To Boost Your Job Hunting Chances, Your Resume Needs A Personal Branding Touch

By Masni Mustafa

So, you do not get a job after numerous interviews. What comes to your mind? The employer is so choosy, they want people with experience while you have none. So, how come some of your friends landed themselves the dream job that you have always wanted? Didn’t you graduate from the same university? Didn’t you attend the same class?

Did you prepare your resume? Yes of course, from Google. Copy and paste and put your name and picture on the cover letter. True, that is what most people do. Why not jump into the bandwagon and be like everyone else? Great! You copied during varsity years and after graduation you copied the resume too. Do you want to know something? What is so great about your University Degree? Everybody has one. So, you spent years of sleepless nights to study thus you are frustrated that employers do not appreciate your bloody degree? Wake up slumber head, this is not Neverland, the employers have seen tons of resumes and degrees; most of them are way better than yours. What makes you think people will jump from their chair and bow to you for having a degree? Nowadays, it is never about the degree anymore, it is about capabilities. It’s about the deliverability.

Good. You think you are capable, so how does a lousy resume like yours convince the employers that you are capable. You don’t even bother to spell check! Let me tell you something that you hate to hear, your resume does not represent you. Your resume is not doing you the very thing that you expect it to do – market you!

You need to create a resume that markets you, with a personal branding perspective. A resume that is able to showcase you and your capabilities. How you may wonder that can be done? If you want a job that is going to support you and your family, a job that ensures your livelihood then you’ve just got to do it. Why are you so stingy in giving your resume the time and effort that it needs to make you look good? Your resume represents you as a person. Your resume is you. It is your personal brand.

Having that realisation in mind, how do you intend to do up your resume? Be authentic in your thinking, do away with the standard resume format that you so excitedly downloaded from Mr. Google. Just be you!

Take effort to understand the company that you are sending your resume to, understand its business nature and products or services. After you have drafted your resume, take time to go through the language, words and sentences used. The dictions, sentence structures, spelling and grammar. You do not think it is important, do you? Imagine yourself reading an article and you spot spelling and grammar mistakes, what impression would you have as a reader?

If you want the reader i.e. the potential hiring manager to select you, decide how you want him or her to picture you when he/she reads your resume. Do you want him or her to see someone intelligent, creative, meticulous and articulate or you want him to see you as someone sloppy and producing bare minimum for just an average type of resume? Your effort matters. Your presentation matters. How you want to position your brand matters.

Your readers are normal human beings too – remember that whenever you start doing your resume. Plan how your resume structure you want it to be and the layout design as well. Remember not to insult your readers, never deliberately cut and paste other people’s work experiences and claim them as yours. The hiring managers are seasoned practitioners, and they can spot liars pretty much instantly.

You need to look good in the photograph as much as you want people to feel good about reading your resume. Please do not send a selfie picture in your resume no matter how cute you think you are. Spend some time and resources to get yourself look good, presentable and professional. A coloured picture and a smiling face would help a lot too. Save your serious face to the Immigration Department guys, but not in the resume picture. So, smile.

So now you have a well presented, beautifully designed resume and photograph. Cool. Don’t forget to put your contact details and place them somewhere easy to be located. Phone numbers and email address mustn’t have errors at all. Talking about email address, it should at least represent the professional side of you. So please avoid ilovemrpotatoes@yahoo.com kind of email address okay? Use your name decently. After all the hard work, it would be such a turn off for the hiring manager when they spotted that childish email address of yours. Nobody is going to be impressed by that.

Just remember your intention is to impress not to depress. Interviewers and hiring managers are normal human beings that are born with perceptions and preferences. Above all normal human beings are prone to be influenced by first impression. Your resume is the first impression that people have and it will remain in your file for the rest of your life in any organizations you joined.

Do you know what does it mean?

It means, for any promotions, transfers, rewards and changes in your employment, the resume will be viewed and reviewed along the way. It will always be in the HR files from the beginning of your corporate journey in that particular organisation, until the day you exit. Therefore, you need to ensure that you enter the organisation nicely and leave it with honour the same way you enter. And now you are at the entering level, and it begins with that resume of yours. Showcase them the best side of you from it.

And that is what I called a resume done with a personal branding touch.