Personal Branding with your Resume?

This week I spoke to a group of over 100 unemployed professionals.  At the end of the presentation a guy came up to me and stated he was “using his resume as his personal branding tool.”

This struck me as wrong right away.

A resume is a tool, and it’s a critical tool.  Having a great resume can be helpful, having a sub-great resume can impede your job search.  But I would not use my resume as my primary, first, or only personal branding tool.

You know what “they” say: “the purpose of a resume is to get an interview.”

The purpose of a resume is not to convey your personal brand.  For example, would you:

  • … have people read your resume before you gave a speech? No, you would use a short introductory bio.
  • … give your resume out to people you meet in the grocery store so they could know what you do? No, you would use a 5 or 30 second elevator pitch.
  • … give your resume out to every professional you meet at a networking meeting? No, you would give out a business card.
  • … include your resume in every email you send out? No, you would craft a strong, well-branded statement for your email signature.

The list could go on and on.  The person who told me he was using his resume to convey his personal brand was subscribing to the “when you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail” thought.

To his defense, I think these are concepts new to most professionals… I am not bashing him, I just want to clarify that the resume is not the right tool for what he was talking about.

Instead of using a resume to convey your personal brand, think of a resume as a tool that can reinforce your personal brand.

This means that whatever brand (messages) you conveyed in any of the bullet points listed above, your resume needs to consistently support that.

If your resume is not supporting your brand, let Career Resumes give you a free resume critique.

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