If you’ve been associated with a major, recognizable company in your industry, you’ve probably got a great deal of brand power to use in your resume. Unfortunately, like most people, you’re probably not really using this tool to its best advantage. Brands can serve powerful codes that utilize familiarity and high-profile status to trigger hiring managers to see you as more credible, more important. You are, after all, affiliated with a particular big-name – surely that means you’re somehow more worthy, right?
It’s a powerful perception. Follow these tips for using it to your best advantage in your job search.
ANALYZE WHERE YOU’VE BEEN
First, take inventory of the brand names in your resume. Brainstorm by listing the companies you’ve worked for and their products or services you were associated with. Then look at how much pull they have. Is their name still good, or have other new developments left the company to be “old school?” Have there been scandals or other negatives to reduce the pulling power of the name? Or, conversely, have recent developments made the company or its products even more important in retrospect? Use these shifting perceptions to your advantage, including or leaving brand names off your resume as they suit your purpose.
WHERE’S THE MEAT OF IT?
In some cases, the products are the important, recognizable thing to hiring managers. Other times, the overall company name might be the most beneficial thing to mention. This is especially true when you’re switching a different industry – many esoteric corporations are well recognized, despite making arcane products that aren’t really understood outside of one particular industry. In such a case, emphasize the company name more than the product names.
PEOPLE AS BRANDS
Among some organizations, the players in various projects are almost as well known as the companies they work for. In that case, it would certainly be worth considering mentioning the person and how you interacted with them. And don’t worry — it’s not seen as name dropping or bragging, as long as your association with the person was significant, and not exaggerated.
PUTTING IT ON A RESUME
Finally, always remember that the better the brand name, the more you’ll want to emphasize it. If you have a number of great names to put on your resume, you might want to consider getting them all in right at the top. You can do this by creating a summary section saying something like, “High-level marketing manager for leading Fortune 500 corporations, including, McDonalds, Boeing, Microsoft, and IBM. If you have room, you can put the corporation names in bullet points to further emphasize them. Also, if you’re comfortable working with graphics, you might also consider putting the corporate logo by each of the experience entries. This further capitalizes on the luster of the brand by making it more instantly recognizable. Just don’t go overboard – keep ’em small and a little understated. However you choose to handle the great brand names of your experience, be proud of them and feature them prominently. You’ll find that they’re a great shortcut to being viewed as the Real Deal in your profession.