5 Must-Haves for Personal Branding Your Resume

A wise professional recognizes that employment is never a guarantee. That’s why it’s essential to keep up with your online presence, networking, and being active in your field’s community. Maintaining your stellar brand should include polishing up your resume too. Even while happily employed, keeping up to date on your resume is essential, says Venture Rocket. Here, learn five essential tricks to mastering a personally branded resume.

1. Your personal branding statement

Gone are the days of long introductory paragraphs or even objective statements. Recruiters and hiring managers don’t have the time or patience to read through a stack of resumes with drawn-out paragraphs. Don’t let this over-done aspect of your resume block the reader from getting to the important substance beneath it. Instead, switch it out with a concise, to-the-point personal branding statement. This will set the stage for your brand and how you can apply it in the workplace. Also, because many companies using tracking systems to review resumes, infuse your statement with key terms and phrases to match the position’s description.

2. Add graphics and badges

The traditional layout of your address, phone number, and email centered under your name is the most common header for resumes. Give this tired-out format a facelift on your branded resume. Include small graphics with your contact information, such as the “@” symbol with your email, or the LinkedIn badge with your URL, and a globe with your personal website, suggests Career Rocketeer in their recent article, Personal Branding a Resume. Simple graphics can really open up a text-heavy resume and modernize its appearance. Small things like these can completely alter your resume’s appearance and professionalism.

Custom logos and graphics can provide your resume with an unmatched level of professionalism.

Custom logos and graphics can provide your resume with an unmatched level of professionalism.

3. Invest in a logo

Depending on how creative or traditional your field is, consider infusing a logo into your brand. It should be simple, like all effective logos are, and should also convey the mood of your personal brand. Commission a graphic artist or play around with Photoshop to create an image to perfectly capture your brand, suggests recent article 10 Resume Tips That Will Enhance Your Personal Brand on Mortgage Hired. A good graphic can be used on your resume, cover letter, and references for an impressive set of documents, as well as on your business card and personal website. The consistency will make your application look professionally put together compared to a stack of regular word documents, which can appeal to a hiring manager with many of resumes to review.

4. Testimonials speak for your brand

Career Realism suggests adding testimonials to your resume for an extra emphasis to your personal brand. Much like the Recommendations section on LinkedIn, excerpts of testimonials add a powerful touch to the credentials of your resume. Consider adding a few snippets to accompany relevant work experience. Choose coworkers, bosses, or clients who can speak to the true values your brand encapsulates. Consider a variation in typography and setting on the resume layout for a professional and easy to read appearance.

5. Don’t forget your website

One thing you should never leave off your personally branded resume? Your personal website. Always include your URL with your contact information in a prominent location. Because hiring managers often perform an online search before selecting candidates, leading them to your own website will impress them with your professionalism, excellence, and seriousness as a job seeker.

Don’t have your own website yet? Try Squarespace. With Squarespace, you can get outfitted with a yourfullname.com URL for maximum exposure and the best in web aesthetics. Plus, the benefits of a website are endless. A website allows you to expand on what you could not include on your branded resume. A website can house work samples and portfolios, testimonials and recommendations, a more thorough background of your experience, and most importantly it can allow you to tell the story of your brand. Let Squarespace present your brand to the world!

How do you apply your personal brand to your resume? Leave a comment and let us know!

3 Reasons Why Your Personal Branding Plan Isn’t Working

You’ve gone down the checklist. You’ve created a branding statement. You actively network and frequently trade business cards. You tweet and keep your LinkedIn up to date. Yet, despite your efforts, something’s not working. If you aren’t seeing any signs of success from your personal branding plan, you may be making one of these mistakes. Here, reassess your brand’s standing and see how you can take it to the next level.

1. You’re talking the wrong talk

A recent article on The Savvy Intern unearthed some reasons why your personal branding plan isn’t paying off.  Author Chris Westfall cites a reliance on social media platforms and lack of forward-thinking. More importantly, he stresses that too much energy goes into proving our importance and accomplishments rather than doing great things and creating a vision for the future. As Westfall puts it, “Personal branding is about your potential.”

Demonstrating your capabilities, whether for your company or your career, is the hallmark of effective personal branding.
— Chris Westfall

Westfall’s point is valid. A brand that is too focused on past accomplishments won’t get you anywhere. A brand that is entirely based online is ineffective. Branding also needs to be through personal connections, networking, your work ethics, and through your actions. However, there is something to say about having a strong online presence across many different platforms. While you should definitely devote some time to branding your potential, do not neglect your commitment to maintaining a brand on all fronts – social media included.

2. You’re not staying updated

Contrary to Westfall’s advice, The Muse argues that not keeping up with your online presence could be detracting from your brand. Social media, blogs, and personal websites that have been pushed aside, forgotten, or even neglected look dated and don’t give a good impression for your brand. If a lack of time is what’s keeping you from engaging online, aim for quality over quantity. The Muse recommends staying updated at least once a week, but deems daily as “the gold standard.”

Been a while since you updated your online presence?

Been a while since you updated your online presence?

Staying updated and engaged is not just for your online presence. Make sure that you are also up to date with the happenings with your field. Be active in your field’s community, whether that be through networking, attending conferences, or speaking and presenting.

3. You don’t have a website

Your personal branding plan may not be working if you still don’t have your own website, says both Forbes and The Muse. Maybe you haven’t put a lot of energy into a digital presence. Maybe you’ve focused entirely on social media platforms. Whatever your reason may be, creating a personal website will yield a lot of power to your brand’s image.

Creating a website with a URL of your full name can first benefit your brand because it directs potential clients, networking connections, and customers to the right place. People are looking online, so make sure you present your brand to your best ability. A personal website will give your brand great visibility on search engine results. Plus, it lets you tell the story of your brand and biography, share a portfolio or work samples, and blog about brand-related updates in your own way.

Still don’t have a website? Try the award-winning Squarespace. You don’t have to know code to create a professional-looking, one-of-a-kind website customized to showcase your brand in your own name. Squarespace is mobile-friendly and was just this year nominated for a Webby Award for design, services, and mobility. Plus, it costs less than your Netflix account and comes with great support!

What do you think of these tips for your personal branding plan? Have any of your own secrets to success? Share them and leave a comment below!

Four Benefits of Personal Branding

Personal branding takes a lot of work. The Huffington Post estimates that it takes anywhere from 18 months to two years to see any benefits from your brand. However, if you’re willing to spend the time and put in the effort, personal branding can yield a multitude of benefits in the long run.

As a recent National Trial Lawyers branding article pointed out, people seek out brands. They love brands they trust and know and they tend to avoid generics. People love brands so much, they’ll willingly pay more for a recognized and accredited brand name. The same goes for your personal brand. If you consciously cultivate your image and reputation, you too can reap the benefits of a great personal brand.

Here’s a few of the many benefits you’ll reap from your personal brand:

1. Personalizing Business

A personal brand allows you the opportunity to infuse some personality into your image. Your brand is all about perception, so take your image into your own hands. Control what people see online by posting all the great things about you, like your strengths, accomplishments, and accolades. Customize your brand to tell your narrative. Let it speak for your style, beliefs, and ethics. By branding yourself, you provide a tangible reputation that will attract others.

One benefit of a strong personal brand is that it can do the talking for you.

One benefit of a strong personal brand is that it can do the talking for you.

2. Demonstrates Your Specialty

A good personal brand can be summed up in a few words or a sentence. If the focus of your brand is all over the place, it becomes too unrecognizable. When it comes to personal branding, it has to be focused, says Personal Branding UK. A benefit of a great personal brand is that it allows you to demonstrate your specialty to others. You’ll become known for your expertise and interests, and these associations can make connections with others for you.

3. Increased Interest

Another benefit of a personal brand is that when done right, it will do the work for you. A good brand can expand your audiences. It can attract new clients and more opportunities, according to Blog Her. And with a plethora of outlets on social media, it’s easier than ever to now expand your visibility. Share your reputation and your talents with the world. As the Huffington Post says, “Consider your brand as your digital reputation, resume, platform and an extension of your business card.” Let your brand do the talking for you.

4. Credibility

Another benefit of personal branding is that it allows you to both build and promote your credibility. Think about some brands that are known and trusted. You feed your baby Gerber, you buy in bulk at Costco, and you go to Disney World for a magical vacation. These brands have cultivated well-known and respected reputations. You can do this with your personal brand too.

Your brand can develop a powerful reputation through a great track record of work. Collect testimonials of clients and coworkers to gain the trust of future customers. For the best impact, promote these referrals and testimonials in a highly visible place – like your personal website.

Are you not seeing the benefits of personal branding yet? Give it the best possible digital presentation with Squarespace.  Squarespace is a fantastic platform for creating your own site and will be the perfect addition to your brand. You are what you look like online, so lead people to the right place – right to your customized, award-winning Squarespace website complete with samples of your work, your credentials, background, and testimonials to your brand. It will be the perfect first impression.

Striking a Balance: Personal Branding Vs. Corporate Branding

Chances are you work for a company that has its logo, slogan, mission statement, ethics, and personality established. It has a reputation and many efforts are made in marketing and advertising to present the company in a certain way. This is a corporate brand. But where do you, the devoted employee, fit in? You also have a brand – yours is a personal brand. It can thrive together with your company’s. Here, learn about the ins and outs of personal branding vs. corporate branding.

Apple and Steve Jobs

Apple is arguably one of the most brand-conscious companies. Besides having a highly visible and recognizable logo, the company is also known for its sleek, cutting-edge products. Steve Jobs, a cofounder and past CEO of Apple, was known for his hands-on approach and tireless work ethic. He had a personal brand while still representing the corporate brand of Apple.

Steve Jobs created a strong personal brand while strengthening his corporate brand, Apple.

Steve Jobs created a strong personal brand while strengthening his corporate brand, Apple.

So how does a professional represent both their company and their own brand? Marketing and Social Media Strategist Lina Duque recently wrote about personal branding vs. corporate branding for The Globe and Mail. As she puts it, “gone are the days when your personal brand is defined by what you do for a living.”

If your personal brand aligns with your company’s corporate brand, that’s great. But if you’re pursuing a passion of yours in your free time that doesn’t relate with your workplace, you have all the tools to accomplish that as well. She breaks her advice down into four sections:

1. Be open with your company

If you’re pursuing your personal brand in your free time, Duque stresses that you make sure your boss hears about it from you first. Many workplaces encourage employees to build a personal brand, so don’t hesitate to share your efforts. Plus, some workplaces have online and social media policies and you’ll want to be sure you’re following the guidelines. And of course, honor your commitment to your employer and keep personal branding in your personal time.

In Bloomburg Businessweek, career and workplace expert Dan Schawbel argues that personal branding amongst employees can be a win-win for both parties. The more you accomplish in the workplace, the more respect you’ll earn in your personal brand. If you cross promote, you can strengthen a personal brand to be used in the long-term for your career and your presence at your current company by engaging potential customers.

2. Keep it consistent

Whatever your personal brand is, make sure it stays consistent across the board and in all your posts, Duque says. Maintain your brand’s focused niche to stay on topic and build a following. Strike a balance between your personal brand vs. corporate brand. On anything you post online, distinguish it as your thoughts and not your company’s. YP Advertising Solutions has some great tips for maintaining consistency in your brand online.

3. Use your time wisely

When you’re already working full time, the last thing you’d want to do is commit more time to your personal brand. However, devoting a small amount of time each day to work on your personal brand can mean a lot for your online engagement. By carving out a few minutes everyday, you can target high traffic hours online to maximize your posts. If you’re short on time, social media management tools can post for you at a scheduled time and date when created ahead of time. Search Engine Journal has a great post breaking down the ten best programs for social media management.

4. Create great content

The way to establish a strong personal brand is through quality content, says Duque. Whether it’s through blog posts, podcasts, videos, or tweets, your brand will only get stronger and reach a larger audience through engaging content. Because people connect with other people and not necessarily brands, as Paul Chaney says in his article, Balance Your Personal and Corporate Branding, be personable in your content and don’t hesitate to reach out to your audience for more involvement.

What do you think of Duque’s advice for personal branding vs. corporate branding? How do you balance between the two? Share your thoughts and leave a comment below!

Five Steps For Personal Branding Development

You have a personal brand, whether you know it or not. It’s how you present yourself to others. It’s your ethics, your habits, your actions, and your style. Whether or not you work to create your best personal brand is up to you. However, as career and business strategist Megan Dalla-Camina argues, your career can depend on it.

In her recent Women’s Agenda post, Your Personal Brand Matters, Dalla-Camina stressed the importance of personal branding development for all professionals. Whether you’ve already put some time into your brand or are just beginning, her advice is a great starting place for beginners and a good refresher for those looking to reevaluate their brand. Here’s what she says:

1. Start with an authentic foundation

The key to a successful brand is ensuring that it is an accurate representation of you. If you’re trying to be something else, you may find yourself in the wrong job, with the wrong expectations placed on you. Stick to your strengths and strongest qualities for your best brand and professional wellbeing. Not sure how to define your personal brand? Career Cast and Wet Feet both have great advice on narrowing it down. Bottom line, keep it authentic.

2. Utilizing your brand in the workplace

Dalla-Camina’s second personal branding development point is to make the most of your brand in your career. Can you do that in your current role and your workplace? Do you utilize your strengths regularly, and do you feel fulfilled by what you’re doing? If your work seems to stifle your spirit or passions, or just doesn’t work with your brand, you may be in the wrong career. Empower yourself and see where your strengths can take you. A career change may be a better choice for your brand and wellbeing.

Does your brand fit in at your current workplace? If you're not utilizing all your strengths and establishing your personal brand, it may be time for a career change.

Does your brand fit in at your current workplace? If you're not utilizing all your strengths and establishing your personal brand, it may be time for a career change.

3. Own your niche

As Dalla-Camina points out, you and your personal brand have got to be known for something. Having a niche or defined area of expertise makes your brand recognizable and memorable. An expertise makes you credible and prompts others listen. As Personal Branding Blog points out, an expertise also requires maintenance and keeping up. Stay relevant with industry news and be active in the community. Being a thought leader in your niche can gain respect for your brand. Reach out to others in the community of your field to widen your base and expand your network in the right direction.

4. Solidify your brand with character

Your brand is comprised of how you represent yourself, and that representation is largely made up of your actions and behaviors. Create a good track record for your brand by being generous, punctual, respectful, and showing gratitude to others always. Actions speak louder than words, so keep your behaviors consistent across the board. Your brand and reputation are at stake.

5. Take it online

Dalla-Camina’s last personal branding development point stresses the importance of reflecting your brand online. Google yourself to see what appears, and do what you can to remove anything negative. Then, take the steps to portray your strengths online. Fully represent yourself with a blog, LinkedIn, other social media, and your own website. Like Dalla-Camina says, an online first impression can make or break your brand. Invest in the best possible digital representation with a Squarespace website. Their designs are award-winning, and with a domain in your own name, you’ll have the best possible first impression on the web.

What do you think of Dalla-Camina’s advice for personal branding development? Did she leave anything important out? Let us know what you think and leave a comment below.