The Executive IT Resume
Preparing a strong IT resume for executive roles is still important. No matter what anybody tells you — at least for now, at 4pm on Monday, April 9th 2012 — decision makers (HR managers, IT executives, and technical recruiters) are going to want to see, touch, and feel your resume to determine if you are a good fit for a potential opening. However, how your resume got into their inbox or on their desk can depend largely on your personal brand strategy. In addition, how an employer or recruiter views your capabilities and the perception they have of you as they go through the post-resume review process also depends on your personal brand strategy.
Personal Brand Strategy: What Does That Mean?
All the personal brand strategy means is the manner in which you present or “package” yourself in your professional life. For example, if you are an IT Director looking to move up to the VP of IT role, you are going to attempt to brand yourself as an IT Executive, not an IT Director. Another example would be if you were a Technical Consultant that has worked with clients across all industries, but you wanted to work for a company in the healthcare industry. You would package yourself by highlighting your engagements with medical and health services clientele.
The difficulty with branding is in considering how you position yourself all the time, not just during a job search. Understandably, the job search — and this job search in particular — may be what motivates you to think about how you are branded. You might be wondering whether you are even branded at all. Well, yes, you are. You may not have defined it, it may be very watered down, and it may not be very effective, but each of us is branded in one way or another. Just look at your resume and any other communications you send to a prospective employer. If you were to pretend that was somebody else, what would you say that person’s core message is? If there’s no core message or the message does not equate with the types of jobs you want to pursue, than it’s not going to be very effective.
How Else Can I “Brand” Myself?
As I mentioned, personal branding goes well beyond the job search and your resume. Let’s mention some of the more obvious traditional forums for you to convey your brand:
- Cover Letter
- Business Card
- Executive Bio
- Elevator Pitch
And here are some of the social media forums through which you can convey your brand based on your content, what you like, what you retweet, what you repin, etc.
Don’t forget about these other forums through which prospective employers can learn more about your:
- own blog site
- specialty sites you comment on that go with your brand
- in-person networking events
- community affiliations
- industry conferences
How Do I Put It All Together?
You want to ensure that your brand is consistent across all of these forums. I’m not saying that you copy-and-paste the information from your resume into all these other sites and converse with people face-to-face in resume speak. Each should have it’s own unique flavor depending on the audience and their expectations…but the same brand and theme should shine forth in all of them.