I hear you. You are considering getting yourself one of those nifty new infographic resumes. No kidding. I love them, too! Truly fascinating and so visually ‘appetizing’.

I am thrilled to see the recruiting and career services industry embrace more creative career marketing tools.

Are they right for everyone? Are they appropriate advantageous for executives to use during their executive job search campaign?

If you don’t know what an infographic resume is, please review the beautiful sample below that I sourced from deviantart.com.

 

 

First, allow me to advocate for infographic resumes. I genuinely do encourage those who can utilize infographics effectively to do so. Why not? Let’s analyze the above infographic resume.

  1. It looks amazing! For sure this candidate will attract more attention than his competitors.
  2. It quickly gives you an impression of this job seeker’s design skills.
  3. Technical competencies are easy to grasp and to compare based on strengths.
  4. Career history offers a great visual timeline.

One important thing that is missing for me is the story. And perhaps at this job seeker’s level and based on his job target, he doesn’t need a story.

As an executive, you do!

At the executive level, the question isn’t if you can do the job! The real question you must answer is, “What change did you create with the opportunity you had before and what will you do with the role they will give you now?”

Your Executive Career Tale

 

Am I arguing against infographic resumes –> no!

As someone who enjoys the creative aspect of resume writing and website development, I can tell you that I will gladly create one of these infographic resumes for the right candidate.

What I am here to get across is that as an executive, you should not be so quick to employ an infographic resume and sacrifice YOUR story for visual impact.

What if you could do both!?

How about an executive resume with graphic elements (graphical resume) that PUSHES the story FORWARD! Integrating visual design to complete, support, strengthen, or facilitate your marketing message is essential.

If you are going to create a graphical resume, here is my recommendation:

Tell your story first. Write your executive resume with a focus on the distinction you offer as a member of the senior executive team.

Sell your value offer. What does your distinction mean for your future employer? Why should they care?

Support your position. Use relevant accomplishments and angle them to support your value offer.

Carefully and sparingly choose graphical elements. Design on-brand visual aids that will help move your story FORWARD and produce an influential presentation.

 

How to convert your executive resume into a graphical resume that moves your story FORWARD!

 

What needs to be said visually?

What could be said BETTER visually than in writing?

What is your executive DNA? Can you give hiring managers a better understanding of your distinction with the help of a visual dossier?

Do you have unusually diverse or unique experience that would be simplified through the use of a graphic?

Visual presentations, as you know, have their place in the business world. However, as you also know, they have to be intelligently prepared, easy to understand, and must achieve something that a black and white document cannot.

Allow me to share an example of a graphical networking resume that we created for a client. Notice that the writing and the graphic elements are proportionally leveraged to provide an overview of George’s career history and accomplishments. Keep in mind that this is a networking resume (meaning it is a one-page tool that client uses to network). George also owns a two-page CV for online distribution and to formally interview with recruiters and hiring managers — and while that CV isn’t black and white, it is not an infographic resume.

 

 

We recently dived into creating graphical resumes for executive clients. Many of our clients are high-level leaders who are conducting confidential job searches. Therefore, we are not ready to share some of those graphical resumes with you right now. However, we can share graphical elements that we have used to help our clients exude a more cutting-edge image while we amplify their personal branding.

This visual timeline below is for an executive who wished to demonstrate her ability to step into a business executive position while still offering the strengths of her medical background. The rest of her executive resume followed a more traditional layout with all two pages in the narrative form.

 

 

This chart below was used to help a CTO tell the story about an executive who builds world-class IT infrastructures and teams to provide companies with a competitive advantage. The rest of the marketing doc was entirely written out.

 

 

The following timeline was created for an international executive whose broad and cross-functional experience was initially conveyed in a 4-page CV. Phew! Unfortunately, the anchors of his executive story were not easily identified within the content of his CV because he has accomplished so much. A quick view of his career diversity and the value it offers was presented visually front and center on his new 3-page CV. The rest of the CV unfolds to add value.

 

 

The bottom line: Yes, you can create a more graphical resume as an executive. However, I would not recommend a full-blown infographic. Not only would it not be a mature ‘look and feel’ for your executive brand, but it may not be useful in completing your branding package. It for sure won’t tell your entire story.

And while I truly enjoy the creative side of things, truth be told, there are times when you don’t need to tell your story with graphics. There are times when your traditional resume is the BETTER choice. It happens. As it is with everything in life –> it depends!

Questions you must answer before you decide: What are you trying to say? Why do you want to say it this way? Will it deliver the results you seek? What is your risk tolerance? 🙂 

 

Have fun!

Rosa Elizabeth Vargas
Certified Career Management Coach
Certified Master Resume Writer
www.careersteering.com

 

 

2018 Executive Job Search: Are You Ready?

On January 5, 2018, in Executive Job Search Strategies, by Rosa Elizabeth, CMRW

Is this your year? Are you finally ready to “see what else is out there?”

There is no better time than now! It appears that 2018 is a promising year for job growth, and according to an article posted on The HuffPost’s website — January and February are the busiest months! 

So, what will you need to ensure your job search is successful –yes, of course, a resume–but first, you need to plan and prep!

 

How to get into “this-is-my-year” job search gear

 

As a certified career management coach (CCMC), I can assure you that setting vision and goals is critical to whipping your mind into a career-success mode. So, let’s talk the mental first and the action later.

Giving your mind and soul the boost it needs to move and groove into that new YOU!

  1. Why this new career track? List all the positives and tell that ‘inner saboteur’ to shut the hell up (wink).
  2. Why you? Inventory your soft skills (leadership/behavioral traits) and list your hard skills (qualifications, experience, training).
  3. Are you staying in your industry or is it time to go after that dream job? If so, have you the transferable skills and experience to make that jump?
  4. What is your ROI proposition? In other words, why you? What is in it for THEM if they hire YOU. The bottom line.

“They will gain a great leader who cares about the staff “–> That’s great but not what we are looking for. 

“I’m exceptional at motivating staff and driving productivity within existing resources and by uncovering opportunities to save. We saved 14% in OT labor expenses last year while productivity went up for the first time in five years. –> That’s better ROI. You are getting warmer! 

 

The ‘take-action’ plan

 

  1. Make an inventory of the tools you will need: resume, cover letter, bio, website, LinkedIn profile, business cards, networking letters.
  2. Do you need a writer? Are you going to hire help or purchase a do-it-yourself career book? If the latter, purchase a book from Amazon that is written by a certified writer and preferably with worksheets. 
  3. Do you know what to do? Perhaps you will write your marketing tools but with the help of a coach?
  4. How do you get your new executive resume into the right hands? Are you going to job search by responding to job ads? By finding recruiters online? By making a list of companies that you wish to work for and finding the contact person’s name and email? Are you going to email all your friends and ask for introductions? (By the way, these are not just questions. Hint, hint.)

Whatever tactic you undertake, the one thing you must do is be very clear about your career target so that you use the right language and prioritize your relevant achievements.

And don’t forget that you must track your actions.  Alyson Doyle wrote a great post with links to online and offline tools that will help you focus, track, succeed! 

Here are a few more links worthy of exploring (apps and online tools) as you organize your 2018 job search plan.

The Smarter, Not Harder Modern Job Search 

The 10 Best Job Hunting Apps

 

 

Rosa Elizabeth Vargas
www.careersteering.com
Certified Career Management Coach
Certified Executive Resume Writer

Why One Resume Doesn’t Always Fit All

On December 4, 2017, in Executive Resume, by Rosa Elizabeth, CMRW

Wouldn’t it be nice if one executive resume would suffice in today’s job-search landscape? It often isn’t enough because every employer seeks the BEST hire for the position they have available. Why would they settle for someone whose qualifications just meet the requirements?

As consumers, we too, source and compare to ensure we have purchased the best possible product or solution.

Right?

You, too, must start packaging (branding) your leadership as a custom solution. That solution needs to solve the pain points of your target employer very individually and uniquely.

 

A branded executive resume is themed, nuanced, targeted –which means it is the perfect fit.

 

Say you learn there is a CFO opportunity with an innovative company that is looking to expand their business internationally. To win that interview, you would have to highlight your international competencies and experience establishing/introducing the right financial rigors to support a profitable international expansion.

How would that differ from a traditional CFO position? Here are a few pointers:

–    Talk about risk management in different international settings

–    Emphasize knowledge of international market trends and regulations

–    List revenue, budget, and profit performance in various international markets (the more, the better).

–    Market expertise developing international talent and financial departments, processes, frameworks, etc.

–    Brand yourself as a CEO partner, supporting international growth

If you were to send this ‘international CFO’ resume to a company who isn’t looking for a CFO to help them scale internationally, you wouldn’t be the right candidate. Perhaps they are looking for a CFO to partner with the CIO in driving digital transformation; that’s the expertise they desire.

As you can imagine, it becomes more complicated when you have held multiple positions/titles across various business domains and perhaps in numerous sectors. You would then need to revisit your executive resume and reposition information so that the achievements that are most relevant and of interest to your target employer are front and center (customized, positioned, and prioritized). Equally important, your value offer would need to change so that you promise to deliver what they need. Yes, that does mean that before you write you must research and analyze your future employer.

Indeed, there are always exceptions. Depending on your career goals, you may be able to develop one resume which would only require minor tweaks before submission. It depends on your job search focus and similarity across the opportunities you identified.

 

Bottom-line: Wider net doesn’t always bring the best catch.

 

 

 

Ready to job search with a FANTASTIC executive resume? Great! Let’s get to it.

Today’s executive resume is more than achievements because at the executive level EVERY candidate is competent and successful. So, if you think your contributions (and a few dollar signs) on the resume is enough to net you the best opportunities — think again, write again, and again, and again…until your resume markets a differentiating value offer.

As a leader, you are not hired simply as a ‘cog in the wheel’ but to re-invent, scale, and modernize organizations/departments/teams/business strategies. Therefore, you must clearly communicate your ‘value add’ and promise the BEST return on invested hire.

 

WRITING YOUR EXECUTIVE RESUME WITH A POWERFUL VALUE OFFER

 

Here is how you can begin to layer value on top of your executive career tale and scale your job search reach.

 

1. Tagline: What do you specialize in beyond fulfilling your role (CEO/CIO/CFO, etc.) and what does that mean for your future employer? I heard someone once ask (I forget where I heard it),

“What have you done with the title they gave you?”

Not, “Did you perform your job well?” and not, “Did you deliver on mandate?” –instead, they wanted to hear how you wielded the title to create!

 

2. Personal brand statement: It is not the same as a tagline. A tagline is your hook — a branding statement underscores your promise and expands upon your value offer.

Ingredients for an ROI-driven brand:

Value offer (tagline) + passion + specialty + legacy + your distinct signature (why you and not someone else) + emotional connection = SUPER BRAND!

 

Let’s take CocaCola for example:

 

They don’t say, “We are a beverage company that has been serving the global market for decades.”

They say…

To Refresh The World

To Inspire Moments of Optimism and Happiness

To Create Value and Make a Difference

 

(You can read the rest here)

 

3. Brand-aligned, high-impact examples that deepen your personal brand message: Which of the many amazing milestones in your career was game changing?

Against what kind of opposition/challenges/backdrop? Set the stage — contrast breeds perspective!

How did you…

pave the way

set a foundation

drive culture change

delivered hyper growth

changed corporate identity

yielded brand liquidity

saved the company from monetary declines

and…what were the odds?

 

4. What’s your overarching story?

career overview that shows a progressive story

experience that reinforces your promise and brand

clearly defined results tied to long-term goals and immediate gains beyond what was expected

 

5. Now prioritize and position, because it is true what they say about real estate!

 

Going beyond achievements by promoting a unique value offer will help you spin your experience into a personal, engaging, and differentiating tale.

 

Listen to other experts outside of the career services industry. They know…

“You have to think of your brand as a kind of myth. A myth is a compelling story that is archetypal if you know the teachings of Carl Jung. It has to have emotional content and all the themes of a great story: mystery, magic, adventure, intrigue, conflicts, contradiction, paradox.” ~Deepak Chopra

 

“Building a profitable personal brand online is not a sprint and something that happens overnight. Don’t aim for perfection early on. Instead, allow your brand to evolve naturally over time and focus on providing massive value and over deliver to your target audience. Then you will get more clear over your message and brand as well. Always remember that!”

– Navid Moazzez

 

Read more Personal Branding Quotes Here

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