Forget the Rules
The rules are for everyone. Personal brand is about showing you are the only one.Somewhere along the line, you probably learned rules about writing resumes. What I’m about to tell you is going to break them. I like breaking rules, especially when that works in our favor. I don’t usually do it when it doesn’t.
You don’t need a resume anyway. You need something that works like one, but is more than that.
Get Rid of the List
It’s easy to think of a resume as a list – three suits, two blue, one gray, of what you’ve done and to write it off as a painful requirement of job acquisition. That’s a major missed opportunity. With a few tweaks, your resume can be a dynamic tool in your personal branding strategy.
Throw away the list as concept.
Think about Brand YOU and promotional tools.
You’re making a personal branding brochure. Just let other people think it’s a resume. They’ve been confused before.
A Personal Branding Brochure
Imagine that you’re a product — a Ferrari. Your resume is your specification sheet. Add some marketing copy, and you’re well on your way to a promotional brochure for that Ferrari. On my own resume I include the usual career experience with the chronological job history, but that is page 2.
On page 1, I include branding information built around my branding big idea – that I am a leader and a strategist with a proven track record and competencies in several key areas of publishing. I want the person reading my resume to read this first, to know what I can do before where I did it. The former is more important than the latter. As you read through, you might notice how I took the opportunity to further my brand identity by targeting first statement under each core competency.
Turn a resume into a personal branding brochure.
Use It as a Promotional Tool
Change the way you look at your resume, and you soon find a world of uses for it. Use it as you do your business card. Just this week I sent mine to a business friend with a note saying, “Let me know if my voice might help you in the meetings with the publishers you told me about.” Design it into your blog’s About Page to let your readers know more about you, your brand, and your business.
I use my “branding brochure” a lot when I’m networking.
It’s one more way to let people know you’re not just another suit. You’re uniquely valuable.
Without you, the world would be missing something–the one and only Brand YOU.
–ME “Liz” Strauss