Category: Executive Branding
Customers value authenticity more than ever. Executives must now connect emotionally on social media, echoing their company’s values and purpose, in order to generate trust and loyalty.
Raoul Davis, Partner at Ascendant Group, a global CEO and corporate branding firm, shares three great tips for CEOs to improve their branding in the Forbes article, “Executive Branding: The Importance Of Communicating Values To Increase Emotional Connectivity.”
A big thanks to Forbes for publishing my article, Today’s Executive Resume Is No Longer Just For Job Searching, which highlights five ways executives may not have considered utilizing their resume to advance their career.
If you’re an executive looking for trending advice on how to update your resume for maximum result, follow my executive resume writing tips below!
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This is a MUST READ for all C-level leaders. It resonated with me deeply, because I learned a long time ago that the foundation of all interviews is the opportunity to engender trust in a small window of time. Read the full article, “Why Jonathan Thurston is One of the Most Trusted Leaders,” by personal branding coach, Jane Anderson.
Good information on protecting your online image:
Read about it here!
A very interesting and short article on The Executive Biography from BlueSteps. They have a fresh idea: use your bio when networking. I like that idea a lot!
A couple additional tips:
- Who else expects to see your biography? Boards and Senior Groups in PE/VC Firms.
- Please never, ever, ever use an amateur photo in your bio or LI profile. A professional photo with good lighting is the quality level you must stick to. Please, trust me on this one. You deserve to look fantastic and your attention to professional polish will keep your confidence intact!
Read more here: BlueSteps
Many C-level executives tell me they have a LinkedIn profile but don’t really do anything with it. Other CxOs share they don’t even have a profile. Concerns range from simple lack of time or interest to privacy concerns.
I think the main issue is lack of understanding relative to value. Many executives simply don’t see how LinkedIn can benefit them. But there IS value in having a LinkedIn profile if you are a top executive. Below are several ideas and tips for leveraging those benefits:
Adjust Your Privacy & Settings
First, if you are concerned about privacy, in the security settings of your profile, you can change the setting for “Select who can see your connections” to “Only you.”
This way, your company and your competition cannot see who you are connected to. And if you wish to connect with others that may raise an eyebrow or two within your team (top-retained recruiters—or even your competition), no one can view your connections except for you.
It’s a good idea to have an email—and maybe even a phone number—at the very beginning of the Summary statement. This ensures that people who may be visiting your profile can reach out to you, even if they may be outside of your first- or second-degree network of connections. If you are open to new opportunities, there is no reason to broadcast it, since you can very easily give someone a way to reach out to you!
Privacy tip: set up a new Gmail account with a variation of your name or something that is business-friendly, and use that email in your LinkedIn Summary statement.
When deciding on your keyword headings, think about what a recruiter or other key decision maker might be looking for when searching for someone like you. An advanced degree, splashy award, high-level certification, or size/scope information, such as “Fortune 500 Companies,” “Fast Growth Start-Ups,” Board Member,” or “International Expansions.” If you are looking to change industries, think of how broad your industry choice can be without looking as if you are searching for another opportunity.
Depth & Breadth
Most resume writers agree that LinkedIn profiles are best written in first-person informal. Generally speaking, the details in your profile should not be covered as thoroughly as they are in your executive resume. A good rule of thumb is to add just enough detail to create intrigue. Your profile should never, in my professional opinion, broadcast that you are looking for another opportunity. LinkedIn seems to work best for establishing thought leadership and to expand your network into specific areas.
Expand Your Network
When you expand your network with recruiters and key decision makers across a few industries and divisions, you are creating a network that can be leveraged. For example, a few years ago my husband was complaining that his LinkedIn connections were almost nonexistent. He is in the wine business, so I suggested he find those in “his tribe” through direct searches and LinkedIn groups and invite them into his network. Within 45 days my husband had more than 400 of the most powerful global connections of suppliers, distributors, wineries, vintners, wine-recruiters, HR directors, and high-profile critics in the wine industry. He regularly receives important information and job solicitations now through his LinkedIn profile.
Have your read an insightful industry article in Forbes that you agree with? Did you recently attend—or even better—speak at an industry conference? Attend or help lead a community event? Why not share that in your activity broadcast? Articles are another great way to share your insight; including pictures or videos will make them more clickable. Remember to keep it all business! This is an excellent way to solidify your brand and thought leadership within your network.
Although there are many other optimization and design tips that are important to know, these tips are great starting points to get you using LinkedIn as a tool that will give you market leverage and solidify your branding message.
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Only 5% of executives I speak with on a weekly basis share with me that they are “happy” with their LinkedIn presence and that they regularly attract ideal job opportunities through LinkedIn.
The other 95% share with me that although they may have a profile, they don’t do much with it—and frankly, that’s because they are not sure what to do with it.
A question for you: What are three things you WISH LinkedIn could do for you? Please stop reading for a minute and define one to three things you wish LinkedIn could do for you.
I’ll wait here …
- Bring you more business?
- Draw ideal job opportunities to you?
- Establish the perception of thought leadership?
- Scout for talent for your company?
Once you define what is important to you—you can then determine how to use LinkedIn to provide you with optimum market leverage.
If you want to establish thought leadership, look into WHAT you want to say to your audience—and use LinkedIn’s activity broadcasts to do it; or post using LinkedIn’s blog feature (like I do!).
If you want to scout for talent, you might want to upgrade to a Premium account and concentrate on expanding your network. You could also explore LinkedIn’s Recruiter App for your company’s needs.
If you want to energize your network, you might want to first write out all of the reasons WHY that is important to you—and then develop a simple system to spend 15 minutes per week on LinkedIn to actively increase your connections. Can you define the industry, titles, geographic locations, and so on, that you want to expand? This will help!
If you want to expand your business, you may look into LinkedIn advertising (I do) to reach out to your ideal audience.
And whether you are a passive or active job seeker, think about WHO you want to be seen by. Did you know that if you are not in your target market’s 1st-, 2nd-, or 3rd-degree connections, they can’t “find” you? It’s true.
If you want to learn how to expand your network and get real, actionable results, check out the online program I’ve developed (one of my most popular courses) that teaches executives how to attract career opportunities through LinkedIn. It works! Learn more about it here.
One of my clients sent me this really neat graphic of branding categories. Although meant for companies, I think this is a really fun infographic that groups value propositions. Where do YOU see yourself here? I shared with my client (who asked me the same) that overall the three areas of my business connected with these categories are Emperor, Protector and Source.