Carly Hazen, an executive recruiter with Prince, Perelson and Associates, breaks down the most common mistakes women make when marketing themselves.
1. Women have a difficult time asking for help, so it comes as no surprise that many women struggle with the idea of networking. In this current economic climate, with fewer jobs available and more applicants for each position, utilizing your personal network for job leads, references or even professional advice is essential.
2. Women often give themselves less credit than men do for their success in the workplace, and oftentimes an employer is simply looking for an individual with confidence in their abilities. Learning how to market your achievements with self-assurance is key during the interview process.
3. Many women do not have a clear idea of what they want to do, so instead, they try to be everything an employer is looking for. Sometimes it pays to show you can be direct and decisive and not overly accommodating. Employers want to know your strengths, so focus on those and find what works for you.
4. Oftentimes women get chatty when they get nervous and listening is just as important as talking during an interview. Make sure you are paying close attention to the interviewer and their interpretation of what the job entails. This will make it easier for you to appropriately market your skills and prior experience.
5. Many women discuss their personal lives during an interview – their children, their hobbies, etc. Unless it directly relates to the position you are applying for, and will assist in your attempts to market yourself appropriately, leave it out.
6. Women would rather tell their experience than sell their experience and it’s important to do both. Reluctant to brag about their accomplishments, many women spend more time recounting the minutiae of their previous positions, and while it is important to be confident as opposed to arrogant, employers want to hear about how you excelled in your previous job, not just what the job entailed.
7. It may be a cliché, but first impressions do have a lasting impact, so choose your interview wardrobe carefully and avoid anything too flashy. Stick to the basics: a dark suit with subtle jewelry always works.
8. Interview responses do not need to come with disclaimers, which some women are fond of using, such as saying, “I’ve never really done that before.” Be careful not to sabotage yourself by being too honest! Focus on the positive and respond by saying, “I’m sure I could transfer my management experience to this position and learn how to do that correctly.”
9. Women often do not want to be perceived as demanding or pushy, so they might prefer to sit by the phone waiting for a call days after completing an interview. Be proactive – call or email the human resource department and inquire about the status of the position and the time line for making a decision.
10. When it comes to negotiating salary, benefits and ideal working conditions, you won’t get what you don’t ask for and women are often uncomfortable pushing for a larger package. Employers rarely offer the maximum salary up front, and women who don’t negotiate can walk away with less than they deserve.
Carly Hazen is the Director of Legal Recruitment for Prince, Perelson & Associates and a partner in the Finance and Accounting recruitment division.
PRINCE, PERELSON & ASSOCIATES
2180 South 1300 East | Suite 350 | SLC, UT 84106
Office: 801.532.1000 | Fax: 801.532.7676