Published May 29, 2013
You may not have a private jet or a big annual bonus, but that doesn’t mean you can’t apply for a job with a CEO’s mentality.
Career experts say there are lessons that all applicants can learn from top executives when it comes to the job research, application and interview process.
The key to applying like a CEO is to master the balance of confidence and humility when approaching a job, says Jay Millen, co-leader of recruitment firm DHR International’s Board and CEO of Practice Group.
“It’s easy to over portray your skills and strengths,” Millen says. “It’s very important to be an active listener and understand the job you are applying for. Do you homework and due diligence before you apply.”
Here are some more tips from senior recruiters on how to apply for your next job with the mentality of a chief executive officer:
Be Data Driven. All CEOs are heavily reliant on data, says Scott Dobroski, community expert at social jobs site Glassdoor, so know your own stats.
“Know you own metrics, successes over time and how they trend,” Dobroski says. “Within today’s competitive job market, you need at least three data points within a resume to show some traction.”
Convey passion and personality. Dobroski says these two qualities make the difference between good and bad CEOs, and he says not to shy away from showing your personality and interests on a resume.
“Do your research: If you know your potential new boss is into biking and you are as well, include it on your resume,” he says. “It may entice a hiring manager to pick up the phone if they are on the fence about a candidate. Also use these if they play into your job duties, like leading a kid’s Cub Scout troop or volunteering locally.”
Do your homework. With so much information available online about companies and industries, there is no reason not to know basic facts and current events about an employer before stepping foot into an interview, says Elaina Genser, senior vice president and managing director, Western Region at senior recruitment firm Witt/Kieffer.
“Show sincere interest in the organization and why it attracts you as opposed to you just needing a job,” Genser says. “This says a lot. Also ask questions that ultimately demonstrate your insight into that company. The organization should learn from your insights into them.”
Answer the questions asked of you. Good leaders listen, think and then respond, says Genser, so you should do the same during the interview process.
“Sometimes people just can’t stop talking,” she says. “Answer the questions they ask, and if they want more then you can clarify. Sometimes candidates have canned answers they fire off that are not relevant o what is being asked of them.”