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.

executive resume branding


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 1 – Target Your Executive Resume for the Hidden Job Market

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.

More About Personal Branding and Executive Resume Writing

The New 10-Step Executive Personal Branding Worksheet

How to Write An Irresistible C-level Executive Resume in 10 Steps

Toxic Executive Job Search Belief: I don’t need to target my resume

2 of My Favorite Insider Tips for Executive Resume Writing

2 More Favorite Insider Tips for Executive Resume Writing

7 Deadly Sins of Executive Resume Writing

Can You Avoid the Executive Resume Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Vortex?

graphic on Pixabay



Deadly LinkedIn Mistake: Anemic, Incomplete Profile

by Meg Guiseppi on March 16, 2015

I’m constantly surprised by how many executive job seekers still haven’t fully embraced LinkedIn for job search and career management.

Sure, they all at least have a presence on LinkedIn . . . usually a minimal profile with job titles and educational background.

But too many of them have very little content in the many profile sections LinkedIn provides.

LinkedIn All-Star

3 Reasons a Sparse, Anemic LinkedIn Profile Can Actually Hurt Your Executive Job Search

1.  Personal Branding

Your LinkedIn Profile is an ideal place to build and communicate your personal brand and unique value to your target employers. But you need plenty of brand-reinforcing content to back to accomplish that.

2.  Obsolescence and Age Discrimination

An incomplete profile and lack of activity on LinkedIn can mark you as a poor-fit candidate. You appear to be out-of-date with the new world of work, and not social media-savvy.

Both of these can contribute to the ageism factor — a major challenge for executive job seekers over 50. You don’t want to be out of the running, before you’ve even been considered.

3.  Findability

Perhaps even more importantly, plenty of keyword-rich content is what drives LinkedIn’s search engine to push your profile to the top of results when executive recruiters and hiring decision makers search for candidates using those relevant keywords.

More Content = More Relevant Keywords = Greater Chance of Being Found

Many of your competitors – for the jobs you want, at the companies you want – know this, and have worked hard to fully develop their profiles.

Just to keep pace with them, you need to do the same . . . even if you do no more with LinkedIn than passively sit there with a complete profile.

LinkedIn says “Users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.”

LinkedIn’s criteria for a complete profile:

  • Your industry and location
  • An up-to-date current position (with a description)
  • Two past positions
  • Your education
  • Your skills (minimum of 3)
  • A profile photo
  • At least 50 connections

(If you’re reading this post much after it was published, these criteria may have changed, so check that link for the latest. Like all social media, LinkedIn constantly updates and upgrades functionality and features.)

You can measure your progress towards a complete LinkedIn profile by viewing the “Profile Strength” indicator at the top of the right column, on your “Profile Edit” page. If your profile shows “All-Star” – like the graphic above – you’ve met all the requirements.

More Information about LinkedIn and Executive Job Search

LinkedIn, Personal Branding & Executive Job Search: Perfect Together

5 Toxic Beliefs That Can Derail Your Executive Job Search

Get the Most Out of LinkedIn

How Do I Find a Job in the “Hidden” Job Market?

How to Network Your Way Into a Great-Fit Executive Job