Because everyone should dig their job

Brand your way to a Career Change

By Ms. Patricia Edwards

How to showcase your brand when changing careers: Sandra had been in banking operations for a decade, was very successful and was given professional development opportunities through rotational assignments. One of them was in the corporate recruiting department and, as she explained it, “Even though I liked working with bank customers on resolving issues and providing solutions, this was different. I couldn’t wait to get to work on Monday morning when I worked as a Recruiter. I discovered my passion and now I want to change professions.”

Reinvent your resume – brand it!

Plan for your career change:

  • We revamped her resume by de-emphasizing the financial operations verbiage and adding words and phrases based on her HR and recruiting experience.

  • We also focused on the transferable skills gained while in banking operations. Sandra hired new bank tellers, trained them and authored a new on boarding program for all new hires. She was also part of a select team who were selected to interview job candidates once HR had screened them. We highlighted those examples, resulting in a resume which was clearly “branded” as HR vs. Banker. Those changes in keywords proved to be critical when she applied for an HR Recruiter position a month later.

What if you are not changing careers – how to brand

Your resume’s job is to create a story of what you have done, how you want to be seen and the value you bring to a potential organization. A branded resume ensures that your unique mix of experience and strengths is showcased in such a way as to differentiate you from your competition.

Sounds great but how do I start?

Start by asking yourself: “What do I do + for whom + with what results.”

  • Begin your resume with a strong branded summary section at the top of your resume (ten years ago you may have written an objective statement. Remember those? Employers want to know what you can do for them not what you want from them)

  • Branding can be accomplished by choosing keywords in your summary. You may even insert a quote from a manager, colleague or customer that highlights your signature strengths. Strengths are what you are best at, what comes easily for you , what are you best known for and for what do people come to you as an expert.

  • Incorporate phrases and metrics to demonstrate your achievements

Here’s an example:

Let’s say that you are a Sales Manager looking for your next position. Which is better?

  • Version #1: Sales Manager at XYZ

  • Version #2: Top sales manager for the last four years, known for analysis and creative sales campaigns to win new accounts and maintain long-lasting customer relationships

Brand your resume through transferable skills:

  • Don’t succumb to the overused and tired old words such as dedicated, hardworking, quick learner, dynamic and organized. While these may describe you, you can bet that most of your competition has the same words in their resume. So, how does that differentiate you or them?

  • Instead, use powerful descriptors to describe your achievements that also demonstrate your enthusiasm.

  • This is the hardest part of the resume write. Do you tweet? Even if you don’t, you know Twitter is built on short, to-the-point messages. Try it – in less than 140 characters, describe who you are, what you do and for whom with what results.

  • If the Twitter example didn’t help you, try this; condense your 60 second elevator speech to an even more shortened version. Essentially, you are offering the shortest possible answer to the proverbial question of “Tell me a little about yourself.”