How to Create a Branded Resume - dummies

By Susan Chritton

When you create a branded resume, you use your personal brand to infuse your resume with your unique qualities. The primary function of any resume is to create a picture of how you want to be seen now and in the future. The result is a job search tool you’re proud of that highlights your brand promise.

In other words, you want your branded resume to illuminate who you are and what you stand for. You can position this information in a summary section at the top of the resume, in a quote (from a professional colleague or a performance review) that is highlighted on the resume, and/or in an experience section that features your key accomplishments listed in bullet points.

A branded resume has some key elements that set it apart from a standard chronological laundry list of what you have done. To get your resume read, you need to show your unique promise of value, the personal aspect of your brand that is the essence of what you have to offer. Your unique promise of value clarifies and communicates what makes you different from other people.

Arriving at your own unique promise of value requires understanding your strengths and using them to distinguish yourself for a specific opportunity.

To create a branded resume:

  • Use your brand promise in the summary section and revisit it in other parts of the resume. Show that you are energized and passionate about your work.

  • Write accomplishment statements that highlight the valuable contributions that differentiate you from others.

  • Don’t waste space on lame, clichéd words. Use powerful descriptors that give substance to your brand.

  • Break away from boring and let your enthusiasm shine through in your statements.

  • Deliver the message that you want to send to your target market. Emphasize the experience that promotes your brand and minimize your off-brand work history.

  • Remember to reflect who you are now and who you aspire to be. Let your resume have a future focus.

  • Make the design of your resume align with your brand identity.

Most resumes are two pages long. However, someone new to the workplace or returning to the workplace after a long absence faces special challenges when crafting a resume. Often without the work experience to fall back on, creating a branded resume seems much harder.

After all, you just don’t have as many accomplishments on which to draw. In cases where professional experience is lacking, creating a one-page resume featuring community service or internship experience is perfectly acceptable.

Note some of the ways you can use branded highlights in a resume:

  • In the summary paragraph at the top, you can use phrases like “Participative management style” that speak to elements of his personal brand.

  • In the experience section, you can use phrases like “Reinvigorated relationships” to reinforce your brand.

  • Quoted sections can provide powerful testimony indicating that other people have recognized your brand attributes.