Why Is It So Hard to Write My Own C-level Career Brand Biography?

by Meg Guiseppi on June 22, 2010

Composing a biography (or any other career marketing document) can be overwhelming. It’s not easy to write about yourself. Knowing what to include, what not to include, how to write to the reader, and why hiring authorities care about your personality are just some of the stumbling blocks.

You may not understand the value of a career brand biography over the traditional bio you may be used to – a boring rehash of your resume that gives little or no feel for what kind of person you are, what attributes and strengths drive you, and how those brand attributes can benefit potential employers.

I find that my clients sometimes have a hard time completing my bio worksheet, even though they know I’ll be doing the actual writing. They resist talking about themselves. But also, some are worried about broadcasting what they consider to be highly personal information about themselves.

I reassure them that it’s okay to let people in on their softer side. In fact, this is the very information hiring authorities are seeking in top-level executive candidates, but don’t often get, and gives my clients a competitive advantage over their peers who don’t use this strategy.

I tell them to rely on the storytelling benefits of brand bios to complement and work in tandem with their executive resume. Bios can do what resumes don’t do as successfully:

  • Showcase your leadership and management acumen through softer skills and “good fit” attributes, and link them to your value proposition.
  • Personalize your C-A-Rs (Challenge – Actions – Results) stories and use them to reinforce your brand attributes and key strengths.
  • Generate chemistry around how you use your key personal attributes, passions, strengths, and motivated skills to make things happen for employers.
  • Help employers connect with you and envision you on the job, having a positive impact.

Related posts:

How to Write a C-level Executive Career Brand Biography

10 Steps to an Authentic, Magnetic Personal Brand

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

 

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meg Guiseppi June 24, 2010 at 6:14 am

Hannah, thanks for such a lovely comment and compliment – one of the nicest I think I’ve ever received! I appreciate your continued support and friendship, now that we’ve “met”.

What Debra and I (and many, many other professionals in the careers industry) do is help executives uncover and translate their promise of value to align with their target companies’ needs, in words that will resonate with them.

Some job seekers do a good job of this on their own, but many find that they can’t do this for themselves, and are wise enough to know it and seek help.

Ciao!
Meg

2 Meg Guiseppi June 24, 2010 at 6:14 am

Hannah, thanks for such a lovely comment and compliment – one of the nicest I think I’ve ever received! I appreciate your continued support and friendship, now that we’ve “met”.

What Debra and I (and many, many other professionals in the careers industry) do is help executives uncover and translate their promise of value to align with their target companies’ needs, in words that will resonate with them.

Some job seekers do a good job of this on their own, but many find that they can’t do this for themselves, and are wise enough to know it and seek help.

Ciao!
Meg

3 Meg Guiseppi June 24, 2010 at 6:12 am

Thanks for visiting and commenting, City.

When used to its best advantage, a career bio is a storytelling tool — a great opportunity to align your promise of value with your target companies’ needs through career success stories, that help them envision you doing the same things for their company.

Good idea to post a list of books that inspire me. When I actually have time to spend with a book, it’s usually light, diverting fiction, but I did just start digging into Michael Bosworth’s “Solution Selling”.

Best,
Meg

4 Meg Guiseppi June 24, 2010 at 6:12 am

Thanks for visiting and commenting, City.

When used to its best advantage, a career bio is a storytelling tool — a great opportunity to align your promise of value with your target companies’ needs through career success stories, that help them envision you doing the same things for their company.

Good idea to post a list of books that inspire me. When I actually have time to spend with a book, it’s usually light, diverting fiction, but I did just start digging into Michael Bosworth’s “Solution Selling”.

Best,
Meg

5 career sherpa June 23, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Meg and Debra: You are providing your clients with the language and words to use. These are foreign to them in most cases. We don’t talk about ourselves or the work we’ve accomplished easily. That is why it is so important that you are helping them find the vocabulary and voice to convey who they are and what they want to be known for! Hurrah!

6 career sherpa June 23, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Meg and Debra: You are providing your clients with the language and words to use. These are foreign to them in most cases. We don’t talk about ourselves or the work we’ve accomplished easily. That is why it is so important that you are helping them find the vocabulary and voice to convey who they are and what they want to be known for! Hurrah!

7 City Sylvester June 23, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Meg, I’m glad I dropped in on your blog today, because I learned something new, personalizing C-A-R stories.

Have you ever considered adding a list of books that inspire you? I’d love to know what you’re reading these days.

8 City Sylvester June 23, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Meg, I’m glad I dropped in on your blog today, because I learned something new, personalizing C-A-R stories.

Have you ever considered adding a list of books that inspire you? I’d love to know what you’re reading these days.

9 Meg Guiseppi June 22, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Thanks for your comment, Kathi.

Your husband came up with a clever way to differentiate himself and capture attention. Interesting idea!

-Meg

10 Meg Guiseppi June 22, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Thanks for your comment, Kathi.

Your husband came up with a clever way to differentiate himself and capture attention. Interesting idea!

-Meg

11 Meg Guiseppi June 22, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Thanks for commenting, Debra.

Generally, my clients who have difficulty “opening up” on paper, are the same way in conversation. Just as you say, it all feels like bragging to them.

But I do find that, in consultation, as we’re working on their branding and positioning, and pinpointing the precise words that describe them, they often express gratitude that they now have a way to talk about themselves that feels comfortable. Probably because the messaging we create together is truthful and authentic, it doesn’t feel like bragging.

Ciao!
Meg

12 Meg Guiseppi June 22, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Thanks for commenting, Debra.

Generally, my clients who have difficulty “opening up” on paper, are the same way in conversation. Just as you say, it all feels like bragging to them.

But I do find that, in consultation, as we’re working on their branding and positioning, and pinpointing the precise words that describe them, they often express gratitude that they now have a way to talk about themselves that feels comfortable. Probably because the messaging we create together is truthful and authentic, it doesn’t feel like bragging.

Ciao!
Meg

13 Kathi Browne June 22, 2010 at 11:40 am

My husband includes his degree from BassMaster University on his resume. It ALWAYS gets attention and identifies him among the plethora of candidates. Of course he doesn’t consider it as important as his physician executive degree or any of the other letters after his name, but he knows that part of being a good leader is being personable. Who doesn’t love fishing?

14 Kathi Browne June 22, 2010 at 11:40 am

My husband includes his degree from BassMaster University on his resume. It ALWAYS gets attention and identifies him among the plethora of candidates. Of course he doesn’t consider it as important as his physician executive degree or any of the other letters after his name, but he knows that part of being a good leader is being personable. Who doesn’t love fishing?

15 debra feldman June 22, 2010 at 11:36 am

Meg- All great points made about writing an effective branded professional bio. Do you find that the same individuals who find it difficult to write or talk about their achievements, also have a tough time communicating their value proposition when networking in person or by phone or email? I find in my practice, that individuals who can’t declare themselves in writing are also usually stumped in describing their value proposition and reporting their accomplishments. I find that once I open the doors for them as their agent and introduce them to new contacts, they are much more able to have a productive dialogue and show their network what they can contribute. If one has trouble with “bragging” on paper, they almost always are uncomfortable talking about themselves. But if they can get past the difficulty of writing up their best points, then they can sometimes become more at ease talking about their successes. What’s your experience with this?

16 debra feldman June 22, 2010 at 11:36 am

Meg- All great points made about writing an effective branded professional bio. Do you find that the same individuals who find it difficult to write or talk about their achievements, also have a tough time communicating their value proposition when networking in person or by phone or email? I find in my practice, that individuals who can’t declare themselves in writing are also usually stumped in describing their value proposition and reporting their accomplishments. I find that once I open the doors for them as their agent and introduce them to new contacts, they are much more able to have a productive dialogue and show their network what they can contribute. If one has trouble with “bragging” on paper, they almost always are uncomfortable talking about themselves. But if they can get past the difficulty of writing up their best points, then they can sometimes become more at ease talking about their successes. What’s your experience with this?

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