FORBESWOMEN reposted 10/6/22

3 Reasons You’re Getting Rejected For Leadership Roles

by Adunola Adeshola Contributor ForbesWomen Sep 28, 2022,02:26pm EDT

Check. Check. Check. You’ve put in the work. You’re an ambitious, highly-driven top performer. You know you have what it takes to excel in a leadership role that offers more impact, more fulfillment, and more money. But, there’s one problem: you’re not getting hired.

Here are a few mistakes you might be making that could be blocking you from landing the job offer you desire: 

You’re letting your lack of perfect experience disqualify you.

You’re likely making this mistake if you read job descriptions and immediately start looking for the qualifications you don’t have. Another sign that you’re making this mistake is if you spend the majority of your interview preparation worrying about the skills you’re missing. 

It’s important to note that you should feel confident when pursuing a new job opportunity, but that doesn’t mean you must meet 100% of the requirements to stand out and get hired. Instead, find leadership roles where you can leverage the experience you already have. Then, focus on communicating the skills you do bring to the table and how you plan to use those skills to be successful in the role. 

You’re letting your career history do all the work for you.

While you might see the leadership role you desire as the obvious next step in your career, you shouldn’t assume that recruiters and hiring managers automatically see this too. One subtle sign that you might be making this mistake is if you find that recruiters keep reaching out to you on LinkedIn for roles that match what you’re currently doing in your career. While this can be frustrating when you’re ready for more, it’s proof that you’re not proactively and successfully portraying that you’re interested in taking your career to the next level.

Be clear about your career goals, get comfortable speaking about your track record of success and don’t rely on your career history to speak for you. It’s your responsibility to connect the dots and paint the picture at all stages of the job search and hiring process so that you don’t leave companies guessing about if you’re ready for the leadership roles you desire.

You’re too task-focused.

For example, you might be making this mistake if you skim your resume and don’t see any bullets that portray your ability to lead, create a strategy, collaborate cross-functionally, or partner with others. When you were looking for entry-level and mid-level roles, you might have been able to get hired by only focusing on your ability to effectively execute tasks. But, as you elevate in your career, you need to be able to reframe how you speak about your accomplishments so that you also demonstrate your ability to operate at a higher level, whether you’ve had the senior title before or not. 

After all, the best companies want to hire leaders who understand their mission, who can create a plan of action, and who can empower others to fulfill their responsibilities. Start thinking and communicating your skills like the leader you desire to be so that you can confidently build the trust you need for others to believe you can do the job, too. 

To successfully get hired for a new senior role you’ll love, you have to recognize that what got you to where you are won’t get you to where you want to go next. In fact, the things that helped you easily get the opportunities you’ve landed in the past might actually work against you when it comes to advancing your career, like being too task-focused.

The good news is that there are things you can do to improve your chances of getting hired. Start by fixing these mistakes and, if you want to take it a step further, work with a mentor or coach to help you pinpoint your blind spots so you can move forward faster. Either way, no matter how many rejections you’ve had, there’s still plenty of room for you to turn your job search around, stand out, and get hired for a new exciting leadership position you’ll enjoy.