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How to Craft a Compelling Branded Resume: The Pre-Work

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You already know: The competition for jobs is fierce. Writing a resume that will survive the competition can seem insurmountable.

What you can learn: how to position yourself as a highly regarded and unique candidate with your branded resume.

It begins with what makes you distinctive – your personal brand. The concept of personal branding has been around for years. In fact, Tom Peters is credited with sparking the personal branding revolution with his Fast Company article entitled ‘The Brand Called You’ in 1997.

Personal branding gained momentum slowly but now has achieved a groundswell of recognition as evidenced by the millions of hits that result when you Google the phrase.

You may already appreciate that personal branding could be useful in your job search, and especially in your resume.

But it is easy to get derailed if you try to write your resume before you are aware of your Career Focus AND Personal Brand. Both drive your resume content in order to be relevant to your target employers and powerful enough to grab and sustain their interest.

Career Focus
Start by identifying your Career Focus (job function/level, industry, and job sector) for your job search and resume. Rather than producing a generic resume to cover all job possibilities, you need to narrow your lens and craft a resume that addresses your job of choice with specifics. Show convincing proof of your skills, knowledge, and results that are relevant to your chosen Career Focus.

Personal Branding
A clear career focus is a core element in a remarkable resume. But personal branding (done well) is what will grab eyeballs and yield job interviews. Here is why: authentic personal branding is based on what is really best and true about you. That includes not only your values, natural talents, skills, knowledge, brand attributes, and achievements, but also how you uniquely do what you do to deliver value.

Discovering your personal brand can take a bit of time. But it is an investment in the viability of your brand communications, which includes resumes, bios, cover letters, thank-you letters, LinkedIn Profile, Twitter Profile, other social media profiles, and much more.

Side note: your personal brand is not simply what you think it is (you may be mistaken)! You need to get feedback from others who know you to realize how your personal brand is actually perceived by others.

The Bottom Line
Generic resumes with no focus and generalized content are largely unmemorable. Figure out your Career Focus and Personal Brand first. Then write potent resume content that builds the case for the job you want. This on-target marketing copy will enhance your credibility as a savvy candidate, rather than being dismissed as one of the vast hordes of unimpressive job seekers.