Executive Resumes, Personal Branding & Executive Job Search

Job Search Next Practices: Online Identity as Competitive Advantage

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Jan 26, 2012 4:20:00 PM

Build out your online identity to get a job

You'd be surprised, but only about one out of 10 of the technology executive clients I speak to have a built-out online identity - that is, they show up in more places than just LinkedIn. The time is past when a progressing executive can afford to be invisible on the Web. In fact, a built-out Web presence can serve as a critical competitive advantage, whether you are in a job search mode or not. The one thing to remember is:

EVERYONE GOOGLES EVERYONE!

This is even more true of recruiters and hiring authorities. In fact, the executive resume may well be one of the last pieces of marketing content they see, following the LinkedIn profile, FaceBook, Twitter, and whatever else they turn up in a Google search of your name.

This fact is actually good when you consider that you are able to present yourself and your career brand in full-color 3-D. Let's look at the sought-after candidate of the future:

  • He doesn't just have a 100% complete LinkedIn profile, he takes advantage of everything LI can do. He adds a PowerPoint presentation to convey subject matter expertise or achievement. His Twitter feed on LI shows that he is in touch with what's going on in the industry and function. A video he embeds in his profile gives viewers a chance to see him in action and hear his voice. His Groups activity demonstrates once again that he is a player. He provides insightful Answers.
  • She has a Twitter profile and a significant following of at least hundreds of interested followers. Her tweets are a record of her professional interests, expertise, and resource sharing.
  • She skillfully blends professional and personal on her Facebook page, ensures that Timeline has a clean record of her comments, and puts up a profile on Monster's BeKnown.
  • He uses Slideshare or Sliderocket to store PowerPoint presentations.
  • He is on YouTube giving talks on his areas of subject matter expertise.
  • She may have tasteful photos on Flickr that show more of her life, including travels, family, etc.
  • He has profiles up on Jigsaw, ZoomInfo, and other similar sites.
  • He has an about.me page with URLs to properties where he can be found online.
  • She has her own personal website or blogsite where you can see her resume, testimonials, projects, leadership highlights, etc.
  • She blogs regularly on professional issues and comments on other people's blogs.

Perhaps a Google of Bing search will also turn up entries from press releases, published materials, speaking engagements, etc.

It simply will no longer be enough to just have a resume if you are embarked on a job search or seeking advancement within your own organization. So begin now to build out your online identity so that a search will find on-brand content you want people to see. If you do so at the dawn of 2012, you will have an edge on the competition.

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Topics: LinkedIn, Online ID, online identity, online reputation management, Twitter, Facebook

The Yin Yang of Personal Branding

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Dec 30, 2011 10:14:00 AM

The yin yang of personal branding

There are two sides to every coin and two halves to every whole. Yin needs yang as black needs white and light needs the darkness. We are a universe of perceived dualities. Personal branding also depends on the relationship of two parts.

What are the two parts of personal branding?

  1. Your unique promise of value coupled with the attributes, passions, and skills that you bring to the table. So why can't your personal brand stand alone? What else does it need?
  2. The pain or challenge of an organization that you uniquely solve. Your personal brand depends on / requires / is shaped by THE NEED IN THE MARKETPLACE. For instance, what is it that you do particularly well or in a way that's particularly helpful in enabling an organization meet its strategic goals?
The answer to that question may become clearer if you assess your impact on: growing revenues / profit / profit share, cutting costs, streamlining processes, producing efficiencies, increasing teamwork, inspiring peak performance, enabling high growth etc. These are among the common strategic goals of an organization. Select one or more that is enhanced by your contributions and what gifts you have that make that possible.
When you figure out what your unique "ying" is in relation to a particular "yang," you will have a powerful message to communicate in your executive resume, personal branding, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, other web profiles, and interviewing. 
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Topics: LinkedIn, personal branding, executive resumes, executive resume, executive resume, personal brands

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

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

25 LinkedIn Tips for Your Job Search

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Jan 14, 2011 5:51:00 PM

25 LinkedIn Tips for Job SearchThe vast majority of employers and recruiters search LinkedIn before deciding whether to interview you. If you're conducting a job search, do you know how to optimize LinkedIn to your advantage? Here are a few ideas. Please add additional ones in comments!

  1. After your title, add your industry (if that's the one you want a job in) and then pump it up with your brand if you wish: "Go-to SAP Project Manager"
  2. In your summary, nail your value proposition and competitive advantages.
  3. Use the common keywords recruiters or hiring authorities would use when searching for someone like you.
  4. Put in a comprehensive list of keywords under Specialties to attract search engine attention
  5. Under Experience, just hit your main achievements and contributions. Use numbers whenever possible.
  6. If your title isn't the one a hiring manager would use to search for someone who does what you do, put your formal, legal title in, then a slash, and then the title that you would have in most companies: "Business Continuity Analyst / Business Continuity Manager"
  7. Make your profile as complete as possible. Include links to any websites or blogs and to your Twitter and Facebook pages.
  8. List all your educational institutions, training, associations, and memberships to provide keywords that may help other users find you.
  9. Include a headshot. Make it professional even if it's taken from your digital camera.
  10. List your interests, community involvement, and extracurricular activities. They give you individuality and make you memorable. Also, studies show that skill in one area (swimming) tranfers to perceived skill in your professional area (Program Management).
  11. List your LinkedIn groups.
  12. Consider which applications you'd like to download (see bottom of your profile). 
  13. Participate in the Answers feature in your field to demonstrate subject matter expertise and thought leadership.
  14. Join one or more groups related to your field of expertise. Contribute to it regularly. This helps your reputation as a thought leader.
  15. Ask as many people as you can to write a recommendation (stick to professional contacts).
  16. Recommend others. They may return the favor.
  17. Consider embedding a video in your site - it's a real differentiator and allows you to show your enthusiasm and expertise in your field.
  18. Connect to people you know and have confidence in.
  19. Let LinkedIn mine your email addresses and give you the opportunity to invite some of them.
  20. Do research on companies you are interested in working for.
  21. Find names of people who work in those companies or who have worked there recently (all this can be done in a simple search).
  22. Send a message or an inmail if it's available to them to ask if you could speak with them for 5 minutes to learn something about the culture of the company from within.
  23. Find out any inside information you can about where the company is going that will help you tailor your message to them.
  24. Go to Settings and check the box that says you'll allow inmail and introductions.
  25. Go to Jobs and start using the largest job board on the Web!
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Topics: job search, LinkedIn, executive resumes, career management, Get a Job, career services, LinkedIn Profiles

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Tyrone Norwood