Your resume is one of the most powerful branding tools you can use and it often represents the first contact between you and a potential employer or client.
This document must be so compelling that it will make the employer want to interview you immediately!
Here are some tips on how to brand yourself effectively through your resume:
Start with a branding headline
A branding headline of approximately 10 words should let employers know who you are, what industry you work in, and what your areas of expertise are. A good example of resume headline is “Senior Accountant with CPA Certification and more than 15 years of experience.”
Write a good executive summary
The executive summary is the section enabling you to formulate your unique selling proposition (what makes you different from other professionals) and to make your resume sound like a living person who is excited about their work. Write no more than 3-4 sentences and don’t be afraid to step out of the box.
Don’t compare yourself to other people
Avoid bashing other professionals in the field and focus only on your person and on the value you can provide. You should be unique in an absolute way and not by relating to the average guy in your industry or former colleagues.
Refer to relevant strengths
Depending on the type of job you’re applying for, you should highlight specific assets. For instance, if you are applying for a management position, you should refer to strengths such as leadership, strategic planning, and observation spirit. Do not highlight skills that are not relevant to the position you are applying for – your resume should promote you as the right candidate for that particular job, and not as a one-size-fits-all employee.
Emphasize past accomplishments
Your branding message won’t be consistent unless you show prospective employers how you’ve actually contributed to the success of projects you’ve been involved in before. Focus on achievements instead of responsibilities and use numbers to describe your success (such as “Increased sales by 20% in 6 months”).
Use the right terminology
By using appropriate language, your resume will capture the attention of prospective employers and make you look like a knowledgeable candidate; make sure you use the jargon specific to your industry.
Create the same look and feel throughout your documents
Your resume should always be accompanied by a cover letter, where you should use the same format, font, and font sizes. The person reading your resume and cover letter should know the documents come from the same candidate and not have a hard time picking the main ideas.
Effective branding is more than anything saying the truth about your qualifications and accomplishments. No matter what your career level is, you can promote yourself as the ideal candidate without exaggerating or lying. If you are not at the senior executive level, don’t brand yourself this way – in the end, you’ll just be doing a disservice to yourself.