Take a look at your executive resume, LinkedIn profile, VisualCV, and other career marketing communications.
What has immediate impact? What do you notice first? Do your brand and value proposition hit home at first glance?
Whatever sits at the top of your online and “paper” marketing communications will seal the first impression you make on anyone reading them. If you fail to capture attention and generate some chemistry with what hits eyeballs first, you may lose the reader for good.
You may not be aware that, with an overload of C-level and senior-level candidates to assess, recruiters and hiring decision makers may allow only 10-15 seconds to determine whether or not you make the cut.
Assume that they may look no further than the top half of your resume and/or the top of your LinkedIn profile (whatever lands first on the screen), so be sure your compelling personal brand message is immediately apparent.
Keep this in mind — whatever lands above the fold should be powerful enough to stand alone as your personal brand value calling card.
If you can instantly draw them in, you may be able to entice them to read the whole document or profile. So, doesn’t it just make sense to leverage this prime real estate to best position your personal brand message?
By the way, if you’re a senior executive and you’re not busy on LinkedIn, you’re missing out on golden opportunities to penetrate the hidden C-level job market, by connecting directly with decision makers (or their circle) at the companies you’re targeting.
You’ll have to decide just what on-brand information reflects the best you have to offer and position it above the fold in your marketing communications, but I offer the following suggestions.
I’m assuming that you’ve already worked on your personal brand and come prepared with on-brand personal marketing materials. If you need help with branding, see my post 10 Steps to Uncovering and Building Your Authentic Personal Brand:
Getting a Competitive Advantage With Your Executive Resume
♦ Add a brief tagline under your name.
♦ Add a link to your LinkedIn profile with your contact information.
♦ Generate chemistry by leading your resume with a personal brand statement that crystallizes your promise of value.
♦ Insert 2 or 3 bulleted standout contributions you made that were major achievements. Lead these concise, value-driven statements with the WOW! result first.
♦ It’s okay to bring forward critical information that would otherwise land on page 2 of your resume. For instance, if you have an MBA or other relevant certifications or training, don’t hide it on the second page. The reader may never get there!
Making the Cut With Your LinkedIn Profile
Take a look at your LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have one yet, take a look at mine. What sits on your screen when you open it up, without doing any scrolling down? Are you taking advantage of what you can do here to promote and evidence your personal brand?
♦ Add a key word-rich tagline directly below your name. You can pack quite a punch with the allowed 120 characters.
♦ Keep working on building your number of contacts and brand-reinforcing recommendations.
♦ Add links to 3 web pages. This is a perfect place to link to your VisualCV, if you have one, or website, or blog. Don’t have any of those? You can link to anything about you online. Maybe you published an article or white paper? Maybe a standout contribution or accomplishment was written about online?
♦ Regularly refresh the “What Are You Working On?” feature that sits just below your name. Whatever you post will fade away in about a week, so keep up with it. This spot affords you a great opportunity to stay top of mind with all your LinkedIn connections because, each time you refresh your answer, they’re notified of your latest project.
♦ Personalize your LinkedIn public profile URL, by replacing the meaningless mix of characters with “your name”, as I did: www.linkedin.com/in/megguiseppi
♦ Lead the “summary” section with your personal brand statement and whatever you placed above the fold in your resume.
Get the Best Out of LinkedIn for Your Personal Brand, Networking, and Executive Job Search