The aspect of personal branding I want to talk about today is creating resumes and cover letters. These two tools are a part of what make your brand. You may want to use your website headers to create your brand, or you may want to just use your logo. You can add a QR code to your résumé and cover letter. Branding is about more than adding graphical elements to your résumé. It is about building a solid message. You are a marketer for yourself.
The graphical elements you may want to add to a résumé or a cover letter are:
- Your logo
- Your QR code for your contact or about pages
- The header from your website or blog
Use graphical elements to good effect, and do not go overboard with them.
Use the text of your résumé and cover letter to help brand yourself. Remember to create a constant message across all of your marketing documents.
Your résumé is your main marketing document. Remember to make sure the message you convey matches the position you are applying for. Keep your résumé up to date. LinkedIn is a great resource for this. It gives you the ability to record as you go. This is what I call a base resume. Now when you apply to a job look at the requirements and show in your experience. I found an article that recommended adding a QR Code, which is a link to your about me page to your résumé.
Graphically branding your résumé is only part of the process of selling yourself. Show in your resume for each job that you have the skills to do the job.
You can create a letter head for your cover letter. I suggest it be similar to the résumé header, so they look like a match. You can add a QR code, logo, or other branding elements. Adding a QR code to your contact me page may be something you want to do. In your cover letter you want to address a few topics:
- Show them you have researched the company
- Talk about your educational experience
- Show how the educational experience prepared you for the job
- Talk about your experience
- Show how your experience prepared you for the job.
You can organize each section, which should be no more than a paragraph, in a way that is most relevant to your experience.
Remember branding your résumé and cover letter will take time to accomplish fully. Be ready for revision, and changes to improve your branding and tools. Always customize your resumes for the industries you are pursuing. Customize the cover letter and the résumé for the company and position when you can.