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You have the skills, the experience, and you know you can ace that interview. Now how do you get noticed so that you will be invited to an interview?

It is becoming more and more necessary to brand yourself to stand out in a pile of resumes. A simple way of doing this is to establish and maintain a consistent image.

If you’ve attended a resume workshop, you might remember your facilitator asking you to move away from the tried and true Times New Roman font that you started using in high school. Take this to heart. You do not want to be yet another "Times New Roman". Do keep in mind that not everybody has the same fonts you might though. If you are using a program like Adobe InDesign, you can be a little more creative and embed the fonts in the exported pdf file. If you are saving doc files with Microsoft Office, you will want to stick with safe fonts like Verdana.

Consistency is key in keeping your image in the employer’s mind. When they see your cover letter, resume, business card, thank you letter, and portfolio, you want them to know it’s all one person. The way your name and personal information look on your resume should remind them of your business card which should let them reflect on the hopefully good first impression you made. Then once they look at your resume and move on to check your work in your online portfolio, they should see the same look and feel repeated. It’s important to keep in mind that every piece of your application should work together and complement one another – not be presented as an individual, isolated pieces.

Another aspect that you can look at is creating a branding statement. This is a short statement that quickly shows possible employers what sets you apart from the rest. It can be thought of as a sales pitch about yourself. For example:

Joe Smith – Freelance Web Designer
Delivering custom, cost-effective products tailored to client needs quickly and efficiently.

Ann Lee – Programmer
Developed a readable, efficient code for people with strict deadlines.

If you want to look at good examples of resumes that have built a brand around the person, remember to check out the examples at the end of the resume workshops or ask your Co-op advisor or Career Services staff for a look at ones that students have created in the past.

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Mar 4, 2012

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