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Posted by on Feb 5, 2013

Resume Myths Series: #1 – The Wow Factor on a Resume

Resume Myths Series: #1 – The Wow Factor on a Resume

What is the Resume Wow Factor?

I think I have a split personality. Well, I certainly have two totally different yet simultaneous reactions when a past or prospective client emails me one of those canned resume assessments. These critiques make me laugh hysterically and yet seethe inwardly at the same time. As part of the template, they nearly always mention that the resume lacks the “Wow Factor.” Of course, they say nothing about what it is, how it’s defined, or how to attain it. Why, I wonder? Mostly because it’s a manufactured concept that is totally undefined. It is a mysterious moving target that no one can hit, except, of course, the writer or company trying to get your business at that moment.

So What Impresses Resume Readers?

How do you go about impressing recruiters, HR representatives, and hiring managers if the mythical Wow Factor doesn’t really exist you ask? The answer is quite simple, elegant even. You package the things that you can do for an organization, such as a forward-looking review of your achievements, your strengths, and your other unique qualities, into a value statement.

The value statement is something that we call a brand message. For some of my more technical clients, that sounds way too corporate for them, so I may call it a value proposition or something similar. The brand message is a short statement, one or two lines of text at most. It is important that your audience be able to read it quickly and remember what it is that you’re trying to convey.

Is a Brand Statement Really Necessary?

I guess that a good brand statement is not really necessary. I mean, people have certainly landed jobs without a brand statement and with a poor resume to boot. But how important is it to you to present yourself in a professional, focused, and credible manner? Look, you want to make your message crystal clear, and you want that message to resonate with the reader by speaking to their wants, needs, and values. The brand statement does that and more! It helps you to gear the remainder of your content to directly support your claims. If you claim you can transform IT operations, then the work history and achievements should be proof of that.

But That’s Not Simple!

Conceptually, it is a simple approach. Effective execution of the brand strategy is something else entirely. Some have a knack for it and some have no clue where to start. But I can assure you that when it is done well, with strong content to back it up, and properly aligned with the position in question, hiring executives and recruiters will be wowed, impressed, and excited about you as a candidate.

Comment below to and answer the question, how important do you beleive your brand statement to be?

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About Stephen Van Vreede

Transform your career trajectory and focus your brand with Stephen, the Solutions Architect at Combining multiple resume writing and social media branding/marketing certifications with an MBA and corporate operations leadership experience, Stephen works with technical and IT executives and professionals to position them authentically for a successful search in today's job market. Contact him today at

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