16 Ways to Leverage Your Job Search Positioning in Your Resume & LinkedIn Profile

In a recent LinkedIn article, I defined the importance of job hunt positioning, shared how to craft a positioning statement, and listed 14 questions you can ask yourself to ensure your positioning is on the right track and likely to perform well for you. Having done all of that, what’s the next step? To leverage your positioning in your self-marketing.


6 Ways to Reflect Your Positioning in Your Resume

Use your positioning statement to:

  1. Craft a title for your resume. Your resume always needs a title which in turn should always align with the position you are pursuing. While you won’t use your entire positioning statement in your title, you can certainly extract a small portion of it such as a job title, a range of titles, or multiple industries or subsectors.
  2. Create one or more taglines for use in your resume’s summary. Use your taglines to bring your career impacts to life. Use them before or after your summary to draw attention to total outcomes of your efforts throughout your career.
  3. Select one to three adjectives to highlight in your summary. Adjectives in a resume are like garlic – best used sparingly and with careful planning. But they’ll only add value if they are carefully chosen and stand out, which eliminates overused words and phrases like “results-oriented,” “team player,” or “strategic.”
  4. Build your Why-Buy-ROI and weave it into your summary. Think of your Why-buy-ROI (why an employer should hire you + the return-on-investment your hire offers the company) as your positioning boiled down to a few words. If you can make it succinct and powerful enough it will add oomph to your summary.
  5. Decide how to summarize each position you’ve held on your resume. Introduce each job you list on your resume with a brief overview statement and make sure each one aligns with your positioning. If you’re positioning yourself as a coach and mentor, for example, make sure that each intro hones in on one or more aspects of the coaching and mentoring you did in each role.
  6. Determine which achievements to showcase in your resume. Just because you achieved something stellar in any particular job doesn’t mean it should automatically be included on your resume. Rather, stop and think about how each achievement you could add would enhance or distract from your positioning.


6 Ways to Integrate Your Positioning into Your LinkedIn Profile

Use your positioning statement in your LinkedIn profile by:

  1. Incorporating it into your headline. As with your resume’s title, your LinkedIn headline is limited in length and cannot accommodate the entirety of your positioning. But there are plenty of characters (120) you can use to cite your target roles, industries, and geographic areas. With careful word choice you might be able to squeeze in your Why-Buy-ROI.
  2. Author one or more taglines for your LinkedIn summary. Taglines are like mini Why-Buy-ROI or achievement statements, so using one or more in your summary will automatically add punch and deepen your career branding.
  3. Create a short but power-packed intro to each job you profile on LinkedIn. I recommend keeping content on LinkedIn brief since we have clear evidence how little reading of profiles actually takes place. This means that there’s no place for long-winded position descriptions. Instead, boil each position listed on LinkedIn to a single powerful sentence that substantiates your job search positioning.
  4. Determine which achievements you should highlight in your experience section. There’s even less space to include accomplishments on LinkedIn than there is in your resume, so choose one per role to highlight and make your statements pithy and power-packed.
  5. Hone in on the top skills you want to include. If you’re a regular reader of this blog then you already know that it’s imperative that you max out the words and phrases listed in your Skills & Endorsements section on LinkedIn. Use your positioning to help you decide which ones to include, which ones to omit, and how to wordsmith each.
  6. Decide which brand-focused documents you can attach to your profile (not your resume!). I never recommend attaching your resume to your LinkedIn profile because, having done so, you cannot tailor it for any particular position. A generic resume is of limited use in a job hunt. Use this space on your profile to add other media and documents, however, that prove your value proposition or Why-Buy-ROI like slide decks, bios, charts/graphs, or marketing briefs.


4 Ways to Showcase Your Positioning in Your Interview Responses

Embed your positioning in all your phone and face-to-face interview replies:

  1. Use your entire positioning statement in your “Tell me about yourself” or “Why should I hire you” responses. These are both easy questions to hit out of the proverbial ball park when you embed your positioning content in them. Both questions beg for details of your positioning.
  2. Develop five to ten accomplishment stories to use as responses to behavior-based questions and make sure each one reflects a key facet of your job hunt positioning. Try breaking your positioning down into words and phrases and then weaving those words and phrases into your accomplishment stories. It works!
  3. Leverage your positioning to summarize your qualifications for the job at the end of the interview. Make sure you close every interview with a brief recap of your qualifications for the role in question. And guess what? Your positioning statement will help you to put your best foot forward in each and every interview.
  4. Restate your value proposition in your thank you note or email. Having reiterated your job hunt positioning through your documents and communications, make sure you also include it in your thank you notes. In fact, it can help you to document why you deserve a higher salary if you include it in your negotiations communications as well.

As I hope you can see by now, once you identify your positioning and craft a positioning statement, you’ll have a powerful tool in hand to align all of your job search communications and supercharge your search.

Need help with your positioning? I can help ~ just call or email me.


About Cheryl Lynch Simpson

Cheryl is a Career, Job Search & LinkedIn Coach and Master Resume Writer. She has helped clients in >35 industries on 6 continents and has earned 24 global resume writing nominations and awards.