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Q. How are resumes different now than in the past? If you had one piece of advice to bring my resume up to current standards, what would it be?
A. There are actually many differences because styles and trends for resumes are changing all the time. However, I would say that the most fundamental difference has come about with the increasing importance of personal branding. While it is much more complex than this, at its essence, personal branding is about the authentic and unique promise of value you offer. In relation to your career, it is about the promise of value you offer that differentiates you from your peers and competitors in the workplace and job market. On your resume, this personal brand needs to be communicated in a way that will differentiate you from the vast pool of candidates. This demand–this need to communicate on your resume exactly what it is that distinguishes you and sets you apart from the competition in the job market–has really transformed what used to be viewed as a simple chronological listing of employment into a dynamic and compelling self-marketing document. And, of course, it isn’t enough to just tell the reader of your resume that you have certain abilities. You must illustrate these abilities and your value proposition through past accomplishments presented as concise “success studies” complete with challenge faced, action taken, immediate result, and strategic importance. Your brand should be immediately obvious from the profile or summary section of your resume, but that same brand should be carried through the entire resume. The content of your branded resume should be written to support your personal brand. To see examples of branded resumes, look at the many documents in our project portfolio.