Jeff Bezos famously noted that your brand is “what people say about you when you leave the room,” and that’s exactly why you need a professional brand, and you need to articulate your brand on your resume.
Let me explain why.
Your professional brand tells recruiters and prospective employers who you are, what you do, and explains your value proposition to a targeted employer.
This is important because while you are a unique individual, there are a gazillion other people who have the identical title and/or responsibilities as you. Your professional brand is what differentiates you from all the other CMOs or accountants or Directors of Supply Chain Logistics. Your employee brand includes what YOU are especially good at, or what YOU love about your work, or what YOU have accomplished throughout your career. It’s short, it’s pithy, and if it’s well-written, it’s unique to you.
Here’s why a professional brand is really necessary
When I hire people, or when I’m evaluating a client’s current resume, I often have to ask, “so what, exactly, is it that you do?” I shouldn’t have to ask. Your professional brand should be the first thing I learn about you when I open your resume.
Everybody talks about branding, but it’s not immediately clear what they means in a professional context. Your professional brand consists of four elements: who you are, what you do, what you’re known for, and where your influence lies.
As an example, here’s how I wrote my professional brand into my resume:
As a Global Human Resources executive, I partner with senior management to develop and manage global Human Resources strategies targeted to corporate goals. The foundation of my work is to evaluate corporate cultures and effect re-org strategies. I achieve success through relationship-building and aligning employee and company goals, particularly with respect to mergers and acquisitions.
Do you see how the professional brand above hits all four elements? Notice that I didn’t just say that I am a “team player” (and for the record, most people say they are), but instead, I demonstrate team player skills (through relationship-building).
A final point: many of the professionals I work with have held varied roles throughout their careers and are reluctant to represent themselves being only a marketing strategist, or a financial analyst or a sales representative, or whatever label might apply. That’s where a talented resume writers has value – knowing how to convey your multiple talents into a branding statement that will make headhunters and recruiters take notice.
Here’s an example of my professional brand
As a Global Human Resources executive, I manage mergers and acquisitions to unify diverse corporate cultures by implementing re-organization strategies that align employees with common goals. My passion is to recruit and retain a productive, highly satisfied global workforce to proudly support the Company’s brand.
A final point: many of the professionals I work with have held a variety of roles throughout their careers, and are reluctant to represent themselves being “only” a marketing strategist, or a financial analyst or a sales representative, or whatever title might apply. That’s where a talented resume writer has value – knowing how to convey your multiple talents into a branding statement that will make headhunters and recruiters take notice.
To learn more, read “5 Ways to Build your Personal Brand”