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Can a branded resume really make a difference in the speed and success of your job search?

Standing out from your peers when the job market is tight can be challenging. Getting attention with your resume and making a compelling first impression that results in a job interview is even tougher. Turning that job interview into a job offer can be downright daunting.

A branded resume can make each phase of your search far easier and make all of your job search efforts far more effective.

What is a branded resume? Simply put, a branded resume conveys and promotes your personal brand. At the most basic level, a personal brand is the factors that differentiate you and make you unique. Just like with companies and products, branding is what sets you apart from everyone else (and what sets the companies and products apart from all the other companies and products).

Taken a step further, from the perspective of the workplace, your brand is not just what sets you apart, but what makes the contributions you have to make different, special, and valuable. For example, if you are a marketing professional you probably have the same or similar qualifications and abilities as other marketing professionals. But perhaps you also have a special talent for resourcefulness and creativity that has allowed you to deliver to your employers extraordinarily strong results on a shoestring budget, maximizing every marketing dollar spent. A truly powerful personal brand and branded resume could be created around these differentiating factors.

Your personal brand and unique value proposition should be immediately discernible from your resume, beginning with a power-packed summary of qualifications or profile section.  You should then carry that brand throughout the entire resume, providing stories of success that illustrate how your brand has been a theme throughout your professional career and how you have applied it to deliver value and benefits to past employers. The overall “look and feel” of your resume should also support your brand, with design elements that convey an image that is consistent with your brand.

Things have really changes in the job market. Employers used to ask, “Why should I hire you?” Today they ask “Why should I hire you instead of one of these other professionals among the hordes of qualified applicants?” Branding your resume provides them not only with the answer to that question, but with compelling evidence of exactly how you will add value and produce benefits once they do. Branding your resume is the most effective way to get your resume noticed among stacks of other resumes and ensure that you get a call for an interview, many times already pre-qualified as a top-priority candidate.

Once you do get that interview, your branded resume can continue to help you by keeping you on track with a strong, coherent, consistent message of value offered. Being clear on your personal brand will help you with such common questions as “Tell me about yourself?” or “What are your greatest strengths?” Additionally, the brand-supporting success stories that you’ve included in your resume will be of immense value in answering almost any interview questions. Stories make your answers more credible and will make you as a candidate more memorable. Simply recall the details of the successes and use them as examples to illustrate your answers to the questions you are asked during an interview.

If you are just beginning your job search, or if you have been conducting a job search but are having a hard time gaining any traction in the over-crowded employment market, you should look seriously at creating a branded resume. This is, of course, our specialty at Distinctive Documents and we would love to help you. Personal branding is especially important for executives. Executives interested in branded resume may be interested in having an entire branded portfolio created and should look at the VIP program outlined at

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