One of Matt Bud’s recent editorials in the FENG (Financial Executives Networking Group) newsletter was entitled, “Paint a Pretty Picture". He was primarily talking about resume aesthetics but he also said this, which is my point.
“… it breaks my heart at times when I review a resume and just know that the person behind the paper in front of me is so much better than how he/she appears.”
It is critical that who you are in person is the same person you appear to be on paper. If you meet someone at a networking event or you receive a warm lead, recommendation, and introduction to an opportunity and you follow up with an executive resume that falls short of who they believed you to be … in all likelihood, you just lost an opportunity.
Conversely, if you have a resume that is not written in your voice, with your words, and which accurately reflects who you are but instead creates a facade, meeting you in person will most certainly doom you to failure.
Effective personal marketing documents (resume, leadership addendum, executive profile) for a Chief Financial Officer or Corporate Finance Executive are so much more than aesthetics. While I agree with Matt that “pretty” matters … no white space, grammatical and spelling errors, poor paper quality … the prettiest resume in the world won’t matter if it …
— positions you as a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none;
— is a responsibility-oriented historical novel;
— does not meet the Blackberry principle;
— doesn’t answer the question a company is asking … what do you bring to the table that makes it worth my while to pay you to join the executive team?
Pretty matters. But it is much, much more than just pretty. It’s very much about value. Yours. The clearer you are about your value, the stronger your positioning … on paper and in person!
You have achieved a high level of career success in a world where integrity, confidentiality, clear value, and great service are expected, even demanded. You have succeeded because you understand the rules of the game and you are the best at what you do.
In the competitive world of top-talent and in-demand positioning, however, it’s a different game … the average tenure of a CFO is 3 years and the rules can seem vague and confusing.
Do you recognize that your market value is at its greatest when you are still employed?
Does your resume adhere to the Blackberry principle?
Is your value proposition branded, clear, and compelling?
You’ve worked hard to get to where you are in your job. Does it make sense to leave your next career move to chance?
At your level of achievement, you need more than generic answers and a quick-fix. You need a partner who takes your success as seriously as you do and will treat you and your objectives with the integrity, confidentiality, and great service that is a part of your daily world. You need a partner who understands how this game is played and can work with you to:
Define and leverage your unique brand as a key differentiator in the market
Align your career with your values, strengths, interests, and career goals
Gain visibility in the marketplace to win your next big opportunity
Move powerfully toward your next step up the ladder
Build an effective plan and strategy for long-term career management
Gain a competitive edge with a strategic partner you can trust … and become a champion of your career success!
As America’s leading Career and Personal Brand Strategist for the Corporate Finance Executives, Cindy Kraft understands your world. She brings more than 14 years of experience effectively positioning clients to understand their marketability, articulate their value, and position themselves as the clear and compelling choice.
Cindy has drawn on this insider knowledge to design a comprehensive portfolio of branding and career management services that empower high-achieving corporate finance executives, like you, to position themselves to win the opportunities they want.
Networking & Niche Marketing Expert for the Career Thought Leaders Consortium, a think-tank organization focused on best practices, benchmarks and trends for the careers industry
Cindy will be speaking at the Career Thought Leaders Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, March 22-24, 2009 on … Niching & Networking Your Way to Success, and Online Identity Management: Business-Building Tools and Strategies
If you are a finance executive and you are NOT a member of the Financials Executive Networking Group, you are missing out on a wealth of information … delivered right to your email box several times a week and containing job leads, articles, good news announcements, assistance requests, and meeting notices.
Now I don’t always agree 100% with Matt Bud, Co-Chair of FENG, but I do agree with him the majority of the time and being a member of FENG is a great long-term career management strategy for every finance executive.
A recent newsletter talked about a recruiter’s response to some resumes sent his way.
One candidate submitted one of the “worst” ever seen with “a lot of words that toot his horn such as outstanding record and exceptional ability,” contained a worthless list of bullets, and was poorly paginated. Another candidate submitted a one page resume … “with type so small [I] needed a magnifying glass to read it.” Rather then pull out a magnifying glass, the resume was round-filed.
Your resume is often your first impression … so what does it say about you? Hopefully the message is that you are crystal clear about your value to a prospective company (what they are willing to pay you big bucks to get) and that you care enough, and are interested enough, to pay attention to details, quality, and readability.
I received an email from a FENG member last week. I spoke to his Orlando group a few weeks ago, and one of the talking points was around the importance of having a digital footprint. Of course, that included having a profile on Linked In.
Here’s the question he posed and his follow up clarification:
I have had 3 people ask me how they fix the fact that they have 2 profiles on Linked In, without deleting all of their contacts on the profile they get rid of? I have 3 people I'm Linked In with that have multiple accounts, one did it with one firm then left, started at a new firm and did a new profile, another has her name a little different on her two profiles. She said she couldn't figure out how to transfer her contacts without deleting them.
This situation points to the importance of opening your Linked In account in YOUR name, not your company’s name. When you leave that company, you want your Linked In profile, account, and contacts to remain yours.