In writing a resume and by extension a LinkedIn page, the key is in how well you establish your Personal Brand. In a resume it must be established in the top-third of Page One and then further developed and validated throughout the document. On LinkedIn your Personal Brand is established in the Headline and Summary and by the photo you upload. For me it is imperative the LinkedIn page and resume present a singular brand but that are not mirror images of each other.
The major faux pas in resume and social media branding…
As you may know by now, I’ve read and critiqued countless resumes from readers of my blog posts and in over 80% I find a common occurrence that is extremely harmful to their cause.
What is it that irks me every time I see it in a resume?
It is when attempting to create a Personal Brand the resume writer (the candidate or outside professional) makes a major faux pas in resume branding methodology; the brand was established around the job title and not the individual.
This is harmful because the brand tends to be generic and describes you and other qualified candidates who submitted a resume for consideration as being one and the same. This is not to say the resume as a whole is not well written and the information about the candidate’s prior job history, skills and experience is not well presented. However when your first impression lumps you into a large group of equally qualified potential candidates, rather than establishing you right off the bat as a serious contender who readily fits the desired hire profile, you run the risk that the reader will merely skim through the document and overlook what makes YOU stand out as a unique talent and a person worthy of reaching out to for an interview.
The same holds true and even more so in social media where talent acquisition specialists – employers & recruiters alike – go to find unique rather than generic talent to hire or represent. On LinkedIn especially your headline and summary must be written in such a way that it optimizes your ability to be found and makes people want to reach out to you.
So here are a few pointers to consider when preparing a resume and LinkedIn page.
Your Branding Statement / Headline should focus on you and not your job title and it should paint a picture of who you want to be not necessarily who you have been. It should also tell a story that whets the reader’s appetite to continue reading.
Your brand should allow you to be easily found by people seeking the talent and experience you possess.
Look over your summary and see how much it applies to others in your position as well as to yourself. If it does not show signs of significant uniqueness go back to the drawing board and try again.
Using unique fonts and color to establish a brand on a resume is not advisable for almost all jobs seekers who are not in highly creative fields.
Read the top-third of the resume and ask yourself if the person who is going to screen it has enough information to decide in your favor without needing to read more. If not consider this a failed attempt.
On LinkedIn your photo is a must and it must reflect the brand and image you want to portray. Using a photo and/or logos on a resume is not typical for most, but in certain cases it can be a great way to establish a Personal Brand. However unless you’re very knowledgeable and creative I would not attempt it on your own and would seek out the advice and assistance of a seasoned pro.
Personally I have almost a dozen different ways to create a branded Summary or Profile on a resume and I am certain there are a few more ways to do this as well. What is critical is the technique you use to create your Personal Brand fits your profession, level, personality and industry.
Trying to establish a Personal Brand in a resume from a template is incongruous. The key to being unique is originality and templates in general promote conformity.
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