Branding Essentials

Effective personal branding is the only competitive edge you have as you are conducting an executive career search for a $200K-plus position. An executive brand consists of five things: a well-written resume, a personal website demonstrating a significant value-add proposition, a well-constructed and correctly positioned LinkedIn profile, finely tuned interviewing skills, and a personal appearance that communicates, “I belong here.”

Here are the essential truths about executive career search. To secure an interview, you must have a compelling executive brand that causes one person in the company to say to another, “We should speak with this person.” To receive a $200K plus offer, you must eliminate your competition. By adopting both offensive and defensive career advancement strategies that are carefully integrated into your personal branding it is possible to distinguish yourself from the competition. Before an offer is tendered, someone must believe that you are a good “fit” for the company and that you can play well with others. To extract maximum value from your interviews and receive a great offer where you leave no money on the table, you must convince the company that you bring value to both their top and bottom line.

When you can execute the five things listed above 100% successfully, $200K plus is no longer a dream salary but a reality, you will be on your way to successful career advancement.

Now, let’s take a look at how you do in each of the above requirements.

Take your current resume and your watch and start reading the first page of your resume while timing yourself. After 12 seconds have elapsed, answer the following questions:

  • Do they know what my focus is?
  • Do they clearly understand my positioning?
  • Did I provide them enough quantifiable and measurable events for them to be compelled to pick up the phone and call me?

If you have any doubts about whether or not your value-add contribution to the reader was conveyed in this 12-second period of time, then you need a professionally written executive resume.

Assuming that you actually have a personal website, does it communicate a value-add proposition and at the same time conclusively demonstrate not only your value to the company but also that you are a good fit for them too? Does it present your decision making style, as well as your work history? Don’t have a personal website? Then you should seriously consider having one. Your serious competition does.

Over 90% of recruiters today and nearly 80% of HR departments in companies use LinkedIn. Is your LinkedIn profile simply a copy of your resume? If it is, or it is very similar to your resume, you most certainly need a new profile. LinkedIn and other social media profiles communicate your value-add proposition and they are the means to motivate a recruiter or a company to call you for an interview. Are you getting multiple interviews from your current LinkedIn profile?

Personal appearance counts. Yes, it is discriminatory and unfair. Many executives today who will interview you still make decisions based upon how you, as an applicant, appear to them. When they look at you, either through a Skype setting or in person, the perception they form about you from that experience will determine whether or not you go further in the interview process.

It is up to you to deal with that reality. Here is a helpful suggestion. Investigate your wardrobe, appearance and style. Make certain that you look your best. If there is any doubt in your mind, take the necessary steps to improve your appearance.

Like the familiar real estate cry, “location, location, location,” any success you have in that endeavor, will be driven by how successful your personal brand is received in the marketplace. Therefore, your mantra from now on should be: branding, branding, branding!

Good branding will help you secure multiple interviews. Great branding will yield great offers. Call us and let’s discuss your brand and what can be done to improve this most important of all aspects of your executive job search.