Building your own interim executive brand is a simple way to stand out in a changing market. Job security and company loyalty are on the decline, and the demand for great leadership is on the rise. SMW has some ideas for bringing together your experience and creativity.
Bring Your Interim Executive Brand to Your Network
The internet and various social media sites have been a boon to job seekers and human resource personnel. These tools allow for quick analysis of easily accessible information, making hiring practices more streamlined than ever. So, how does an interim executive stand out? Many management experts believe that building a brand is the best way to create the type of professional image you need in order to attain the corporate success you seek.
Senior Management Worldwide (SMW) works with interim executives on a daily basis in order to maximize the potential of their resumes, CVs, and bios. We also key in on what they have to offer based on their background and experience. Clearly, not everyone they encounter will have the time to spend on them as candidates, so that is where creativity and experience play a role. Sometimes, however, executives with long careers have difficulty communicating what they can do for potential clients. With some reflection and a little creativity, those wanting to market their executive services independently can create a brand that delivers their message.
How Can a Brand Work for an Interim Executive?
Think of any corporate brand and how easily it allows you to associate the product with all of its features and benefits. A corporate brand works the same way. Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. It is your personality, your skills, your experiences, and your successes.
Building an executive brand is a process that takes time and conscious effort. When people Google a CEO or an employee, the top ten results will highlight the executive brand. Think of what you want people to see and make sure that is what they find.
It is a valuable part of the process for an interim executive in the job market to use his or her personal brand as a selling point. In a recent interview on Sky News, LinkedIn Australia’s Managing Director Cliff Rosenberg outlined the nature of today’s job market, describing the decrease in tenured jobs and the increase of high turnover in the corporate world. “Every individual,” he explains, “[is] their own business.” Therefore, it has become increasingly important that professionals “think of themselves in a way as their own chief marketing officers,” he adds. One of the easiest ways to do this? Yes, branding.
How to Create an Interim Executive Brand
The simplest way to begin is by taking command of what people see on the internet and in your social media networks. This is extremely important for interim executives who depend on their networks to provide the best first impression. Build your brand by presenting your best personal and professional self on Twitter and LinkedIn. Your image and profile are key.
The first step is to create and maintain a presence that depicts you in the leadership role you desire. Ask trusted colleagues to write recommendations for you. Upload professional images of yourself in attire that is appropriate for the workplace. These sites–specifically LinkedIn and Twitter–are always expanding and have paved the way for countless successful business partnerships.
Keep your profile updated and relevant, and maintain a network that reflects quality and respectability over quantity. A few hundred trustworthy connections allow you to gain credibility and increase exposure of your brand.
An important factor for interim managers is to maintain a complete profile. Job recruiters routinely peruse profiles with different purposes. Some start with qualifications, while others go straight to recommendations. A consistent message among these aspects of your profile means that your brand is strong and accessible throughout your profile.
You might also consider establishing a web presence by purchasing a web domain with your name in the URL. Then, connect yourfullname.com to Twitter and LinkedIn so that your website boosts your profile in Google search results. Of course, your brand will be consistent throughout all of these and your name will be memorable.
The Interim Executive Brand
Your brand will be your ambassador to the future clients with whom you will not initially meet face to face. Therefore, you must rely on someone else to do these two simple things:
- Remember you when they are making decisions or recommendations, and
- Convey your skills to the client.
Many executives find this part of the process difficult. Building a brand does it for you.
Narrowing down your best skills so that they are easily packaged in a memorable way can be challenging. This is complicated because of the traditional resume format, which lists titles and dates rather than focusing on individual expertise.
Some interim executive job candidates believe they miss out on opportunities because they have focused their search too finely. However, it is more likely that they miss chances because their peers don’t know how or when to recommend them. If there is an opportunity for a colleague to refer them, it is more likely that the colleague will remember the specific brand over the general language of a resume.