Feb 29, 2016

Does Your Resume Get Along With Your Personal Brand?


Time and again, I encounter job seekers that have good prior or current work experience, pretty sharp resumes, and a convincing cover letters, but still struggle to get interviews.

Related: Is Your Personal Brand Wrong?

In situations like this, I like to suggest having a closer look at their personal brand. Personal brand? What do I mean by this exactly, and might this “personal brand thingy” also apply to your situation?

Personal branding is a complex subject, and in my opinion there is no one good definition that sums it up entirely. In my opinion, the bottom line and smallest denominator one can understand under the term personal branding is one’s reputation and legitimacy. And that is exactly the part that does not add up for some job seekers.

Random Resume Example

Take, for instance, a classic resume statement that recruiters frequently see in applications:

“Public speaker, author and presenter.”

This can indeed be a powerful statement: the candidate appears as subject matter expert and great and knowledgeable communicator.

Now, imagine the impressed recruiter or staffing specialist. He or she types your name into Google, Bing, and Yahoo (yes, they actually do this if they are interested in you!). However, the search results don’t show any speaking engagements or publications.

Online Message Vs. Resume Statements

The obvious problem: your online message and reputation does not highlight or support the value suggested in the resume statement. Now, this does by no means mean that this candidate’s resume statement is wrong or will be perceived as wrong by hiring authorities. After all, we can find a lot online, but not everything we have ever done shows up necessarily on the first two Google pages, right?

But, and here comes the real big “but:”

Put yourself in the position of the hiring authority for a second. What is your reaction?

Exactly, you are somewhat disappointed that you don’t see websites, articles or tweets confirming the skills that caught your interest. Again, not all too devastating by itself. You can still get that interview.

Unless, and here comes the big “unless:”

Another candidate out of the 250 applicants for this position has done their “homework” and actively managed their personal brand and online reputation. The do not only appear as expert on their resume, but also in social media etc.

Personal Branding is not a must, but…

Do you see where I am going with this? I am by no means saying that personal branding is a must for everybody to secure their next job or move up to next level of their career. But, and here is the big “but” once again:

Personal branding is another career development tool that is out there, and there are candidates who use it quite well.

Now, do you really want them to have that advantage over you, just because they are doing a little bit more homework?

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