In this fast-paced environment, it is all about putting the best face forward to the world. What are selfies by the way? So, consider your resume too as your best selfie and make it a tool for personal branding.
Personal branding is a term used to describe the marketing techniques people use to promote themselves and their career. It is believed that this term was first used by renowned management author Tom Peters in an article that he wrote in 1997. Till sometime ago, this term was only associated with celebrities who had to brand themselves for better visibility but today, personal branding is required by everyone, including you and me. It is required today to land that dream job. Since a resume is the first step towards job hunting, it is important to use personal branding in your resume.
Personal Branding Resume:
Building personal branding in resume helps exhibit your unique qualities which differentiate you from the rest so that employers get to identify your real value. It is possible to build a good personal branding value in your resume with some easy and thoughtful steps. Here is how you can go about it:
1. Make rough notes:
Before you start work on the resume, prepare notes by doing a self-analysis. Ask yourself what are your passions, your personal attributes, what makes you different from the rest, your key skills, and the qualities that your previous boss and colleagues liked about. Use these points to help build a strong personal branding resume.
2. Define your target:
The first step towards a personal brand building resume is to know your readers so that you can have a tailor-made resume. Research about the position, the industry, the company and create a resume that from start to finish will promote you as the most suitable candidate. Ensure that your resume is crisp, up-to-the-point and interesting.
3. Begin with an apt title:
The title is the gateway to your resume. Hence pay attention to giving a good title that will indicate your accomplishments and the reasons why you are apt for the job. This can also be referred to as the personal branding statement. For example, a marketing professional can write about his previous achievements of attaining targets, etc along with his educational qualifications and also add how he can be an asset to the company.
4. Give a summary:
It is the age of summaries and short notes as people are used to writing brief notes in social media such as twitter and facebook. Even in your resume, your employer would rather love to read a short note rather than a prolonged description. Hence summarize the most important points of your resume such as any award you have won or an unusually high target you have achieved and so on but the ones that are applicable to the new job you are applying for.
5. Link your resume:
Most of the resumes are sent online and hence it is easier to give links to any of the professional sites that you have created which lists your achievements, and career highlights. It can be the link to your LinkedIn profile, Twitter account, your blog or your website. If you are applying for a writer’s post, then link to your blogs and your articles on other websites would serve as a great impression.
6. It’s not about what you did but what value you brought in:
If you want to build your personal brand, then never write, ‘I did’ but rather, mention about the initiatives you took to make the job smarter. For example, a marketing professional can write about the new ideas he implemented which resulted in increase in sales or an editor can write about how the initiatives she took to redesign the magazine helped boost its image and sales.
7. Back up with testimonials:
A good reference can add value to your resume and help in building personal branding in resume. Put down quotes from two or more respected people about your achievements and expertise. This sets you apart from other candidates and gives you an edge over others.
8. Give examples:
Gone are the days when your resume just contained your educational qualifications and your job profile. Today, with competition heating up, it is important to put out what you have achieved. For example, how you helped save the company money, what new processes you got in and more.
9. The most important points should be in the first page, above fold:
A brand is nothing if it can’t capture the attention of the readers. Put the most compelling information on the first page above the fold. You cannot put out all information but make sure that your most unique quality and achievements occupy this space.
10. Objective is no longer the objective:
Today employers do not want to know what your career objectives are. They are more interested in the reasons why they should hire you.
11. Make your resume stand out:
A HR person must be receiving hundreds of resume for different positions. So, if you want your resume to stand out and be the representative of your personal branding, then ensure that it is created in such a way that it captures the attention of the reader in just 10 seconds.
Additional Tips for your Resume:
1. Focus on the layout of your resume:
A resume is no longer about words, its layout and design is as important. Ensure that it does not look too showy and colourful. Then again, if you are looking for a graphic designer’s post, then you can go all the way out to create a resume that will showcase your talent. Otherwise, stick to a more subtle format but the one which has a unique style. Look at the resume templates online and create one unique design that suits your style.
2. Go for an attractive formatting:
Using too many colours and fonts is a strict no-no. At the most, you can go for two fonts. Just see to it that the usage doesn’t look too much on the face and is subtle. Choose professional and readable fonts. The formatting has to be uniform throughout.
3. Limit the length of the resume:
Remember you are writing a resume and not a book. You have to build personal branding through your resume and hence it needs to be done in a compressed and brief manner. It is a passage to get you to the interview table. Two pages are what your resume should be limited to. Thus, say what you want to and build personal branding in your resume using short sentences and description but it should put forth all your achievements and career highlights.
4. Shrug off over-used words:
Some phrases in resume are so passé. Avoid terms such as excellent communication skills, result-oriented, hard working, target oriented, and visionary leader and so on. Building personal branding in resume means you need a resume that is a ‘designer’ one and hence use innovative phrases and avoid cliché.
5. Set your resume to action with action verbs:
As a general rule, passive verbs are a no-no. Hence stick to forceful action verbs that put forth vigorously your personal branding profile aptly. Strong verbs such as initiated, streamlined, spearheaded, etc catch attention.
6. Experience today is not about quantity but quality:
A key point while building personal branding in resume is to present the resume skilfully. Today, employers, even if they are looking for an experienced candidate, are not keen on the years you spent at the job but they want to know how you have managed to bring about a difference.
7. Quantify the results:
Listing out quantified outcomes is a great way to build a strong personal branding resume. You can list down your achievements in bullet points under each employer. For a marketing professional, it is easy to list out the number of sales achieved but at the same time, even managers and writers should put a number. Writers can mention the number of articles published while a manager can list out the number of management practices he successfully implemented.
8. Consider your resume as a product that needs to sell:
In brief, the key idea to enable you to build a personal branding resume is to regard your resume as a product that you have to sell, the only difference here is that it is your skills you are selling here. So, at each sentence, each point, each word, pause and think if it is putting you in the best view and if it is promoting you in the most suitable way.
9. Check for typos and grammatical mistakes:
When you are building personal branding in resume, what needs to stand out is quality and it is not just about your accomplishments but even in the presentation of the resume. Proofread your resume well and multiple times to check for any typos or grammatical errors. Check if the spellings are correct especially when you mention your email id. Check if the contact number is correct and you have not missed any digits.
Follow the above steps and create a resume that stands out not just in design and layout but also the one that will give you an edge over others. Building your personal brand in resume is all about showcasing your strong attributes, your values and passions. When your personal brand value is built through your resume, half the battle is won. So, go ahead, make a difference, stand out and be a winner!