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Your positioning statement should be the most powerful content on your resume.

It’s a compelling snapshot of your personal brand. It immediately creates an impression when scanned by hiring managers, recruiters and decision makers.

Just as a successful salesperson focuses on communicating the benefits of their product by matching them with the buyer’s needs, your resume is selling you for an exciting new career opportunity. Given what you know about the needs of your prospective employer, consider how you can uniquely contribute based on your talents and prior successes. Use this information to craft your positioning statement.

Presenting Your Value Proposition

Located at the top of the first page, your positioning statement summarizes your brand – the value proposition that you bring to the table. It provides a concise synopsis of who you are, at what level, and what specializations and unique attributes you offer. It includes two elements:

  1. Your strengths: These are the consistent talents throughout your career that have enabled you to succeed.
  2. The benefits you’ve delivered: Employers want to see results that clearly demonstrate what you can do for them.

When developing your positioning statement, connect your strengths to your results and to the benefits you’ll deliver if hired. Here’s an example:

“I am a business transformation catalyst who drives cutting-edge technological solutions in manufacturing and IT roles. This has resulted in the delivery of operational efficiencies generating multimillion dollar cost savings.”

This statement lists brand attributes and strengths. It then illustrates how these core competencies and talents have delivered results. Moreover, it grabs your attention and makes you want to learn more. This is critical as your resume will likely be scanned for just seconds by an initial reviewer whose job it is to take it to the next level – or not.

Steps to Creating Your Statement

As you write your statement, consider the needs of the position, the company and the industry. Be specific about your qualifications and attributes as they relate to the job opportunity.

  • Jot down anything and everything that comes to your mind when you ask yourself, “If I were creating my ideal career, it would be ________.” Look through the words and phrases you come up with and see what stands out. Then, pick key elements to highlight. If it’s difficult at first, do another round or two of brainstorming and you’ll be more likely to find the right verbiage.
  • Create a collage or private Pinterest board of your interests. Collect words, quotes, photos and inspirations from newspapers, magazines and online sources. Then mine the board to find a theme for your personal positioning.
  • Create a tagline: This is a condensed version of your positioning statement. Use this formula: job title > differentiator. Omit pronouns; for example “Big Four accountant with operations experience in Fortune 500 corporations.” Formulate your positioning statement by backing this up with qualifications, accomplishments and evidence.
  • Round out your statement: Take your tagline and add details, personal pronouns and verbs to turn it into a statement of one to four sentences. It should be clear, concise and written in the present tense.
  • Incorporate keywords. Start with the nouns and phrases you glean from the job description and your related online searches. These words are captured by applicant tracking systems so employers automatically find you if you use them.

An executive consultant from BrainWorks can work with you to develop your personal brand strategy as well as your positioning statement, resume and related tactics to ensure your successful job search. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more about our executive search services.


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