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How To Write Your Positioning Statement

If you are a regular blog reader and have used a few of the free job search tools, you may have seen me reference the term “positioning statement”.

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I suggest you put it on your resume as well as on your SoloSheet™ and FlashCard™.  Before I show an example of a positioning statement, let me get you clear on the concept of positioning.

As a young marketing guy starting my career, I bought many books.  Books that would help speed my ascension into marketing lore.  Or at least keep me from looking silly in the big conference room.

One of the books that really led the way for me is from Al Ries and Jack Trout called Positioning:  The Battle For Your Mind.  Originally penned in 1981, it describes:

“How to be seen and heard in the overcrowded marketplace.”

Does that sound like the job market these days?

Where does the positioning statement get used?

Positioning yourself on your resume makes sense.  It’s not just some harebrained task I thought of to keep you busy!

In the book – which you can buy here – the authors walk us through the perils of a busy society.  One that gets millions of advertising messages everyday.  And maybe, just maybe, only opens its ears for messaging that is planned and written properly while striking a particular or differentiating chord.

According to the authors “The basic approach to positioning is not to create something new and different, but to manipulate what’s already up there in the mind, to retie the connections that already exist.”

How about a positioning statement example, you say?

Well, one of the most compelling in the book is the re-positioning of Milk Duds.  One of my favorite candies – when I used to eat too much candy, that is.  A product stuck in the mind of consumers as a mere movie house snack.  One eaten by an older, more sophisticated crowd.  10 year olds.

A 10 year old (back then) had a small income – their allowance – and other candy bars didn’t last very long.  Before the movie even started!  Since chocolate alone melts in your mouth more rapidly, an opportunity existed.  So Milk Duds could become “The Long Lasting Candy Bar” due to its caramel center.  Better value on a short budget and lasts all movie long.

Milk Duds already had that feature, the company just wasn’t talking about it.  It also, by definition, re-positioned the competition as “short lasting”. 🙂

So, positioning yourself in job search (on your resume) requires an important task.  To:

Define your candidacy as simply and clearly as possible.

So I suggest nothing more than a 4-6 word statement.  It defines your role, your worth and establishes a place (or position) in the mind of a hiring manager, HR person, recruiter or networking contact.  Think about it as your tag-line (e.g. Avis:  We try harder).

Here are a few resume positioning statement examples to help you:

  • Classically Trained Consumer Marketing Executive
  • Customer-Driven Service And Parts Technician
  • Strategy and Data Powered Sales Manager
  • Brand Building Product Management Professional
  • Growth-Oriented Chief Financial Officer
  • Problem Solver and Detail Oriented IT Manager

Each of these statements says something about you. Something you can and should reinforce in your professional resume (accomplishments) and in your interviews (tangible examples).  It is you and what you will bring to your new role.

So what will you use to define your desired position in this crowded market?

Oh, and pass the Milk Duds.

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Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Cover Letters And Resumes

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