Executive Resumes, Personal Branding & Executive Job Search

Your Executive Resume is No Longer Your Calling Card

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Feb 5, 2012 4:06:00 PM

Populate your online identity

Many things may happen before a recruiter or hiring authority ever sees your resume. These are some: s/he Googles your name, searches for you on LinkedIn, checks Facebook to see what kind of person you are, checks Twitter for evidence of thought leadership.

Then, if you pass those screens, s/he will typically, if hiring for a large company, see an Applicant Tracking System-generated form that has automatically sorted your resume into standard categories (summary, work, experience, education). If at that point you have passed muster, s/he may actually look at your nicely formatted Word resume or the ASCII/Text you submitted.

There are ways to optimize your online identity and resume submissions to improve your chances of being considered for a job. We've talked about some of them earlier in this blog. But what, fundamentally, do you have to do at every stage of your career attract the interest of employers? Show your work results.

Seth Godin has a gift for asking profound questions in a simple way and with few words, an anomoly even in the world of short-form blogs. One of his questions has to do with the answer to "Can I see your body of work?"

He says, "Few people are interested in your resume anymore. Plenty are interested in what you've done." So, how and where can you tell them what you've done, if your resume isn't the first thing they look at?

1. Your own website. Grab a URL from GoDaddy that is your name or your name + your professional identity:  JimJames.com or, if that's been taken, JimJames_Agile.com. Build out a simple 5-page blogsite using Typepad or Blogspot. Home page: your headshot and your branded value proposition. A second page with a beautifully formatted branded executive resume. A third page with selected leadership initiatives, project highlights, or success stories. A fourth with Testimonials about your work. A fifth with your blog. (Yes, the more we know about current competitive job markets, the more blogging - or active tweeting - can help you convey your thought leadership.) And PUT YOUR CONTACT INFO ON EVERY PAGE.

2. Put your branded executive resume with Challenge-Action-Results success stories after every position up on Google docs. Then publish it to the Web making it searchable by search engines. Google docs also lets you share Presentations and Spreadsheets to enrich your presentation of your brand.

3. Build out your LinkedIn Profile. Make it 100% complete and then use some of the apps that allow you to showcase further the value you bring to the table. PowerPoint Presentations, videos, your Twitter feed, reading list etc.

Doing these three things will give you a good foundation to build on as you progress in your career. Keep these items current. You can do this by keeping a record of your projects or inititives with their results and periodically uploading it.

Your identity on the Web should be on-brand and on display on as many professional properties as possible. Godin, with his signature cut-to-the-chase communications, says that if you don't have achievements to convey, you perhaps need a different job.

So, celebrate the work that you and your teams do. Let people know about it. Go public. Ensure that the recruiter or hiring manager going through the steps of an online search on your name pre-qualifies you before ever seeing your resume in hard copy!


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

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:


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.


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

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!


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.


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.


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

The "Facebook Movie": A Personal Branding Object Lesson

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Sep 29, 2010 8:27:00 AM

"The Social Network" premiers Friday - and it promises to be a powerful dramatization of the origins of Facebook and the character of its founder Mark Zuckerberg. The only problem is, it plays fast and loose with the story, and Zuckerberg's reputation and online ID will probably suffer in the process. The movie may well have the power to become "truth" for the huge viewing audience.

Whatever Zuckerberg has done in the past to shape his brand for the public will probably not be able to supersede the impression millions will get of him from the movie. What does that mean for the rest of us, who aren't likely to have a movie dramatizing our lives?

That we'd better control our brand before it is controlled for us. With ~80% of recruiters and hiring authorities using Google and social media to scope out possible candidates, job seekers need to have an online, on-brand ID that projects them the way they want to be known.

If you Google your name and don't come up with anything, come up with very little or with content that is off-brand or of questionable taste, then don't waste any time in getting your personal/career brand out there. Three fast ways to do this are:

1. Go to ZoomInfo.com and fill out your profile: many recruiters go here first to see the profile for you there. If you haven't created your own on the site, zoominfo will go out on the Web and aggregate what it finds there.

2. Go to LinkedIn.com and fill out a complete profile. This site is a go-to source of candidates for employers and recruiters (often after they search your name on Zoominfo).

3.Create your Google profile to give you one more place on the Web that you can control what people read about you.   

Then, go to Facebook.com and, if you have a profile, do whatever you have to in order to eliminate material that may reflect poorly on you (even other people's writing) and keep you from being considered for a job. Even if it means deactivating your account or deleting your wall.

If you go on to invest in the more time-consuming activities to project your online ID - such as blogging, twittering, setting up a brand portal in the form of a blogsite or Web portfolio - all the better.

You still might not be able to prevent Aaron Sorkin from hijacking your reputation should he decide to write a screenplay about you, but you'll optimize the chances that an employer will decide to bring you in for an interview!



Topics: personal branding, career management, career planning, Online ID, reputation management

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Tyrone Norwood