Marketing Yourself for Your Executive Job Search

Marketing Yourself for Your Executive Job Search

The key to marketing yourself for your executive job search is balancing self-promotion and humility. But when it comes to personal branding and messaging, many executives downplay their strengths and successes and find active expression of individual achievements somewhat awkward and unnatural. They are more comfortable including basic facts and figures on their resumes, yet employers need a cohesive narrative to connect the dots and recognize value.

Compounding the aversion to self-promotion is a respected character trait on the leadership spectrum — humility — which can seem at odds with tooting one’s own horn too vigorously. While projecting humility is an admirable quality — employees who perceive altruism from their managers tend to be more engaged and innovative — effectively translating business value into words is paramount when positioning yourself for your next role. The job market is far too fast-moving and competitive for hiring executives to interpret a candidate’s restraint as anything other than a direct reflection of leadership ability and performance.

In my latest article for Forbes—“How to Balance Hype and Humility in Your Job Search”—I examine the reasons many senior leaders struggle to promote themselves, including:

  • They are focused on the aggregate effort
  • They are cautious in the delivery of their communications
  • They are already at the top of the pyramid

I also provide examples of how to self-promote without broadcasting arrogance. Marketing yourself both effectively and authentically is an exercise in balance. If you are too self-aggrandizing, you run the risk of transmitting arrogance and a contrived narrative. On the other hand, if you’re too reticent, you potentially engage in self-sabotage, underselling yourself and downplaying your stature, influence and worth.

Gravitas can be portrayed in career marketing documents when done correctly through discerning content selection, word choice, writing style and voice. The key is to remain fact-based while expressing leadership strengths and impact.

Read more about how to strike the right balance of self-promotion and humility by visiting Forbes, or contact me to discuss your executive job search strategy.

Leader to Senior Leader: Making the Jump

Leader to Senior Leader: Making the Jump

Advancing from leader to senior leader can be frustratingly elusive. Many people reach a point in their careers where they see others seamlessly making the jump to top functional roles and wonder what they are doing wrong. While a certain level of self-analysis is beneficial, its escalation to self-doubt is counterproductive.

Sometimes, career advancement is a matter of gaining the right experience and knowledge and, other times, it’s a matter of building skills that can be difficult to define and harder yet to develop, such as executive presence, strategic agility and influencing decisions outside your sphere of authority.

Regardless of the precise formula, the road to senior leadership begins with taking ownership of your own development and engaging in high-value development activities that will put you on the right path.

In my latest article for Forbes—”Leader to Senior Leader: Making the Jump”—I provide a roadmap for achieving senior leadership at your current job through such activities as:

  • Asking for feedback
  • Stepping beyond your role
  • Focusing on the right things
  • Actively observing
  • Communicating your ambitions

If you’re at a point in your career where more senior opportunities are limited internally, and upward mobility is not in your foreseeable future, it may be time to explore your options externally.

How you position yourself for a step up from leader to senior leader is crucial to your job search success. Since your resume serves as a prospective employer’s first impression of you and reveals you how view your career, you want to be sure that it effectively transmits your fit for a more senior assignment. Simply put, your resume’s content should reflect the job you want, not the job you have.

Read more about making the jump from leader to senior leader at Forbes, or contact me to discuss your executive job search.

Are You Prepared for Your Executive Job Search?

your executive job searchFollowing are excerpts from a leadership article I recently penned for Forbes. To read the full article, visit Forbes.

Preparing for your executive job search by activating some powerful marketing strategies will equip you with the foundation you need to launch yourself into the contemporary job market.

But finding the time to pause, determine what you want, take stock of what you bring to the table, and create compelling  executive job search assets (such as your resume and LinkedIn profile) presents a challenge for many, regardless of level or industry.

Today’s job market can be extremely intimidating to those poised for an executive job search. I have found that the best approach is to treat your search with the same level of discipline that a marketer applies to the launch of a new brand. In fact, there are numerous parallels between “Marketing 101” and a job search, with you as the “brand” and your future employer as the “target audience.”

  • Know Your Objectives
  • Do Your Research
  • Perform a Personal Brand Audit
  • Build Your Team
  • Determine Your Positioning and Craft Your Messaging
  • Create Your Job-Search Assets
  • Reignite Relationships and Network

While it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how long it will take to land your next job, one thing is certain — you need to be prepared before you actively engage in your executive job search.

If you are looking for a partner to help you prepare for your executive job search, contact me to learn more about how we can work together.

The Executive Leadership Gene: Do You Possess It?

The Executive Leadership Gene: Do You Possess It?

Is executive leadership a matter of nature, nurture, or both? Probably the latter but nature likely plays a much larger role than anyone had imagined.  Have you heard of rs4950? No, it is not a new Star Wars character but is “the leadership gene,” an inherited DNA sequence associated with natural leadership.  Its discovery created quite a stir when Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, PhD, University College London & Centre for Economic Performance (LSE) and his team identified the heritability of leadership skills.  Their findings revealed “genes might affect the development of individual attributes affecting the predisposition to occupy a leadership position.”

Regardless of genetics, my executive clients are—undeniably—leaders in their industries.  When I work with executives to craft their individual career narratives, the focus of our discussion is on uncovering their “unique leadership DNA”: the skills, knowledge, attributes, and career accomplishments that make them different than every other leader who does what they do at their level and in their space.

In order to convey key points of executive leadership distinction and unique business value, it is crucial to identify your common experience and success threads, including the ways in which you’ve influenced the business, the operation, the organization, the culture, process, technology, people, and relationships.  Equally important to demonstrate are the specific types of business problems you can help a company solve and how this aligns to your past experience.

If you are looking for a partner to help identify and convey your unique executive leadership DNA, contact me to learn more about how we can work together.