Think of Coca Cola. Do you have a picture of a can of Coca Cola clearly in your mind? What do you see? Red and white/silver aluminum can with distinctive lettering. Now picture a glass of coke, just an ordinary glass with a dark colored beverage inside. It could be Coke, but it could also be Pepsi; it could even be root beer. If the ‘resume’ of Coca Cola just talked about a carbonated soft drink in general terms, and didn’t relay the unique taste, the secret formula that creates the taste, the color of the can and distinctive script that identifies the Coca Cola brand, the general public would murmur a collective sigh of ‘ho-hum’. There are many carbonated soft drinks on the market today, why should they try Coca Cola?
Hiring agents might feel the same way about a candidate if they are not strategically showcasing their unique talents and skills in the resume. Job seekers need to clearly communicate their executive brand – the impressive things they have done and the unique person they are. As a Certified Professional Brand Strategist I believe a successful resume has everything to do with branding. Understanding a candidate’s personal brand is key to helping them get the job they want because it distinguishes them from others. A good branding statement in a resume should include exclusive value, attributes, and competitive advantage blended with a successful work history.
How do you create a branding statement? By telling your story in a succinct way that captures your value. Let’s go back to Coca Cola for a minute. Their brand has developed from marketing a single product to multiple products and as important, the ethics and standards that the business represents. With your brand, companies and hiring managers are buying the standards you have set and achievements consistently delivered. Paint a picture in the mind of the reader with your success stories.
Three additional benefits to creating your brand by telling your story:
1. Leverage the information in an interview. These same stories can carry a candidate through some of the most challenging interview questions, because they already have the answers (or a portion thereof) in their back pocket. They have a story to tell that can help them present as a solution to a company’s problem.
2. Social media profiles. Candidates can use an executive branding statement as a basis for a social media profile. It should not be exactly the same as in the resume, however, can be the starting point for creation of a strong online profile.
3. Professional bio. The foundation of a professional bio can be seeded from the executive branding statement.