You need to do 3 important things first . . . before you dive into your executive resume and LinkedIn profile.
The other day I was speaking with a senior-level executive job seeker in the healthcare industry who said she was not getting much response to her resume.
We reviewed it together, and I asked her what kinds of jobs she was targeting, and in which industry.
Her answer was one I hear often.
“Well, that’s the thing. I know I’m best suited to move into [kinds of jobs], but I’m very interested in several other industries and disciplines, too. My expertise is very broad-based.”
She said that, after having her resume written by a professional earlier in the year, she had been rewriting and tweaking it to broaden its appeal . . . or so she thought.
Her constant tweaking had, in fact, watered down the content so much that her true value to her future employer didn’t shine through.
Now she was thoroughly confused about how to position herself in her resume and LinkedIn profile, and stuck in neutral in her job search.
Because of her crippling mindset, she didn’t know how to deal with writing her LinkedIn profile either. It was generic and anemic, lacking much content, and also getting little action.
Don’t fall prey to one of the deadliest job search mistakes – trying to launch a search campaign without a clear target.
Her marketing efforts had become generic. She was trying to cover too many bases and not hitting home with any of them.
Executive recruiters and other hiring professionals assessing her by what they found about her online or in her resume weren’t clearly seeing her as a good fit for the jobs they were trying to fill.
They didn’t have the time or inclination to sift through and ponder whether her unfocused mix of relevant and immaterial skills and contributions made her someone worth considering.
This job seeker had started her job search without being prepared. She wasn’t ready to write a compelling resume, LinkedIn profile, or other personal marketing materials.
She didn’t know exactly who she was writing for, so she didn’t know what kind of content they should contain.
3 Things You Must Do Before Writing Your Executive Resume and LinkedIn Profile
1. FOCUS: Get clear on what you want to do next.
Decide what kind of position(s) you’re seeking, in which industry.
Do you want to do the same kind of work for the same kind of employer? Or do you want to switch gears and do different work, in a different industry?
This goes beyond helping you focus your search. It will help you clearly and succinctly communicate just where and how you’ll add value to a company or organization. And it will help you know how to tell others how they can help you reach your career goals.
Choosing a specific industry may or may not be an issue for you. For some roles, industry doesn’t matter. But you really need to know what kind of work you want to do, as specifically as possible.
2. TARGETING: Compile a list of, say, 15-20 companies or organizations that will meet your career needs.
Target your search so you’ll know who you’re writing your resume and LinkedIn profile for, and how to position yourself as the best hiring choice. Research each company on your list for your due diligence and to determine:
- Pressing need(s) of theirs that you’re uniquely qualified to help them meet,
- Which qualifications, skills sets, and areas of expertise you possess that they need,
- What makes you a good fit for their corporate culture,
- If they’ll provide the kind of work/life balance you require, and
- Which relevant keywords you’ll need to use in your resume and LinkedIn profile. Keywords help you get found by hiring professionals.
3. PERSONAL BRANDING: Define your personal brand to generate chemistry in your resume and LinkedIn profile.
Personality and leadership style are important qualities to employers. They want an indication that you’ll fit in with their corporate culture and ramp up quickly in leading their teams.
By connecting your “softer” skills – personal attributes, values, vision, drivers and passions – to the hard qualifications they need, personal branding helps people determine whether you’ll be a good personality fit for their company.
Strike a chord, make a vivid connection, and set yourself above your job-hunting competitors with brand messaging that differentiates your unique set of qualifications and value promise to your target employers.
Next step — start writing your executive resume and LinkedIn profile!
Now it’s time to write the content for all your personal marketing collaterals, plan your job search strategy, and begin networking your way into a great-fit new job.
Some executives won’t need to work with a professional like me to help them write their LinkedIn profile, resume, biography and other job search communications.
Do you write well and understand personal marketing? Then you may do a good job yourself.
But do yourself a favor and start with my worksheets for personal branding and job search. They’ll help you uncover the right information and understand how to leverage that information.
If you’re having trouble, turn to a professional.