What Does Your LinkedIn Photo Say About Your Executive Brand?

executive linkedin photoAfter seeing too many executive photos on LinkedIn that look like a hunting party or golf club outing, I have to ask:

What message are you trying to send with your headshot?

Omitting a LinkedIn photo isn’t a good idea, because many users prefer to connect with others who’ve provided an image.

However, if your headshot makes others reluctant to network with you or persuades recruiters to pass you by, it’s worth a second look. Ask yourself these questions to gauge the effectiveness of your Profile photo:

Is your headshot in conflict with your target executive job?

If this question makes you scratch your head, then take the time to peruse your competitors for the same job. How are they dressed in the photo?

Are they smiling? Shown in black-and-white? Pictured against a colorful background or something less distracting?

This research should give you an idea of commonly accepted, branded executive headshot strategies used in your field and at your level.

 

Does your attire tell the wrong story?

Don’t leave this one to accident. LinkedIn is a business site. If you’re not wearing what you’d wear to the office (or to an interview), reconsider the message you’re sending with your clothing.

Also, look at the level of the role you’re considering, and assess how a change in attire could promote you as a leader ready for career advancement.

As examples, a COO might find that a conservative suit against a nondescript background is the best choice, while a Chief Marketing Officer may get better results wearing colorful attire in a bright, attention-getting shot.

 

Did you re-use a photo meant for a different purpose?

Weddings, casual outings, or sports shots are great… for those purposes, but on LinkedIn? Not so much.

Particularly if there’s alcohol or a party atmosphere involved, putting awkwardly-personal photos on LinkedIn won’t make your case for a new professional role.

 

LinkedIn gives you an IMPORTANT opportunity to brand yourself through a visual image! The clothing, backdrop, and demeanor displayed in your LinkedIn photo should be part of your overall strategy – not an afterthought.

Executive Resume Writing Services

Need a competitive edge in your job search? As an award-winning executive resume writer, I create branded, powerful resumes and LinkedIn Profiles that position you as the #1 candidate.

My clients win interviews at Fortune 500 firms including Citibank, Google, Disney, and Pfizer, plus niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders.

Get in touch with me to experience the outstanding results I can bring to your transition.

– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC, CTTCC

How to Write a CFO Resume That Reflects Your Leadership Brand

Pursuing your next step up the career ladder as CFO or Controller? How to Write a CFO Resume

Your CFO resume must connect the dots from tactical details, such as financial reporting or systems, to strategic advisor and CEO partner.

By showing examples of strategic decision-making and forecasting, IT oversight, performance recommendations, and Board influence, your CFO resume will position you to compete against other contenders for a C-suite role.

Here’s how to present your value proposition on a powerful, effective CFO resume: Continue reading

2015 Resume Writing Trends for Executives & Professionals

2015 Executive Resume TrendsRunning a 2015 job search — but using resume writing trends from the past?

You’ll find yourself at a disadvantage in today’s aggressive job market.

Plenty of job seeking activities have changed over the past decade… and your executive resume needs to keep pace with them.

Job seekers in 2015, 2016, and beyond must develop and leverage a personal brand message throughout each aspect of their resumes, social media activities, cover letters, and LinkedIn Profiles.

To ensure your resume and job search activity aligns with the latest resume writing trends in 2015, take note of these 5 critical elements: Continue reading

3 Executive Resume Mistakes You’re Making Right Now

Executive resume mistakes

Trying to catch a break in the competitive market for executive talent? Your resume MUST be on par with the branded, value-driven documents used by other leaders.

As an executive expecting to make your mark, you’ll need to avoid the typical (yet major-league) resume writing errors that can put you at a disadvantage.

Sharpen your approach and position yourself as a contender by checking your executive resume against these too-common resume writing mistakes: Continue reading

5 Best-Practice LinkedIn Strategies for Executives

linkedinonphoneCautiously readying your LinkedIn Profile for an executive job search?

You’ll need to consider LinkedIn strategies that differ substantially from those used by mid-career professionals.

For example, many executives choose to limit the information they distribute on LinkedIn, due to company confidentiality or other reasons. Executives are also approached more often than other users on LinkedIn, either as a potential employer or by a recruiter piqued by their qualifications.

This activity can call for a more toned-down presence on the site – while still conveying a strong leadership message.

Consider implementing these changes to cultivate a powerful, yet discreet LinkedIn presence supporting your strategically planned executive job search: Continue reading

Is Your Executive Resume Missing a Title?

Resume TitleDid you write your leadership resume around a clear job target – or merely leave clues for employers to find?

If you’ve ever suffered through reading a stack of resumes – hoping the perfect candidate will nearly jump off the page, then you’ll understand the conundrum faced by employers.

Many resumes are written using generalities, leaving recruiters or employers to guess at your desired job goal… following the bread-crumb trail of previous positions and skills to figure out exactly why you’re their prime executive candidate!

Seriously, if employers can’t seem to piece together the reasons you’re applying (never mind the reasons you’re a perfect fit!), then your executive resume might be missing an important element:  a title.

A resume title, which is typically a short phrase or job title used at the top of your resume, helps readers understand the role you’re pursuing.

If done correctly, it also leaves them anticipating the supporting details of your story. You DO want them to read further, right?

As shown in this example of a CFO resume, the executive resume title can also replace the overused “Professional Qualifications” or “Summary” category at the top of the resume. (Do you really need these words to introduce the summary of your career? Probably not.)

The advantage of using a title? Your job target will be immediately obvious, and employers will tend to read further, rather than eliminating your resume at first glance.

Even if you’re open to different positions (as illustrated by this sample CEO and SVP resume), you can specify more than one goal. Of course, these job targets should be similar enough to use a common resume; otherwise, you may need another version.

As you can see, boldly titling your executive resume will direct employers to pay attention to your strong points – helping them quickly understand how you fit into their operation.

Need a competitive edge in your job search? As an award-winning executive resume writer, I create branded, powerful resumes and LinkedIn Profiles that position you as the #1 candidate.

My clients win interviews at Fortune 500 firms including Citibank, Google, Disney, and Pfizer, plus niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders.

Get in touch with me to experience the outstanding results I can bring to your transition.

– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC

Think Your Resume’s Ready for 2013? Read This First

Executive reading your resumeDetermined to make 2013 the year you snag that dream job?

The coming months are shaping up to be intensively competitive, meaning you’ll have to be ready to edge out others for that coveted job.

However, if your resume is like most in circulation, it isn’t anywhere near ready for 2013. Why?

Because it probably relies on outdated methods, lacks marketing appeal, or just downright fails to demonstrate the kind of value proposition that captures attention in a crowded market (no matter what year it is).

Here are 5 telltale signs your resume will fall flat in 2013 (along with tips for hitting the mark):

1 – You’ve never considered using an infographic or chart to display your achievements.

Nothing speaks louder than metrics on a resume, but possibly nothing shouts accomplishment and scale more so than a chart.

These graphics are easy to insert into a Word document with the Insert Chart tool. However, you should only use one if you have impressive numbers to display (as shown in this sample of a VP Sales resume). Continue reading