Branded resume

The Imperfect Job Search Club: We All Have a Membership!

No one told me growing up that perfection was unattainable.

Try-hard striving is my natural mode of operation. Endlessly trying to craft perfection out of the mess is exhausting. Is that what you feel when you are faced with resume writing? Are you overwhelmed by positioning your zig-zag career into the perfect match for the job you want?

I don't have a linear career path either. Maybe you hopped from job to job and can't seem to tie a cohesive career narrative together. Perhaps you are stepping back into the workplace after a career pause and feeling paralyzed by the modern job search.

Whatever twists and turns you have, welcome to the imperfect club. We all have a membership!

The good news? People want to hire real people. People with perseverance, character, grit, and wisdom. Use the lessons you learned and the skills you gained in your path to your advantage.

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Where can you start? Zoom out to discover your unique offerings! Start uncovering your value with these questions:

💡What strengths do others acknowledge in you?

💡 What feels fun to you, but seems like work to others?

💡 What skills do you use often (and like using!)?

💡Where do you get greater returns than the average person?

What has helped you hone your value to advance in your hashtag#career?

3 Simple Tricks to DIY Your Unique Resume Template

Interior design and resume writing have a lot more in common than you think.

Aesthetics matter. They matter to me in my home, in what I wear and even in resume design. After all, I view all of these things as extensions of ME. I want my home and my clothes to express WHO I am. Same goes for my (and anyone else's) resume for that matter.

When I start a resume for a client, I need to know the format and color first. I like to have the blueprint of the document and then pull in all the furniture and then select show-stopping accessories.

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No matter if you design first or last, how you showcase your professional achievements matters. Remember, a resume isn't a professional activity list, it is a marketing document - marketing YOU! So, ditch the generic, ready-made template and create your own.

Easy Microsoft Word tricks to DIY your own template:

Font. Express who you are, but also use a universal font that every operating system can read. Feel constrained by universal fonts - use two! One for the main text of the document and the other for headings. Ensure font is appealing and readable both on screen and on paper.

Borders + Shading. Draw the eye by employing these two functions to highlight job titles, key skills, headings, and even your name.

White Space. This one is easy but often overlooked. Write succinctly and leave room for your text and format of the document to breathe.

There are a lot of different ways to start a resume, what do you do first?

What Does Your Resume Say About You?

Who I used to be isn't who I am today. Does your resume say the same?

Retrace your professional steps.

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Catch your resume up on your current value not the breadcrumbs of job duties past. How? Zoom out. Look at your experience from a bird's eye view.

✪ What common threads do you see throughout your career?

✪ What is different about you compared to typical applicants of your job of interest?

✪ What skills have you loved using in your employment history?

Need help claiming and articulating your unique value? Unlock your confidence in what you have to offer by working through guided exercises in the resume branding mini-workbook.

Be an up-to-date version of yourself. Do the work to open the door and share it with the world!

One Childhood Lesson that informs a High-Performing Resume

Show don't tell.

We all know this well. Travel back in time to your kindergarten classroom to revisit the lego creation or favorite stuffed animal you brought in to share with your class. Seriously, do you remember?

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Now, use your muscle memory to replace your display of childhood trinkets with quantifiable results on your resume.

So, ditch vague TELL descriptors like:

❌ Revenue-driven

❌ Hard worker

❌ Results-oriented

Instead, SHOW quantifiable metrics. Share NUMBERS like:

💡Dollar Amounts - Money saved or earned.

💡Time - Speed of service or deadlines met.

💡Percentages - Increases in market share or efficiency.

For those who, like me, aren't math whizzes, use the percentage calculator [percentagecalculator.net] as an online helper.

Choose Your Own Adventure: 3 Career Clarifying Tips to Market Yourself in the Job Search

Choose your own adventure. It's not just a book genre. It's your life!

Job seekers, in particular, you get to DECIDE what to pursue. Make sure you are making the choice! Being generic and putting out broad materials about WHO you are and WHAT you've done is doing everyone a disservice. Especially you.

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Choose adventure-specific marketing in your career documents and networking.

How do you do it? Choose a job target and position yourself accordingly. Unsure which professional route you want to take? Try:

✅ Identifying your key skills. What are you known for? What problems are you an expert at solving? What makes you different from colleagues in your profession? Use your key skills as search terms on LinkedIn and see what positions pop up.

✅ Deductive reasoning. If you are at a total loss for next steps, flip the process on its head. Sometimes knowing what you want to do starts with recognizing what you DON'T have any desire to do! Reduce your options by using O*NET Online > www.onetonline [dot ] org/find/.

✅ Talking to people. Be a student of those that are in positions that pique your interest. Request new connections on LinkedIn. Ask for a brief chat to learn the nuts of bolts of what they do. Note industry transitions, specific skills and experiences that paved their way.

Need a few more tips to clarify your career focus? We’ve got you. Download free here.

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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?

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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.