A resume that captures your personal brand will be a much more effective tool in your job search than a resume that simply reflects your qualifications. Your personal brand captures the qualities that are unique to you and go beyond the skills necessary to do your job. Think of it this way, an accountant would obviously have to be good with numbers so every individual that applies for an accounting position will share a general skill set that is needed to do the job.
Imagine you are a hiring manager and you are in the process of hiring a new city manager. In each hand you hold a resume; both candidates are equally qualified with the same amount of experience and comparable strengths. Which candidate do you bring in for an interview?
Results-focused professional with 10+ years of progressively responsible experience in city management. Expertise lies in the identification of strategies that capitalize on opportunities for future growth. Excellent facilitator and communicator with exceptional presentation, interpersonal, analytical and organizational skills. Guides others and encourages teamwork. Able to adapt to ever-changing situations.
Dynamic leader and member of the next generation of City Management professionals generated by over 9 years of experience in progressively responsible city management positions. Natural ability to guide and coach others in the exploration and discovery of solutions to complex problems with a focus on transforming strategic vision into reality. Perceptive talent for envisioning and developing growth opportunities and launching new strategies to deliver value-building results. Solid reputation as an industry resource and authentic advocate for community growth. Delivers ownership of personal commitments and places a premium on responsibility, integrity, and loyalty.
Hopefully you said candidate B. This individual has done more than just list the skills they would bring to the position; they combined those skills with the qualities that make up their personal brand to present a comprehensive and compelling picture of their value.
This is all well in great but you may be wondering how to effectively translate your personal brand into your resume. The first thing you need to do is define your brand. To do that you need to take a careful self-assessment that looks at your personality, your passion, your beliefs, how others perceive you, how you react to different situations and how your vision shapes what you do. Sometimes it is helpful to have help from a trusted source, especially when trying to determine how others perceive you.
Once you have identified your brand you need to develop it and maintain it. It’s not as easy as saying – this is my brand! You have to infuse it into all aspects of your job search. It is not limited to your resume but also includes any professional associations you belong to, online job sites such as LinkedIn, professional writings you author and networking opportunities.
This is not as difficult as it sounds. Once you have identified your brand you will probably find that it has come through naturally in the above mentioned areas. Your brand isn’t some role you fill; it is already a part of who you are. That’s not to say that you can’t adjust attributes that contribute to your brand; just don’t expect to be something you’re not just because you think it makes a good brand. Authenticity is essential for a successful brand.
by Megan Koehler