Every week I read another article that describes some innovative new “replacement” for the resume; a game-changing tool that will finally bring the hiring world into the 21st century.
Unfortunately, folks, we’re still not quite there, and the resume remains the shining standard for job seekers everywhere.
In my time-tested opinion, opting to forgo the traditional PDF/paper resume in favor of video, graphic and gimmick resumes is a mistake. Specifically, those crazy resumes that mimic the front pages of major media outlets like Mashable, About.com, and CNN were only original once. The first guy to do it was innovative; everyone else just had decent graphic design skills and a me-too mentality.
Just because we hiring managers tend to favor the good old standard, however, does not mean that digitally-savvy job seekers should be confined to two pages of 11-point Ariel; there are other great ways to make a stand-out impression on potential employers.
To help you craft a professional, yet innovative presentation to market your credentials, here are a few resources you might add to your personal branding portfolio:
A Professional Bio
Commonly associated with businesses and solopreneuers, a professional bio is a formalized document that is generally written in a third-person narrative format, and focuses on your expertise, experience, and accomplishments from a high level. It can go into varying amounts of detail, but is generally one page. Think about what you might say about yourself on the “About Me” page of your website, or your employer’s website.
A bio can be a great tool in place of a cover letter if you’re sending out a general inquiry or promotional package, and want to add a really polished touch. Additionally, it’s a great piece if you’re the type of person who’s targeting both full time work and freelance, as you can use it as a marketing piece to send to potential clients.
A Simple Branded Website or Landing Page
A branded landing page, like those you might set-up through About.me or similar, is a great tool for providing complimentary information. In a short time, you can expands on what you say in your resume or cover letter and give more context to your background, expertise, or things that might not fit into a cover letter or resume.
These can include personal interests that you want to parlay into a professional focus, side projects you’ve been working on, freelance ventures, additional coursework, or anything related to making a career transition. Think of it like having a portfolio, but more versatile.
Branded Social Media Profiles
Many of you are probably already on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest… but is your content consistently branded around a singular message? How are you coming across to employers – is your Twitter all about your personal interests, and your Google+ more on the professional end?
Get the most out of your online presence by connecting your profiles to reach a wider audience and create a bigger impact. When they read any of your profiles, it should be clear what your focus is and your personal brand should resonate throughout. See an example.
Your business card doesn’t need to be tied to your current job title, and you’re not disqualified from having one if you’re in between jobs.
Position and brand yourself in the image in which you want employers to see you. If you’re a graphic designer by trade but you’re in between gigs, you’ve still earned your right to the title – put it on there and market it. If you’re changing careers and are actively marketing yourself towards a new role, brand yourself as such.
The message on your business card is absolutely what your contacts will remember you for, so make it impactful and accurate. Want to add a creative element? These business cards that double as stickers (and still remain business cards) are pretty cool.
While I wouldn’t drag and drop your resume to the trash bin just yet, you can certainly give your personal brand a professional and creative polish with some of these tools designed to compliment your resume.
Surround your resume with quality branding tools… and you’ll boost your chances of standing out, getting noticed, and getting hired!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Great Resumes Fast!
Image courtesy of Francois from Flickr… thank you!