Before you start sending people your resume or hoping that they like your LinkedIn profile and want to connect, STOP and review your marketing materials to make sure they I.M.P.R.E.S.S.
What do I mean by impress? I mean will you stand out in their mind, will you have made an impression, not just a good impression but a lasting impression.
After working with hundreds of executives and individuals at various stages in their career, I wanted to share some very specific thoughts around what your network and specifically executive recruiters are looking for when it comes to you.
My clients know that I like structure and frameworks. It makes solving challenges and explaining concepts easier. I developed a framework to assess your story and ensure you are incorporating the key ingredients to make your story stick.
1. Do you showcase your Impact (I)?
Whether you are in business development, a student looking for their first job, or transitioning into a new role – you have to be able to articulate your impact. It is critical to understand where a client or organization was at before they engaged you, and then up until this point, or when you left, what difference did you make?
Impact is about knowing how you improved things, launched products, built teams, etc. Be clear on your impact.
2. Is your Impact backed up by Metrics (M)?
The next critical part is showing your Impact. Do you have metrics or at least the ability to describe how things were different because you were there. What is it that you can put in your LinkedIn profile or resume to showcase this? If you do not have metrics, you will be hard to market. Most of the profiles and resumes I review and work on are missing this piece, and it is one of the most important pieces.
3. What is your Proximity (P) to the CEO or the customer?
When I talk about proximity it is really about providing orientation on where you sit in an organization. Do you report into the C-suite? Have you presented to the Board? Are you in the C-suite? Do you work with internal and external partners – so you have high touch interpersonal skills because you can play nice with multiple groups?
Think about where you sit in the organization and how you would describe your proximity.
4. What is your Role (R)?
Surprisingly, sometimes this is not clear. What is your role? No kidding what are you on the hook for and how is that aligned to your metrics and impact? Are you delivering the results you were asked to deliver and can you articulate why your role matters to the team, organization, and market?
You should be able to clearly state what you are accountable for and what you brought to the role, why you took it, and how it fits into your career arc.
5. Is your content Engaging (E)?
This sounds a bit like a “duh” statement, but people forget to write for their audience. It is not about the words you want to use, it is about the words that will be meaningful and engaging to your audience. Ask your clients and network what really resonates with them, and incorporate those descriptors. Think about the key words that matter and weave them effectively through your material.
6. Can you describe your Scope (S)?
Can you define the scope of your role effectively? Do you know what you are responsible for at the end of the day? For example, how many people are you accountable for in your organization? Be able to talk about geographic scope as well as product or market scope. If you could draw your scope on a piece of paper, what does it look like? How many teams do you interact with and is that across the enterprise or outside of the organization?
7. Can you describe the Scale (S) of your role?
As you look back over your engagements, roles, etc., how did you grow the size of your impact? This is complementary to impact in that you want to intentionally include how you “scaled” something and if your accountability grew over time. How did you help a company or client scale and grow their impact? This is a critical way to articulate your value.
Be your best self,