Branded resume

One Easy Way to Market Yourself in your Resume

Make a marketing move on your resume with a headline.

This is one simple fix helps shift your resume from a professional list of experiences to a marketing document. A headline is located under your contact information and above your branding statement.

Don't complicate it. The headline is the job you are applying for. It’s the billboard that shouts the purpose of your resume.

kate-trysh-Dnkr_lmdKi8-unsplash.jpg

You are not only branding yourself as said position but listing the job title up top in your document is advantageous for ATS.

⚡️BONUS MOVE: Add the most important keywords found in the job ad underneath your headline that is also synonymous with your skillset.

FOR EXAMPLE:

Headline >> Product Manager

Keywords >> Cloud-Based Product Development | Project Management | Information Technology

Three Tips to Uncover Your Value through Resume Writing

Resume writing is a strenuous process. But like all hard things, the work is worth it.

I recently was chatting with a client who purchased my resume branding workbook. She had a seemingly unconnected work history with leaps and jumps. She had a hard time connecting the dots so she knew employers would too.

She was trying to establish credibility in a new field and was thinking of pursuing a graduate degree. Once she identified themes and the connective tissue of her work life in the resume writing process- her value popped before her eyes. Graduate work didn't seem so important anymore.

Meg Applegate, Resume Writer for High-Achieving Women.jpg

Do you know you know your value? Can you communicate what you uniquely bring to the table? If you are in the same struggle:

▶︎ Identify your strengths. Reflect on what skills you like using. What do others acknowledge in you? What are you consistently asked to do?

▶︎ Look for themes in your professional history. Layout your past and see what themes emerge. Do you typically volunteer to manage projects? Have you always enjoyed leading teams? Are you first to see the solution to a problem?

▶︎ Compare yourself to typical applicants. In other words, identify your unique value proposition. What experience, skill, credential or accomplishment makes you different from others that will typically apply. Once you identify it, own it!

We have the perfect guide to unlock your value. Find it here.

Personal Hobbies: Resume Worthy or Not?

Should you share personal hobbies on your resume?

The National Resume Writers Association Ask the Expert contributors tackle this very question today on the blog.

Want the cliff notes version?

Always write your resume with your career goal and target audience in mind. If your personal activities showcase why you are uniquely qualified for the job, work it in. If not, don't!

🚨CAUTIONARY NOTE: Be careful to include activities that invite unconscious bias. Check out Lisa Rangel's answer for this smart tip.

Take a look - it's a worthwhile read!

Meg Applegate, CPRW, Ask the Experts Contributor.png

3 Things to Consider Before You Hire a Resume Writer

You loathe updating your resume. You want career fulfillment, but does this task alone slow you down? If so, hire a resume writer.

Meg Applegate, Resume Writer.jpg

I honestly didn't know this was a thing until a few years ago. Maybe you didn't either. Think you would benefit from resume writing services? First:

📍Have a clear career goal. Targeted resumes perform better. A "general resume" will do you no favors so if you are struggling to nail down your focus hire a career coach first!

📍Get in the marketing mindset. Every detail about your life and work history may not be relevant to your career target. These details are important to who you are, but they are not necessarily important for this resume or for this job target. The goal is for your resume to tell a curated story about who you are and what you can do.

📍Do your research. Find a resume writer that is right for you. Ask friends for a referral or use professional association listings within The National Resume Writers Association or the Professional Association of Resume Writers/Career Coaches to start the process. Above all, trust and connect with your writer. The resume writer/client relationship is and should be a collaborative one.

Ready to start the resume writing process? Let’s collaborate!

Does your Resume fall into the Information Trap? Three Tell-Tale Signs

Are you informing or selling? Many resumes that land on my desk share an abundance of information without discernment towards a job target. Resumes with a lack of focus do not perform. Do you fall into the informing trap?

Meg Applegate, Resume Writer, Job Search Strategist.jpg

INFORMING looks like:

🚫 Copy and pasting your job description into your resume.

🚫 A laundry list of professional positions and community activities you've participated in.

🚫 Blocks of text with lengthy descriptions that lack accomplishments.

SELLING is:

✅ Articulating your unique professional accomplishments that demonstrate your value towards company pain points.

✅ Carefully organizing and discerning which jobs to include and where (within a 10-15 year time frame) to create a coherent and thoughtful narrative.

✅ Using the top third of your resume to market yourself toward a specific job (using a headline and branding statement).

Need help transitioning from informing to selling? Grab our branding statement mini-workbook.

Don't Hide! Bring your Accomplishments forward with one simple Question.

Resume bullet points, hinge resume, Meg Applegate.jpg

Don't make it difficult to spot your qualifications in your resume, draw attention to them! Excite your reader with your career story instead of inviting them to nap between the lines.

YOU create the narrative within the six-second scan so draw the reader in by ➡️ quantifying results, ➡️ highlighting challenges you overcame and ➡️ the action you took to get there.

Replace dense paragraphs describing your professional accomplishments with bulleted, lean achievement-driven statements. How do you get from paragraph to bullet point? Keep asking yourself, "So what?" For example:

I help customers on the phone and increase customer satisfaction.

So what?

I created a procedure for call handling to ensure calls aren't missed.

So what?

I did this so well I was asked to create the customer satisfaction function of our company improving missed customer calls.

And so on. Boil it down to quantifiable, difference-making bullet points:

▶︎ Created the company's customer satisfaction experience function from scratch.

▶︎ Decreased missed inbound calls by 30% in six weeks by developing a new call handling standard operating procedure (SOP).

It takes time and more mental brain power to express yourself succinctly. Resume writing is hard work - so be patient with yourself.

Take time to pack the punch. When you do the work on paper, it is easier to articulate your value in person.

So, keep asking yourself: "So what?"

Need more help unlocking powerful resume statements? Download our free bullet point writing formula.

Peek behind the Door: The art of Modern, Custom Resume Writing

Meg Applegate, CPRW.jpg

What does it take to write a modern, custom resume that is both ATS and human-friendly? Take a peek behind the door of the art of custom resume writing. Know what it takes to DIY or for your resume writer.

Gather materials + stories. The very beginning of the process is time-consuming work and not for the faint at heart. Collect performance reviews, recent assessment results (DISC, MBTI, etc.), client/colleague feedback, reflect on professional achievements and recall stories of how you faced a challenge, strategies you used to overcome them and quantifiable results.

Direction. Find job postings that represent your career goals going forward. Note the language and keywords in the postings.

Distill value. Marinate in the materials you've collected. Synthesize themes of your professional narrative to create a professional brand.

Write + design. Focus on the story of YOU. Showcase professional achievements over lists of job duties. Guide the reader's eye to what YOU want them to see through formatting and design elements.

Edit ruthlessly. Continually review how you can write more succinctly explaining what you do simply with industry keywords. Check spelling and grammar.

As both a stay-at-home parent and certified resume writer, I block my time in 30-minute chunks. I run from task to task in the early morning and evening hours and during nap-time (my three-year-old is currently partying in his room over resting these days;) to craft your professional narrative.

Your story shapes my story. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Be YOU in your resume - Choose your words Wisely!

Meg Applegate, Certified Professional Resume Writer.jpg

Mind the language you use to describe yourself in your resume. It matters. Language is powerful. Wisely use a mix of words that describe only YOU. No one should be able to lift content from your resume as their own because it should describe only YOUR story, not solely the responsibilities of your job title.

A branding statement is key in articulating who you are on your resume. I use a three-step process when writing branding statements for my clients focusing on:

1. The distinguishing factors of WHO you are.

2. The WHAT of unique professional achievements

and

3. the WHERE of career direction.

What method(s) do you use to make your resume stand out and really describe YOU?


Need resume branding help? Grab a DIY mini-workbook here.


Showcase your Difference in your Job Search

I lived in Sweden for a year after I graduated college. I learned a lot that year and was introduced to many wonderful people and Scandinavian treasures – Fika. H&M. IKEA.

Meg Applegate, Certified Professional Resume Writer_Hinge Resume, Indianapolis, IN.jpg

The most interesting was a Swedish cultural concept - “Lagom.” It comes from the phrase “laget om” (correct me if I am wrong, Swedes, as I struggled in that 6-week language course!) which means middle, median, appropriate.

While this concept permeates Scandinavian culture from social interactions to what you wear or eat, it won’t do you any favors in an American job search. In fact, if you stay on middle ground in your job search, you will be anchored there. 

Most people who are applying and networking for your new job of interest, typically have a similar degree, qualifications and skill set. Don’t stay similar. Be different. 

Hinge Resume Collaborative.jpg

Identify your competitive edge. 

✪ What are you known for?

✪ What strengths do others consistently acknowledge in you?

✪ What are you really good at?

Leverage what sets you apart in your job search and career documents. Need help discovering your 'difference'? Find resources here.