Well done! You have written four key sections of your résumé, and we have covered a lot of ground but haven’t completed the process just yet!
Next, we’ll discuss personal branding and why it’s important.
Your personal brand is the way you portray yourself and the impression you leave with others. It is crafted and cultivated to make you stand out. It is a “trademark” showcasing how you talk to others and express your emotions, passion, values, skills and personality.
How to build your personal brand:
Be yourself. Your own style and uniqueness will shine in your organization, in your social networks, in your résumé and at an interview. So, be who you are, and do what you believe in.
Identify with who you are. Be comfortable with the person you are, and be that person every single day! People will be attracted to you and want to be with you.
Be persistent and patient. Building your brand takes time, yet communicating your message over the long term can help you refine your brand throughout your career.
Why is it important to build your personal brand?
A better job, career, or being recognized for a promotion are some of the rewards of having a strong personal brand. A potential employer or recruiter will associate your personal brand with a particular vacant position. This is what separates you from other candidates and makes you stand out.
Highlight important Skills to Enhance Your Résumé
Enrich your résumé with skills that may seem secondary. Potential employers and recruiters look for these skills in a candidate.
Language skills: language(s), proficiency levels, certifications
Computer skills: software levels, achievements, certifications
Soft skills: your professional qualities, situations where you established these skills, results obtained
All these skills are a key element of your personal professional brand that will set you apart from other candidates and increase your chances of a job interview.
In an international context, being bilingual or able to communicate in a foreign language is an asset to any potential employer.
Are you able to:
hold a one to one conversation?
attend a meeting?
write a letter or email?
read and comprehend the contents of a document?
Include in your résumé whether you are at a beginner, intermediate or advanced level in professional contexts. It may be difficult to evaluate your own level, so consider taking an online test. Eurocentres offer free tests in French, German, Spanish and Italian.
Although you may have studied a language at school and may now be at a basic level, you might consider brushing up on your language skills. Free tools such as Babbel and Duolingo provide lessons and activities and can also give you an idea of your proficiency level.
You may have attended a six-month internship, a two-month summer job or a similar activity in a foreign country. It’s important to mention this experience in your résumé. Potential employers and recruiters will likely be impressed by your ability to personally self-develop. During the interview they may discuss your various trips abroad.
Include whether you have a full, current, clean driver’s license and/or your own vehicle for positions that require these qualifications.
What soft skills do you have to offer? In an ever-changing digital world, it’s important to demonstrate qualities that define a candidate’s behavior. Whether they’re natural or nurtured through experience, or stem from participation in various non-professional projects, sports competitions or community involvement, soft skills provide valuable information about your ability to assimilate and thrive as part of a team or company.
Why mention them?
Interpersonal skills, including communication, reasoning and team coordination, demonstrate to a prospective employer your sustainability and competitiveness in future years. These qualities show you are open-minded, willing to share, adaptable, creative, ethical, operationally efficient, proactive and have a team spirit and sense of responsibility.
Being aware of your personal qualities and knowing how to talk about them helps market your personal brand. Think about what proof you have of them: when and how did you use these soft skills? Aside from mentioning these in your résumé, you will be asked to provide details about them.
Examples of how to talk about soft skills during an interview:
Interpersonal skills: I communicated with management, provided regular updates about the project and achieved the following results…
Leadership skills: During my four years with company X, I managed a team of six working on our company restructure, which enabled our team to achieve…
Open-mindedness: I worked in a diverse environment with an international team.
Soft skills shine within the achievements you detail when you describe your various roles.
If you were not born in the country you reside in, make sure that your nationality, residency, and/or work permit status is clearly stated.
Job advertisements almost always ask for these skills. The skills required vary greatly depending on whether you’re applying for a position as a software developer, accountant or HR manager.
Depending on the job you’re applying for, you should include:
Which tools you are skilled in using, including software like Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
Your proficiency level, if requested:
Clearly indicate your ability to manage complex projects
Other relevant skills
Being a Girl/Boy Scout or summer camp counselor, member of a sport or debate team, volunteering, completing a first aid course or participating in charity events all point toward skills worth highlighting. These skills influence and demonstrate your values, commitments, involvement, leadership, personal development, responsibility, organization and initiative.
Scholarships and/or Awards
These demonstrate your exemplary academic record. Mention the award/scholarship and what it was for, such as a math initiative, outstanding achievement at school or other details that quantify the achievement.
List any membership to a professional body or society.
Have you thought about whether to include references? You don’t need to include references unless you have been asked to. When requested, usually two are sufficient. The first may be academic, the second a previous employer. After working for a number of years, you will be expected to be able to provide references from previous employers.
Where Do You Mention These Skills in Your Résumé?
Mention skills in the body of your résumé where you describe achievements and roles performed, or create a special section at the end.
The talents you demonstrate in your résumé will not amount to much if you don’t create and build an impressive online image of yourself, one that your potential employer will view when they look up your details on social media. Let's optimize your online reputation.