In this day and age, it is easy to imagine that you are invisible as you shoot off your resume into the unknown. However, your resume is part of your brand and you need to be careful of how you are branding yourself before you potentially hurt your career. I have compiled a list of top ways to appropriately sell your brand.
To begin, the first introduction that future employers have of you is your resume. Be consistent – if your resume falls into the same hands more than once, your resume will stand out as the hiring manager has viewed your resume before. Hiring managers go through hundreds of resumes a day so you need to stand out to make an impression. Other things to remember when creating your resume include the following:
- The most important thing to remember is clarity. Hiring managers need to tell at a glance if you have the skills that they are looking for. Have a short section at the top that hits your highlights and skills. You will want to bullet each sentence, wordy paragraphs are skimmed and do not register your skills with the hiring manager
- Keep the same font throughout your resume. The easiest that I have found to read is Arial 11, with my name and contact information centered at the top of the first page at Arial 14 bold. I also capitalize and bold, (still Arial 11), the different sections
- Be very clear in your employment experience of company name, title, and dates of employment. Employers are looking for longevity and not short tenures so you want the hiring manager to clearly see this section. If you are a contractor, listing your clients is a must as this will show you were actually an employed contractor. If left to the imagination, hiring managers will fear the worst, in every case
Secondly, remember that you are a brand. You need to decide what you are selling and stand behind that. This is for who you are on social media, on your resume, on job boards, blogs, etc. If you change your product from platform to platform, then you are not building a strong brand. Hiring managers review these different platforms as part of the interview process. If you are a chameleon, you will forget what you are selling, which will hurt your brand and your chances at that employment.
Another element that you need to consider is to make sure you are competitive in the salary that you are advertising. This is important whether too high or too low; too low and you are underselling your value, too high and you are overlooked. You need to know the price of your product. Glassdoor.com is a great place to investigate what your salary should be – you will just plug in your title and location to get the average salaries for your respective field.
Lastly, if you do not have a LinkedIn profile, you must do this right away. This site is advertising your professional merits at no charge. Take care to build an error free, (especially grammar errors!), fully complete profile. Take care to ensure you are using the correct title for the industry you are looking to advance your career in. For example, if you are a CRA, (Clinical Research Associate), make sure this title is clear in your profile, you don’t want to just say President or Independent Consultant if you are a contract CRA. If a hiring manager is confused by what you are offering, they may not use one of the free inmails that LinkedIn offers. You shouldn’t make your personal email address visible here but if you wanted to create a separate email account for hiring managers to reach you, then now is a great time so you can make that email address visible on LinkedIn, so it is easy to contact you. LinkedIn is a great place to connect with future employers.
Focus your career on where you are trying to go and take it step by step and before you know it, you will be on the top. Your brand, your business – stay consistent and be fruitful! With these tips, you are on your way to success!
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Written By: Carrie Thomas
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