When you reach the executive level, your reputation means everything. You are relied upon to lead entire departments—or the company as a whole—in new directions, which means you need to prove you are knowledgeable, wise, trustworthy, strong, innovative, and a natural-born leader.
It’s not easy to prove that you meet all of these qualifications without some evidence to back yourself up. Your executive brand serves as a window into that evidence, vividly providing the imagery needed for the hiring manager to envision you as a great candidate who simply must be called in for an interview.
The only problem is that an executive brand isn’t always set in stone, especially in today’s online world. Although you can try your best to control which information about you is shared, you can’t control it all. So what are some ways you can avoid having your executive brand slip away from you?
Purchase a Domain in Your Name
A great way to control which information about you is available online is to start by purchasing a domain in your name. For instance, you could purchase RandyJohnson.com or RandyJohnsonCPA.com to guide people to your domain when searching for you. On your website, you can list everything about yourself professionally—including a bio, your resume/work history, philosophy, affiliations, and even a blog. Doing so helps you to brand yourself perfectly and encourages people to read the information you choose to share.
Check for Multiple Namesakes
Another important way to ensure that your executive brand remains within your grasp is to check the Internet for multiple namesakes. There may be other people online with your name who could create confusion for recruiters. To avoid these issues, you could differentiate yourself from others by using your first, middle, and last name, or by adding your title after your name whenever blogging or commenting on the Internet.
Google Yourself Thoroughly
While you’re searching for namesakes, be sure to Google yourself thoroughly—meaning, search beyond page one to see all of the information about you that’s listed. Also, search your name combined with your high school, friends’ names, previous employers, etc. Once you’ve completed your investigation, you can work toward deleting old pages and asking friends to delete photos that could threaten your reputation.
Secure Personal Social Networking Sites
Finally, be sure to secure the social networking sites you use for personal use. First, add only friends and family you trust if you plan to show your non-professional side online. Don’t add colleagues and clients to your profiles. And be sure to adjust the settings so that your pages can be viewed or found in search engines only by friends. This can help to protect the integrity of your brand.
As an executive, you want very little information available that is not professional and related to the specific brand you’re protecting. So make sure that all of your I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed so that you don’t inadvertently allow your executive brand to slip away from you.
It’s important to remember to brand your resume before applying to each new position for more information on branding check out my recent article 5 Key Areas to Target When Branding Your Resume. You can also get additional job search and career related advice by checking out our blog or following us on Twitter @GreatResume.
Share this post:
About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
Will your resume impress employers? Take this 2-minute quiz to find out.
Get your personalized plan for a resume that stands out and lands you your dream job!
Need a little help getting hiring managers to take notice? Find out what's standing between you and those magic words "You're exactly who we've been looking for!"