Your Resume vs. Your Brand

My resume was new and shiny, just like yours should be.

I emailed it to a bunch of friends, including people in HR, recruiters, and people in hiring positions.  I asked them for feedback, and everyone responded back that my resume was awesome.  My credentials were impressive.  I was ready to rock and roll with this very impressive marketing document!

And it got me nowhere.  I hardly got any interviews from my resume.  I realized why a few months into my job search, and I’ve talked about it before… but this weekend I had an epiphany:

My resume was fighting against my personal brand (at least the brand people thought I had).

Here’s why:

My resume said I was an executive… with titles like CIO, general manager, VP, IT Manager.  That is a strong, distinct message.

However, the jobs I was applying to were business analyst, project manager and eventually product manager.  There is no executive-level responsibility there like there is with CIO or GM or VP.

I learned later that people would see my resume, based on the business analyst role I was applying to, and immediately disqualify me.

My brand and my resume were at odds.

I was too proud to want to get rid of those titles, even though I was applying to roles that were not in the same arena with those titles.

So I ask you – is your resume misbranding you, or messing with your perceived brand?  If so, what can/should you do about it?


  1. Roland on April 1, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Excellent article. I have prepared resumes and Cv’s for many BA’s, CIO’s and Project Managers all of whom I have to provide the same advice.

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