The following is an excerpt of discussion with members of our BlueSteps Executive Career Services team during our BlueSteps' webinar Creating a Relevant Brand. If you are a BlueSteps member, access your full recording here. If you are interested in becoming a BlueSteps to access our webinar archive, along with other career management solutions, learn more here.
Should we mention key achievements on LinkedIn or just keep that as part of the resume? And how does that advance the brand?
Barbara Stefani: With LinkedIn, less is more and sometimes with LinkedIn I’ll say more is more. LinkedIn is very searchable; it is good to be able to speak to accomplishments. You may need to take some precautionary measures, you may need sanitize it a little bit because it is for a larger audience but the more of an impact you can show/allow for the person to gain interest in your candidacy, the better off you’re going to be. It’s there, they don’t need to read all of it - I don’t think there’s an issue having some redundancy with content that’s on a resume and that’s on a LinkedIn profile. Again, it makes the profile more searchable and gives the opportunity for more keywords etc.
What percentage of recruiters for an executive role are using LinkedIn in searching for candidates?
Deb Walker: I have an overall statistic, I’m not sure if this is limited to search firms but 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates and 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates - so once you’re found, to assess your suitability or to confirm or disconfirm your candidacy.
Randy Block: I’ll just add one more thing to that - clean up any social media dirt that you may have out there. If someone took a photo of you where you’re drunk at a party or something that you posted on Facebook, recruiters do go through it all. So, if you have anything like that out there, take it off.
What are the most effective ways to use branding to really distinguish yourself from everyone else?
Randy: Ask yourself, what is my impact? Just ask that question and go through each line on your resume and ask yourself, if I hadn’t have done that, what would have happened? This is what I do, not only do I love to do it, but I really do it well. It does wonders by the way for the self-esteem.
Should people put in personal interests on their resume? Any thoughts on that one?
Barbara: So, I generally recommend, if you can draw a connection between that and your brand than it’s most valuable. Or for somebody that is making a transition and is trying to show a personal interest or hobby that is related to that transition. Another time where it sometimes makes sense, is when the person is concerned by potential age bias and a hobby might sort of take away from that. So, somebody who has done a triathlon or something like that. There are some people who say it’s sort of like an ice breaker in a meeting or interview. The problem I have with most of it generally, is that often they are really, really generic, like they enjoy reading or cooking. Nothing that really differentiates you or necessarily contributes to an improved brand. So generally speaking, I like to have that space saved for something that’s more targeted. But if it is a strategic decision to put it in because it emphasizes something in your brand than it may very well make sense.
If someone is not currently job searching and they don’t see searching in the future, is there any point in having a brand?
Deb: Branding is important for career management. So, if you want to get promoted, expand your career within your current company, your brand is important - it needs to be managed, it needs to be cultivated and you need to know what your brand is so you can communicate it to people within your organization. If you’re part of a sales team, marketing team, any externally facing team, we’re now doing branding for those teams and the profile is really important in not only representing yourself as a key contributor, but in representing your organization as a thought leader, as a player in your industry, in your field. So yes, branding is important for everyone.