Are you cruising the sea of opportunities for your next CIO position? If so, there are ways to make your journey swifter and smoother by avoiding some common mistakes that can loom like an iceberg on the voyage to your next port of call.

Here are 3 mistakes that I often see technology executives make and that you want to avoid:

Resumé Rearrangement Syndrome

If your resumé is not opening doors for you, and you have a sinking feeling that it’s hit an iceberg―giving you ‘holes in the hull’―be careful not to get tangled up in what I call “resumé rearrangement syndrome”. This is, simply, fiddling with your resumé over and over, adding this, taking away that, and (often unbeknown to you) leaving out the most important elements that could set you apart and position you as a star candidate.

Rearranging your resumé over and over is as about as helpful as rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Perhaps it makes you feel better, or more likely it causes you frustration – it just doesn’t help you in the end. It’s a waste of time and effort.

So, what should you put in vs. leave out in your resumé? Here are 3 elements to insert and 3 to leave out:

   1)  IN: Major achievements with quantified business results.

        OUT: Cutting and pasting from your job description.

   2)  IN: Your Executive Brand and Unique Value Proposition.

        OUT: Overused and tired clichés in the top third of the first page.

   3)  IN: A professional format and plenty of white space for easy readability.

        OUT: Older, unprofessional-looking formats, or common web templates.

(By the way, it doesn’t matter if your executive resumé is in a smart traditional black and white format, or if you’ve opted for a modern colorized format, just avoid going overboard on the latter).

Although an executive resumé service can help you repair holes in your hull, strengthen and polish your presentation, and prevent you from sinking in the ocean of so-so resumés, it’s not all you need to reach your destination.

A couple of other icebergs lurking in the dark that can sink your chances are:

An Unfocused Message

If you try to market yourself with an unfocused, generic, and cliché-driven message, you’ll get lost in the sea of competition. Your message will not resonate with any company and you’ll lose out on opportunities.

If, instead, you uncover and articulate what sets you apart from your peers, you can create a highly focused message and a powerful value proposition and executive brand that will lift you above the waves of competition. Within days of raising your flag in this way, you’ll start gaining attention and appearing on the radar screens of your target audience. It’s a powerful strategy and I’ve seen it work over and over to accelerate a job search.

And thirdly:

Launching Your Job Search without a Compass

Without having a compass to help you navigate the waters of today’s executive job search, you can easily find yourself floating aimlessly, hoping to find your destination somehow, or be found by a company in the vast sea of candidates.

If you instead equip yourself with the most effective job search strategies, know exactly the direction you need to move in, and utilize the principles that work in today’s marketplace, you’ll uncover opportunities you may never have found otherwise. Add to these an effective self-marketing plan of action and you’ll find that your job search journey will be swifter and smoother.

So don’t allow resumé rearrangement syndrome, lack of a distinctive message, or failing to launch with the right strategies, be your iceberg. Shore up your ship first, so you are not sunk by obstacles and lose out on the perfect opportunity waiting for you at the next exciting port of call.

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