When I speak with my c-suite and senior level executive clients for the first time, we discuss the job search issues concerning and impacting them right now . . .
The things they don’t know how to deal with.
The things they don’t understand that may be holding them back
Since their questions range across the spectrum of the job search landscape, I thought it would be meaningful for others facing some of these issues to benefit from our discussions.
So, I’ve gone back to my notes over the past year or so, and compiled a good amount of information to pass on to you.
This first in my series of Executive Job Search FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) focuses on two personal branding issues I’m asked most often.
Over the next several weeks, you’ll see posts here on the other topics in this series:
- Executive Resume FAQs
- LinkedIn FAQs
- Online Reputation Management FAQs
- Executive Job Search FAQs
2 Personal Branding FAQs for Executive Job Search
1. I have a diverse background with widely varying expertise and success in many disciplines. How do I develop my personal brand around that?
Branding starts with targeting and researching specific employers, so you’ll know what specific value you offer and what makes you a good fit for those employers. You need to know who you’re writing your personal brand content for. How else can you whittle down and focus what to include, and what NOT to include?
Being generic in your approach and including everything about yourself – all your strengths and areas of expertise – will dilute your message. Your content may not resonate with the people you want it to, unless you’ve found that your target employers want and need a “jack of all trades”.
Through your research, uncover your target employers’ current pressing needs, and then build your personal brand content (for your executive resume, LinkedIn profile, biography, etc.) around positioning yourself as the best-fit candidate, and differentiating the value you offer over your competitors.
Although it may seem counterintuitive to limit your possibilities by niching your focus, narrowing your search is the way to go. This also allows you to effectively manage relevant keyword density (that is, your personal SEO, or Search Engine Optimization) in your LinkedIn and other online profiles. You need to be sure you balance personal branding with personal SEO.
2. I don’t like to boast about myself. What is the most effective way to write about my brand without coming off as arrogant and boasting?
Many, many executives struggle with this, because they assume personal branding requires you to boast. This can be especially difficult for shy and introverted people.
Branding is about being and communicating your authentic self. So, unless your brand is all about being arrogant and boasting, and these characteristics will be positives to your target employers (not likely), they should not be part of your brand content.
On the other hand, you do need to put forth your best strengths, areas of expertise, passions, and personal attributes (in line with what your target employers are looking for), to help employers determine whether you’ll be a good fit for them.
Something I advise my clients to do, to help them with this issue, is to think of branding as educating people about the value they offer.
Always approach personal branding with your target employers in mind, positioning yourself as a good-fit candidate.