For a recent episode of ExecuNet Master Class, we were joined by Don Weintraub. Don was a recruiter for 15 years and now heads-up ExecuNet’s career strategists group. In this class, Don shared what works in today’s job search marketplace based on his extensive experience and ExecuNet research.
Because of the enormous member interest in this program, we’ve written a series of posts to break the program down into bite-sized portions. In this post, we share some of what Weintraub had to say about the world-class, accomplishment-focused résumé and personal marketing materials
“To effectively compete in today’s highly competitive job market, you need world-class personal marketing materials,” said Weintraub. Just like when you go on an important sales call, you should have a “leave behind” when you are interviewing and networking. After all, when you’re interviewing, what you’re really doing is selling – yourself. In an interview, they already have your résumé, so giving them another copy of your résumé adds no value. What you need is a ValuGraphic, a customized personal marketing document that presents your career history and unique business value together in content-rich text with graphics.
There’s a form of the ValuGraphic that’s designed to be used as a handout at networking meetings to make it easy for people you’ve just met to remember you. “I think when you’re networking you need something beyond a résumé or business card to hand out. Ten minutes after the meeting I am trying to remember who is who. If you have a networking piece that not only has some background but also your picture and the job you’re looking for, you’d distinguish your brand and stand out in that networking meeting,” said Weintraub. They deliver a “Wow!” factor that distinguishes your brand and makes you stand out from other people they’ve spoken to. Additionally, the networking ValuGraphic is something others can share on your behalf, something much more consumable that your résumé. “Remember, advancing in a job search requires marketing yourself all the way until you’ve accepted a written job offer,” said Weintraub.
These days one’s online profiles need to be professionally designed by job search experts. Keyword optimization, format and content have become so specialized that it is becoming increasingly more challenging to be located through a simple search. If they find you will they be impressed? Your value proposition must be compelling and visible with a compelling pull strategy to even be found.
“In a recent survey recruiters told us that cover letters have made a comeback” and you need to have compelling email template that you can use when applying for a job, networking or asking for referrals. The right template can be easily tailored to the specific situation to save time without appearing generic.
The newer ValuGraphic and customized cover letters and emails have brought personal marketing collateral to a whole new level, but they are a complement to the résumé, not a replacement. “You must capture a reader’s attention in 10 seconds or less,” said Weintraub. Differentiate yourself and ignite immediate interest with a contemporary, customized résumé that delivers your executive brand and creates high levels of distinctive value for your background, accomplishments, expertise and unique competencies. Different situations call for different collateral to address different needs and expectations. For example, “A résumé should not identify your ideal job, but a networking handout should,” said Weintraub.
What Résumé Readers Tell Us They Want in a Résumé:
- Your name, contact information and an executive brand statement
- A value proposition that describes your overall uniqueness and what you’ll bring to your next role
- Four or five accomplishments (not responsibilities) with metrics
- Twelve to eighteen or more competencies/keywords
The top summary section of your résumé should be like the inside jacket cover of a book or the coming attractions for a movie. It’s all about the storytelling. The Professional Experience Section is the actual story and should include basics such as company name, description, dates, your title and responsibilities. What is commonly omitted is explaining what was going on in this company before you arrived and what you did to address what you found, with supporting metrics and the legacy you leave behind there.
Next time we will share what Weintraub had to say about networking effectively.
Listen to Must Haves for a Successful Search
to hear Don Weintraub talk in detail about personal marketing collateral and how you can dramatically improve your job search results.
ExecuNet’s original series, ExecuNet Master Class, transforms the world’s leading community of the brightest business thinkers, top leadership experts, and trusted executive career advisors into your own personal network of instructors to help you do your very best work and take your career where you want it to go next. Our goal is to provide you with 365 days of inspiration to help you meet every career, business and leadership challenge that you encounter.
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