Executive Interview Mistakes: Only Paraphrasing Your Resume

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

If you want to act like everyone else and never distinguish yourself, just paraphrase what’s in your resume and do what you always do. If you want a better caliber role, try this.

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I’m Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I started to be called The Big Game Hunter when I did recruiting. I would hunt down leaders and their Executivesenior staff. I did it successfully for a long time. Now people hire me for No BS job search coaching and career advice globally because I make the process much easier for people to find their next role and succeed in it.

Another big mistake is paraphrasing your resume’s accomplishments. This is where you adopt the habit of saying, “This is what I did,” while paraphrasing what they already know from your resume. “I completed this, followed by that, and this is what transpired for the company as a result. I then completed this, and this is why it was significant. That’s paraphrasing. This is a mistake because senior positions demand an entirely different mindset. Furthermore, when you summarize your accomplishments, it may make the interviewer more skeptical.

Assume, for the purposes of this example, that you are interviewing for an executive position at a different company and would like to discuss your accomplishments for your present or former employer.

The first objection that arises when the interviewer hears about all of your accomplishments for that company is, “Well, that’s great.” That company must have found success with it, but we’re not the same. That may have worked in the past, but things have changed and that’s fantastic. It worked for them, but I’m not sure if it will work for us because our resources are different, our target markets are different,” yadda yadda yadda. Thus, if all you do is paraphrase your accomplishments, it will eventually lead to objections or concerns.

Rather than sharing those accomplishments, I would like you to communicate the reasoning or logic behind them. For example, you have been using the same methods that let you succeed in your work to this point. Share the principles you’ve been using, which show your thought process, rather than providing your accomplishments and your paraphrasing.

When you are able to express those concepts, you will demonstrate you understood why you were successful and that the principles are applicable everywhere.

The essence of principles is precisely that—principles. Applying principles consistently across disciplines will ensure their effectiveness. When you do this and demonstrate you understand why something succeeded you are standing head and shoulders better than those who regurgitate the facts of what they did and how they did it without explaining why.

I’m Jeff Altman. I hope you found this help. You can find a lot more at JobSearch.Community. I have a half dozen free items available, plus if you become an Insider, you’ll have access to many more video courses books and guides plus have me answer your questions. If you become an Insider+ member, you’ll receive that PLUS be able to get me on a couple fo Zoom conversations per month. If you become an Insider Premium member, you’ll receive all that PLUS individual or group coaching from me.

Have a terrific day. Be great!

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ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER

People hire Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter to provide No BS Career Advice globally because he makes many things in peoples’ careersJeff Altman easier. Those things can involve job search, hiring more effectively, managing and leading better, career transition, as well as advice about resolving workplace issues. 

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2700 episodes. 

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