Executive Resumes, Personal Branding & Executive Job Search

5 Tips for Writing a Killer LinkedIn Profile from Your Branded Resume

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Jul 13, 2012 12:03:00 PM

writing a LinkedIn profile 

The LinkedIn Profile is now the cornerstone of your career communications. It is gradually, along with other social media sites and Google results, supplanting the resume as an introduction to you as a job candidate. For those of you who are writing your own profiles from your branded resume, I have put together 5 critical tips:

1. Your Professional Headline

- Make sure you have the title you are seeking in your Professional Headline. You can usually find the title at the top of your resume.

- If you can fit it into your allotted 120 characters, include a “reason to hire.” Your “reason to hire” is your value proposition, the value your bring to the table ($$ in revenue enabled, $$ costs cut, functionality improved, etc.)

2. Summary

- The summary is different from the profile on your resume. Keep it to no more that 3-4 short paragraphs.

- Make it less formal than your resume. Use your own “voice” to express your career brand* and your personal brand**.

- Present a quick overview of your career, particularly the last 8 years. Avoid going into detail.

- Include the top accomplishments – if possible, in terms of dollars or percentages.

- Let your personal brand shine through.

3. Skills & Expertise

- Populate your “Skills & Expertise” section with the keywords appropriate to your job target. These are often the same as the skills list that is part of your resume profile.

- Build these keywords into the Summary in a natural way as much as you are able.

4. Experience

- You want the information under the workplaces to be shorter than in your resume.

- Select your most standout contributions. You will find them standing out in your resume. Write them up using bullets.

- Include a brief snapshot of “Scope” – Number of reports, budgets managed, chief areas of accountability, etc.

5. Recommendations

- Get recommendations from people you work with or have worked with: bosses, reports, colleagues, vendors etc.

- Give them some ideas about what to write. Get these from your resume. Anything they can say that will reinforce your brand or one/many of your accomplishments will make your profile even stronger.

 

* Your Career Brand & **Personal Brand

- Your career brand has to do with your position (title, function, industry) and what you uniquely bring to the table (value proposition).

- Your personal brand has to do with the qualities of your personality, character, and style that are part of what make you successful.

 

 

Character Limits

Headline: 120 Chars

Company name: 100 Chars

Summary: 2000 Chars

Skills: 25 skills up to 61 Chars each

Position Title: 100 Chars

Position Description 200 Chars minimum, 2000 max

Interests: 1000 Chars

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Topics: job search, personal branding, career brand, branded executive resume, resume writing, LinkedIn Profile Writing

How a "Badge" System Could Revolutionize Your Brand & Job Search

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Mar 28, 2012 8:39:00 AM

Image Mozilla Open Badges detail

Mozilla, the MacArthur Foundation, and HASTAC* are working on a new model for standards and credentials in learning and job performance called Open Badges. Proposed digital badges allow people to know you by your achievements and contributions, not just your reputation and credentials. Badging represents an innovative alternative to traditional credentialing and takes its inspiration from open source software development.

What is unique about badging is that it gives the individual job seeker an opportunity to be promoted or hired on the basis of actual accomplishments and on-the-job work attributes. Too often people's lack of a specific kind/level of education, training, or traditional work history get in the way of their getting hired. Promotion and hiring are usually based on whether an individual meets a specific standard profile desirable for a specific position. Badging allows for an end run around all that.

Here's an example from Cathy Davidson on HASTAC: "If I’m engaged in a project with someone who does an exemplary job, I can award credit whether that person happens to have Ph.D. from MIT or be a brilliant sixteen-year old programmer in Gary, Indiana—or Nairobi." You can see that badging could be a major leveler across populations at home and across the globe.

Another key feature of badging as proposed is that it allows teams to recognize social, collaborative and other "soft" skills that may be critical to the success of a project but often discounted from hiring decisions. 

The grassroots nature of the proposed model would enable a mutiplicity of badges from many different organizations, whether they be professional, industry, nonprofit or corporate. Sounds chaotic, but badging is an innovation that breaks down traditional barriers and encourages individual initiative. Rather than having your employment fate hanging on traditional resumes, education, work history etc., you can activily earn recognition that explicitly confirms the contributions you have made. Open source programming has models for ways to prevent cheating and gaming the system. 

This is a bottom-up rather than a top-down initiative, with elements of Facebook, crowdsourcing, Twitter, citizen journalism, YouTube, Amazon product reviews etc.

What would a badge system mean for your career brand and your job search? I think it would provide stronger evidentiary support for your brand. It would provide more validation for talented people with portfolio careers or non-linear career paths in job search. It would give weight to non-traditional learning and experiential learning.

Badging, as an alternative form of credentials and standards, is a good match for millenials, in particular, who are already viewing their careers in a more flexible light. Millenials view work more creatively - not the traditional "climbing the ladder" - but moving around to different jobs following interests, making lateral moves, interrupting their work with volunteer or entrepreneurial stints, mastering new skills or content informally.

Keep your eyes and ears open for this revolution in assessing mastery. It just may open up job and career opportunities you had assumed were closed to you. What do you think of the idea of badging? Do you think it could work?

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Topics: job search, personal branding, open badges, career brands, badging, badge systems

Move Over "What Color is Your Parachute": New Career Paradigm

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Feb 21, 2012 2:12:00 PM

Choosing a career

Who can improve on What Color Is Your Parachute, the all-time best-seller in the careers field? Who other than the cofounder/chairman of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman.

From his lofty seat at the top of the top professional network in the world - through which daily flow valuable job postings, job searches, candidate searches, and networking requests - Reid has a unique vantage point for observing the life cycle of careers in 2012. 

Along with his co-writer, Ben Casnocha, he brings into question the idea that each of us has a specific calling that requires only that we discern the color of our particular parachute to know what we should do with our life. This prevailing cultural myth is challenged, and rightly so in my opinion, by Reid's particular insight into the way most people's careers actually develop.

Sure, we've all heard of people who knew from a young age knew that they would be a president of the United States (Bill Clinton), or a composer (Mozart). But most of us, especially as the days of staying with one company for 30 years or more are long gone, follow a winding path where the twists and turns may take us to someplace we never thought of to a job we could never have envisioned.

He gives a number of examples of well-known people, himself (started out planning to work in academia), Tony Blair (started as concert promoter), Sheryl Sandberg (COO Facebook started in public health at the World Bank), and others who have found their way following a different dynamic.

Reid says that careers develop according to the interaction of your assets, your aspirations, and market realities. And that where we end up can be very different from where we started. He also says that often you can perceive an inner logic to the journey. (This may be more where we see Richard Bolles' ideas than anywhere else.)

The book, The Startup of You, is a must-read for anyone charting their career. I believe Reid's ideas have long been true, but technology is currently changing careers, industries, even functions at an accelerated rate. Although somewhat complex, Reid's remarks will help you keep your eyes open to signals of change both within yourself and in the world at large.

His perspective may also take some of pressure off for those who are frustrated trying to look deeply within to discover their purpose. I see the process he describes as more like a white water rafting trip than a fishing trip in search of a particular gold coin.

We each, in our own wonderfully unique way, find a twisting path that is both our own and profoundly influenced by our world. If we are lucky, each stage of the journey holds a fulfillment of its own while providing us with strengths that can transform the next leg of the trip.

I'm a believer, in part, because his observations have been true in my career: teacher of children with learning disabilities, handweaver, careers professional. ?? I think I know why I made those shifts. If anyone is interested, I'd be happy to tell them. But what has been your path? What has influenced you in your career decisions? Do you know where you will turn next? I'd love to hear.

 

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Topics: personal branding, personal brand, career management, career planning, personal brands, career brand, careers in retirement

Job Search Tip! Five Sites Where Recruiters Could Be Looking for YOU

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Jan 26, 2012 8:05:00 AM

 Sites recruiters search

Job search today is bewildering to many. Social media. Job boards. Recruiters. Networking. Should you have your resume out on the Web? Or not? How do you get on recruiters' radar?

Today I'm only going to talk about one piece of the picture: the free sites recruiters visit to source candidates and, therefore, the sites on which you may well want to build out a presence.

1. LinkedIn Groups. Everyone by now knows that LI is a top resource for recruiters. But they may not just be doing keyword searches to pull up candidate profiles. They may also be joining groups where they look for the right kind of candidates. So join prominent groups in your industry and function. Also try to link with recruiters. And grow your network. If you're up for it, become a LION (LinkedIn Open Networker) to exponentially expand your network so that your chances of being found in a recruiter search go up.

2. Twitter. "Rapidly becoming a search engine in its own right," Nick Leigh-Morgan says in his post on "Free Hiring: the secret to $0 cost per hire." Now is the time to think seriously about developing a Twitter profile and starting to tweet on interesting ideas and resources in your field and function. Recruiters ARE searching Twitter for job titles, industries and functions in the hope of turning up interesting candidates. Can you afford NOT to be where they are looking?

3. Jigsaw.com & ZoomInfo.com. Like LinkedIn, these sites allow you to set up your profile with the career brand you want recruiters to see. Recruiters will be sourcing candidates here, so don't pass up this easy way to be found onlilne. Also, being on these sites will improve your searchability. Because recruiters also Google search candidate names, it pays to be on the Web on multiple properties.

4. Blogs. A great way to be more visible to recruiters is to comment on some of the top blogs in your field or function. If you use gmail, use Reader to identify those blogs and interact with them. Also, consider starting one yourself if you are willing to post once or twice a week.

5. Facebook. This one is a little trickier. The melding of personal and professional is sometimes happening and sometimes not. BeKnown, Monster's creature, is making inroads in this area. Another issue is that Facebook is often used by recruiters to rule people out not in. But, all that said, Facebook is HUGE and will assume a larger share of recruiter attention as time goes on. If you think you can maintain a Facebook presence that references your line of work while using it to keep in touch with friends (never veering off into areas you don't want the world to see), then by all means start now.

Of course, if you're not a senior executive and you want to post your profile on job boards, there are dozens where recruiters may be looking. Don't neglect the niche job boards.

But for everyone, take seriously the need to build a presence across most if not all of the five websites above. Just a few years ago, these five sites weren't prime recruiting grounds. Now they are. Just a heads up for savvy job seekers!

 


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Topics: job search, personal branding, executive resumes, executive recruiters, retained recruiters, executive search, using recruiters

Executive Resume Checklist: 15 Criteria to Meet

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Jan 16, 2012 4:34:00 PM

 Executive resume checklist

Executive Resume Checklist

Unsure what you need to do to capture the attention of both search engines and recruiters and hiring authorities? This executive resume checklist will show you what you need to do with your resume to stand out in a competitive field of applicants.

Your personal / career brand and your value proposition

1. The reader can grasp a "reason to hire you" inside of 3 seconds.

2. The recruiter or hiring authority can get a sense of your career brand, that is, what makes you YOU professionally and distinguishes you from the competition.

3. The recruiter or hiring authority can find out precisely what your value proposition is - of supreme importance to the company.

4. Any other credentials relevant to your job such as certifications, multiple languages, global experience, big awards etc. can be found here.

5. You used a headline rather than a career objective unless you are targeting a significantly different career.

6. You customized your resume to the position you are targeting.

7. You matched your career brand and value proposition to the needs of the organization you are applying to.

8. You include any unusual and impressive non-work-related outside activities, community contributions, or skills, because perceived performance excellence in one area transfers to the work arena and this information will make you even more memorable.

Proving your value proposition in the body of your executive resume

9. Your accomplishments are expressed, as much as possible, in quantifiable terms in the body of the resume.

10. Your accomplishments are presented in context, so their proper significance can be understood.

11. Your 5 to 7 chief accomplishments over the last decade (one for each position) stand out visually so they can be viewed in a 3-second scan, with the sub-accomplishments under each of them.

Getting the formatting right

12. Your resume can be read easily across media, including on paper, on a laptop or desktop computer, on a tablet device, and on a smart phone.

13. Your resume uses the appropriate keywords for your function and your industry along with the critical obscure, rarer keywords customized to the position you are targeting.

14. You use common headings for the resume sections so that applicant tracking software will correctly read what's under them, i.e. Professional Summary, Professional Experience, and Education.

15. You have different versions of your resume for electronic and for human processing.

If, when you review your executive resume, you can check off all of these, you will be in a good position to capture interviews for the positions you are targeting!


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Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, technology executive resumes, executive resume writing, executive resume, IT executive resume

Our Power Word for Job Seekers in 2012

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Jan 3, 2012 3:14:00 PM

Image align

Our power word for job seekers in 2011 was LEVERAGE. We used it (and still use it!) in multiple ways: "Joe leveraged his people skills to turn around morale and retention in a team demoralized by multiple layoffs." Or: "Joe leveraged the group's expertise in project management best practices to collaboratively establish the company's first formal PMO."

We love "leverage" because it is able to say so much in just one word and because it is a "body language" word. We can feel what it's like to lift something up with the help of something else (a lever). It's also a word that teaches us about something we can do in our personal brand or our job. For instance, we can use one of our brand attributes to empower us in doing our main job. This attribute may be a strong differentiator for us as a candidate or as an employee.

Our power word for 2012 is ALIGN. It is defined by Meriam-Webster as:

Transitive verb

1. to bring into line

2. to array on the side of...

Intransitive verb

1. to get or fall into line

2. to be in or come into precise adjustment or correct relative position

For example: "The school had to align their programs with state requirements," or "She is aligning with other Senators to oppose his nomination."

Why is "align" a useful word for job seekers? Because employers are looking for applicants...

  • who are aligned with the values of the company
  • whose actions are aligned with their own personal brand
  • who can (for example) align IT with the business objectives of the organization

"Align" can say so much in one word. It can say that the person's personal brand is unified and internally and externally consistent or that the person's work lines up with the values and goals of the organization.

"Align" is a "body language" word too. We can feel in our muscles what it is like to line up with or become parallel to something else.

So here's to 2012! May you align your actions with your core values. May you align the work of your group with the overarching goals of your organization. May you become aligned with a path that will enable you to reach all your personal and professional goals.

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Topics: personal branding, personal brand, career management, executive job search, career brand, career

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

In a Job Search, Who Gets Hired? The MBA or Certified Technologist?

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Nov 18, 2011 4:48:00 PM

Image teamleadImage courtesy of jscreationszs

Let's get real. In business, the guy with the Ivy League MBA usually gets hired first, for IT management positions.  Companies want to hire a graduate of a nationally ranked Business Management program that has been awarded high praise by Business Week or The Economist. However, in today's innovation economy, the MBA has a rival for some management positions: the IT Certified Technologist. 

In terms of cost and time efficiencies, IT certifications yield fairly high value for a lower investment of time and money.  So, while MBA graduates have spent anywhere between one and three years earning their advanced degree, an IT specialist has had the chance to earn certifications in multiple, specialized fields in a more condensed period of time.  

MBA graduates, especially those who come from a top-ranked program, develop business acument through studying finance, marketing, and entrepreneurism. MBA graduates have often studied under the leading professors in their field, endured the rigors of academia, and demonstrated their business savvy through varied internships. 

An IT Certified Technologist, on the other hand, has had intense training in technologies that may give a competitive advantage to the employer. With options ranging from Global Information Assurance Certification, Cisco Certified Security Professional Certification, Certified Information Systems Auditor, and CompTIA Security Certification, IT specialists bring a lot to the table. 

Not only have IT certifications proven to be valuable indicators of field mastery, they also correlate with wage increases, promotions, and new employment opportunities. In a study of 700 network professionals, conducted by Network World and SolarWinds, over two-thirds of the respondents reported that an IT Certification had earned them a new job. Almost one-third of the Certified Technologists surveyed said that professional certifications earned them promotions and salary increases. The evidence from this study suggests that IT certifications improve the employment prospects and earning potential of IT professionals. 

Perhaps it comes down to how critical technical mastery is to increasing profits and driving sales. In the balance, does business acumen trump technical knowledge? It appears that the greater the level of authority, the more critical is the business skill set. Certified Technologists who really "get" how to leverage contemporary and emerging technology to advantage their company have a valuable role to play. If they add business management skills to the mix, they are increasingly competitive for the top jobs.   

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Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, technology executive resumes, interviewing, executive resume writing, executive resume, CIO resumes, career management, career planning, executive job search, Get a Job, career services, career brand, IT resumes

IT Job Search: How to Be Relevant in Today's Job Market

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Nov 17, 2011 10:02:00 AM

Top IT Skills

Photo by scottchan: Cloud Computing Technology Concept

Matt Ferguson, the CEO of CareerBuilder.com, the largest online job board, has a uniquely broad view of the labor market. And what he sees is that, despite high unemployment, there is a major labor SHORTAGE in some niche fields, including technology, engineering, and health care.

In his article in the Harvard Business Review, "How American Business Can Navigate the Skills Gap," Matt suggests several strategies for addressing what he views as a critical skills gap that, if not addressed by business and government, could cause "a long range structural problem."

One of those strategies is retraining. For example, if you are an IT professional and can't find work, consider retraining in one of the IT niches that are in demand right now. Cloud developers is one such area. 

ComputerWorld lists 11 skills that are hot right now. They include:

  1. Programming and application development (Java, for instance)
  2. Project management
  3. Help desk / technical support
  4. Networking (& virtualization)
  5. Security
  6. Data center
  7. Web 2.0
  8. Telecommunications
  9. Business intelligence
  10. Collaboration architecture
  11. Business acument and communication
Read this list carefully, though, and do your own market research to be sure that the skill you would retrain for is hot in your area - and what specific aspect of the general skill is in demand.
If you've watched the TOP HOT SKILLS lists over the last decade, you'll have noticed that they are a moving target. What do you do if you retrain for the skill that is hot now and in three years is not? Keep your eye on emerging trends, extend your capabilities while on the job into the newer skill areas, and know that you will continually be learning and building throughout your career. To remain relevant, know and follow the trends!
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Topics: job search, personal branding, executive resume writing, technology resumes, career management, career planning, executive job search, Get a Job, IT resumes

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

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Tyrone Norwood