Job Search Checklist #12: Personal Branding Statement

Oct 18 2012 in Featured, reCareered Blog, social branding by Phil Rosenberg

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Number 12 on your job search checklist – The Personal Branding Statement.

A personal branding statement is the first impression your resume makes. Your personal branding statement may be the only thing your audience really reads on your resume.

As a candidate, you think that if you get past the ATS, when you finally get to a human, your audience reads your whole resume. Realistically, this is rarely true.

What does your reader see once you get past an applicant tracking system?

Your reader sees your personal branding statement, using it to make the 6 second decision if you are qualified for the job. The qualified decision isn’t based on fact, it’s based on first impression because your audience doesn’t have enough time to decide based on anything more than your personal brand.

For your reader’s 15 second decision of whether you get an interview spot, that’s not made by reading your resume either – because you can’t read much in 15 seconds. Instead, this decision is based on reading your personal branding statement and scanning the top half of your first page.

You should be able to see the central role your personal branding statement takes in the decision process of HR reps, recruiters and small company admins – to help them choose which candidates will be recommended for interview.

Here’s 4 Steps To A Successful Personal Branding Statement:

  1. Crystal Clear: For employers to realize that you’re a good fit for a specific job, you’ve got to clearly tell them the exact job you’re applying for and why you’re a superior candidate. Since employers make a qualified/nonqualified decision in about 6 seconds, in order to be considered you’ve got to be crystal clear, leaving no guessing by the hiring manager.
  2. Consistent: Make sure your personal branding statement is consistent with your goals, so that you’re more likely to find a next position that fits your goals. You used to do this with an objective statement, but employers aren’t really that concerned what you want – they’re concerned with how well you’ll fit their needs. Also, make sure your personal branding is consistent with underlying support on the rest of your resume.
  3. Superior, Not Commodity: Hiring managers, recruiters and HR reps decide in 15 seconds, on average, if you’ll get an interview spot. With an average 1,000 competitors per job, it’s not enough to show your audience that you’re qualified, you’ve got to show your readers that you’re a superior candidate. One of the best ways to do this is to create a personal branding statement that shows you’ve already solved the hiring manager’s priority problems, or ones that are similar.
  4. Concise: A successful personal branding statement communicates to readers in the first 6 seconds that you’re qualified and gives the first impression that you’re a superior candidate. Your reader can’t immediately internalize information contained in paragraphs – it’s too much to absorb in a 15 second scan. You want to present your personal brand in a way that can be absorbed into their gut, but also grabs them by the shirt collar to make them see you’re a superior candidate that has already solved the key problems of the hiring manager – a candidate they have to interview.

Your personal branding statement sets the tone for your resume. It can set the tone that you’re a superior candidate that the hiring manager needs to speak to, or it can give a commodity first impression that’s no different than the other thousand candidates who applied.

How does your resume brand you?

As a superior candidate who has already solved problems similar to the hiring managers issues?

… or

As a commodity that looks just like everyone else?


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Author: Phil Rosenberg

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