Career Advice – How A Personal Branding Statement Can Help Job Seekers

Feb 24 2011 in Featured, reCareered Blog, Resumes by Phil Rosenberg

best career advice, best job search information, career advice, job search information, job search advice, job search help, job search tips, career information, career help, career tips, career info, job search info, best career advice, best job search information

Today’s career advice concerns making a crystal clear first impression within the first 15 seconds of reading your resume.

Whether you get to a hiring manager by networking, a referral, through a recruiter or a job board, today’s successful candidate makes a distinctive impression quickly. The traditional resume format can undermine the candidate’s first impression – it does a poor job of quickly, clearly, and succinctly telling the reader why they should spend more time on this resume.

Since the average time spent reviewing a resume is 15 seconds or less, a job seeker needs to quickly convince the reader to stick around. A well crafted personal branding statement tells the hiring manager 3 extremely important things in a well crafted, concise single line:

  1. What job does the candidate want?
  2. What single problem can the candidate solve better than anyone else?
  3. How can the candidate deliver value for the organization?

What job does the candidate want?

In a Fishing resume ( the candidate has to give a generic title, but can make it specific for a response resume.

This title should be a single title, rather than a range. It shouldn’t be so broad as just Executive, or manager. Listing an industry specialization can help make it more specific.

What single problem can the candidate solve better than anyone else?

Many candidates struggle answering this. Some will start listing everything they can do, not understanding that it’s primarily one problem that they will be hired to solve (don’t worry, plenty of problems solving will happen on a day to day basis, but hiring decisions are usually made to solve major problems). Make this problem solving statement very specific (stay away from broad terms like “strategy”, “leadership” and “people skills”) to differentiate yourself from the thousands of others applying for the same position (See:

It also can be challenging to make a Personal Branding Statement into a very succinct statement – a single line incorporating the position and the problem solving skill. Many candidates, especially technology, engineering, and finance people have a difficult time making this short and to the point, as their minds work in a wonderfully detailed way – great for their jobs, not so great for a resume. Left brainers – you’ll have to work to make this specific, yet succinct.

How can the candidate deliver value?

Frame your specific problem solving skill around the business results you achieve…rather than the technical issues you deal with to deliver results. By focusing on the results over the method, you focus the reader on the value you’ve delivered to the organization.

Here are some examples of Personal Branding Statements:

Rocket Scientist – Expert in propulsion control, delivering project results on time and under budget

Administrative Assistant – Organizes office details while implementing efficiency recommendations

CFO – Fundraising expert who lowers costs by driving productivity improvement programs

.net Developer – Programmer who delivers innovative and efficient solutions with, C#, & SQL

How about Homer Simpson’s Personal Branding Statement?

Nuclear Engineer – Expert in controlling power plants, maximizing safe & low cost power capacity

Traditional resume styles don’t work well today:

The traditional resume style of Objective and Summary are seldom clear and describe everything the candidate can do…rather than the one thing that is the most important to the decision maker. Even executive level roles are typically hired primarily because they can solve a specific problem better than anyone else (and sometimes secondarily because of other or general skills).

For some secondary career advice today:

The objective statement by its very nature is candidate focused and describes What’s In It For Me (WIFM), not What’s In It For Them (WIFT – the hiring manager). Most objective statements are so broad that they can’t differentiate the candidate well, because the job seeker often chooses a broad statement to attempt to appeal to a wide variety of positions and management levels. It’s what we were all trained to do in the days of paper resumes, but it doesn’t work well with an audience that today rewards personalization.

It’s a threefer career advice day:

The summary section has numerous problems – It paints the candidate as a jack of all trades – master of none, while deeply discounting the candidate’s most important and most relevant skills to the company. Summary sections effectively hide WIFT (, by burying them in paragraphs of other skills. Summary sections are often written as paragraphs – the human eye doesn’t pick up detail well within paragraphs.

A summary section doesn’t include skill recency – when you’re competing against thousands of candidates, hiring managers gauge how recently a candidate’s used the skills listed as important. When the competitive field is so large, employers favor recent skill use over what a candidate did 20 years ago.

Finally, a summary is best at the end to summarize, not the beginning … hence, its name. Would an author put the summary at the beginning of a book?

Here’s my career advice summary (notice … at the end): Personal Branding Statements can draw your reader in, quickly differentiate a candidate, and encourage extended evaluation times for positions where the candidate truly is a good fit. Increasing specificity as a resume title will attract hiring managers looking for an employee to solve their major problem, it will also cause quick elimination from positions a candidate isn’t as well qualified for (based on what’s on the resume compared to competitors). In today’s hyper-competitive world, candidates get interviews based on what they do best, but seldom based on all the many things they “could do”.


Want to do more than just complain about a bad economy?

To attend our next complimentary live webinar featuring action items to double your resume response rate and number of interviews, plus live career Q&A with Phil Rosenberg of reCareered, register at .

Available Now On Amazon: Job Search Secrets - Rethink Your Job Search Now, By Phil Rosenberg

Phil shows you why your current job search strategies work against you and how to replace them with strategies that improve your odds. Phil provides you with research - cold, hard statistics provided by job boards and hiring managers themselves, to show you what works for you and against you in the worst job market in our lifetimes.

Download Job Search Secrets on Amazon

Join our mailing list for newsletters, announcements of complimentary upcoming webinars and other job search resources. Sign up at

For access to more information:
Connect to Phil Rosenberg on Linkedin:
Follow reCareered on Linkedin:
Like reCareered on Facebook:
Follow Phil Rosenberg on Google+:
Follow reCareered on Twitter:
Join Career Change Central on Linkedin:

Author: Phil Rosenberg

You might also like

Job Search Checklist #12: Personal Branding Statement Number 12 on your job search checklist - The Personal Branding Statement. A personal branding...
Job Search Checklist #7: The 6 second resume Next step on your job search checklist ... learn how to create a 6 second resume. What's a 6 second...
Use Personal Branding To Make Your Resume’s First Impression What is your resume's personal brand? Personal branding has different meanings depending on what...
Personal Branding In 6 Seconds And 15 Seconds Your resume branding is used in different ways for different employer decisions. To personally brand...