Part 3 – Differentiate Your Unique Value Proposition and Build Personal Brand Content
To help you prepare to write an executive resume that will help you compete in today’s job market — or help you collaborate with a professional resume writer — I’ve written this 5-part series, from my insider’s perspective.
Today I’m focusing on the steps you’ll take to define and communicate your personal brand, or unique promise of value to your target employers.
Catch up with Parts 1 and 2 of this 5-part series:
Part 2 – What Personal Branding Is and Is NOT
Here’s what you’ll learn in the last two parts of the series:
Part 4 – Strategize the Content and Write Your Personally Branded Executive Resume
Part 5 – 10 Resume Do’s and Don’ts – Insider Tips To Capture Attention and Land Interviews
How to Define Your Personal Brand for Executive Job Search
Start with my 10-Step Executive Personal Branding Worksheet, based on the worksheet my clients complete as part of my branding and executive job search readiness process.
→ Develop a Few Defining Career Success Stories
Draw out your top career accomplishments. Zero in on critical contributions you made that were the most valuable to your employers, and that will best align what you have to offer with your target employer’s current needs. Your “stories” will provide clear, brand-supporting evidence of how you tackle and overcome challenges, and make things happen.
Illuminate these accomplishments using the C-A-R (Challenge – Actions – Results) or the S-T-A-R (Situation – Task – Actions – Results) exercise.
There may only be room in your resume for one or two concise stories. Keep the rest ready for interviewing and/or use them in a separate Leadership Initiatives Profile.
→ Link Vibrant Branding to Your Value Proposition
Showcase the monetized value you’re offering. Build in proof (with figures, percentages, and dollar amounts, when possible) that you have a history of impacting bottom line and will do so for your next employer too.
Based on your C-A-Rs work, craft several achievement statements to send a strong message. For best impact, introduce the contribution with the standout result(s) first, then concisely explain how you got there, including relevant keywords:
“Accelerated revenue from $500K to over $18M in 16 months building full life cycle venture capital solution for start-up service provider.”
Not all of your achievements can be anchored to dollars. If so, indicate how you improved processes, communications, team performance, etc. Try framing this as a comparison of how well things were running once your solutions were introduced, to how it was before.
Again, lead your achievement statements with the high-impact results first:
“Reduced turnover 50% and improved metrics by innovating value-added staff models to incentivize and engage everyone in the mission.”
→ Craft a Stand-Alone Value-Driven Brand Statement
A designated brand statement placed at the top of your resume, in itself, is a powerful differentiating visual feature. It should vividly announce what you’re offering and how you’re different from others who do the same work. A dramatic element like this will immediately draw in the reader.
Fashion a statement of 3-5 lines that captures your style, comes from your own voice, and lays out your brand attributes. Just as you are unique, your brand statement should be unique to you.
For deeper information, see Get Personal With Your Executive Brand Statement.
If you complete all the exercises above, you’re nearly finished with the information-mining part of the executive resume writing process.
In the final two parts of this series, I’ll show you how to pull all the pieces together.