Larry Polhill of Café Valley on Resumes and Personal Branding

Larry Polhill of Café Valley knows just how important a well-written resume is. Employers usually spend no more than a minute on an applicant’s resume, which is why it’s vital that you immediately let the employer know what your field of expertise is, and why you’re the perfect man or woman for the job. If, at first glance, they don’t see what you’re capable of, it’s very likely that they won’t spend time poring over your CV just to know why you should be considered for the position. In other words, don’t wait until you get to the bottom of the page to reveal your personal branding.

What is personal branding?

You know how an image of golden arches always bring McDonald’s to mind? Or how the swoosh symbol and the Just Do It slogan are always associated with Nike? That’s corporate branding. It’s how one product or service separates itself from the rest of the players in the industry.

Personal branding works the same way; only this time, the focus is on you and your target audience could be potential employers, business associates, or clients. Your competitors are other professionals in the same field as yours. So how do you launch a personal branding campaign? You begin with your resume.

Your resume is a marketing tool

When you submit your resume to a potential employer, you have to remember that they know nothing about you save for what you wrote in your CV. This is why you should consider it as your personal marketing tool that, when written flawlessly, can get you that interview you were hoping for.

This is where branding comes into play. When an employer looks at your resume, what is it about you that make you a good addition to the team? While the job description for the position you’re applying for may be cut and dried, selling your qualities in a way that would make the company see these as a solution to an unforeseen “need” that has to be fulfilled will definitely put you above other individuals applying for the same position. To put it another way, if you have more than what they were looking for; if you have capabilities—skills and experiences—that would not only satisfy the job description, but more importantly, make you a critical component to the team’s success, then you have just nailed personal branding.

But just as in corporate marketing and branding, you have to be careful about false advertising because any sign of dishonesty will reflect poorly on your character; and employee character is a huge consideration for companies.

Sell your good points but don’t exaggerate details. Show what you’re capable of but not to the point of pulling someone else down (blaming an ex-boss for your poor performance at a previous job, begrudging a colleague for taking a promotion away from you, and so on).

So what does your personal branding say about you?

To comment on this post or to reach Larry Polhill of Café Valley for questions related to job interviews and resume writing, please feel free to leave him a message below.


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