A lot of resume writing websites focus on how to build effective resumes to get past an ATS scan and impress a hiring manager. The purpose of a resume is, after all, to land an interview. While many of the steps of a successful job search are similar for someone seeking an executive position, one step cannot be taken lightly…your personal brand.
You’ve already built your executive brand
Articulating that brand into something tangible for a successful C-Suite level job search can mystify some job seekers. It is true that boards of directors, hiring managers, and other stakeholders want to know what you can bring to the table with regard to skills and education. They want more though. As a C-Level executive, you will be a representative of the company. Therefore, who you are as a person matters.
Companies who seek executives are concerned about ‘reputation risk’
Reputation risk starts at the top and is built into the company’s business strategy. Companies work hard to build a solid and transparent reputation. Some employ entire teams devoted to managing the company’s reputation. They carefully craft mission statements and corporate values that denote a positive culture and align philosophies with their target market.
Your personal brand helps show that you value what they value
The most important thing your personal brand does is to build trust. When added to your skills, experience, and education it helps set you apart as an expert and thought leader in your field. While your personal brand is all about you, it must be developed strategically. In everything you do to secure a job, you have to show what you can do for the company.
How do you begin to build your personal brand?
As you’d expect building an executive brand starts with looking inward. If you can’t immediately state who you are, what you do, and what sets you apart from others this reflection may take a little minute. Here are some questions you can ask to help:
- What are you trying to do right now? Are you only trying to find a job or are you trying to take the next step in your career?
- What is the best way to showcase your work?
- In what types of companies are you interested? Do you want to work in an executive position at a family-owned business or do you have your sights set on a Fortune 500 company?
- What is everyone else doing that you’re not? Do a search on LinkedIn for people in similar roles.
- How do you stand out from them?
- Do they have certifications you don’t have?
- Do you see anything that could work against you?
- How can you fix the discrepancies between you and your competitors?
- What is one thing you do that’s better than everyone else?
- List 5 things you value (e.g., a good work/life balance, fixing problems, challenging the status quo, updating processes).
Google your name – manage your online reputation
Part of building your personal brand is to find out what others know about you. You also want to make sure there’s nothing out there that will make you look bad. If there are things that could speak ill towards you, seek them out, and destroy them.
Build your social media branding strategy
Did you know that about 25% of people worldwide have ZERO positive information on the 1st page of a Google search? If you have no reputation, how can a company feel good about the reputation you’ll bring their firm? Start with LinkedIn.
Yes, you want a top-notch profile, but you should also write articles. The content you put out there shows that you know what you’re talking about. It sets you up as an authority and allows people to use you as a resource.
Just like consumers only do business with companies their trust, companies only hire executives they trust. Make them see how you are a good fit.