CEO & Board Director Market-Making Executive Resumes:
An Elastic Tool to Help You Control Career and Client Deals
When was the last time you executed a career audit and asked yourself this question:
"Do I have a credible, core leadership message that inspires my employees, connects to loyal customers and firmly establishes my reputation as an industry influential?"
As an executive coach and career and business writer, I always ask my clients to consider this at our first meeting. The question above should be central to the "idea hub" that impacts the framework and guts of an executive resume. When CEOs and other senior executives reach out to professional writers to get help in writing their resumes, external drivers too often spur the decisions about resumes in general and their functions.
I know--there is so much conflicting information in the marketplace from experts that it's hard to know what you need. So, the internal driver takes over and deepens widely held assumptions. It forces you to ask questions that, while not wrong, just don't go far enough.
You might ask yourself: "How out-of-date is my "current" executive résumé?" Maybe you think: "It's the formatting--it doesn't look "executive" enough?"
Senior executives with demanding careers often assume that the wider the gaping void of data, then the less marketable their résumé is for immediate use.
They believe: You can't seize attractive business and job opportunities without a "classic" one- or two-page résumé. Right?
Well, actually, WRONG!
It's not what you might be thinking that's holding you back—waiting for a green light to start testing the executive job market, implementing a career transition or grooming yourself for a senior leadership position or a seat at the boardroom table.
It isn't the missing chronology that is diminishing your prospects. (Even though you should archive your achievements on an annual basis, at the very least.)
Your personal brand is missing! And a résumé without a brand (yours) won't have the weight to raise your visibility, pitch to influentials or express a highly defined business vision that expresses how success will look like in the future.
Here's a quick thought about what may put your résumé on tenuous ground.
Imagine that you are a Chief Marketing Officer without a product portfolio. No product line extensions and no cohesive product or branding platform. It would be pretty tough to champion and shepherd a robust sales and marketing plan for your company minus an integrated product strategy. How could you successfully enter or capture a market if you have a brand without breadth and depth? Why would you expect anyone to believe in—and embrace—your product or service brand?
- Are you thinking now that it's time to up-end conventional wisdom about executive resumes?
- Are you ready to embrace the platinum standard with a branded résumé incorporated into a career portfolio? To learn more about portfolios, read my article published in Executive Career Strategies at ExecutiveAgent.com
Here's what might constitute a next-generation set of the right materials in an executive portfolio.
Original in design and concept, it is simply a full suite of materials to help all senior executives reach multiple decision-makers across markets and industries.
Customized to client profile and need, embedded in the content are compelling business stories stripped of spin and deadly jargon. Designs are clean and elegant, and are the strategic glue that holds the product together. Elastic, and with a long shelf life, clients have used their executive résumé portfolios to:
- Communicate with high-end recruiters and become lead candidates
- Pursue board director seats or board advisory roles
- Develop and re-purpose special content for social media and traditional media
- Pitch and secure consulting projects
- Create and tailor business mission statements post-turnaround or M&A.
Components are both standalone AND integrated into the whole. They "flip" unproductive and unimaginative execution of most resumes in the market. Instead, the newer platform is designed to showcase your moonshot stories that mostly get buried in the messaging. And, you can launch the résumé portfolio and use it at various stages of a job search, JV partnership negotiation, board director meeting and facilitation, networking or complex business deals.
If you're thinking about looking for another senior leadership position in a large, mid-cap or small-market firm, then the portfolio is an ideal product for you. Regardless of whether it's an opportunity in a public company or one that's privately held and looking to install leadership by private equity owners, then an executive résumé portfolio is a tool in the toolbox that can transform your career path.
There are multiple products in the well-integrated career portfolio. Senior executives who were early adopters of the career portfolio have been tremendously successful in their respective markets, and are joined on a daily basis by others who recognize the value for continuous career management. Think of your executive résumé as having the legs of a long-distance runner. When we speak, I'll gladly share with you the unique content pieces I write.
Another way to think of a career and executive résumé portfolio is that it acts in the same way that a smartphone does. There are multiple applications, tools for knowledge, communication and visualization, and well-organized components that are linked to each other.
If you want to be ready at a moment's notice, bolster your brand and even have the market chase you rather than you chase the market endlessly, then consider a different way of thinking about your executive value and strategic positioning in the talent pool.
This is for entrepreneurs, too, as well as successful rainmakers.
Now, in case you were wondering, what about this statement:
"I'm a CEO, and I don't use social media to advantage."
Here are just three startling facts about your résumé, executive job search success and career marketing:
1. Everyone needs an online identity.
Executives are Googled before meetings, job interviews and telephone contact. If you present a strong brand online, your profile of thought leadership will resonate and stand out against the competition.
The statistics, please …
- 83% of recruiters Google candidates (2007 ExecuNet Survey)
- 24% of professionals Google other professionals before meetings (2004 Harris Interactive Poll)
2. Proof of Performance = Credibility, Trust & Positive Opinion.
Research shows that candidates' claims are doubted. Clearly, it is to your advantage to back up your achievements and success stories with tangible, third-party evidence.
3. Social Networking.
At a 2008 technology conference in collaboration with Wharton, VP and principal analyst Li of Forrester Research commented: "The more you know and understand the individuals who make up the groundswell around your brand and your company, the more you can use the new social networking phenomenon to your advantage."
Content from the executive resume is redirected for LinkedIn and other social communities for CEOs and Board Directors, using several newer tactics to attract attention. A strategy is used that takes into consideration confidentiality and governance issues.
Book an appointment to speak directly with me. It's going to be private, confidential and energizing, and at no cost. You will not only be able to accomplish your due diligence in a meaningful way, but you will also be able to learn more about the proprietary process and pieces I develop for senior executives who want to leave a larger, deeper footprint as futurists, innovators and leaders at the top.