(or) a Resume is a Resume is a Resume

Not so? Not so.


I’m speaking to you – the employee, the freelancer, the consultant, the provider of a service – call yourself what you will. If you are the person who seeks to engage with a person/ company who will pay you in exchange for your skills, knowledge and expertise, then I’m speaking to you.

A CV/ Resume is a tool in the job search arsenal. A very important one, that’s for sure, but not the only one. What else is there you ask?

As an aside, please note I refer to CV/ Resume as one and the same due to how individual clients refer to them, not knowing/ caring about the technical distinction. And whilst that distinction is important, for the purposes of this article, it is not. For more information, please refer to: https://bit.ly/2S58YMN

If we were to look at the job search process in a linear fashion, i.e. from outset (search) to completion (employment), it used to look something like this:

Job Advert → CV/ Resume (either with or without Cover/ Motivational Letter) → Job Interview → 2nd & 3rd Interviews → Offer Letter → Negotiation → Contract → Employed

Except that’s so last year. More and more often it looks like this:

No Job Advert → LinkedIn Profile & Personal Branding collateral → Network → Outreach → Engage → Network → Outreach → Engage → Job Opportunity Discovery → Engage → Application (with CV/ Resume, LinkedIn Profile, Motivational Letter/ Bio) → Interview → 2nd & 3rd Interviews → Offer → Negotiation → Contract → Employed

Not so neat and tidy any more. And did you notice? “No job advert”… enter the realm of the hidden job market (but that’s an article for another day).

There are many iterations not included in the above process-diagram which involves multiple engagements, sometimes dead-ends, ghosting and even false alarms. All the more reason to have a very strong arsenal of tools allowing you to reach out to the market with a fit-for-purpose communication of your personal brand describing what VALUE you have to offer the marketplace.

Given that we are more and more becoming “businesses-of-one”, where we sell our skills like a commodity i.e. a useful or valuable thing, we increasingly need to be market-ready all the time, ready to sell our skills to the highest or nearest bidder. To the skeptical reader who has a “forever job” signed and sealed in an employment contract; know that it can be broken. Just like that. This is not fear-mongering, it is a fact of life and it needs to be said. And it pays to be prepared so that when/ if it happens, it doesn’t knock you sideways.

So what can we do to be opportunity-ready? We can ensure that our Personal Brandingis in good standing at any given point in time, not because we need it right now, but because there will come a time when it will be advantageous to be one of the first applicants to respond to a job advert, a RFQ or a networking opportunity.

Know that it takes between 2 to 3 months to establish a credible Personal Brand. More than that though, 2 to 3 months of “working your brand” allows for time to accumulate on your online media timeline, time where you are actively engaging with material that matters to you. This “over-time engagement” factor lends credibility and congruence to your personal brand in a way that a one-hit wonder quick Share or Like can never achieve in the eyes of the shrewd recruiter/ employer.

The Personal Brand arsenal for today’s world is a CV/ Resume + LinkedIn Profile + Networking Presentation Statement (Tell Me About Yourself) + Motivational Letter + Biography + Social Network presence (FB, twitter, Instagram). These are not mutually exclusive items so compiling these personal branding essentials is not as overwhelming as it may appear at the outset. If your material is congruent with who you are and with what you have to offer the working world, it will be interchangeable and can be achieved with a discovery set of exercises and then some crafting into readable and publishable material/s.

For more discussions of this nature or for a free top-line assessment of your personal brand collateral, reach out to me on gwyn@gwyneddtheron.com. I look forward to engaging with you about how to be prepared when you need it most!

About Me: I am a Career Management and Life Coach who is passionate about helping people re-discover, re-invent, re-orientate, re-align, re-cover and position themselves as it relates to work. Solving career problems, together.