What is your professional brand? Are you the finance guy, the consulting guru, the turnaround CEO, or the hedge fund manager who retired at 30? If you can narrow down your career to three words, I would say you are winning. For the rest of us, however, we may have a number of skills that all may not complement the other; our professional brand, or summary value proposition, can get muddled. Here are three tips on how to get your professional brand in order.
- Simplify your multi-page CV into a two-page executive resume. Do you have a long 5- or 6-page CV with every conceivable detail on it? Who is going to read that? Your brand will not come through on a document that long. Narrow down what you’ve done in key stops in your career, leaving in pieces relevant to the brand you want to establish. Cut out the rest. Short and sweet is best and don’t forget to give the examples and results.
- Update your online presence so it is consistent with your resume. If your resume says one thing, your LinkedIn profile should mirror the \ same message (Notice I did not say mirror the same thing). Control your online presence so that recruiters can understand the skills and achievements that make you a valued contributor in your field.
- Obtain an industry certification and network via professional organizations. Perhaps the easiest way to add credibility to your profile is to demonstrate your ongoing knowledge and industry commitment. Awareness of trends and changes, as well as keeping a focus on your own growth demonstrates that you mean business – something that a potential employer will appreciate.
Building a solid and well-respected brand takes time; it is not something that happens overnight. Start shaping your brand by reviewing your background and what your marketing message says. Create something of an outline for yourself regarding what you want the outside world to know about you. Use the information to add value to your professional documents and online presence. You will continue to refine this over time, so you deliver the most compelling message.