What is an Executive Brand an Why is it Important?
Taking your work to the next level often means moving up the promotional ladder. You may have developed an excellent reputation and a serious set of skills in your industry, but that doesn’t mean you’ll always get the opportunities you want while working as a mid-level employee. You want to do more--maybe manage projects, or manage operations that require more than technical skills. You want responsibility and leadership opportunities… the chance to drive projects that interest you.
So you move up to the executive level.
But your job prospects don’t end there. Working at the C-Level in your profession is less about “work” and more about management: project management, team management, company management. Because of this, you have to take into account your own desires. What kind of projects do you want to get off the ground? What kind of work environment do you want to cultivate?
In order to maximize your opportunities, you need to have an effective brand.
Does My Job Search End at the Executive Level?
Short answer: no. Just because you’ve reached a high level of management and responsibility doesn’t mean you’ve hit the end of the line. But it does mean that the rules of the game have changed slightly. At this level, organizations don’t want an employee: they want a leader, a coordinator, and perhaps even a visionary. That means that your media needs to reflect who you are as a professional brand.
For example, you may find yourself developing more as you work in the executive arena. You may want to take on different challenges or leadership opportunities, which necessitate a move to a different company, or different style of business (corporate to start-up, for example). In these cases, the leadership you display in one position might present you with new opportunities in other positions with other organizations.
Also developing a brand and staying up-to-date with the current job market helps you keep on top of what is happening in your industry. If you want to attract the best employees, or find the most interesting projects to work on, then maintaining a brand is important to keep your fingers on the pulse.
Do I Still Need a Resume and Cover Letter?
Of course. Executives of any level typically have resumes, for when they decide to make the move from one position to another.
This isn’t because resumes are some test of their abilities: often, executives will have a reputation of some sort. But that doesn’t preclude having an actual, paper resume that discusses your accomplishments.
But there is something more concrete for executives when it comes to resumes and cover letters--they illustrate a professional brand built over years of work. A solid professional resumes shows a trajectory of development in core competencies like leadership and vision. It shows not only that you can manage complex and fluid business situations, but that you already have.
But How Do I Build an Executive Resume?
In many ways, writing an executive resume is much like writing any other resume, with a few key differences:
- Executive resumes can be longer. Considering that you are looking for a position as a very advanced member of your industry, one with the skills to manage projects and teams at their largest and most abstract scales, it stands to reason that your resume reflect the skills that you have over years of experience. A 2-3 page resume provides a solid overview of your experience without going too long.
- Executive resumes are about accomplishments, not history. Some recruiters at the low- to mid-level range look to see if your resume is in chronological order, and that they can trace an uninterrupted work history. For the executive level, you want to put your skills and brand first, and fill in the details. Lean towards a hybrid chronological/functional resume for flexibility and presentation, rather than using one or the other.
- Emphasize your brand and value proposition. Again, your resume isn’t about technical skills or job histories (although they do play a part), it is about your ability to contribute to the success of a company. In that case, what other executives want to see in a resume is that you know your value and how it contributes to them.
You don’t have to be an expert at this kind of document writing just because your an executive. For advice and guidance, work with a career management firm that specializes in executive resumes, social media audits, and/or brand consultations.
What About Social Media and the Web?
Yes! Don’t forget about your social media presence. At the very least, you should, as an executive, have a top-notch LinkedIn profile that represents you and the positions you’ve held. An executive should have plenty of ways to discuss their professional development over time, and the LinkedIn profile is theplace to do this. If your personal brand is a web-savvy one embedded in digital industries like marketing or advertising, then it would stand to reason that you also be heavily involved in those additional platforms (like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook).
Also, don’t sell writing and thought-leadership short. If you work in a field that benefits from sharing information and networking, then keep a blog. Write about your industry from the position of a long-term professional, and highlight it on your social media channels.
Cultivate your social media by observing what others in similar situations do. Do what they do, but also don’t be afraid to break away from the norm if it sets you apart in a positive way. Also, look for help in assessing your current online brand with a company that specializes in auditing social media channels. There are actually experts out there that excel in helping others coordinate their personal brand across all their media channels.
Ideally, you like your job. Right now, however, you might think that branding yourself in the long run is just too much effort. But here are two things to consider:
Executive Branding as a Lifestyle?
- A brand doesn’t have to be a life, just a lifestyle. Staying on top of your professional game and putting yourself out there are what make executives attractive for positions: they are natural leaders who work hard and integrate their personal and professional lives.
- A brand doesn’t have to be something you do alone. Hire a company to help you build your brand the right way, so all you have to do is focus on is managing it.
Once you have a strong, executive brand in place, you’ll draw more opportunities and more chances to do the work you want to do.
Standard Branding Package
The standard executive package includes everything that you need to start your executive search.
Advance Branding Package
Take your search to the next level with an advance package including executive bio and LinkedIn profile increasing you chances of being found.
COMPLETE Branding Package
Master your executive search with all the tools you need to run your job search. The complete package includes a resume variation so you can tailor your search.