Is Your Resume Selling You Like a Cheap Generic Brand?

by Scot Herrick

Resume writing is a learned skill. One of the first lessons to learn is that your resume is a marketing tool. As we all know, marketing is about selling something. In this case, the resume is selling your skills. Marketing looks to sell stuff to particular potential customers in different market segments. Generics push a market segment showing they are so much cheaper than name brands, while name brands market to an entirely different market to show how valuable they are.

Is Your Resume Selling You Like a Cheap Generic?Sadly, most resumes are selling you as the generic, cheaper brand rather than the powerhouse name brand. Let me show you how to commoditize your resume and get that generic brand rocking:

Talk Tasks, not Achievements

When you load up your resume with all those “responsible for” phrases, you are talking tasks, not achievements. What did you achieve with all those responsibilities anyway? If you were responsible for a software application, what were the business achievements of your responsibility?

Hundreds of people are responsible for the very things you’re responsible for right now. Describing responsibilities makes your resume generic; your achievements build value around a name brand.

Write a Weak Career Summary Statement

Career summaries are what sum up your achievements and results, in a short paragraph near the top of your resume. It should be a story that has a beginning, middle and an idea of what you want to do to build the next chapter of your story.

Most career summaries read like Corporate Speak on steroids. We must Google “career summary statements” and copy them word for poorly chosen word right onto our resumes. Corporate Speak career summaries are generic and a dime a dozen. Career summaries that tell – and sell – your story is value branding at its best.

Make Your Resume’s Visual Presentation Look Like Urban Graffiti

Looks shouldn’t count, I will be told in the comments. It’s your job skills that matter. But trust me, if your resume doesn’t look polished – consistently formatted, no typos or misspellings, clean with lots of white space – you’ll come across as a generic job applicant, someone who’s a commodity rather than the real deal.

Have your resume look visually appealing and you immediately differentiate yourself from the generic brand, and create curiosity around the name brand.

We All Bring Name Brand Value to the Job

While we all bring name-brand value to the right job, our resumes too often market us as a commodity – a commodity that has the strategic value of the lowest price in the marketplace. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to have my resume market me like the name brand. It will get me more interviews, which is exactly what resumes are supposed to do.

Are you a name brand job candidate shown through your resume? Or are you the generic job candidate, with your resume driving you to the cheapest price?

Scot Herrick is the author of I’ve
Landed My Dream Job -Now What?
 and owner of Cube Rules, LLC.
provides online career management training for workers who typically
work in a corporate cubicle. Scot has a long history of management and
individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.

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