Some careers professionals have said a lot over the years about so-called “soft” skills being fluff and unnecessary to feature in your executive resume. Your “hard” skills (e.g., project management, P&L management, sales force management, logistics and supply chain, sales and marketing–whatever is relevant for your functional role) are certainly paramount. However, if you neglect to let your readers know you also possess great “soft” skills
After you worked so diligently to land an interview with your dream company, you do not want to negate your efforts by making surprisingly common interviewing mistakes. Alison Doyle published a great article on this on December 9, well worth a read.
You’ve got an absolutely stunning executive resume and LinkedIn profile, have practiced your responses to the toughest interview questions, and have researched everything you can find about your target companies. But don’t forget how you look at that upcoming interview. It really is true: You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
A post I wrote recently on LinkedIn about How to Respond to Illegal Interview Questions generated quite a bit of interest and inquiries. Here is a sampling of just a few of the verboten questions or inappropriate statements interviewees have run into:
- Are you dating someone?
- How old are you? You are young enough to be my daughter.
- Do you have any problems going out drinking with the office on Fridays?
- How would your husband feel about you relocating for work?
One of the first things your parents taught you as a toddler was to say “please” and “thank you.” For some reason, as adults some tend to forget the power of “Thank You” in cementing good social and professional relations, let alone making a favorable impression with potential employers.
Once you’ve won that coveted first or second interview, don’t forget that it is critical to thank EVERYONE you interviewed with, and also the recruiter who may have helped you to make that connection.
You’ve decided that it’s time to move on to greener pastures where your talents will be fully utilized and appreciated… You’re ready and eager to take that next career step. You’ve assembled a job search toolkit including a powerful executive resume, LinkedIn profile, and executive bio, and you’re poised to get started….
All of your hard work and persistence, a dynamite executive resume, and a successful phone screening have won you that coveted in-person interview with your target company.
The next question becomes: What do I bring to the interview? The last thing you want to do is be flailing around the morning of the interview, tossing things into your handbag or briefcase.