If, as the wise adage goes, people don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses, then it should come as no surprise to learn that bosses don’t hire qualifications, they hire people.
When a company advertises for a position, they’re not simply looking for a set of skills. (Otherwise, they would’ve advertised for a robot). They’re looking for a human with a pleasant personality, a certain set of values, and the right attitude to add value to the company team.
And to find that right person, employers look to one specific place on a resume: your personal branding statement.
Personal branding is the packaging of your values, goals, and experience in a way that shows what unique solutions you can offer an employer.
Done right, your personal brand statement can make your resume stand out from the pile of sameness that floods your potential employer’s desk and put you first in line for that interview call everyone’s holding their breath for.
Why Most Resume Statements Don’t Work
How many times have you read the following phrases before, or something painfully close?
- “energetic and ambitious individual"
- “self-motivated and dedicated professional”
- “works well under pressure”
- “organized and detailed-oriented”
Many times, correct? You may even have a couple of these bland phrases decorating your own resume.
Now imagine how many times employers read these same commonplace phrases when sifting through hundreds of CVs looking for that special person for their company. And imagine also how un-special everyone sounds!
The problem with these phrases is that they’re too general to be meaningful. In an attempt to describe themselves in a way that pleases everyone, most job candidates end up using generic phrases that appeal to no one because they communicate nothing fundamental about the person behind the resume.
In order to craft a memorable and unique personal brand statement for your resume that shows employers why they should hire you (and not just your skills), you’ll have to dig deeper than superficial adjectives and communicate your true essence—briefly but convincingly.
3 Steps to Crafting a Memorable Resume Personal Statement
The trouble with crafting a unique and specific personal branding statement is that it can’t be formulaic. And so there’s no precise formula that everyone can follow.
Nevertheless, there are three basic elements that every successful personal resume statement should incorporate. These are the core consideration points for writing a unique and memorable statement about yourself:
1. Professional Values
Values play a big role in how we function in the world and in the decisions we make. None of us can work for very long in an environment that contradicts our core values.
If, for example honesty is one of your highest values, then you’d be miserable working for someone making money through deceit and manipulation.
What are your top professional values? What kind of conditions and environment allow you to perform your work at the best of your abilities and with the greatest happiness?
Do you value challenges in your work or a laid-back approach? Do you need creative freedom or do you perform best under guidelines? Do you value a strict timeline or are you better working with movable deadlines?
Write down a list of the values that you consider important, and then pick the one or two values that matter most to you. What value could you not work without?
There’s no right or wrong answer here. The important thing is to understand your true values so you can project them in your statement. If you do so successfully, you’ll appeal to employers who respect your values and can offer you a position where you feel fulfilled and appreciated.
2. Professional Goals and Aspirations
Finding a new job isn’t just about the present moment. Job seekers (not to mention employers) hope for a position that will last a few years. How would you like your career to progress in those few years (and beyond)?
Do you aspire to become the head of your department one day? Are you hoping to switch departments at some point in your career? Are you willing to be flexible with the tasks you perform or do you want to specialize on a very particular section of your industry?
Your professional aspirations directly speak to the value you can bring to an employer, and not just immediately, but also in the long run. A person who hopes “to manage the company’s creative department in the near future” appears much more valuable to a potential employer than a general “ambitious and energetic individual.”
Ambitious and energetic towards what end? Show potential employers how your specific professional goals and aspiration can benefit them in the future and they’ll be much more willing to give you a chance to get there.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What about in 10 years? What would you like to achieve professionally?
3. Past Experience In Relation to Your Goals and Values
Your resume will provide the details of your professional experience. What you want to do in your personal branding statement is showcase how specific past experiences reflect your core values and future goals.
Anyone can say that they’re creative, or organized, or ambitious, or systematic, or communicate well—but where’s the proof?
Think back on your professional career and pinpoint the moments that show how your creativity, timeliness, leadership skills, or your philanthropic nature added value to your past employers. What did you specifically accomplish in each situation that could have also benefited your future employer?
Resume Personal Brand Statement Examples
With your notes from the three steps above in front of you, you’re now ready to start putting together your personal brand statement. Although there’s no formula for a brand statements (because formulaic statements would defeat the purpose of personal branding), the important key to remember is that your resume personal statement should weave together all three of the elements we’ve uncovered in our exercise above.
To give you ideas on how you can structure a winning personal brand statement, let’s look at some personal brand statement examples and how they use each of the three elements:
Web Developer with extensive experience in wireframing and coding interactive websites and mobile apps for the startup world with a number of remote teams, who enjoys the fast-paced environment of the tech industry and being part of pioneering teams.
Values: Working remotely and being challenged. Goals: Work with innovative creative teams. Experience: Built websites and apps for startups working off site.
Having worked as a senior graphic designer for the last 7 years in ad agency organizing major campaigns and designing for multinational clients, I’m looking to offer my strong leadership skills to an innovating team working on cutting-edge design.
Values: Design innovation and experimentation. Goals: Department/team leader. Experience: Agency world and campaign organization.
Having studied photography and video editing, I bring a unique understanding to my current work as a freelance animator for educational companies. As a strong communicator, I enjoy working on projects with deeper messages and strong morals.
Values: Communication and moral education. Goals: Switch departments from video editing to animation. Experience: Freelance projects and educational material.
What’s Your Personal Brand Statement?
It’s your turn now to construct a succinct and powerful personal brand statement that will make you stand out from the competition and capture the attention of potential employers.
Consider these resume personal statement examples to work on putting together your own. Ask yourself how you'll weave your values, goals, and experience into a succinct and powerful personal brand statement for your resume? Give it a go in the comment section below!
We have a number of professional resume templates available for purchase on GraphicRiver—with advanced branding features and pro designs.
Editorial Note: This content was originally published on January 5, 2016. We're sharing it again because our editors have determined that this information is still accurate and relevant.