How to write a resume, interactive personal branding 101

How to write a resume? This was once a simple question.

In the past, a resume really had one purpose… to get our information in front of a specific set of eyes (the hiring manager) and detail our work capabilities.

In today’s marketplace we are now faced with having a “digital presence” that is collected from dozens of sources across the web: ranging from news stories, personal updates from social networks, friends placing information about us online (images, video, commentary), and aggregation sites collecting our information.

As a contributor to many executive campaigns over the years, the basis for writing a resume has remained very consistent: create  a bio, a summary, and an impact “selling” statement.
Trim the fat, but ad enough detail to get your introduction made.

Rather than write your own resume, my recommendation to standout for professionals is to have your network write the resume.

How to Write a Resume ?
It is really simple:
take these five questions to your top professional colleagues and ask them to give you five minutes.

  • What is my best work trait?
  • What makes me unique in my industry?
  • If you could hire me, what are two or three reasons you would do it?
  • Why do you like me?
  • From your perspective, what is the biggest professional “success” I have had?

If you think about those five questions you should realize that they ARE NOT about your resume. Resumes are dull and boring pieces of information that contain factual statements about your capabilities and work history. Traditional resumes don’t ask the question “what makes me special?”, when asking the question of how to write a resume… ask what do they want to see on my resume?

If you can’t define what makes you special, different, unique…. you will have an incredibly hard time defining your value to a potential employer when they ask “Why you?”

How to Write a Resume
Taking it to the next step: the digital solution

While many of us have professional networks in the real world, take the time to think about these same five questions and pass them over to a few key supporters and ask them to write about you in a personal blog, a Linkedin recommendation, a one line tweet, or even a short video on YouTube. By having another person provide the information, you can not only cite them as supporters and testimonials, but the information they share will be indexed by major search engines and create a virtual buffer of “career insurance” when someone Google’s your name.

How to Write a Resume

Some additional articles of mine on this topic:

Protecting Your Reputation

Reputation Toolbox, tools for professionals

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