How to Incorporate Your Personal Brand In Your Job Search
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When you think about your next career move,
how would things be different for you if you were HUNTED
rather than being the HUNTER? Personal branding (the process
of clarifying and communicating what makes you and your
unique value proposition different and special) allows you
to make a name for yourself. It differentiates you from
your peers and helps to position you as a leader in your
field - as a specialist and an authority who knows how to
do a job and fill a particular niche in the workplace better
than anyone else.
Rather than finding yourself constantly pursuing jobs opportunities
that never quite pan out, sitting at home waiting for the
phone to ring, and having doors stay locked shut to you,
imagine what a positive and secure feeling it would be to
have employers and recruiters actually seek YOU out. With
some time and effort put into identifying and communicating
YOUR personal brand as it relates to your career, this is
one of the key benefits you will enjoy.
If you are a professional engaged in a serious job search,
it would be almost impossible to escape the issue of personal
branding. Everyone is talking about it! And, for good reason.
Personal branding can make an incredible positive impact
on not only your current job search, but on the success
and progression of your entire career. But, just because
everyone is talking about it, doesn't mean that everyone
is making use of the knowledge. Through personal branding,
there is still an incredible opportunity for the forward-thinking
professional to position themselves heads and shoulders
above their peers and competitors in the job market.
It is not difficult to be convinced that personal branding
is the wave of the future when it comes to the professional
job search. But once you are convinced, and once you have
put the effort into clarifying YOUR personal brand, how
do you make that leap to incorporating that brand into your
job search? Is there such a thing as a brand-driven job
search? How exactly do you promote your personal brand in
the job market?
Here are 5 tips for incorporating your brand throughout
your resume, your cover letters, and your entire career
Tip #1 - Branding provides your resume
and other career marketing documents with instant, precision-like
focus that positions you as the ideal candidate for the
specific type of opportunity that interests you. An unfocused
resume is boring and ineffective. An unfocused resume wastes
your readers' time and will land in the circular file. A
properly branded resume is, by definition, focused, and
addresses not only your unique value proposition, but it
does so in a way that addresses the concerns of your target
Tip #2 - Use your personal brand profile
and personal brand statement to project a cohesive brand
image and value proposition across your resume, cover letters,
and all your documents. In my work, I have the opportunity
to review a lot of resumes, letters, biographies and other
documents that my clients and prospective clients have tried
to write for themselves. This tip relates to one of the
most common mistakes that I see. Too many people try to
be too many things to too many people. Their career marketing
portfolios (resumes, cover letters, biographies, etc.) are
a hodge-podge of documents written over a number of years
and added onto randomly whenever the need arises for an
updated resume. Certainly across the portfolio, and sometimes
even within the same document, I find multiple design and
content styles, as well as disconnected and outdated messages.
When you brand your job search documents you immediately
correct this problem.
Tip #3 - During the first review, resumes
are scanned for mere seconds in a process that is meant
to do nothing more than filter out unqualified candidates.
Clearly and succinctly incorporating your personal brand
statement into the profile or summary section of your resume
is a way to ensure that your resume will stand out and get
attention. One way to accomplish this is with a headline
statement followed by a sub-headline that promotes your
value proposition. If you aren't familiar with this style,
take a look at the many sample resumes on the Distinctive
Tip #4 - Personal branding gives you a
way to truly let your personality shine through and to establish
an emotional connection with your audience. It can be tough
to make this connection in your resume, but your cover letters
and your narrative biography are great opportunities to
promote soft skills and weave in examples of key brand attributes.
In a very real sense, personal branding requires that you
be courageous about really "owning" yourself and acknowledging
yourself for the strengths and value you bring to the table.
Let your personality come across in your letters and in
your biography. Don't be afraid to make a connection by
accentuating your strengths and value proposition as they
relate to your audience. This is a great way to establish
rapport and trust with your reader even before you have
the chance to speak by phone.
Tip #5 - Keep in mind that one of your
primary goals in branding your job search documents is to
paint a compelling portrait of your unique value proposition.
To do this, you will need to structure your resume so that
it promotes your key skills, qualifications, experiences,
and achievements in a way that is both convincing and compelling
and clearly illustrates to the reader that you can meet
their needs and help them to achieve their goals, all the
while adding value to their organization and delivering
a strong return on their investment in hiring you. This
is a lot to accomplish in a single resume! One of the most
effective ways to do this is to focus the chronology of
your work history on achievements and results. Write your
achievements so that they tell a succinct story of the challenges
and problems you have faced, the actions you took to meet
those challenges, and then the results and benefits of those
actions - the actual return on investment of your actions.
Writing your professional chronology in this way will engage
the reader, supporting your brand and helping them to envision
how you will add value in the future to their organization.
Nationally certified resume
writer and career
marketing expert, Michelle Dumas
is the director of Distinctive Career Services LLC. Through
Distinctive Documents http://www.distinctiveweb.com and her
Executive VIP Services http://www.100kcareermarketing.com
Michelle has empowered thousands of professionals all across
the U.S. and worldwide. Michelle is also the author of 101
Before-and-After Resume Examples http://www.before-and-after-resumes.com
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