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When you don’t get the interview or worst yet, don’t get the job offer you may immediately think something is wrong with your resume. Indeed, there may be issues with your resume and it’s important to make sure you get it right within the context of your career brand story.

What is your career brand story? A career brand story is bringing your achievements, competencies, and values together that communicate a clear career direction into a cohesive story. Developing this career narrative allows you to share compelling reasons why you would add value to the organization or team that set you apart from the rest of the talent. Many times a job seeker’s mistake is in their inability to effectively communicate their career brand story.

How do you create your career brand story?

Start with understanding where you are today. Focus on how you got there – what is working for you today and what is not working for you anymore? Being able to clearly see where you are today will allow you to start seeing where you would like to go tomorrow. It may help to talk to a mentor, trusted manager or career coach to gain perspective on your career direction. I use positive-based coaching with assessment tools to help my clients discern how they do things, why they do the things they do and understand their competencies to further professional development.

Develop your personal brand. Personal branding is about understanding what you stand for and what you value. Make a list of personal value propositions that communicate who you are that you can use for interviewing, on your LinkedIn Profile, in email communications and other social media platforms. Defining your personal brand with personal value propositions will allow you to differentiate the unique value you offer.

Use different tools to communicate different parts of your story. We can mistakenly try to communicate everything in our resume making it ineffective because it is looked at in just 8-10 seconds. Your resume should market your hard skill sets and achievements getting right to the point. Maybe consider a performance summary that immediately shows your added value over an executive summary with wordy buzzwords. Your LinkedIn Profile is a great place to attract curiosity through marketable descriptors in the headline and a summary that focuses on your personal brand. Don’t get caught up in comparing yourself to other’s LinkedIn Profile. Remember, you want to stand out from everyone else. Write out and practice a 90-second commercial for when recruiters and hiring managers to ask you that first question, ‘tell me about yourself.’ This is an opportunity to bring your career brand story altogether, sell your unique value and win the job!

What do you struggle with most in communicating your career brand story? How could your personal brand help differentiate you from the crowd? Leave a comment!