Executive Resumes, Personal Branding & Executive Job Search

On-the-job Praise Leads to Cheating?? Job Search Hints

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Nov 10, 2011 9:29:00 AM

Image focus2510j9cb5zn8jt

(Beautiful image by Federico Stevanin)

What?? Here we've always been told that giving positive feedback is important. And we've always felt it helps improve behavior (of our co-workers, direct reports, spouse, kids!) So what does the new study on the subject suggest for job seekers in particular?

A Harvard Business Review blog post by David Rock, Praise Leads to Cheating, suggests some provocative conclusions. A Carol Dweck study presented at the NeuroLeadership Summit in 2011 finds that praising someone's talent, intelligence, or some other quality viewed to be "inborn" makes the person more inclined to lie about their performance (3x more likely) and less likely to take risks.

Those whose work is praised are more likely to take learning risks and be truthful about their performance. The critical distinction here is between praising someone for a static trait s/he is born with and for a work product that is the result of effort. Dweck is quoted as saying:  "trusting in the value of hard work and effort is not just a stronger predictor of success, but a much more powerful motivator."

She contrasts the "fixed" mindset of people in the "inborn quality" camp and the dynamic, willing-to-take risks-and-learn-new-things attitude of those who believe that their hard work will produce results - she calls it a belief in the neutroplasticity of the brain.

What does this mean for job seekers? Job search involves large elements of learning new behaviors and information and taking significant risks. If you can prime yourself with the belief that you can, by hard work and trying new things, be successful at getting a job, you will be much more likely to acheve your goals.

Let go of any ideas such as "more talented people than I are getting the jobs," or "you have to be really smart to do that," or "I'm not as good as the rest" or any other belief in the fixed quality of your traits. 

Focus instead on your ability to make something great happen for yourself through dint of hard work and taking risks. Risks would include networking boldly and actively and directly approaching hiring managers. They would also include becoming more active in online conversations (LinkedIn, Twitter). It's within YOUR power!

 

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Topics: job search, executive resumes, CIO resumes, career management, career planning, executive job search

3 Very Easy Shortcuts to Getting a Personal Brand

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Nov 4, 2011 7:30:00 PM

personal brand

When people first hear that they need a "personal brand" to get a job, they often can't relate. First they think, "I am not a consumer product. The whole idea of branding myself turns me off!" And then they worry about how they are going to get this foreign thing, this personal brand, so that they can compete in the job market. They assume that their personal brand is going to be hard to figure out on their own.

There is a shortcut to going through a long process of personal branding. (Please note here that I am a Certified Personal Branding Strategist and have seen the incredible benefits that come when an individual goes through an in-depth process of self-discovery with a strategist!) But it isn't for everyone.

This personal branding shortcut is for people who are short on time, money, and/or interest and who just want to be as competitive as they can be in looking for their next job.

Here's what to do. Answer the following three questions and then use those answers in your resume, both in the Summary section at the top of the resume and in the body of the resume itself. And Voila! you'll have a personal brand that will serve you well.

1. What do people value you for most at work? What would they miss the most, in terms of getting work done, if you weren't there? What do people turn to you for?

2. What is your value proposition? Define this in terms of your ability to contribute to reducing costs, adding revenue, increasing profit margins, streamlining processes, reducing time-to-market, improving internal and external client satisfaction, enhancing user experience, innovating to add new functionality or revenue streams, amping up team performance, reducing risk etc.

3. What five adjectives would people use to describe you? Things like leader like, entrepreneurial, smart, creative, international etc. Pick the ones that have particular bearing on helping you be successful at work.

Then, at the top of your resume, after your name and contact information, center your title - that is, your job or the job you are seeking. Underneath your title write a sentence about how you typically add value to an organization, your answer to #2. Center it and put it in bold. This is the most important piece of a brand to an employer, for obvious reasons.

Then, in a brief summary paragraph or set of bullet points in the top third of page one, include answers to #1 and #3, along with your other credentials.

Then be sure that you demonstrate your value proposition (#2) in the achievements you talk about in your resume.

If you can't think of the answers to any of the three questions above, ask your co-workers for their take on what makes you special, unique, and valuable to an organization.

This quick start guide to do-it-yourself personal branding may be sufficient to accurately and authentically differentiate you from your competition and help you get your next job! Good luck with it - and let me know how it goes!

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Topics: LinkedIn, personal branding, executive resumes, technology executive resumes, interviewing, executive resume writing, executive resume, technology resumes, career management, executive job search, Get a Job, Job Interviews, personal brands, LinkedIn Profiles, career brand, reputation management

Drop The Ladders: There's a Better Way to Job Search!

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Sep 1, 2011 10:20:00 AM

Use LinkedIn to job search

If, like most people in this brave new world of job search, you're pinning your hopes on sites like The Ladders and other job boards, it's time to shift your hopes to social media. Read Nick Corcodilos' take on The Ladders, a resource similar to a job board, in his Ask the Headhunter blog post to find out his take on that service.

Social media? You mean like Facebook?!? It's worth a shot, so is Twitter, but the big bonanza is with LinkedIn. Check out these stats from a survey by jobvite reported in CIO Magazine's blog post by Meredith Levinson:

63% of IT job referrals are shared on LinkedIn

18% are shared on Facebook

17% are shared on Twitter

63% of employers have successfully hired a candidate through social media

95% have hired someone using LinkedIn

With metrics like these, you can't afford to neglect the social media channel as an important component of your job search. Yes, networking (often leveraged by using LI's database and process) is still the boss, but, as an adjunct, do these things:

1. Put a complete profile up on LinkedIn including a professional photo - and make sure it's focused on what you want to do next and that it's on-brand.

2. Pay close attention to the keywords you use: they will determine whether a hiring manager finds your profile in a search.

2. Add some bells and whistles to your LI profile: links to other websites where you can be found online, a PowerPoint Presentation, a list of relevant LI groups you participate in, a video, etc.

3. Take advantage of LinkedIn job search tools and searches.

4. Consider whether you have the time to invest in Twitter and, if you do, follow thought leaders and contribute yourself.

5. Do the same with Facebook - remembering that your identity there has to be 100% clean.

Your online identity - what a hiring manager finds in a search of your name - is becoming increasingly critical, with 45% of employers saying they ALWAYS search someone's online profile before hiring them. Start with setting up or improving your LI profile, and good luck!

 

 

 

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Topics: job search, LinkedIn, personal branding, executive resume writing, executive resume, executive resume, CIO resumes, career management, career planning, career services, LinkedIn Profiles, IT resumes, job interview

Zen and the Art of Job Search

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Jul 20, 2011 7:01:00 AM

 executive job search - poise and power 

As I was driving home Sunday from a weekend away, I tuned into an NPR interview on the radio. He was taking about stress-free productivity. Something job seekers need desperately! Along with everyone else practically! His ideas sounded oddly familiar...

Yes, it was David Allen of Getting Things Done fame. I'd read it years ago - it's a classic in the field of personal organization - and used the system for awhile, then fell away (alas, the end of most good intentions). But his words about having too many different kinds of things to do on our minds causing significant stress resonated big time for me.

So I pulled out my iPad when I got home and did what he said to do: take everything on your mind and write it down in a way that makes sense to you. And then have a system for checking it and also for continuing to enter anything that is a to-do and that preys on your mind. I used Notes but there are lots of apps I will explore. (Put that on my list!)

OK, I did that. The rewards Allen promises are valuable: the ability to be highly productive and react in perfectly appropriate ways to stressors. He describes the "mind like water" that martial arts practitioners use for perfect readiness and power. 

I think daily pauses (mini meditations if you like) for deep breathing and contemplation of a serene image (water receding from the beach, then rolling in again, for instance - my image) help get us into that frame of mind of poised readiness and response.

Looking for your next job involves a myriad of things to do and keep track of: executive resumes sent, personal branding initiatives, targeted cover letters written, networks contacted, appointments planned and kept, research on companies, interviews planned and attended - all with various schedules and levels of importance. What better time to apply Allen's ideas?

The Zen job search would be one conducted with full confidence that you had the bases covered and WRITTEN DOWN according to your system, so that you can act from a place of calm productivity.

The Zen interview is when you can bring a mind open and a readiness to respond to the interviewer with calm interest, quiet confidence, generous openness to the other person, and keen listening (to hear the subtext of questions), and make an appropriate on-brand response that speaks to the employer's needs. A Zen mind is also ready to ask insightful questions and proactively project its personal brand in appropriate ways into the conversation. 

So, "mind like water," T.S. Eliot's "the still point in the turning world," and Yeats' "I hear lake water lapping, with low sounds by the shore." Now we are ready. Bring it on.

 

 

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Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, technology executive resumes, interviewing, interview style, personal brand, executive resume writing, executive resume, CIO resumes, career management, executive job search, Job Interviews, personal brands, career brand, salary negotiation, salary negotiations, job interview, power of attraction

Dare to be Different! Personal Branding & Job Search Success

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

May 25, 2011 10:17:00 AM

Personal branding lets you stand out
According to Seth Godin in Linchpin, the only winners in the new work world are the ones that are indispensable. If you want to enjoy job satisfaction and job security while making more money, you have to stand out from your peers as someone who can't easily be replaced. And his theory of how to do that is to be creative and take risks at work that benefit the company.

It's a good read (or rather, in my case, listen - which is what I did on our sailboat in Maine!). And it's a real heads-up. Are you content to be like everyone else who does your job? Or are you going to figure out what makes you passionate about what you do and turn it into actions and attitudes that serve as a competitive advantage for your company?

This is another take on personal branding. It really elevates the passion piece. Godin believes that we all are creative as pre-schoolers - and that all that uniqueness gets educated out of us in school. As a former open classroom teacher, I totally resonate with this point of view! Kids were so much happier, more creative, and learned a lot more when their individual choices and differences were honored, not squelshed.

Godin's glimpse into the future of work is this: only distinctive, indispensable personal and corporate brands are going to thrive. Take note! Celebrate your authenticity and passion at work and make them work for you and your organization.

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Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, personal brand, career management, career planning, personal brands, reputation management

Thinking of Consulting? Think Twice! Career Management Tip

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Apr 19, 2011 10:10:00 AM

 

 

Consulting has become a go-to choice for people out of work. It gives them a way to keep their hand in their areas of expertise and brings in some income while they are conducting a job search. And some people commit to a career of independent contracting or consulting by choice.

But there are still more who use the term "consultant" on their resume to cover a period of time in which they weren't employed just to fill in that period of time, even if they are consulting very little.

It's these latter who are causing the problem for all those who are genuinely pusuing full-time consulting, out of choice or as a serious activity while they are job hunting.

I've had the opportunity to sit down in small groups with several executive recruiters lately, and they consistently say they view a candidate who currently uses "consultant" or "consulting" to describe what they are doing in a negative light. They agreed with one another, "It's just a cover for being unemployed." They also said that being an independent consultant in the present would rule someone out as a candidate. (These are headhunters, remember, not hiring managers, who may have more generous views).

I think this is attitude does a great injustice to those who are serious consultants.

When I probed into the question of why a consultant wouldn't make a good candidate for an executive-level job, one of the recruiters said that the concern would be that the person wouldn't stay long, because they are used to working for many different companies.

These attitudes, fair or not, suggest a couple of things about executive resumes and career management very strongly:

1. If you embark on a career of consulting, consider it long and hard, because it may be very hard to jump back into a line management position in a company again.

2. If you use "consulting" on your resume to describe what you've been doing while conducting a job search, be sure to document your activities in detail so that the reader understands you have been practicing your profession seriously!

One of the recruiters suggested that it would be better for unemployed people to get involved in volunteer work and document that. (He is assuming, of course, that the individual is not seriously consulting!)

Takeaways? Everybody needs to pay a lot of attention to their career path, to their brand, and to how to present themselves on paper in order to have successful careers now and in the future. Careful handing of these three areas will give you a significant advantage over the long term.

 

 

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Topics: LinkedIn, personal branding, executive resumes, technology executive resumes, personal brand, executive resume writing, executive resume, technology resumes, CIO resumes, career management, career planning, executive recruiters, executive job search, consulting, consultants, consultant

Attributes Executive Recruiters Look For

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Mar 22, 2011 9:22:00 AM

Attributes Executive Recruiters Look ForThis is Part 2 of my blog posts on what executive recruiters are looking for in executive candidates. Wayne Mitchell of Cabot Consultants listed the qualities he likes to see in candidates he will present to his clients:

These adjectives and attributes top the list:

1. Driven

2. Energetic (take note people 45+)

3. Entrepreneurial (that includes executives in non-entrepreneurial companies)

4. Resourceful

5. Tenacious

6. Strong interpersonal skills

7. Collaborative

8. Flexible

9. Friendly

10. Persuasive

11. Proactive

12. Team player

13. Self-confident

14. Intelligent / bright

15. Creative

16. Decisive

17. Intuitive

18. Logical

19. Quick study

20. Pattern of ongoing learning

21. Possessing Integrity

22. Honest

23. Trustworthy

Look like a dream list that no one person could embody? In reality, internal and external recruiters can actually find the "dream" hire - because the Internet - specifically LinkedIn - provides a large top-applicant pool. So they don't "settle."

What does that mean for people growing their careers? I think it suggests that they build towards these qualities and characteristics, if they don't have them already. In my mind, they fall into these clusters:

LEADERSHIP: collaborative, team-based, decisive, proactive

ETHICS: honest, trustworthy, has integrity

BUSINESS APPROACH: entrepreneurial, flexible, creative

MENTAL CHARACTERISTICS: intelligent/bright, intuitive, logical, quick study, driven, self-confident, intent on lifelong learning, tenacious

INTERPERSONAL SKILLS: good with people, friendly, persuasive

Interestingly, there are a few ones missing from this list that can be of critical importance in corporate leaders: strategic, visionary, inspirational, out-of-the-box thinking, charismatic, able to execute.

One takeaway from this is that achievements alone are not sufficient and that the above attributes need to be demonstrated in particular success stories.

These concepts are viewed as desirable in executive leaders. Other sets of attributes may be more desirable for other jobs, such as sales, hands-on technical jobs, finance, operations, etc.

We tend to think that the above list of "soft skill" would be relatively unimportant, but it appears that they are highly valued in a new hire. This is good news, I think.

 

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Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, technology executive resumes, personal brand, executive resume writing, executive resume, career management, career planning, executive recruiters, career services

What Executive Recruiters Want

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Mar 21, 2011 2:15:00 PM

Image executivesearch experts
I had a chance this past week to hear a presentation by an executive recruiter at the Career Thought Leaders Conference in Baltimore. I interviewed him afterwards to learn more about what he is looking for in resumes, candidates, and careers. Here's what I found out:

  • Values are important: how someone feels about work-life balance, family, work, relocation, etc.
  • A culture match with the target company is critical.
  • He wants to know how someone goes about achieving their (quantifiable) accomplishments.
  • Putting "consulting" in to cover recent work periods is a red flag; it's usually a cover for unemployment. He'd rather see worthwhile volunteer work listed.
  • Recruiters look for candidates who are currently working in a similar role and industry - not people who are currently unemployed, underemployed, or part-time consulting.
  • A pattern of ever-increasing levels of responsibility and achievements over the course of a career is what he looks for.
  • It's harder to get a job now, because the Internet has increased competition and enabled recruiters to find ever closer matches to their ideal candidate.
  • Transitioning as a business owner/founder/CEO to a c-level role within a company's org chart is possible, but only it there is a steady record of relevant and outstanding accomplishments in the same industry.

What does he recommend that candidates do when there is no possibility of recruiter recommendation? In the case of smaller companies, he suggests approaching the CEO and members of the Board of Directors and perhaps the venture capital firm that has capital in the business.

The take-away for executive resumes, executive job search, and executive careers?

- Be very careful about your career progression, including downsizing from a large company to a startup or early-stage company.

- If you switch industries, have it be part of a long-term strategic plan for your career. You may not be able to return to your earlier one.

- Think twice about gaps in your work history. If necessary, fill the time with worthwhile volunteer work where you can use your professional skills to deliver real results.

- Don't count on executive recruiters being interested in you if your background is not fairly standard for the target position - including your having held a similar role for a competitor in the same industry.

That last point eliminates a large percentage of job seekers from using the recruiter channel to get a job. Hence, there is a high priority placed on leveraging 2.0 networking and advanced job search methods to get a job, such as I wrote about in Turbocharged Networking for $100K+ Jobs.

The new age of competition is a daunting one, but:

- the economy is picking up

- there may well be a labor shortage as the baby boomers gradually leave the workforce

- and savvy executive job seekers can learn how to get in front of a hiring authority more easily than before.

Never has it been more important to establish, build, and promote your personal brand as it evolves over a lifetime and strategically and proactively manage your career!

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Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, CIO resumes, career management, career planning, executive recruiters, Get a Job, career services, Online ID, reputation management

The New Job Security: 10 Career Management Tips

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Jan 26, 2011 6:07:00 PM

Career management

It's not news to anyone that job security is a thing of the past. It can start to feel as though employers are holding all the cards, hiring and laying off people at will, with no loyalty involved.

But there's another way to look at the situation. Consider yourself a free agent who can move freely between various opportunities as chances to grow your personal brand present themselves. Here are some quick tips I've summarized from Kathryn Ullrich writing in TechRepublic:

1. Look out for #1: with loyalty an old-fashioned virtue, you have the right to move to a job that works better for you

2. Be strategic: plan where you want to be within a range of time frames and chart how to get there

3. Work in step with your company goals: by aligning your work with the company's strategic objectives, your contributions will be more significant

4. Be customer-centric: not only will attention to your internal and external customers result in better products and services, but you'll be better networked for future career moves

5. Collaborate: again, build your connections while improving innovation and day-to-day work product

6. Hone your communications skills: it may sound overused, but ability to listen and express yourself effectively are core skills to almost all jobs; even individual contributors like coders will be more effective with better communication skills

7. Cross over functionally: more and more companies are looking for people who have a broader functional skillset - and you'll grow your network while you're at it

8. Expand your experience: this will give you value-added skills and a broader network

9. Find a guide: a mentor can be a great guide to planning and implementing your career progression

10. Network - now: optimize your profile on LinkedIn for job search (see previous post) and continually make connections online and off for when you need them or they need you

Here are a few more I think are important:

1. Define your personal brand: your value proposition, attributes, values, and value-adds

2. Project your brand online (see previous post)

3. Keep your eye on where the business and/or company you're in is trending; shape your career in the direction where the jobs are going to be

4. Become a subject matter expert and showcase your knowledge in a blog, on LinkedIn groups, in LI Answers, on Twitter, etc.

5. Go deep in one of the trending areas

6. Choose a function to join with IT, such as finance or sales & marketing - to give you a competitive advantage in a job search

Job search is an Always On feature of life now. Go ahead, you're in the driver's seat of your career.

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Topics: job search, executive resumes, CIO resumes, career management, career planning, career services, Online ID

Top Trends in Personal Branding: Job Seekers Take Note

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Jan 26, 2011 8:48:00 AM

Personal Branding for Job SearchWilliam Arruda, The Personal Branding Guru, is known for "seeing around the corner." His list of the top trends in personal branding is a heads-up for job seekers who want to get out in front of their competition. Here they are, in brief:

1. Hiring Anywhere - companies are more open to hiring from other locations, and video is the way to get your message across when you're not there in person; consider creating a video to communicate your personal brand, host it on YouTube, and distribute it to interested hiring managers and recruiters

2. Homecasting - professional home offices and backgrounds become the "set" for your video communications; when you shoot your video, make your background clean and professional

3. Vidmail - William says that email is "so last decade," and that integrated text, image, and video communications will become more common; include images and/or a video in your emails

4. Professional Dress - as video becomes a more prominant vehicle for communicating personal brands, it's essential to have your dress on-brand in terms of formality and style; in video and in-person interviews, dress on the formal side of what is appropriate for your job

5. Personal Branding Infused - with the concept at least a decade old now, watch it being talked about in corporate settings with more frequency; leverage personal branding on behalf of your job search

6. Web Purity - watch for new ways to ensure that when someone googles your name, they will find you; now, several people may come up; take a look at Visibility's "Search Me" button and consider adding it to your LinkedIn profile

7. 3D PB - with blended, multimedia search becoming a reality, be sure to have different ways that people can get to know you - real-time content, images, and video; become active on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr in job-appropriate and brand-enhancing ways

8. Personal Portals - new tools are emerging that enable you to assemble in one place all the pieces of your personal brand that reside in different places on the Web; check out about.me and flavors.me

9. Revyous - establish your credibility by getting recommendations on your LinkedIn profile; watch for more sites that enable feedback on who you are professionally

Job seekers, more than anyone else, need to present themselves as relevant, valuable, and 3-dimensional, in order to capture the attention of recruiters and hiring authorities. For those of you who haven't developed your personal brand, do it now. For those who have, project your personal brand in the many ways suggested by William's list of top trends.

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Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, technology executive resumes, personal brand, executive resume writing, executive resume, career management, career planning, Jobs, Get a Job, career services, Job Interviews, personal brands, Online ID, LinkedIn Profiles

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Tyrone Norwood