CREATING YOUR "BRAND": What has changed and why

Recruiters are fond of saying that you have 7 - 10 seconds to grab their attention, or your resume is history!  Since this Section will be viewed first, its purpose is to … well, grab their attention, so they will be inclined to read the rest of your resume. Also, when you complete an online application and attach your resume, it will go into the company's resume database, and can be scanned for key words or phrases.

By the way, we no longer use a “Job Objective” statement.  This Section will make clear your job objective.

•  Give yourself a “Job Focus,” a title that defines the positions or general area for which you are qualified, and put it in boldface and all caps.  I often use a 1pt higher font (12pt vs. 11pt) and increase the spacing.  Here are several examples:

Senior Accounting Manager
Supply Chain Professional
Executive Administrative Assistant
Information Technology Professional
Accounting and Finance Professional

When you apply for a specific position you found online, you must change this Job Focus to more closely match that job.

Do not use the word “Summary.”  That just wastes a line and more importantly, an opportunity to gain your reader’s attention.

•  Now write a paragraph that summarizes your background, skills, and qualities.  Four sentences should suffice.  Avoid flowery adjectives with little significance (e.g., “seasoned,”   “conscientious,” “personable,” etc.)  Here are two examples:

Results-driven manager with more than 10 years’ experience with a Fortune 500 company in Sales, Marketing and Logistics. Strong skills in sales planning, field sales, administration and customer service. Extensive experience in team development, project management, market planning and sales program development and implementation.

Office Operations professional with excellent management expertise. Experience in assuming ownership and using competent judgment. Outstanding interpersonal skills with a proven record in taking the initiative to proactively resolve issues. Customer focused professional dedicated to providing the highest level of support and exceeding expectations.

I speak with many recruiters and most honestly say that they often ignore this paragraph, expecting to see the useless, flowery adjectives.  Thus, your “brand” is most important and so are the following relevant areas of expertise.

•  Now choose six core competencies or areas of expertise.  Put them in two columns, preceded by a “bullet point.”  For now, just choose any six you feel describe you, but – and this is very important – when you apply for a specific job you found online, you will replace those generic descriptions with specific key words, buzz words, or key phrases from the online job description. This will accomplish two important results: it will both grab the Recruiter's attention and also allow your resume to be found with a Key Word scan in the company's computer database.

•  As with the “Contact Data, Section 1,” put a line across that separates your “Brand.” This creates a box that also draws the Recruiter's attention to your "Brand."