Going for Gold With Personal Branding

PersonalbrandingIf you are job searching, Personal Branding can make a significant difference to your success. While writing a great resume can place you at a strong advantage, Personal Branding involves moving beyond basic job applications and infusing your value proposition into every aspect of your professional image.

What’s Your Personal Brand?

Your personal brand defines exactly how others should see you when they interact with you, whether via your resume, online or in person. Your brand should be developed based on your key strengths and talents and the value you can bring to an organisation. All of this comes together to create your value proposition and your brand.

What are your most powerful and respected abilities? What makes employers and headhunters want to seek you out and work with you? Make a list of every talent or skill that you feel contributes to your personal brand.

Your Value Proposition

In the same way a blurb often describes the essence of a book, your value proposition needs to describe the essence of who you are as a professional.

When developing and writing your value proposition, think about what you want people to think when they see your name, what you want to be known for in the industry and what your particular niche is.

Your value proposition should consist of one or two sentences and should clearly portray to employers and search consultants:

  • Who you are – What type of expert are you?
  • What you do – What’s your main talent? What can you offer that others can’t?
  • How you do it – How do you bring success to others? Use examples if you can
  • Who you do it for – What’s your market or niche?
  • Why you do it – What’s the motivation or passion behind who you are?

This isn’t a definitive or easy way to develop your brand or value proposition, but it’s definitely a great way to get started.

Promoting Your Brand

Once you have spent a considerable amount of time defining and developing your brand, you will need to find ways to communicate your brand to others.

  • Rewrite your resume, cover letters or any other documentation to include details about your brand and your value proposition
  • Describe your brand in other social media profiles, such as on LinkedIn, or on your own website, blog site or online portfolio
  • Update your personal marketing materials (business cards, letterheads, portfolios) so that they reflect your brand
  • Communicate your brand clearly throughout the course of job interviews, recruitment meetings or networking meetings
  • Advocate your personal brand in professional environments (in your current role, at industry events) via the actions, decisions and conversations you undertake

How Can You Tell If Your Personal Brand Is Working?

Measuring the success of your personal branding strategy can take time, but usually you will begin to see some degree of improved results when it comes to your job search and your general success in the industry.

You might find yourself more victorious when it comes to job applications or interviews or you may find that recruiters and other executives are beginning to approach you, rather than the other way around. Online, you may see an increased amount of interest in your profiles, publications or portfolios.

If you are not seeing durable results despite your personal branding efforts, it may be because your personal brand has not yet fully “materialised” or because it still needs work. If this is the case, go back to your initial notes and consider if you are highlighting your unique talents and offerings strongly enough.

Resumes Australia offers specialised and dedicated personal branding services that are proven to enhance your executive success. To kick-start your branding journey contact us or review our packages here.

Regards,

kylie hammond

Opening Doors With Your Executive Cover Letter

opening doors to careerWhen recruiting for high profile corporate positions, employers and headhunters will be on the look out for candidates with outstanding management experience and transferable executive skills.
Most importantly, they will want to see evidence that your talents have been used to execute key strategies, improve bottom lines, and essentially lead businesses to new heights of success.

 

While your professional resume will indeed showcase all of this, your executive cover letter also needs to be powerful and convincing if it is going to open the door for an interview.

1. First Impressions Last

Your executive cover letter must make an immediate and lasting impression on potential employer, and hence, your cover letter should contain a powerful, professional statement about your capabilities. This statement needs to give the reader a precise idea of who you are and what you can do.

Example of a weak opening:

I have recently been made redundant and I am now on the search for a new senior position in the financial services field. I have spent the last few years working in the financial industry, where I have gained an understanding of financial products, leadership, wealth management and what is involved in managing successful wealth portfolios.  

This example is vague and includes very little relevant information for the employer. Worst of all, it does not invoke a sense of professionalism or expertise.

Example of a powerful opening:

I am a knowledgeable financial services expert who offers 12 years’ experience in financial product niches, particularly in relation to insurance and banking. My experience at XX has seen me rise from a product manager to a wealth expert, who has succeeded in executing wealth management and corporate strategy initiatives for portfolios over $10 million.

The second example may not be 100% perfect, but it is indeed much more powerful and exact in its depiction of what the candidate can offer. It describes their distinct areas of expertise, and gives the employer the impression that they are highly experienced and knowledgeable.

2. Customise Your Letter

While generic cover letters may be suitable for some entry-level roles, executive cover letters must be specific, persuasive and tailored to meet the requirements that each employer is looking for.

Customised cover letters are particularly beneficial when you are have a specific job description or where criteria is given, but a formal selection criteria document is not required. In this case, it is imperative that your cover letter responds directly to the advertisement, outlining your skills and competencies in a way that is relevant and that will portray you as the perfect applicant for the position.

3. Use Specific Information

As with your professional resume, you should use specific and relevant information in your cover letter to create a persuasive impression of your skills and abilities.

Using facts and figures (such as percentages, statistics, measurements) to support your achievements is excellent cover letter (and resume) practice. It’s much more effective to state that you “increased customer satisfaction by 2.5% in 2012, and 2.7% in 2011” than to simply say you “improved customer satisfaction.”

Be selective in the information you convey in the letter, and utilise white spacing and bullets points where necessary. This makes it easier for the reader to skim through your letter, gain a quick idea of your accomplishments, and immediately form an opinion of your suitability for the role.

Are you struggling to put together a convincing cover letter that effectively outlines your executive experience? Resumes Australia specialises in producing compelling professional resumes and cover letters that open doors, kick-start opportunities and transform the careers of high profile candidates.

Regards,
kylie hammond

The Impact of a Powerful Cover Letter

resume and cover letterAs an employer and executive talent agent, I have seen many poorly written cover letters, and it has often been a challenge for me to read the resume that follows. At the end of the day, my reputation is on the line when I’m hiring or recommending a person for a position. If the cover letter does not fit the job and is inaccurate, you’ve lost my confidence right from the start, by casting doubt on your professional abilities. Honestly speaking, why even send a cover letter in the first place if it is going to have such a negative impact?

The good news is that with the right approach, your cover letter can win over recruitment consultants and employers, and get you an interview!

Give your Resume or Professional CV an edge with a compelling Cover Letter

Your cover letter and any additional supporting documents, should follow a strategy that will help you reach the number one position. By tailoring your cover letter, presenting your personal brand as unique, and by marketing your skills effectively and relevant to the job role, you will outshine your competitors.

Your cover letter must also complement your professional resume and serve as an introduction for you. The primary purpose of your cover letter is to demonstrate your abilities that are relevant to the position, so that recruiters will want to read on, and ultimately request an interview.

Don’t waste your time with a cover letter that says “Dear Sir or Madam… attached is my resume”. A form letter will not present you in your best light. By crafting your cover letter with content relevant to the position that highlights your achievements, you will demonstrate your strong communication skills, attention to detail, and that you’ve taken the time to make a positive impression.

Do you struggle to write your cover letter or resume?

It can be quite daunting and overwhelming to write a cover letter and resume, and many people struggle with this. Every year, Resumes Australia helps thousands of candidates to secure more interviews by crafting resumes and cover letters. Interview coaching is also available. We can help you to open the door to new opportunities and move forward in your career – visit Resumes Australia to find out more about our Resume Writing Packages.

Regards

Resume Writing for Selection Criteria Writing

selection criteria writingSo, you’ve just found a dream job and the advertisement states “click here to download the selection criteria”. Most Australian Government (State, Federal or Local), and other organisations choose Selection Criteria recruitment method.

This style of recruitment is designed to find the right person for the job and ensures an equitable process based on merit (so everyone is on a level playing field!). You will need to respond to Selection Criteria statements and will be short-listed based on your ability to convince the Selection Team that you have the personal qualities, skills, abilities, knowledge and qualifications (if any) required to perform the job.

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Help! My Professional Resume is Not Getting Me an interview!

resumes

As a Career Coach and Executive Recruiter I understand how tough the competition can be for candidates. When I look over hundreds of cover letters and professional resumes, the ones that stand out have been specifically tailored to suit the job advertisement.

If you customise your cover letter and resume and make them specific to the job role, you stand a much better chance of getting to interview.

Remember – Your cover letter and professional CV have one main purpose – and that’s to land you an interview! We have a great complimentary eBook entitled “The Executive Candidate Survival Guide” and is a fantastic resource to help you get started with your professional resume. This free eBook includes interview tips & hints, information on salary negotiations & resume writing development.

Enjoy!

Kylie

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