companies will sell you on distributions that are far too large just to run up the price you pay per distribution (which can run around $3.00 per resume). Regarding the “agents” there are countless court cases against a number of these agents who take big money up front (typically in the $6,000 to $10,000).

The very first thing that you need to be absolutely aware of regarding a six-figure job search is that YOU are responsible and accountable for the entire process. This is one of the most important activities that you can embark on and the burden falls squarely on your shoulders.

8. Are not willing to relocate

Finding an executive position is a numbers game. Think about it. How many six figure salary positions that you are qualified for will open up over the next year within a one hour drive of where you live? Yet again and again, we hear executives complain that there are just no jobs out there.

The biggest mistake is not willing to relocate to where a good paying, career building job is located. Sure moving is hard, but can be growing and a rewarding experience for the entire family. By being open to relocation, you will be surprised at the number of new opportunities that are made available to you.

9. Sending too few resumes to employers and recruiters

How many resumes should you send directly to employers? Well, in speaking with many successful executive job seekers as well as a few top notch outplacement firms, you should send a minimum of 1,100 resumes directly to employers that fit your profile.

That may sound like a lot of resumes. But consider this hit rate. Of the 1,100 resumes you will send, you will receive 5 to 10 phone inquiries, which will lead to 3 to 5 interviews, and 1 or 2 job offers. Those are the odds you are dealing with.

How many resumes should you send to recruiters? The answer is that you should send a resume to every retained executive recruiter that works in the functional areas and industries you are interested in.

To find out who these recruiters are, you can visit and

10. Indiscriminately sending resumes

If your entire career has been in biotech, why are you sending your resume to the Washington Post? While this example may sound ridicules, it is a real life example! Have a strategy on what compa¬nies you are sending your resumes too. Just scattering them to the wind and hope they find a recep¬tive audience will dramatically reduce your odds of success.

To help you focus your targets, get a subscription to With Zapdata you can find out who the key contacts are so that you can send your re¬sume directly to the right person. Always target the your direct to employer resume distributions to those that are one and or two levels above the position you are looking for.

To learn more about conducting a profession and effective six figure salary job search, please visit and

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Rob Waite