Are you thinking that 2022 is the year you really want to score that executive-level position with your company? Or for a completely new organization? Either way, you’re going to want to have your marketing tools ready for the new year-new job search adventure, and being able to present hiring managers and recruiters a targeted, executive-level resume is the first step in the process.
Whether you haven’t updated your resume in 20 years or two, it’s still necessary to take a long inventory of what is currently on the resume, what needs to be added, and what you can do to make it better. Here are a few tips to get you started…
Everybody knows that you should have your contact information, work experience, and education on your resume. However, this information still needs to be strategically written and displayed, so that it stands out and doesn’t just look like a pile of information you quickly plopped on a piece of paper.
In your contact information, include your name (professional), relevant credentials (CPA, MBA, PhD, etc.), phone number (mobile is preferred), email address (personal-not work or school email), and your location (city/state is sufficient). Your name should be bigger and stand out more than the rest of your information, which should be displayed professionally, either after or underneath your name. Include the word “LinkedIn,” and link your resume to your online profile, if, and only if, your online profile is complete and optimized for your new job search. (It needs to send the same message as your resume.)
Your career history needs to start out with a strong title. PLEASE do not use the words “work” or “employment” in your title. Think of how an executive would talk about his/her career. “Professional Experience,” “Career Narrative,” or “Career Chronology” are some other options. Write this section so that it is keyword-saturated, achievement-focused, and achievements are quantified where possible. If you were a sales leader or in a position where you made an impact in growing business or revenue, this is your opportunity to share this information! Use creative/colored bullet symbols to separate your achievements, and ensure that your job titles and years in each position are accurate.
If you are a new graduate, your education information can be listed at the top of your resume. If you are NOT a new graduate, this section should follow your career history and, depending on how long ago you graduated, you may want to leave the years out of this section. If you make the title “Education & Credentials” (or something of that nature), you can also include any relevant certifications and professional development/training here.
THE EXECUTIVE NEEDS:
Now that you have the basics started, there are other things you need to include in your resume to tell your story, appeal to the reader, and ultimately market yourself effectively for the job you’re vying for.
Use industry-specific keywords and powerful descriptors to paint a brief introductory picture of who you are, what you have done, and the value you can provide in an executive-level role.
Branding is KEY! Come up with a branding statement or at least some type of title at the top of your career summary, so that the reader knows immediately what level you’re at (or want to be at).
What are you known for? What are you good at? What do you love to do? What do you want to continue to do in your next role?
You could also just use a few key terms or even multiple titles (COO, CFO, etc.) to show the reader this information.
If you want to communicate some of your best career successes, adding a “Career Highlights” section just before your employment history is a great idea. Include 3-5 bullets of your biggest career achievements (successful programs you’ve implemented, process improvements, cost reductions); anything that shows where your leadership resulted in a positive outcome for a client or an organization.
Think “results-rich” statements when you are deciding on what to add. Think METRICS. Where did you generate millions in cost savings? What strategies or deep dives did you conduct to see where there were holes and money drains?
How are your problem-solving skills? Do you shine when listening and communicating to your team? Are you good at critical thinking? What about conflict management? Don’t underestimate the power of your soft skills. Companies are hungry for that balance.
Board Leadership & Affiliations
Companies want to hire executives who have industry knowledge and can work with Boards of Directors and/or other c-suite teams. Include your memberships in professional organizations, as well as any board experience you have (paid/volunteer).
How were you able to flex and adapt during the pandemic? What changes have you made, contributed to, or implemented relating to the pandemic? What role did you lay?
Want to level up? Then you better level up the look of your resume. Your format needs to stand out just like your content, so PLEASE, do not do a simple black/white, 12-point Times Roman font for your entire resume! Add some pizzazz! A little bit of color goes a long way in getting your resume to stand out in the pile–and is also very appealing to the eye.
Additionally, including language proficiencies (if you’re seeking a global position), honors, awards, publications, etc., anything that can help the reader to truly get to know you in the brief few seconds taken to scan the resume.
These are just a few things you can do to ensure that your resume is on target to give a strategically written chronology of exactly who you are, what you have accomplished, and the value you can provide in an executive-level position in 2022.
Using Keywords to Create a Compelling Story on your LinkedIn Profile
If you are currently employed or actively seeking employment, chances are you have already established a presence on LinkedIn so recruiters and hiring managers can find you (and if you aren’t on LinkedIn, then quit reading, sign-up on the site, and then come back to this article). My question is…what are you doing/including on your profile to ensure that you actually can be found? Are you networking in industry-specific groups?
Making connections with colleagues in your field? Applying for jobs? Whatever you are doing, you need to ensure that your profile contains quality content that communicates your value and markets you effectively for the jobs you’re applying to. How do you do that? It all starts with saturating your content with targeted keywords and keyword phrases that are in line with the skills and qualifications hiring managers and recruiters want to see when looking for candidates in your field.
LinkedIn is actually a large database that uses certain fields to sort information on user profiles. Utilizing effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies (i.e. keywords) on your profile is how you will get “selected” during database searches.
Keywords are just what they say they are – “KEY” words that you need to have on your profile to not only be found in candidate searches but also to show that your skills match the qualifications companies are looking for. Here are a few areas of your profile where it is so important that you are using keywords, and not just any words to tell your career story.
Your headline is located just below your name, so it is seen immediately when somebody clicks on your profile. You have 120 characters (yep, that’s it) to pull the reader in to want to learn about you-make the most of that space. Note: LinkedIn automatically uses your current job title in the headline when you sign-up so check to make sure that is what you want on there. Otherwise, you need to change it immediately. Use keywords that are relevant to the positions you’re applying.
For example, instead of “Sales Manager at Acme Products” (which may be your current job title), make your headline “Business Growth Executive: Sales & Operations Management, Revenue & Territory Expansion, Branding, Account Development“.
You have just used 119 characters to tell the world what you can do and not just what your current job title is.
Once the reader sees your amazing headline, the next step will be to find out more about you in your profile’s “About” section. LinkedIn allows 2,600 characters in this section-plenty of opportunity to tell your career story.
Think of your “About” section as you would a cover letter, tell a little about yourself and your career trajectory. Include some quantifiable highlights and your keyword list, or a list of core competencies.
This is an ideal section to get the most bang for your buck when you are trying to get the right keywords for SEO purposes. Be creative and clear when using keywords to share your best attributes. Don’t just put “Management”, instead use “Global Operations Management”. You have the space, you just need to use it to your advantage to effectively market your skills and competencies.
You only get 50 entries in this section, so it’s imperative that you make each one count. As with your “About” section, you want to use the right keywords (skills). Instead of “Leadership”, try “Executive Leadership”. Not only does that tell the reader that you are a leader, it also tells them what level of a leader you are! Are you in HR? Do you really want to consult and not just be in one spot? Then add “Human Resource Consulting” as one of your skills.
Once you start putting information into this section, LinkedIn will automatically give you some suggestions as to other skills you may want to use that are related to your field. If the skill fits, use it. Try to fill this entire section, but if you can’t, don’t try to fill it in with soft skills or fluff. Your skills must appear relevant and dynamic–fluff won’t help you get found during an SEO search. Hint: you can always look at the profiles of some of your colleagues to see what industry-specific keywords they are using in their “Skills” section.
The bottom line…the “key” to increasing traffic to your online profile is to ensure you are applying effective SEO techniques and strategies. Use the right keywords in the right places so that you get noticed by hiring managers and recruiters looking for candidates in your field!
Are You Building Your Executive Personal Brand with LinkedIn Comments?
Your executive LinkedIn profile brings you more benefits than simply the ability to connect with other professionals. When you incorporate LinkedIn comments into your job search strategy, you can give your online presence a boost, naturally grow your network, demonstrate your expertise and always be at the top of the mind of other professionals. Of course, the type of comments you leave makes a difference as well, so never post anything negative about anyone. Here are some effective ways LinkedIn comments can help with your c-level personal branding efforts.
Comment On Original Articles
Part of your LinkedIn profile development may be to publish original articles periodically. It’s a good strategy to implement and you’ll notice others have a similar strategy. One way to earn even more credibility is by commenting on those articles by your peers. You should only write a few short sentences about the article, stating what you liked most, what you agreed with, what you found or anything else you deem to be appropriate. The author will appreciate the time you took to comment on it and will likely return the favor at some point.
Be Active in Group Discussions
LinkedIn groups are also a great place to build your c-level personal branding. People who actively comment in groups can demonstrate their brand and what they represent as a person and a professional. The biggest challenge with LinkedIn groups is finding the ones relevant to you and your job search and knowing who to communicate with. You never know whom you may encounter in these groups, but active communication can open up many doors.
Always Look Out For Updates From Connections
When your connections post significant updates, don’t hesitate to comment and congratulate them on an achievement or start a discussion with them. Also, be sure to post updates on your executive LinkedIn profile as well so people have the opportunity to comment on your updates. You don’t want to go overboard with your updates at any given time, but it is valuable to post an update once a week or so. When your connections see you comment on their updates, your c-level personal branding efforts will get a boost since they believe you have a genuine interest in what’s going on in their professional life.
Professional Resume Services helps executives with aspects of LinkedIn profile development they didn’t think were important. Something as simple as commenting on someone’s original article can go a long way in boosting your c-level personal branding efforts and can promote great discussions. Being active on LinkedIn can tap you into the hidden job market in many different ways, so contact us today to see if your profile and activity are on the right track.
4 Benefits of Knowing and Communicating Your Personal Brand
You may not think your personal brand is important, but hiring managers and business professionals do. This means you have to understand c-level personal branding to communicate it and know how others perceive you professionally. If you think about it, c-level personal branding isn’t difficult if you are authentic in the way you speak and act around others. And doing so will help you easily demonstrate your value and differentiate what you have to offer compared to others in your industry. Here are some of the main benefits of understanding and communicating your personal brand.
You Come Across As Authentic
Understand your talents and your limitations and don’t say you’re an expert in something when you’re not. Authenticity is something highly valued by hiring managers and is usually easy to see. Being truthful and transparent are great personal attributes that can benefit you professionally as well, and will enhance your c-level personal branding efforts tremendously.
Understand Your Strengths and Weaknesses
No one is an expert at everything, so avoid trying to make yourself seem like you know everything. Focus on your strengths and the value you bring to the table, while also acknowledging your weaknesses. Follow-up on your weaknesses by stating ways you’re working to turn them into strengths. Doing so will give your personal brand a positive image since you’ll be seen as a well-rounded professional who is always working to improve their skills.
Know How You Are Perceived
It’s hard to know how you’re perceived without asking someone. An executive LinkedIn profile writer is a good resource to evaluate your profile and give their expert opinion on what people may think about you. And outside of LinkedIn, don’t be afraid to ask your trusted peers about how they perceive you professionally. You may be saying or doing things that are hurting your perception without even knowing it.
Demonstrate Your Value Without Having to Communicate It
When you are comfortable with who you are as a person and a professional, you don’t have to sell yourself as much. Of course, you have to demonstrate your value to a potential employer, but it doesn’t mean you have to go over the top to do so. Many times your c-level personal branding speaks for itself. It takes some time to be completely comfortable and accepting of who you are, but once you are then you won’t have to communicate it as much since it will be clearly visible.
At Professional Resume Services, we focus a lot of our efforts on helping executives with their c-level personal branding. Our LinkedIn profile writing service is popular because it is one of the building blocks for creating your personal brand. It’s no secret that developing your personal brand takes time and a consistent effort, but that doesn’t mean it has to be hard. Feel free to contact us for tips on how to make your branding efforts simple and effective.
The Importance of Staying Up to Date With Your Online Presence
Many executives don’t appreciate the importance of having a positive online presence. And some don’t understand their online presence should always be kept up-to-date. If you’re actively looking for a job, you’re putting yourself in a big hole if recruiters can’t find you online. Having a clean and updated executive LinkedIn profile is a necessity today rather than a luxury. It’s worth hiring a professional LinkedIn profile writer if you’ve never developed one before, and there are plenty of other ways to develop and maintain a positive online presence. Here are some reasons why it’s so important.
Recruiters Always Look For An Online Presence
One of the first things a recruiter will do when they receive a resume is conduct an online search for the person’s name. If you have a negative online presence, or no online presence at all, then your chances of moving to the next step in the hiring process are slim. At the very least, develop your executive LinkedIn profile to the point where it shows up at the top of the search results. That way, you’ll know exactly what recruiters are seeing when they search for your name.
Tips For Enhancing Your Online Presence
With the high-level of importance of personal branding for senior level managers, there is always room to improve your online presence. Being active on LinkedIn and other social media platforms will increase your visibility. You can also publish original articles to your blog or social media profiles. Joining LinkedIn groups and participating in discussions on professional forums can also help promote your name. Just be sure to think carefully about everything you post online, as anything you say can be used against you.
Monitor Your Online Presence Regularly
Once you feel comfortable with your online presence, you can’t get complacent. You should always be looking to improve your presence and brand. Monitoring your brand online is critical since anyone can post negative information about you. Do a search for your name periodically and see what results show up. While you may not be able to remove information completely, you can combat it by responding appropriately. You don’t want to let any negativity about you linger online for too long since it could tarnish your reputation.
Professional Resume Services is here to help you upgrade your executive LinkedIn profile and more. We are much more than just a resume writing service. We take pride in working with every one of our clients individually and look at the big picture in terms of job searching. Your online presence is just as important as your resume itself, so contact us to see how we can help you build and maintain yours.
How Social Capital Can Benefit Your Executive Job Search
Developing and maintaining relationships is critical in the professional world. We’ve all heard about the importance of networking when it comes to a job search, which also ties into social capital and c-level personal branding. When you help enough people get what they need, the favor will eventually be returned to you when you least expect it. People in your network may be able to offer a tremendous amount of value to you in different ways, so there’s no harm in asking for a favor if it’s done so appropriately. Just be sure you’ve built up enough social capital before doing so.
How to Start Building Social Capital
You can’t have social capital if you don’t have a trusted network of professionals. Start by focusing on your LinkedIn profile development and building your list of connections. Reach out to former colleagues and classmates to see what they are up to. But you don’t even have to stop there. Talk to people every chance you get, whether it’s your neighbors, people you encounter at different events you attend and more. As you start growing your list of connections, you’ll be taking steps in the right direction to build your social capital.
People Value Connections and Relationships
One thing about networking and c-level personal branding to always remember is people value relationships. So you shouldn’t simply ask a connection for help finding a job. They will be more likely to help you if they’ve developed a good professional relationship with you over a period of time. You can do this by reaching out periodically via your LinkedIn executive profile, talking to them over the phone or even meeting with them in person occasionally. Staying in touch even when you don’t need to ask a favor is valuable and will strengthen your social capital.
You Never Know Who Can Help You Reach Your Goals
Being genuine in your c-level personal branding efforts can pay dividends in the long run. You never know when someone you cross paths with can benefit your job search efforts, so treating everyone with the same amount of respect is important. The more you give, the more you will receive in return. Small daily actions to continue developing your social capital may lead you to opportunities you never thought were available otherwise.
At Professional Resume Services, we help executives craft the perfect resume as well as focus on LinkedIn profile development. Job searches today involve many different elements, and we are here to help ensure all bases are covered. Social capital is very valuable for executives, so feel free to contact us at any time for more tips and advice on how to improve yours.
When a job seeker realizes networking isn’t optional today, they will have a better chance of finding a job quickly. Even executives with extensive careers and who are considered to be experts in their industry have to always be working on their c-level personal branding. There are many misconceptions about networking, including the common belief that it’s not necessary to find a job. Here’s what you need to know about networking to clear up those misconceptions.
Networking Isn’t Asking For Favors
It’s natural for people to not like asking for favors, so they choose to skip networking events. However, your mindset going into a networking event should not be to ask for favors. Rather, it should be to generate engaging conversations with like-minded professionals and see where the relationship goes from there. Asking someone for a favor is not recommended since it could negatively impact your c-level personal branding.
Networking Isn’t Always Formal
If you’re intimidated by the thought of going to a formal event with hundreds of other people, then start out smaller. Make connections through your LinkedIn profile and if you make good conversations with someone, ask if they would like to grab coffee or lunch. Networking doesn’t have to be defined as attending a formal event. Making conversations with people informally is still considered networking and can even be more valuable since you have a one-on-one connection with the person.
Networking Is A Way To Tap Into Hidden Job Markets
The best executive resume writing service can educate you about the hidden job market if you aren’t aware of it. High-level executive jobs aren’t often posted on job boards or anywhere else. You have to know someone to even know there’s a job available. Networking is a perfect way to do it. Keeping up with connections on your LinkedIn profile is an effective method and could lead you to opportunities you didn’t even know were available.
Networking Is Beneficial For Reconnecting
Take some time occasionally to go through your list of connections on your LinkedIn profile and reconnect with them. You don’t have to be actively searching for a job to do so. Your connections will likely appreciate you reaching out to them just to get an update on how their career is going. It’s great for c-level personal branding to always keep your name at the forefront of people’s minds, and making simple conversations is a great way to do it.
Professional Resume Services always stresses the importance of networking to executives who visit us. We can give you tips on how to effectively display your LinkedIn profile, boost your c-level personal branding and much more. A quality resume is only one component of a successful job search, so feel free to reach out to us at any time to ensure you’re covering all bases with yours.
Check These Top Things When You Update Your Executive LinkedIn Profile
By now most executives should understand the importance of LinkedIn as it relates to c-level personal branding. However, too many people spend a lot of time developing their profile and then neglect it for years. While it’s not necessary to be active on the platform every day, any executive LinkedIn profile writer will suggest making at least one weekly post and always updating it as needed. Not doing so could make you miss out on valuable opportunities. Here are some things to consider when updating yours.
Ensure The Content Aligns With Your Personal Brand
If it’s been a while since you last updated your profile, then do a thorough review of the content to ensure it aligns with your personal brand. Your c-level personal branding should evolve throughout your career, so your connections and recruiters need to know what you bring to the table today. Having outdated content can hurt your brand more than not having any content at all.
Optimize Your Profile For SEO
Optimizing your profile for SEO purposes can be challenging, but it’s necessary. Many executives work with a LinkedIn profile writing service to help get them on the right track. Sometimes this may mean simply incorporating the appropriate keywords into your summary. Other times your profile may need a complete overhaul. The goal is to have your LinkedIn profile be easily discoverable in an online search.
Update Your Headshot
Your LinkedIn profile headshot should be only of yourself and you should be dressed professionally. And if it’s been several years since you’ve updated the photo, consider doing so as you’re making other updates. At the very least, your current connections will see you’ve updated your headshot and may prompt them to click on your profile to see what else you’ve been up to.
Is Your Contact Information Current?
Believe it or not, one of the most common mistakes an executive LinkedIn profile writer sees is having outdated contact information on profiles. If a recruiter sees you aren’t willing to at least keep your contact information current, then they likely won’t hold you in high regards with other aspects. You never know what opportunities may come your way through LinkedIn, so always make sure your information is accurate and current so you don’t miss out.
Professional Resume Services offers a LinkedIn profile writing service to help executives optimize their profiles. Developing your profile initially is the hard part, but maintaining it afterward should be a breeze as long as you keep up with it regularly. The best thing to do is conduct a monthly or quarterly review of your profile to ensure it still aligns with your brand. If you need any assistance or have any questions along the way, feel free to reach out to us at any time.