Recently, I was speaking with a client who was eager to get out of the industry she had worked in for 20+ years to follow her dreams of becoming an Interior Design/Home Improvement/House Flipping professional. As she had spent her entire career as a Purchasing Agent in the Automotive industry, she wasn’t sure how to start her journey into a more creative field, especially when she had been in the same one for so many years.
It’s actually quite easy. When making a career change, especially to a completely new industry, it’s important to focus on highlighting your transferrable skills and some of your biggest career accomplishments on your resume and LinkedIn profile. Here are some quick steps to get you moving forward to the job of your dreams:
Change up the format of your current resume – create a format that makes your transferrable skills stand out (don’t let the need to follow tradition scare you!) and ensure that those skills and best leadership qualifications are highlighted in your career summary, branding statement, and keyword list (areas of expertise, core competencies, etc.).
Transferrable skills – so many clients have told me “this is what I want to do, but I don’t think I’m qualified”, when actually – they really are. It just requires some thought and creative writing (which is why she hired a professional service). When making a career change, it’s imperative that you include skills you’ve used in your current field that could be applied to the next one. Organizational Development, Brand Development & Promotion, Project Management, Budget Administration, Process Improvement, Team Collaboration, Vendor Relations, Inventory Procurement, Cost Control, Negotiation Strategies, etc. These are all areas of expertise used across industries.
Show where you have made an impact – at any point in your career, you should be able to show where you’ve made an impact to the organization(s) you’ve worked for. Quantifiable results work well when you highlight your accomplishments in a “Career Highlights” section on your resume. Sales goals? Cost savings initiatives? Process or program improvements? Building partnerships that result in revenue growth for your company? Add financial or numerical values where you can, and show the impact you’ve made on the organization’s bottom line!
Education and credentials – this is another one that holds people back. Just because your degree is in one area doesn’t mean you can’t excel in another! Don’t let a label from 20 years ago hold you back! On-the-job training, experience, professional development, etc. are all things that can show you have diversity in what you know and what you are capable of doing in any field! There are also tons of online certifications and skill development you can get to prepare for and show you’re eager to learn about your new field. For this particular client, she was getting her real estate license to get some more experience in the industry, staging, client relations, etc. which will make her a more marketable asset for her clients, etc.
LinkedIn – As with your resume, your LinkedIn profile is your tool for getting noticed – but more importantly, this platform allows you to get noticed on a global scale with basically a click of a mouse. Make sure your profile is optimized with key terms and highlights using language recognized in your future industry. Even if you don’t have the licensing or certifications you need right away, you can still show that you are working toward those goals. Include links to projects you’ve completed to give readers a visual view of your creative style, published works, projects, etc. There is a lot of room for information on LinkedIn, and you need to ensure you are using the site to showcase you in the best ways possible. NOTE: LinkedIn is a huge source for not only finding jobs and connecting with colleagues and other friends, but also for networking and joining groups within your new industry. The more you network and learn, the faster you will grow in your field.
Social Media – in addition to LinkedIn, you can market your skills, experience, and accomplishments on multiple sites to get your name out there. Start a business page, use creative content, and be sure to brand yourself appropriately – even when you are limited in the character amounts you can use – you can still find something short and sweet to speak to your abilities. Effective branding is key in getting noticed and pulling the reader in to want to learn more about you!
Don’t let age, lack of formal experience, or anything else keep you from pursuing your dream job. If you’re willing to learn and work hard, you can do whatever you want in your career and in life – you just need to prepare for the change, ramp up all of your marketing tools, and hit the ground running with a positive “I’ve got this” attitude.
You know the phrase…”it’s never too late to teach a dog new tricks”…it became a popular phrase for a reason. Take ownership of that mindset and rock your new career!
Leadership Tools for Executives Seeking New Opportunities
Taking on a new leadership opportunity can come with undue stress surrounding the demands and qualifications of the role. Familiarizing yourself with the common tools executives use to operate at their full potential can make a major difference in your confidence entering the new position. Use the strategies listed below to give yourself a head start on your new career step and get you ready to be the best leader you can be!
Strategic Thinking and Decision-Making
Every individual has a different skill set and expertise that makes them fit-to-hire within given leadership roles. Leadership responsibilities can be some of the most demanding, and can require the right kind of professional characteristics and skills to reap beneficial results. It calls for prompt and accurate decision-making and strategic thinking to devise the right solutions for issues that may arise internally and externally, as well as the ability to be innovative and find creative solutions to complex problems. Supporting innovation amongst employees and team members is also crucial to gain a wide set of perspectives and expertise, and resolve issues that depend on broader or more focused thinking.
Strategic thinking is another attribute that allows for the design of forecasting and prevention methods that combat possible challenges. It can be used by leaders to address internal team changes, concerns, advancement opportunities, and to instill proper conflict management and resolution strategies. Strategic thinking also applies to external factors by helping to monitor competitors entering the market and determining the best course of action internally to address new demands and differentiating factors. This can lead to more forward-thinking production planning to remain relevant and on top of changing trends to be a market leader.
To determine whether or not you are a strategic thinker, review these qualifying characteristics:
Strategic leaders do not try to fit the mold. They think outside the box, even if it is unpopular to do so, to take calculated risks.
They learn from their experiences to implement tried and true improvements and prevention methods that could yield better results.
They push themselves and their teams to accept new challenges. They believe in their team, having full confidence that their efforts will lead them to success.
They keep a positive attitude, seek opportunities, and seize them. They do not let fear of failure dictate their actions, but instead, push past comfort zones to seek better results.
Strategic thinking leaders are forward-thinking influencers. They influence decision-making and set a purpose-driven example by driving team members to trust the process, and believe in what their leaders are striving toward.
Management Strategies and Tools
Technology is making waves in modern business, demanding new leaders to familiarize themselves with the right tools that get the job done. The main role of tech-based tools in leadership is to keep projects and strategies organized and easily accessible. They also provide data collection to further streamline leadership decision-making and forecast future trends that could impact the internal operations.
Managing financials is one of the major responsibilities bestowed upon leaders, so having the right organizational tools to manage financial information is key to accurate project planning, payroll, and budgeting. Management tools like ERP systems include modules that cover all major aspects of financial management. Familiarize yourself with these tools taking the business world by storm to bring in a fresh perspective on ways to properly utilize its features to improve operational productivity, better outline future project plans and forecast possible budget constraints. CRM software can also be used for external operations to ensure that all client relationships stay organized and production meets their demands to remain competitive in your company’s given market.
Managing tools do not always consist of tech-based software, but can focus on team building strategies as well. Research varying ways of engaging employees to learn their individual strengths and weaknesses and adjust your leadership approach accordingly. For example, introverted employees may prefer more authoritative leadership, while more independent team members may prefer the opportunity to engage in knowledge and power-sharing methods. With this knowledge, you can build a more effective team and connect with employees on both personal and professional levels to build trust. Be sure to be genuine, open, well-informed, and accessible to team members, and share your credentials to instill their confidence in your direction. Be goal driven to find purpose in everyday work and influence your team to seek shared goals by acting as a coach. Do not assume you have all the answers, and take employee input and ideas into consideration. Studies show that engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave an organization. Modern leaders are transforming traditional leadership by supporting collaborative, authentic, and creative work environments where professionals can flourish and share their expertise on a fair and even playing field.
Training and Team Building
Proper leadership training will most likely take place post-hiring, but it is still good practice to review the training materials and process prior to acceptance of the role. Begin by learning core leadership practices and processes, and understand the different leadership styles to determine which you identify with most. These styles consist of:
Autocratic Leaders…create clear strategies and expectations and perform decision-making processes on their own. These leaders are prone to micromanaging, and this style is the least desirable.
Delegative Leaders…allow teams to make decisions together with a collaborative style.
Participative Leaders…balance between the first two styles of leadership. They provide guidance and set standards for their teams, but take into account ideas, feedback, and input from team members in decision-making processes.
Having a grasp on ways to train prospective team members is important. Recognizing each individual’s specific skills and strengths will help you delegate tasks accordingly and can result in higher levels of efficiency and productivity. If a team member wants to broaden their skills in order to take on new challenges, determine a comprehensive training program that offers both in-person and online courses that are accessible and can be completed in a timely manner to get your team up and running as promptly as possible. A communication strategy also helps with training initiatives by opening the flow of information from team members to leaders, and supplies transparent feedback and insight into training offerings to implement improvements in problem areas. Clear communication also creates channels to review goals and timelines to ensure the team is up-to-date on current deadlines and processes.
Building motivation amongst team members requires realistic goal setting and recognition of both small and large achievements. By outlining a goal- orientated strategy, team members are able to envision their role in making impactful decisions and innovative thinking to develop calculated action that brings the team closer to its common goal. As a leader, you need to set an example and remain transparent about expectations and team or process changes. Team building activities are a great way to keep all team members informed of these changes, and allows for recognition to be shared regarding milestones and accomplishments. 35% of professionals surveyed in a recent study found that gratitude and recognition boosted their overall productivity. Fostering positive morale and motivation helps keep you and your team members happy, productive, and moving forward toward common goals.
The Future of Leadership
Keeping a weathered eye on the leadership horizon before applying to a new role is key to understanding where leadership techniques are headed and if your skill set and personal attributes align with future demands. With the adoption of automated tools, artificial intelligence, and emerging technologies changing the game, the pace and rate of change is increasing. This can easily become overwhelming when trying to evolve a strategy and team to meet or surpass these demands. Team skills and expertise will need to reach higher standards and be tech-driven. The need for technology knowledge is key to growth and steady positive performance. Overarching goals and objectives are based on these future trends and market demands, so perform in-depth research on up-and-coming leadership tools that may be seeing a digital transformation in coming years. Boost your own skills to remain competitive amongst other candidates and prepare yourself for being a leader in a tech-driven world.
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.
Your personal brand is one of the main factors that will differentiate you from other candidates throughout your job search. Too many executives make the mistake of thinking c-level personal branding doesn’t matter once they reach a certain level, especially if they have no intentions of leaving their current job. The truth is establishing and maintaining your personal brand is important no matter what stage you’re at in your career. Your executive LinkedIn profile is one of the best ways to do both. Here’s why LinkedIn can be so valuable for personal branding for senior level managers.
You Are More Discoverable Online
You have to expect recruiters and hiring managers to do an online search for your name after you send them a resume or meet them at a networking event. The ultimate goal should be to have your executive LinkedIn profile show up at the top of the search results. If that happens, they will read the information you want them to and it will demonstrate your personal brand accordingly. With the right mix of keywords and content, your LinkedIn profile can be a major reason why you get recognized.
A Platform For Demonstrating Your Knowledge and Expertise
Part of c-level personal branding is demonstrating what you have to offer to potential employers. LinkedIn is the perfect platform for broadcasting your value, whether you do so by joining LinkedIn groups, commenting on or sharing posts or even posting original content. The more active you are, the more knowledgeable you will seem depending on the nature of the posts you make.
Shows You Are Savvy With Today’s Technology
Sometimes not being active on LinkedIn is worse than not having a profile at all. Companies today want to know how savvy you are with technology. How you utilize your executive LinkedIn profile is one way to do it. Recruiters can’t tell if you simply don’t prioritize c-level personal branding or if you don’t have the knowledge to build your profile. Most of the time they will default to assuming you aren’t technologically savvy, so do your personal brand a favor and polish your profile.
Professional Resume Services believes c-level personal branding and crafting the perfect resume go hand-in-hand. There are so many different variables to think about in today’s job searching landscape, so it’s easy to overlook some aspects. Our experts are ready and willing to help you out with any part of your career efforts, so don’t hesitate to contact us at any time for assistance.