One of the most important factors to consider as you build a career is the always-shifting balance between your EXPERIENCE and how accurately it’s being COMMUNICATED to the outside world. So many of the high-performers I’m privileged to coach during job searches have spent years not having to consider this issue. They’re “in it,” deeply engaged in their work, and any thoughts of executive branding seemed non-essential.
But that was then, and this is now. Now you’re looking for a new opportunity. Now you’re realizing a VAST CHASM has emerged between how you’re coming across, and how your competitors are positioning themselves. And now, executive branding, done right, must become an ally.
Here are 3 measures you can take RIGHT NOW to give your executive brand emergency CPR:
1) Create and Promote a Theme.
Most people spend way too much time describing the “hows” within their Resume and LinkedIn Profiles…when what they should be focusing on are the “whys.” You’re never going to get real buy-in from people, and you’re certainly not going to inspire them to act unless you show them why they should care first!
Ask yourself: what’s the connective tissue behind your biggest professional achievements? What are the ways in which you can move things forward and really apply vision? Distill it all down to 3-5 ideas max.
For example, a leader in tech Product Strategy could highlight:
-my ability to consistently find the ROI in next-gen tech, both on behalf of startups and multi-billion dollar companies. SaaS, Mobile, A.I with focus on Enterprise Hardware.
-my entrepreneurial background, how I use it to stay agile and deliver rapid ROI in high-risk situations. I’ve used it to forge key alliances and partnerships, reposition entire product portfolios, etc.
-my passion for creating cultures that are customer-oriented, deeply accountable, and coalesced around a powerful vision for the future.
Now that you have a theme, here are some places to integrate it:
-Right at the start of your Resume. Skip the tired Summary or Objective section, and create a few opening bullet points which talk to these points instead.
-Within your LinkedIn Profile. Keep the tone conversational and write in the first person (ex. I help healthcare organizations deploy the technology, processes, and training required to reach a new level of excellence in patient care.)
-In pre-developed Core Stories for the Interview. Review your work history and develop a mix of stories which actively demonstrate the main ideas of your theme. NOTE: I will be doing a webinar on How to Elevate your Job Search & Career through Storytelling right here on Ivy Exec where I’ll teach you exactly how to identify, develop, and get the most from your Core Stories, sign up here.
2) Join 10 Major LinkedIn Groups.
Did you know that you can send 15 free direct messages to group members every month- regardless of whether or not they’re a connection of yours? This is a fantastic, and heavily underutilized perk of joining the right groups. College alumni groups and major company current and former employee groups are both rich sources of valuable new connections- and members tend to be particularly open. Also, take a look at groups that focus on an area you specialize in (ex. IT Telecom Professionals).
3) Create a Few Content Hooks.
Having some great, RECENT content in-hand is an excellent way to increase brand impact. Publish a post on LinkedIn- you’ll not only get a boost in terms of engagement from your network, but it’ll attach to your profile and serve as an evergreen “credibility builder.” Share a few status updates per week on LinkedIn sharing interesting content, asking questions, and getting to know what really resonates with others. Stay current, active, and experimenting- you got this!