Too often jobseekers send out resumes without a focus or message that speaks to the reader. They include all of their jobs going back many years with an extensive list of job responsibilities. What they fail to do is convey their unique personal brand or value proposition to a hiring manager that clearly demonstrates what it is they do best even better than anyone else!
When you think about a product, what comes to mind? It is the look, feel, smell, performance, quality, or low cost? Whatever it is, that is what sets it apart from similar products and is probably the one area the company aggressively promotes about the product. The same is true when setting yourself apart from other jobseekers in your field. Why should a company choose you when they have ten other candidates with similar career paths?
If you know the answer to that question, then that is your personal brand! If not, then you need to find out what it is! Here are some simple steps to get started:
STEP 1 - Research Your Personal Brand
Conduct a marketing survey to ask friends, family, and past co-workers what they think of you on a personal and professional level. You might be surprised at the responses good and bad! For this exercise, we are going to focus on the positive.
STEP 2 - Define Your Personal Brand
Here are a few general examples to help you translate the feedback to your personal brand (parenthesis):
Workaholic (hardworking, determined, ambitious, driven)
Always busy doing something (project oriented; multitask oriented; energetic).
Someone to turn to when advice is needed (good listener with consultative skills; problem solver).
Someone to count on in a pinch (reliable; team player).
Frugal; knows how to stretch the mighty dollar (budget conscious).
Handy around the house and in the yard (technically or mechanically inclined; good with tools).
STEP 3 - Market Your Personal Brand
Okay, you're probably wondering what you are supposed to do with the information once you have it. For starters, you can apply it to your resume because that is your marketing tool!
Step 2 gave general examples in various areas. However, if the responses reveal a common thread with the same qualities listed from nearly everyone you surveyed, you can start building on that personal brand.
Let's say one of the areas most noted in your survey was "always busy doing something" which translates to "project oriented," you can decide if the position you are seeking requires that skill set. If it does, then you need to think back to all of the positions you've held involving special projects that went beyond the daily routine, and list the best ones. Be sure to show how you managed all aspects of the projects. Don't just list the project name.
Then you can target a project-oriented position in almost any field as long as you can show your interests and skills that conveys you are either qualified or positioned to transition to that type of role.
For example, if you are seeking a construction site project manager position or an IT project management position, the focus of your personal brand message should start with the job title, prominently displayed: PROJECT MANAGER . . . followed by a great Career Profile . . . followed by a keywords category to show the reader that you are indeed about project management. Somewhere under Professional Experience, you should take it to the next level by emphasizing you projects under a Project Highlights section.
Keywords could include project management, team leadership, crew scheduling, budget control, inventory control, purchasing, equipment installation, systems integration, regulatory compliance, performance measurement, quality assurance, etc.
Using this branding technique will help you to connect with the reader. The exercise will also help you to decide what you really want to do and will prepare you for interviews.
About The Author:
Ann Baehr is a CPRW and President of Best Resumes of New York. Notable credentials include her former role as Second Vice President of NRWA and contribution to 25+ resume and cover letter sample books. To learn more visit http://www.e-bestresumes.com