The career communications (career comm) that brand-aware executives need today—like branded bios, LinkedIn profiles, leadership briefs, letters, and branded resumes—look very different than the traditional "job graveyard" resumes still being used by most executives.
Your career communications must adapt to new market conditions, and the new ways career value has to be communicated!
The Internet and texting have changed career comm dramatically...
...because they have accustomed people to read and absorb in bursts. We're now so used to short paragraphs surrounded by white space that a paragraph longer than several lines feels cumbersome. Concise writing, quick reads, and critical content mapped exactly to the target employer/industry are what's needed—and how the best career comm has adapted.
Just about anyone can write a “job graveyard” document (also known as a chronological “responsible for” resume). But NOT everyone can write a career marketing brief (also known as a branded resume) and a suite of branded career communications. And you can bet that kind of work won't be done by an outplacement firm or volume shop because it takes so much time to get it right.
The short pithy bio, resume, or cover letters that work today look simple.
Looks can be deceiving! Each one can be fully read in a few minutes—and it probably took 20+ hours to research and strategize, write and edit, polish and review, and re-edit and set. Great coaches are pros at helping you through this very important process—working with you to identify strengths, personal brand, value proposition, and accomplishments (and then dumping the ones that won't work to make a case for promotion or employment in the your target role or industry). The process is as important as the career comm deliverables because the intake process preps you to know all of the above.
To me, that's the price of admission for a great client-coach partnership. Will you come away knowing your value, the accomplishments that prove it, and be able to talk about it in networking and interview terms?
Most people find it difficult to have the insight and clarity needed to do this themselves. And unless they are in the careers industry they certainly don’t have the understanding of the latest changes in communication vehicles or career building. I, and other top professionals who are great at what they do go to one or more conferences a year, present at conferences, teach classes, write, and are in general, thought leaders who are at the cutting edge of the coaching profession.
And we never, ever stop learning and teaching. And it’s real world, not academia. We're in the trenches doing this work with our clients every day—and inventing new and better ways of “selling” you into your next great gig. We are dedicated, and smart, and absolutely ethical. And worth the investment of working with us in more ways than one!
Radical but true statement: Branded value trumps a resume.
You can get a great job without a resume, and you can get a great job with a terrible resume—IF you understand your branded value proposition (and know how to dollarize it—I call that your Why-Buy-ROI), IF you have a suite of accomplishments that illustrate it (and if you can speak of them clearly without rambling), IF you are an excellent networker (or use a succinct value proposition letter sent to the right targets), IF you do a bunch of other things right, you can get a job with a lousy resume, or with no resume at all.
But that’s a big “IF.”
Everything has to fall into place for that to happen.
And even if it does, you still miss the value of the career communications prep process—those critical insights that position you to be your own best PR firm when you interview and speak! And guess what? The process of getting to a great resume and bio keeps on giving—especially when it comes to reviewing candidates on the short list and determining compensation. Might not be such a good idea to give that process up!
So consider having your career communications (including a bio and LinkedIn profile) professionally created with the help of a professional personal branding coach. But be careful when choosing. Ask the right questions and understand that as in any profession, you often get what you pay for. Meaning that generally a lower investment will not get you the level of service and value I’ve just discussed, and a lower investment will likely not get you a highly certified or experienced professional.
When choosing your coach, ask about certifications, years of experience, type of specialty, intake process, etc. to get a feel for how the coach fits your needs, budget, and target job. Many coaches today have multiple certifications, and not just in one specialty.
There’s an industry of dedicated career professionals out there waiting to help you—and your investment will be recouped the first week of your new position—especially if you get it faster, it pays better, and you love it—what a deal!
To learn more about the power of building and leveraging your brand and branded career comm, check out my book, Ditch. Dare. Do! 3D Personal Branding for Executives: 66 Ways to Become Influential, Indespensable, and Incredibly Happy at Work