Executive Resumes, Personal Branding & Executive Job Search

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

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

Make $7000 to $30,000 by Making ONE Resume Change

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Mar 28, 2011 9:44:00 AM

Ever wondered about how to handle the One Resume Change to Increase Your Salarynegotiations with an employer over a job offer? Most people just wing it and leave money on the table.There are some great books out there about how to optimize the offer. One key tip is to never be the first to put out a specific number. But I'm not going to talk about salary negotiation strategy as commonly understood today.

I'm going to talk about something that is usually not considered an important factor in salary negotiation, but I have found to be incredibly powerful. And that is the impact of a clearly defined value proposition in your resume and your LinkedIn Profile. Here are two stories.

Job Seeker One: A senior engineer got a job after only three weeks of job hunting with his new resume. (I am disguising information about this person to protect confidentiality.) He'd been searching with his old resume for a year with no luck, in part because he had switched to another field for a few years and wanted to return to engineering. To overcome that obstacle, we needed a really strong value proposition and we developed one. It was the reason he was asked for several interviews and had an offer from an industry-leading company right out of the gate.

He didn't love the compensation packaged offered - it was in the middle of the range for his position. He contacted me and I merely suggested that he point to the value prop in the resume. He did so and was offered $7,000/year more along with a full relocation package.

Job Seeker 2: An IT consultant (employee) got a job after only a couple of months of searching with his new resume. He'd had no success search with his old resume for about a year. We had spelled out his value proposition VERY CLEARLY in his resume. He received and accepted an offer at $30,000 more a year.

What's a value proposition in a resume look like? Here's one part of the engineer's value prop:

"Enabled identification of potentially catastrophic failures early in the product life cycle, thus reducing risk, slashing remedial costs downstream, and avoiding billions of dollars in possible losses from warranty claims."

Here's just one cell in a value table from the IT consultant's resume:

"As a result of (here I included a grid of personal attributes and impacts), the consulting firm gains contract extensions, more referrals, improved consultant billing & higher revenues."

If you were an employer, wouldn't you want the $$ results these people have proven they can provide? Your resume is a golden opportunity to turn your career gold into actual currency. Don't miss your chance!

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Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, executive resume writing, executive resume, executive job search, salary negotiation, salary negotiations, compensation

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

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

Can Someone Clone Your Personal Brand?

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Jan 7, 2011 2:13:00 PM

No 2 personal brands are alike

Now that so many people are branding themselves in the employment market, how do you keep from duplicating someone else's brand and how do you keep them from unknowingly mimicking yours?

Say your brand is that you excel as an operations manager at cutting costs through business process redesign. Well, many, many people probably have that value proposition. So what do you do?

Fortunately, since a personal brand is made up of more than the value proposition, you have the opportunity to fill out the picture more. Consider the constellation that makes up a personal brand: key attributes, abilities, signature achievements, core values, value-add skills, commitments, leadership or working style, outside interests and skills, etc. Synthesizing these into a "living, breathing" personal / career identity makes it possible for your personal brand to be truly unique.

The difficulty comes in communicating the complex picture surrounding the core value prop in a succinct way that comes alive on the page and then finding space for it in valuable resume real estate!

BUT! With the possiblities presented by social media, you can present a more complete and nuanced personal brand than is always possible on a resume.

- If you tweet frequently, your followers will start to know you for your style, interests, values, commitments, knowledge, etc.

- LinkedIn offers some opportunities to present the bigger picture with its links to your personal blogsite / Website and to your associations. By participating in Groups on LinkedIn your audience will come to know the way you think and process information as well as the depth and range of your expertise.

- Facebook with its wide array of ways to interact with it can help fill out some of the picture of you socially.

- YouTube videos in which you talk about some aspect of your work can be tremendously powerful and can communicate many of the intangibles of a brand as well as your expertise and personality.

- If you write a blog, you become available to your public in yet another way. Your "voice" is unique. What you care about, think about, and talk about help define you.

We are all dynamic, living personal brands ever evolving. That makes us different from product brands. But it makes it more challenging to fully communicate too!

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

Are You an Entrepreneur Seeking a Job? Reinvent Your Personal Brand

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Nov 30, 2010 8:33:00 AM

image entrepreneurism resized 600

LinkedIn is having a great discussion about personal brand reinvention based on an article in the Harvard Business Review. Most comments have to do with someone changing dramatically from a software engineer to an artist, etc. But there's another kind of career reimagining that needs to happen for entrepreneurs who want to transition within their own industry.

Here's the scenario in which a job seeker MUST change their personal brand even if they're not changing their industry or even changing their chief competency: they've been running their own business for a number of years and now want to transition to being an employee of a company. It's doable, though not an easy sell.

Usually they can demonstrate extensive knowledge of the industry and superior capability in one or more functional area (usually more). But the hiring authority has concerns about whether a CEO / entrepreneur would be happy or committed over the long haul to working in a situation in which the org chart has clearly defined boundaries between jobs. Employers may have concerns that the entrepreneur would be reporting to someone else for the first time in a long while.

The imperative for entrepreneurs is to infuse their personal brand with elements that assuage those concerns while conveying an irresistible value proposition and even exalting their entrepreneurial experience as a competitive advantage in certain cases.

1. Brand Reassurance: Some of the elements of the new brand might be extensive experience consulting within companies, working with internal and external teams, reporting to program managers or other managers / executives, interfacing and interacting comfortably up and down the organization etc.

2. Value Proposition: The value proposition would depend on the function and industry. For example, an independent sales rep might be able to report having an extensive database of C-level contacts in Fortune 100 companies and a strong closing ratio. Both would be highly valuable to the right company.

3. Turn Your Liability into an Asset: Entrepreneurs may also find that the very fact that they have a mindset of taking a great idea and commercializing it in the form of a viable long-term business is valuable to the right kind of company - a mid-sized to large company that has institutionalized an intrapreneurial approach in some or all of its groups - or - an early-stage company or startup that is looking for proven entrepreneurial talent.

Because it's a harder sell than making a move as an employee, the entrepreneur must nail these new aspects of their personal brand - both in their networking and in their resumes, cover letters and other marketing materials.

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Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, technology executive resumes, interviewing, executive resume writing, executive resume, CIO resumes, career management, career planning, Get a Job, career services, personal brands, reputation management, IT resumes, careers in retirement, job interview

LinkedIn's New Personal Branding Help

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Nov 22, 2010 3:19:00 PM

Personal Branding on LinkedIn

LinkedIn's launch of a global group called BrandYou is a powerful recognition of the movement towards personal branding in careers and job search. William Arruda, the Personal Brand Guru, extended Tom Peters concept about a decade ago and created a methodology and tools to help people create their own personal brand. Others have continued the conversation. And now LI  has put its imprimature on the concept - and appropriately so, as personal branding couldn't be more central to LI's own core brand: a business networking site facilitating trusted connections for business, job search, and knowledge transfer / idea creation.

On the group's main site is a link to several Brand You videos. Don't miss these. They capture facets of personal branding that you don't often hear about, but we all experience: the "magic," "spirit," and "mystery" in strong personal brands.

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Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, personal brand, executive resume writing, executive resume, technology resumes, CIO resumes, personal brands, IT resumes, job interview

A Good Idea to Include Activities & Interests on Your Resume?

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Nov 9, 2010 11:00:00 AM

Add "sailing" to your sales resume?

There's been a trend in resume writing - particularly executive resume writing - to leave off interests and activities unrelated to the person's profession. The thinking was that it's not a good idea to distract readers from the person's consistent career brand as described in the resume. Those extras have been considered simply irrelevant.

But I was struck to read about some research that has implications for what a job seeker should do about this matter. Craig Lambert, in a Harvard Magazine article about Harvard researcher Amy Cuddy, discusses the finding that competence in one area generalizes to overall competence. So, if a job seeker lists "sailing" as an interest, the reader will be more likely to think that that person is competent in his/her job.

My new advice? It doesn't matter how removed the interest or activity is from your profession, include it if it demonstrates an ability or skill that you have. Cello playing for a CFO. Competitive swimming for an IT manager. Sled dog racing for a construction manager.

You get the idea. You'll be considered better at what you do for a living than a comparable competitor with no interests / activities.

 

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Topics: executive resumes, executive resume writing, executive resume, career management, Get a Job, careers in retirement, resume writing

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Tyrone Norwood