Your personal brand is instrumental to your job search. In fact, it should be weaved into all of your job search materials and can be expressed in many ways. Heard at a recent speaking engagement about resumes:Should I put color in my resume?What is the relationship between my job search materials?
There is no ONE right answer. Your job search materials (resume, LinkedIn profile, business cards, etc.) should reflect your personal brand; this means they can vary because you are uniquely different from anyone else.
These days, job search materials are a veritable free-for-all compared to the olden days when resumes were black and white in Times New Roman font with lots of words and basically one layout style. Every resume looked pretty much like every other resume. “Personal Brand” was not a concept applied to job search.Bring Your Personal Brand & Job Search Materials to Life
Today we consider resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and business cards as marketing tools designed to support your search and career goals. Each component tells your story. Why not have some fun with these tools?! A pop of your favorite color in a line or bullet might be just the touch that differentiates your resume from others in the pile.
Tie together all your job search marketing tools with consistent fonts, colors, and designs that express your brand. Use the same style elements in your LinkedIn background and business cards, additional places to showcase your keywords, style, color, and brand.Make Sure They Reflect Who You Are
Consider who you are and what your personal brand stands for. Are you stern and formal? Then something bright and colorful is probably not going to work for you. Are you a financial professional? Then red highlights might not be the way to go.
One former client was a huge Michigan State fan so we added a line and bullets in Michigan State green. He took his own photo for his LinkedIn background photo, capturing stacks of his favorite books, including books about Michigan State. His business cards had a little Spartan head in the corner. When you view his job search materials in totality, you get a sense of who he is! That is the personal branding advantage!
I take this idea very seriously. My colors are blue and pale green with touches of purple and triangle shapes. You will find this shape and color combination on my business cards, LinkedIn background photo, and covers of the three books I authored. One book has a blue cover, another is green, and the third is purple. I wear a royal blue blouse and jacket when I speak in front of groups. I am wearing that blue blouse in my headshot.
Those colors make me feel happy! And using them throughout my marketing materials defines my personal brand.Be Bold & Add Some Style!
What style represents who you are and your personal brand? What steps can you take to present your brand to the world to support your own job search and career growth?
Your IMPACT Group coach can help you not only embrace the value of personal branding but also weave it into your job search strategy!
Contribution by Katherine Burik.
Katherine is a Career/Transition Coach at IMPACT Group and President of The Interview Doctor, Inc. She has authored Job Search Marketing Plan, Resumes 3.0, and Tell Me About Yourself: Secrets to Strategic Job Interviews. She writes regularly about job searches, interviews, resumes, and LinkedIn.