Personal Branding Really Matters in Executive Hiring

by Meg Guiseppi on October 28, 2013

Personal Branding - Be Different

Are you resistant to defining and leveraging your personal brand in your executive job search?

Maybe you feel so inundated by social media’s over-promotion of the concept that you feel it’s all a bunch of nonsense.

Whether or not you are willing to embrace personal branding, know that it truly matters.

Understanding and being able to communicate in job interviews the personal attributes, strengths, passions, and unique combination of skills that drive you, can make or break your success in landing a good-fit job.

Knowing and being comfortable in your personal brand helps you generate chemistry when you’re interviewing.

LinkedIn’s recent series of posts “How I Hire“, by top-influencing business leaders, confirm how important chemistry is in the hiring process.

The posts also point to the importance of researching your target employers, to know what makes you a good-fit for them (in terms of hard and “soft” skills) and to be able to succinctly communicate your value.

Here are a few snippets from some of the articles, featuring powerhouses such as Richard Branson, Michael Powell (President & CEO at NCTA), Angie Hicks (Founder and CMO at Angie’s List), and Tim Brown (CEO at IDEO).

Branson – “Focus On Personality“:

“The first thing to look for when searching for a great employee is somebody with a personality that fits with your company culture. Most skills can be learned, but it is difficult to train people on their personality. If you can find people who are fun, friendly, caring and love helping others, you are on to a winner.”

Powell – “I Look For Your Failures, and Your Character“:

“When I’m considering hiring someone, the first thing I want to know is: have they ever failed? Have they ever struggled with a serious challenge? The ability to learn from failure, not pure talent, is the greatest predictor of success.

I deeply admire creativity, insight and innovation. I look for employees who see around corners; who notice the little things that others miss; who aren’t afraid to take risks and challenge how things are being done.”

Hicks – “The Top Four Traits Every Employee Needs to Have“:

“I want to hire people who are:

  • Smart, adroit and able to adapt to a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment.
  • Confident enough to try something new and fail; we believe in trying things and tossing what doesn’t work.
  • Passionate about what we do, as well as strategic and no-nonsense in their approach.
  • Committed to their work, without taking themselves too seriously.

When I’m doing the interviewing, I want to know what attracted the candidate to Angie’s List, what interests him or her most about the job and why he or she is leaving the current or previous employer.

Some of my best hires were people I didn’t necessarily have a position for, but whose abilities and personality motivated me to find or make a spot for them.”

Brown – “5 Tips for Landing a Job at IDEO“:

1. They say “we” more than “I” when recounting accomplishments.

2. They talk about failures, not just wins.

3. They’ve spent time teaching as well as learning.

4. They’re nice to the receptionist.

5. We believe in asking for forgiveness, not permission. This goes for the job application process, too. Turning in a standard-issue resume and cover letter won’t turn heads. Candidates who have wowed us have taken creative license and gone the extra mile to demonstrate their capabilities and passion.”

Related posts:

10 Keys To a Memorable Personal Brand

What Personal Branding is NOT

10 Things to Love About Your Executive Brand

photo by Walt Stoneburner

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