With the new year here, there’s no better time to get your resume in shape. January and February are two of the biggest months for hiring, and competition is fierce. Kicking off a job search is also a great time to reevaluate your own personal brand and make sure your resume conveys it effectively. These tips will help you do just that.
How to Define Your Personal Brand
Ever heard of a logline? It’s a one- to two-sentence summary of a screenplay that briefly describes the plot of a movie and typically contains an emotional hook that will grab the interest of a reader or production company. Screenwriters find these incredibly difficult to write. After all, how can you sum up an entire movie in just two sentences?
You’ve got to do the same with a powerful profile statement at the top of your resume, but you can’t do that without first defining what Sjoerd Gehring, our Global Vice President of Talent Acquisition, calls your professional purpose.
No matter where you are in your career, everyone—from the eager intern to the workaholic executive—needs to understand and articulate their own purpose.
No matter where you are in your career, everyone—from the eager intern to the workaholic executive—needs to understand and articulate their own purpose. Whether it’s a goal you hope to achieve in the next few months or an ambitious position you’re working toward over the course of several years, be clear in what your purpose is. It isn’t just a great foundation for your resume. Sjoerd will tell you that detailing your plans with such clarity during job interviews is a great way to let employers know who you really are and how much value you can add.
Make Your Personal Brand Shine Through
Most of us grew up hearing that it’s not polite to toot your own horn. That’s great advice in most situations, but when you’re looking for a new job, throw that advice out the door. In fact, this is the perfect time to list your accomplishments. In addition, showcasing all the ways you made an impact in past roles is the ideal way to prove that your personal brand is powerful and effective.
Are you a problem-solver? Call yourself one and talk about how you save the day. Are you an accomplished innovator? It’s OK to call yourself that, too, if you’re prepared to prove both those things.
Ideally, you’ll have some cold, hard numbers you can include. Did you grow revenue by 25 percent? Great. Did you cut production time by two weeks? Perfect. Recruiters want to see things that are measurable and quantifiable. Anywhere you can attach a number to your skills and accomplishments will help you stand out from the crowd.
Design thinking is a skill that’s becoming more and more critical, so you want to be able to demonstrate that you can think creatively when solving business challenges. One of the best ways to do that is by creating a portfolio that showcases your best work in a visually compelling fashion. And portfolios are not limited to just graphic designers and website developers, which means you don’t have to be a creative type to have one as part of your resume.
Sjoerd talks about a marketing manager who used a PowerPoint presentation during an interview, and her simple images were able to effectively illustrate the case studies she worked on. You want to wow potential employers when they view your resume and when they meet you in person, so avoid relying on things they’ve seen countless times. You’re great at what you do—so make sure you convey that in an engaging, easy-to-understand fashion.
Keywords Are Critical
To get to the top of the resume pile, make sure you’ve optimized your resume for what ATS (applicant tracking systems) platforms look for. This kind of software that many employers are using scans keywords within your resume. Making this feature work to your advantage means leveraging the power of keywords relevant to your career and the skills you possess.
Using SEO techniques, you can focus on certain keywords and sprinkle them throughout your resume. You can do this by paying close attention to words and phrases in the job posting, but also by checking out the LinkedIn profiles of people who already have the job you’re applying for. Incorporate those words and phrases into your resume, and it can help the ATS platforms bring your resume to the front.
Best Practices and Expert Advice
Your personal brand is a powerful asset, but take it from us—the details on your resume also matter. These seven simple steps can help you create a resume that will dazzle a prospective employer:
- Be clear, clean and concise.
- List your accomplishments.
- Remove unnecessary information.
- Only include your graduation date if you haven’t been out of college long and haven’t accumulated substantial work experience.
- Hyperlink your email address and LinkedIn profile.
- Make sure your email address is professional.
- When in doubt, a thesaurus can be your best friend.
And once you’ve finished updating your resume, proofread it. Then have someone else proofread it one more time. After all, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Hiring never slows down at Johnson & Johnson. We’ve got thousands of positions available at Johnson & Johnson locations around the globe. Apply today. We can’t wait to meet you.