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Many people learn how to write a resume in high school or college. They write their first resume when they graduate and then just keep adding to it over the years as they gain new experience. The next thing you know, it has been 10, 15, or even 20 years, and the resume they are using is still essentially the same resume they prepared when they graduated–now it is just longer and looks very outdated!
Clients of my resume writing firm very often ask me to explain to them how resume styles have changed. 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 distinguish you from the vast pool of candidates. Here is an example of the profile section of a branded resume. This executives brand centered on a proven and repeated ability to drive growth and expansion for globally focused companies of all sizes and despite the challenges faced. All of the content in this profile conveys that brand.
This demand–this need to communicate on your resume exactly what it is that differentiates 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. Here is another example, taken from the same resume, that shows one technique that can be used to include success stories.
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