These traits will ensure that you get noticed by hiring managers and executive recruiters.
Along with a little humility, there are three important ‘ilities’ that are critical to your candidature. These traits will ensure that you get noticed by hiring managers and executive recruiters.
You need to start with skills. Being skilled gets you into the game. You won’t even be considered for a new role if you don’t meet all of the competency criteria. But remember, there are lots of skilled executives out there – and their resumes are sitting on the hiring manager’s desk too. Just having the required skills won’t move your resume from the ‘qualified’ list to the shortlist. You need to identify those additional skills that make you stand out – the ones that set you apart from your peers. Those critical skills are your signature strengths. That’s your unique promise of value. Be clear about what that value is and make sure others see that value as well.
Do: Seek out opportunities where your greatest strength is in dire need and integrate what makes you exceptional into everything you do, every day.
Don’t: Try to be all things to all people. Strong brands accentuate their greatest strengths and that’s what they become known for.
Skills will get your foot in the door. Alone, they are not enough to land you your ideal job. You need to demonstrate those skills.
Once you have identified the skills that make you exceptional, you must demonstrate the value of the skills in everything you do. Credibility is built from integrating your strengths and motivated skills into every activity you undertake. Being consistent in your work makes you dependable and respected. That makes you credible. When you demonstrate your value, it’s easy to get others to toot your horn for you. This means rethinking everything you do from the perspective of your greatest strengths.
Ask yourself this question:
“How can I inject more of my strengths into every task I accomplish, every project I lead and every daily activity I do (every email I write, every meeting I attend, every presentation I deliver, etc.)?”
For example, if your greatest strength is your creativity, how could you use your creativity to make your meetings more productive, inspire your employees to deliver outstanding work and build stronger relationships with business partners?
If you are looking for a job right now, how can your creativity support your candidature? How can you use creativity to make your career marketing tools stand out? How do you demonstrate your creativity during an interview?
Credibility comes from repetitive successes. It helps you build a solid reputation – your personal brand.
Do: Encourage others to validate your strengths. Get people to endorse your LinkedIn profile and get testimonials from internal and external clients as appropriate.
Don’t: Brag. That’s not building credibility. Demonstrate your value, don’t boast about it.
Credibility is great, but you don’t want to be the business world’s best-kept secret, you must become known to the members of your brand community and the people who are making decisions about you.
Even if your skills are top-notch and you have proven your competencies over and over, it does you no good if nobody knows about it. Be visible and available. Let’s be clear that we are not talking about blatant self-promotion or chest pounding.
You must be deliberate about becoming known to your target audience. But visibility doesn’t happen by itself; you need to develop your own personal communications plan – just as all companies do. When is the last time you delivered a presentation to a group of peers or published an article related to your area of expertise?
These communications activities also become valuable to you in the job search process. Links on your resume to video clips of presentations you have delivered let hiring managers get to know you before you meet in person. Copies of bylined articles are great attachments to ‘Thank You’ notes after your first interview. Contributions to your industry’s web portal will help you expand your network and connect you with people who may be looking for exactly what you have to offer.
Do: Understand your target community. Know who needs to know you before building a communications plan. It would exhaust your resources to communicate to the world-at-large; focus on those people who need to know you.
Don’t: Friend everyone in Facebook and link to everyone in LinkedIn. It’s not about the number of people who know you. It’s about the number of people in your target audience who know about you and your accomplishments. The goal is ‘selective fame.’
As you go about your job search, focus on these ‘ilities.’ When combined with a touch of humility, you’ll find that people are interested in what you have to offer and you’ll create demand for your services
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