Create a brand that appeals to EVERYONE!

Image

I’m sure most of you reading this have probably heard about the importance of personal branding especially when looking for work. Basically, your brand conveys a positive feeling about you that can be both tangible and intangible…think Coca Cola or Mac products. What do you think of when you imagine these brands? Are they: Cool? Hip? Modern? Progressive?

What would a person think of you when they read your resume? Think about it. The key is to create an image or brand with a broad enough appeal that every employer would want you on his or her team. You would fulfill everything on their checklist. So how do you do that?

Take every buzzword possible and inject them into your resume. It really doesn’t matter if it represents who you are; the point is that you get that interview!

Here are a few you can pick from:

Value-added

Innovative

Forward thinking

Achievement

Progressive

Honesty

Future-ready

Grass-roots

Ethics

Interconnectedness

Advancement

 

APRIL FOOLS! Don’t do this!!

Why?

  1. You don’t want to water down your brand just to appeal to every perspective employer going.
  2. You need to be true to your own strengths and look at companies that share your values.
  3. Sure, by using this technique you’ll get your foot in the door, but in the end both you and the employer will be unhappy when you realize that your “brand” doesn’t fit the company culture.

Here’s a great video on how generic advertisements create an image that is really meaningless because by trying to appeal to everyone many brands end up appealing to no one. Most savvy consumers can see through this falsified image or can they? What do you think? Let us know.

This generic brand ad is the greatest thing about the absolute worst in advertising

Overused phrases that drive employers crazy!

Image

Some phrases are used so often on resumes they’ve become totally generic and scream, “I can’t think for myself!” To avoid this trap before you use a phrase, think about what you’re really trying to say and how an employer will interpret it.

Here are a few examples of common resume phrases and what they REALLY mean.

 

Phrase: “Able to work both alone and with others”

What it really says: “I’m a human being, whoopdeedoo!”

What you can say instead: “Successfully coordinated ad hoc committee of up to ten staff members in the implementation of new design process”

 Phrase(s): “Helped with…” “Responsible for…” or “Duties included…”

What it really says: “Yawn!”

What you can say instead: “Orchestrated” “Implemented” “Designed”

Phrase: “Hard-working”

What it really says: “Well you had better…that’s what I pay you for!”

What you can say instead: “Completed software design project ahead of projected timeline through the use of exceptional time-management skills”

Phrase: “Multi-tasking”

What it really says: “Wow, I can both walk and talk at the same time…I must be a multi-tasking!” (yes this is sarcastic)

What you can say instead: “Designed and completed three simultaneous interior renovation projects, while remaining on time and under budget”

Phrase: “Knowledgeable in the use of Microsoft Office and various other types of software “

What is really says: “Knowledgeable can simply mean awareness, it doesn’t imply actual use plus it’s totally vague I need specifics!”

What you can say instead: “Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office Suite: including a strong working knowledge of Excel and Word, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator CS5, as well as 3D modeling experience using AutoCAD”

 

Remember, don’t just say a phrase; by quantifying it you’ll automatically add strength to what you’re saying. Below are a few great articles on overused phrases and how a few simple changes will improve your resume.

10 most over used words and phrases in Canadian resumes

45 Quick changes that help your resume get noticed

7 Phrases to remove from your resume