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 to help you collaborate with a professional resume writer — I’ve written this 5-part series, from my insider’s perspective.
In Part 3 here, 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 2 – What Personal Branding Is and Is NOT
Here’s what you’ll learn in the last two parts of the series:
How to Define Your Personal Brand for Executive Job Search
These are the 4 proprietary worksheets I’ve perfected over my 25+ years as a careers professional . . . the ones that have helped my clients land the jobs they coveted and deserved.
Develop a Few Defining Career Success Stories for Your Executive Resume
Draw out your top career accomplishments. Zero in on critical contributions you made that were the most valuable to past employers, and that will best align with how you will help your target employers meet specific current needs.
Your “stories” will provide clear, brand-supporting evidence in your executive resume 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.
You may not have room in your resume for all your 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 that will 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
Here’s one such C-A-Rs story that will certainly hit home:
“Generated $7 million year-over-year incremental margin by standardizing yield improvement with simple, sequenced initiatives. Everyone involved knew what, when and how to address margin improvement.”
For various reasons, 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 in Your Executive Resume
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.
A personal brand statement is not a string of keywords and generic claims such as:
“Senior executive with extensive experience developing and managing quality organizations, and leading complex quality upgrade projects within the healthcare industry.”
That statement really says next to nothing about that person. It could apply to almost anyone like her.
Would reading it compel you want to talk to her?
Always remember that authentic branding has personality and generates chemistry.
Fashion a statement of 3-5 lines that:
- Captures your style,
- Comes from your own voice,
- Has a colloquial feel . . . something you’d actually be comfortable saying to people out loud, and
- Lays out your brand attributes.
Just as you are unique, your brand statement should be unique to you.
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 and actually write your executive resume.
More About Personal Branding and Executive Resume Writing
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