What is a personal brand?
In the job search industry, you see people throwing that word around a lot. You might see, use social media for your personal brand, or, 27 ways personal branding can land you a job.
No, it has nothing to do with cows. Personal branding, much like corporate branding, is when an individual is associated with certain qualities or outcomes. Think about Donald Trump or the Kardashian family: they can slap their name on anything and you instantly develop an impression.
The job search today is a lot like sales. You are advertising yourself to employers through your resume and social media profiles in the hopes that one will pick you up and "buy" you, in a sense. Just like the Hershey’s bar in the supermarket, branding is essential in this job search "sale."
If your resume is your number one marketing document, it’s important for your personal brand to shine through. Check out these 4 steps to show off your personal brand in your resume:
Choose your words wisely
The first, and most crucial, step in establishing a personal brand anywhere is to choose specific keywords for your brand. Just like Coca-Cola is practically synonymous with "refreshing," pick certain words that are synonymous with you as a worker. To start, pick three solid words.
For bonus points, be sure to pick keywords that are in-demand. Which words resurface over and over in your research?
Write your headline
Nix your objective statement in favor of a professional headline at the top of your resume. This should be short and to the point. Include the keywords you just came up with in order to tell any reader exactly what kind of worker you are.
Connect your past
Take the words that you have so carefully chosen and connect them to your past experience. If one of your brand words is "organized," then including a bullet point about how you increased efficiency at your last job by X percent would make a lot of sense. If you're having a hard time connecting your past with your brand words, then you might be better off choosing a different word.
Tell a story
Once you've written your resume, proofread it a few times. Does it seem cohesive? Are you using your brand effectively throughout the document? Each point should gradually lead into the next building up to tell the story of you and your personal brand.
What do you think? How else can a job seeker show off their personal brand in their resume? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Gerrit Hall is the CEO and co-founder of RezScore, a free web application that reads, analyzes, and grades resumes – instantly. Gerrit has successfully combined his passion for computer science and the careers space by helping job seekers write the best resume possible. You can connect with Gerrit and RezScore on Facebook and Twitter.