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Is My Resume an Advertisement?

Is My Resume an Advertisement?

If you’ve heard that your resume needs to reflect your “personal brand,” you may have spent time wondering exactly what exactly that is. People have a wide range of reactions to the idea of “marketing themselves.” While some like the idea of funneling their identities and skills into a consistent branding statement, others balk at what they see as self-promotion.

But no matter how you feel about “self-marketing,” it’s beneficial to think of your resume as a sort of advertisement. However, thinking of your resume as an advertisement doesn’t mean using vibrant colors to highlight skills or adding logos to the bottom of the page. Your resume is a part of your brand and reflects your career, but the format should not mirror a traditional advertisement. Here are a few tips to help you write an attractive resume that doesn’t read like a sales flyer.

Use Careful Colors

Colors should be used very sparingly on resumes, if at all. This is because black text is far easier to see than other colors. If you choose to use colors, use darker shades and large, bolded fonts. This makes the color easier to see on the paper. Try and reserve them just for headers to have a maximum impact.

Avoid Pictures

While some careers may request a photo because “looking the part” is an integral part of the job, pictures are usually seen as a distraction on a resume. What’s worse, they may cause your resume to be automatically rejected if your potential employer has an anti-discrimination policy that bans resumes with portraits.

Remove Logos & Icons

Candidates often ask whether it is appropriate to add company logos or social media icons to their resumes, thinking that a familiar visual may add credibility or at least attract the eye. The problem is that these icons don’t serve as an endorsement because they don’t provide measurable results or a clear connection. They can also interfere with preferred formatting and ATS requirements. Instead of including logos and icons, a QR code that will take the viewer to a LinkedIn profile or website is a good way to add some visual variety while at the same time demonstrating you have cutting-edge technology and/or marketing skills.

Your resume may be a representation of your personal brand, but you can’t treat it like a traditional advertisement. Instead, choose design and style strategies that underscore the high-value content your resume delivers. If you’re struggling with how to marketing yourself while ensuring you are following best resume practices, feel free to contact us to discuss a strategy that supports your unique qualifications and abilities.