Part 2 – What Personal Branding Is and Is NOT
My mission in this 5-part series is to help you get inside the head of an executive resume branding strategist.
In Part 1, you learned about the first critical steps in writing your executive resume – targeting and researching for the “hidden job market”.
In Part 2 here, I’ll discuss the next step – understanding personal branding.
Here’s how I’ll wrap up the series:
What is Personal Branding and Why Do I Need It?
Before you can define – and begin to build and communicate – your personal brand through your resume, you need to understand what branding is all about.
Simply put, personal branding is a way to:
Define and differentiate the unique promise of value you offer your target market, over others competing against you.
Your brand is your unique combination of driving strengths, areas of expertise, passions, values, vision, and purpose.
The things that set you apart from everyone else. These are the attributes you’re known for . . . the things people rely on you for . . . the things you tap into every day, as you navigate your work day and personal life.
Likewise, a brand-reinforcing, interview-generating resume is all about differentiating your value to the employers you’re targeting over everyone else competing for the same kinds of jobs.
First, you need to understand that today’s executive resume is not a career history. It is a personal marketing document designed to sell you to employers.
If you know anything about marketing, it has to do with identifying pain points of the target audience.
In the case of executive job search, pain points are problems or challenges or unmet needs.
And the target audience, of course, is your list of target employers.
The purpose of a resume, and your mission in creating yours, is to:
- Showcase the best you have to offer,
- Align that with particular needs of your target employers or gaps they must fill, and
- Package it all in a concise, vivid, and compelling way that will capture attention, resonate and help you land faster.
Personal Branding Is No Longer Optional
Hiring decision-makers and executive recruiters reviewing resumes are looking for good fit, so chemistry is very important to them.
Personal branding helps you create chemistry for your value-offer as a candidate.
Branding also makes for a much more interesting resume, unlike the possibly hundreds of lifeless same-old resumes the reviewer may have in front of her.
Have you ever been in the position of reviewing resumes of potential hires?
Then you know that when the document gave you a feel for who that person is, and what they may be like to work with, you were much more interested in them.
The hiring process costs companies a lot of money.
A branded resume helps hiring decision makers determine:
- Whether you’ll be a good fit in terms of leadership and management style,
- How you get things done, and
- What you can always be counted on to deliver.
Branding is essentially a pre-qualifier that provides insight into your potential value to your next employer.
When writing your resume, many factors will converge that need to be weighed, balanced, and strategized to breathe life into an otherwise dry, flat document and make you come alive on the printed page or screen.
Ready to sit down, work on your personal brand, and start writing your resume?
Coming up – Part 3 in this series, in which you’ll learn how to differentiate your unique value proposition and build personal brand content.
More About Personal Branding and Executive Resume Writing
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