[08.04.09]
280 great comments!

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 was written by 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 well planned, well written, and strikes 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 were consumed too quickly.  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 for your resume to get you started:

  • 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.

Photo Credit


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

    Here are some I have used. Would appreciate your perspective.
    -Dynamic leader who enjoys problem solving with a 360 perspective
    -Dynamic banking leader with in-depth knowledge of both the credit and customer focus side
    -Successful commercial banker with track record building relationships, increasing revenues, and reducing risk
    -A self starter who enjoys problem solving with creative solutions in a dynamic environment
    -As an energetic, creative, leader, I am able to create and nurture alliances, develop and implement strategic plans that communicate a compelling vision
    -As one with 20+ years of finance, and program management experience in the public and private sectors

  • Gloria

    Here are some I have used. Would appreciate your perspective.
    -Dynamic leader who enjoys problem solving with a 360 perspective
    -Dynamic banking leader with in-depth knowledge of both the credit and customer focus side
    -Successful commercial banker with track record building relationships, increasing revenues, and reducing risk
    -A self starter who enjoys problem solving with creative solutions in a dynamic environment
    -As an energetic, creative, leader, I am able to create and nurture alliances, develop and implement strategic plans that communicate a compelling vision
    -As one with 20+ years of finance, and program management experience in the public and private sectors

  • Hi Gloria –
    Here are some of the words I like from what you provided: Dynamic, Leader, Problem Solver, Customer-Focused, Banking Leader, Creative, Energetic
    If you grab a few of those you can see how a positioning statement can begin to form: “Dynamic, Customer-Focused Banking Leader” or” Creative and Energetic Problem Solver”
    Those grab you because they are short and are then supported by your sentences (which I assume is from your summary). Now you just need to find the perfect words that position you correctly for your ideal next job.
    Hope that helps!

  • Hi Gloria –
    Here are some of the words I like from what you provided: Dynamic, Leader, Problem Solver, Customer-Focused, Banking Leader, Creative, Energetic
    If you grab a few of those you can see how a positioning statement can begin to form: “Dynamic, Customer-Focused Banking Leader” or” Creative and Energetic Problem Solver”
    Those grab you because they are short and are then supported by your sentences (which I assume is from your summary). Now you just need to find the perfect words that position you correctly for your ideal next job.
    Hope that helps!

  • Vicki Gavin

    I’d appreciate your feedback on my statement. “A delivery focused, people centered leader passionate about helping others achieve innovative, best practice.”. Thanks. Vicki

  • Vicki Gavin

    I’d appreciate your feedback on my statement. “A delivery focused, people centered leader passionate about helping others achieve innovative, best practice.”. Thanks. Vicki

  • Doug Phelps

    Hi Tim,
    I enjoy reading and learning from your blog and I thank you for all that you are doing to help people land their next job.
    I’ve had a positioning statement (paragraph, really) for some time. I like your thought of a more power-backed 4-6 words. So, here goes — “Brand Building Consumer Marketing Solutions Professional.”
    Whatchathink? Thanks!

  • Kevin

    Hi Tim – I have been using…….
    “Accomplished and results oriented Sales Professional”, but I am finding that others have copied this and it is being over used. Can you suggest a new statement I can use as a senior level sales person?

  • Kevin

    Hi Tim – I have been using…….
    “Accomplished and results oriented Sales Professional”, but I am finding that others have copied this and it is being over used. Can you suggest a new statement I can use as a senior level sales person?

  • Hi Vicki – Here are my thoughts: (1) It is too long for this purpose. While there are positioning statement formats that look like this, I’m suggesting a much shorter (4-6 words) version that immediately sets the tone and quickly says who you are. (2) You have to be careful that you find words that describe your value/impact without sounding trite. “best practice” “achieve innovation” sometimes can sound like everyone else. (3) Not sure what delivery focused means. One suggestion for you (without knowing your function/industry):
    People-Centered and Passionate Innovation Leader
    You want this statement to introduce you with an exclamation point. So find words that you really believe in and can support within your summary and key accomplishments. Have examples at the ready! Good luck!

  • Hi Vicki – Here are my thoughts: (1) It is too long for this purpose. While there are positioning statement formats that look like this, I’m suggesting a much shorter (4-6 words) version that immediately sets the tone and quickly says who you are. (2) You have to be careful that you find words that describe your value/impact without sounding trite. “best practice” “achieve innovation” sometimes can sound like everyone else. (3) Not sure what delivery focused means. One suggestion for you (without knowing your function/industry):
    People-Centered and Passionate Innovation Leader
    You want this statement to introduce you with an exclamation point. So find words that you really believe in and can support within your summary and key accomplishments. Have examples at the ready! Good luck!

  • Hi Doug and Thanks! I think yours is pretty good. The only word I don’t like is “solutions” – take that out and I like it. Your summary, accomplishments and overall thrust of your resume should support “brand building”. Be ready with lots of measurable examples.

  • Hi Doug and Thanks! I think yours is pretty good. The only word I don’t like is “solutions” – take that out and I like it. Your summary, accomplishments and overall thrust of your resume should support “brand building”. Be ready with lots of measurable examples.

  • Hi Kevin – Agree that this current statement sounds trite and is likely way too common out there. Need more info from you re: your strengths/industry/selling style/etc before I can suggest a new one, but would be happy to if you comment again or (better) send me an email. tim(at)spinstrategy.com
    For example, are you a biz dev kind of sales guy or an account manager type. If you are a hunter, you want to emphasize that more heavily. One of the other benefits of a positioning statement is it helps you attract the right eyes. If your statement is too generic, you will attract more companies, but not the right ones.

  • Hi Kevin – Agree that this current statement sounds trite and is likely way too common out there. Need more info from you re: your strengths/industry/selling style/etc before I can suggest a new one, but would be happy to if you comment again or (better) send me an email. tim(at)spinstrategy.com
    For example, are you a biz dev kind of sales guy or an account manager type. If you are a hunter, you want to emphasize that more heavily. One of the other benefits of a positioning statement is it helps you attract the right eyes. If your statement is too generic, you will attract more companies, but not the right ones.

  • Natalie

    Hi Tim,
    Great post! I have a hard time with excercises like this. Here’s my first stab: Strategic Marketing/Communications Manager. What do think?
    Thanks,
    Natalie

  • Doug Phelps

    Hi Tim,
    I enjoy reading and learning from your blog and I thank you for all that you are doing to help people land their next job.
    I’ve had a positioning statement (paragraph, really) for some time. I like your thought of a more power-backed 4-6 words. So, here goes — “Brand Building Consumer Marketing Solutions Professional.”
    Whatchathink? Thanks!

  • Gautam

    Hello Tim,
    Great ideas on the positioning statement. I would appreciate your feedback on mine “Energetic and Result-Oriented HR Professional”. Thanks!!!

  • Gautam

    Hello Tim,
    Great ideas on the positioning statement. I would appreciate your feedback on mine “Energetic and Result-Oriented HR Professional”. Thanks!!!

  • Hi Natalie – They are not easy! Those few words kick off an important conversation with your reader! Good first stab – I like “strategic” but the rest feels a bit too much about “what you do”. I want the positioning statement to be own-able, describing HOW you do things better or differently than others. It should reflect what makes you interesting!
    Also, “marketing/communications” sounds like many jobs. What are you going after most aggressively?
    You could say “Strategic, Growth-Oriented Manager” or “Strategic and Energetic Communications Professional” . . . find those words that are you and then be prepared to drive it home with a great summary and accomplishments!
    Good luck!

  • Hi Natalie – They are not easy! Those few words kick off an important conversation with your reader! Good first stab – I like “strategic” but the rest feels a bit too much about “what you do”. I want the positioning statement to be own-able, describing HOW you do things better or differently than others. It should reflect what makes you interesting!
    Also, “marketing/communications” sounds like many jobs. What are you going after most aggressively?
    You could say “Strategic, Growth-Oriented Manager” or “Strategic and Energetic Communications Professional” . . . find those words that are you and then be prepared to drive it home with a great summary and accomplishments!
    Good luck!

  • Hi Gautam – I like it. As long as it is representative of the real you, it sounds great! For example, if you are not really energetic, be careful!

  • Hi Gautam – I like it. As long as it is representative of the real you, it sounds great! For example, if you are not really energetic, be careful!

  • Natalie

    Hi Tim,
    Great post! I have a hard time with excercises like this. Here’s my first stab: Strategic Marketing/Communications Manager. What do think?
    Thanks,
    Natalie

  • Todd Spencer

    Hi Tim – Thanks for the offer for some feedback. I have been using “Finance Executive – Working beyond the numbers to achieve profitable growth.” I try to use it consistently as part of my elevator speech, on my business card, and incorporated into my summary on my resume and Solo Sheet.

  • Todd Spencer

    Hi Tim – Thanks for the offer for some feedback. I have been using “Finance Executive – Working beyond the numbers to achieve profitable growth.” I try to use it consistently as part of my elevator speech, on my business card, and incorporated into my summary on my resume and Solo Sheet.

  • Monica

    Tim,
    Can you give me your advice on the following tagline:
    Results Oriented Healthcare Professional. I have managed care contracting experience, but do not want to limit opportunities to managed care. My education and training are in Healthcare Administration. Is the positioning statement general enough, yet specific enough to garner attention?
    Thanks
    Monica

  • Monica

    Tim,
    Can you give me your advice on the following tagline:
    Results Oriented Healthcare Professional. I have managed care contracting experience, but do not want to limit opportunities to managed care. My education and training are in Healthcare Administration. Is the positioning statement general enough, yet specific enough to garner attention?
    Thanks
    Monica

  • Hey Todd – I would rather “what you do” come at the end and then try describe how you do it in the beginning and in fewer words. In other words: “XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX Finance Executive”
    “Workingbeyondthenumbers”asksyourreadertointerpretwhatyoumeanvs.yourstatementinstantlyintroducingyouwithclarity.Worksinyourelevatorspeechbecauseyoucaninstantlyexplainit,butatthetopofaresume,itmightconfuse.
    The tough thing about finance is that it is all about “profits” – that is not a differentiating word for your industry. Think about how you do it that is unique or demonstrative of the impact you can have on a company. Is there one word that describes “working beyond the numbers”?

  • Hey Todd – I would rather “what you do” come at the end and then try describe how you do it in the beginning and in fewer words. In other words: “XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX Finance Executive”
    “Workingbeyondthenumbers”asksyourreadertointerpretwhatyoumeanvs.yourstatementinstantlyintroducingyouwithclarity.Worksinyourelevatorspeechbecauseyoucaninstantlyexplainit,butatthetopofaresume,itmightconfuse.
    The tough thing about finance is that it is all about “profits” – that is not a differentiating word for your industry. Think about how you do it that is unique or demonstrative of the impact you can have on a company. Is there one word that describes “working beyond the numbers”?

  • Hi Monica – “Healthcare Professional” is fine as a few words to describe what you do. Now, in terms of how you do it, “results-oriented” doesn’t quite get there for me. That feels more like something that can be put into any statement for any career. What characteristics are really part of your work style and philosophy. What one word would former bosses or co-workers use to describe how you get things done? For example, Is innovation important in your field and is it something you have a history of providing?

  • Hi Monica – “Healthcare Professional” is fine as a few words to describe what you do. Now, in terms of how you do it, “results-oriented” doesn’t quite get there for me. That feels more like something that can be put into any statement for any career. What characteristics are really part of your work style and philosophy. What one word would former bosses or co-workers use to describe how you get things done? For example, Is innovation important in your field and is it something you have a history of providing?

  • Christopher Venneman

    Tim,
    I am also struggling with a concise tagline that is effective. My initial attempts are:
    – “Strategic, results-driven Brand Leader”
    – “Strategic, results-driven Client Relationship Manager”
    – Strategic partner driven to create success”
    My strengths are that I have a proven track record of leveraging my graphic design knowledge and strong communication skills which resulted in successful translation of client objectives into strategic and effective solutions.
    Your advise is greatly appreciated.
    Christopher

  • Chris

    Hi Tim,
    I keep on rewriting my positioning statement. Here is my current one…let me know what you think.
    Marketing professional that helps organizations find, acquire, and retain customers
    Thanks!
    Chris

  • Chris

    Hi Tim,
    I keep on rewriting my positioning statement. Here is my current one…let me know what you think.
    Marketing professional that helps organizations find, acquire, and retain customers
    Thanks!
    Chris

  • Christopher Venneman

    Tim,
    I am also struggling with a concise tagline that is effective. My initial attempts are:
    – “Strategic, results-driven Brand Leader”
    – “Strategic, results-driven Client Relationship Manager”
    – Strategic partner driven to create success”
    My strengths are that I have a proven track record of leveraging my graphic design knowledge and strong communication skills which resulted in successful translation of client objectives into strategic and effective solutions.
    Your advise is greatly appreciated.
    Christopher

  • I recently started my own consulting practice for social media strategy and planning after many years on the technical sales and marketing side. For past 12 years have been immersed in Internet technology, online and offline marketing and social media for past 5.
    Connected and Innovative Social Media Marketing Professional. Your thoughts?

  • I recently started my own consulting practice for social media strategy and planning after many years on the technical sales and marketing side. For past 12 years have been immersed in Internet technology, online and offline marketing and social media for past 5.
    Connected and Innovative Social Media Marketing Professional. Your thoughts?

  • Hi Christopher – Here’s a few ideas: “Strategic and Innovative Graphic Design Professional”, “Strategic and Customer Focused Brand Leader” and one other one for fun “Client Pleaser”. 🙂 In terms of yours, “results-driven” is over-used. The last one doesn’t have enough punch. Your first was your best, again, assuming you can support it and smile while doing so (the smile means you are confident). Good luck!

  • Hi Christopher – Here’s a few ideas: “Strategic and Innovative Graphic Design Professional”, “Strategic and Customer Focused Brand Leader” and one other one for fun “Client Pleaser”. 🙂 In terms of yours, “results-driven” is over-used. The last one doesn’t have enough punch. Your first was your best, again, assuming you can support it and smile while doing so (the smile means you are confident). Good luck!

  • Hi Wendy! Congrats on the new business! A few questions . . . Connected means you know a lot of people? If so, I would probably leave that in a summary/overview because I think that is secondary to the innovation point. What about “Innovative Thought-Leader And Social Media Marketer”? If being connected is important to your customers, the how about: “Well-Connected and Savvy in Social Media”. I think you a have a bit more flexibility since you are in a forward-leaning area and you run your own show. You should get to decide these things, right? You’ve earned it! How about “The Queen of Social Media”? Probably taken . . . Good luck to you. 🙂

  • Hi Wendy! Congrats on the new business! A few questions . . . Connected means you know a lot of people? If so, I would probably leave that in a summary/overview because I think that is secondary to the innovation point. What about “Innovative Thought-Leader And Social Media Marketer”? If being connected is important to your customers, the how about: “Well-Connected and Savvy in Social Media”. I think you a have a bit more flexibility since you are in a forward-leaning area and you run your own show. You should get to decide these things, right? You’ve earned it! How about “The Queen of Social Media”? Probably taken . . . Good luck to you. 🙂

  • Hey Chris – Too long and needs more punch! How about “Customer Acquisition and Retention Marketing Professional”? What do you think?

  • Hey Chris – Too long and needs more punch! How about “Customer Acquisition and Retention Marketing Professional”? What do you think?

  • Gautam

    Thanks for the feedback and thanks for the valuable contents you have been sharing via this blog!!!

  • Gautam

    Thanks for the feedback and thanks for the valuable contents you have been sharing via this blog!!!

  • abha

    Hey Tim
    Please help in refining this one
    Experienced Banking Operations professional.
    cheers
    abha

  • abha

    Hey Tim
    Please help in refining this one
    Experienced Banking Operations professional.
    cheers
    abha

  • Stan Dvoskin

    Tim,
    Thanks for these critiques… they are helpful and generous of you.
    Strengths I am trying to get across:
    PMI Certified Project Manager
    Strong Leader
    Value or results (results sounds like everyone else, but seems to be what everyone is looking for)
    Fireman (Crisis Management)
    Some I’m looking at…
    “Value through leadership and teamwork – Certified Project Manager.”
    “Certified Project Manager delivering value/results through strong leadership.”
    “Leadership driven Certified Project Management Results.”
    Thoughts or suggestions? And thanks again for your time in giving these critiques.
    Stan

  • Stan Dvoskin

    Just thought of another one…
    “Go to Certified Project Manager providing results through strong leadership”

  • No problem, Gautam! Glad to help . . .

  • No problem, Gautam! Glad to help . . .

  • Abha – The only word I don’t like here is “experienced”. That does not endear me to you. There are a lot of experienced people in the world. Think of another word that specifically defines your contribution to past companies. Or think of the word that best describes the impact you’d like to have on your next company.
    Could be “Customer-Focused” or another word that sets you apart. What is it for you?

  • Abha – The only word I don’t like here is “experienced”. That does not endear me to you. There are a lot of experienced people in the world. Think of another word that specifically defines your contribution to past companies. Or think of the word that best describes the impact you’d like to have on your next company.
    Could be “Customer-Focused” or another word that sets you apart. What is it for you?

  • Nune

    Hi Tim,
    What advice would you have for this statement?
    “Project Management, Research and Organizational Development Specialist”
    Thank you in advance.
    Nune

  • Nune

    Hi Tim,
    What advice would you have for this statement?
    “Project Management, Research and Organizational Development Specialist”
    Thank you in advance.
    Nune

  • Stan Dvoskin

    Tim,
    Thanks for these critiques… they are helpful and generous of you.
    Strengths I am trying to get across:
    PMI Certified Project Manager
    Strong Leader
    Value or results (results sounds like everyone else, but seems to be what everyone is looking for)
    Fireman (Crisis Management)
    Some I’m looking at…
    “Value through leadership and teamwork – Certified Project Manager.”
    “Certified Project Manager delivering value/results through strong leadership.”
    “Leadership driven Certified Project Management Results.”
    Thoughts or suggestions? And thanks again for your time in giving these critiques.
    Stan

  • Stan Dvoskin

    Just thought of another one…
    “Go to Certified Project Manager providing results through strong leadership”

  • Hi Stan – To me, leadership says results. Not just from you but because of you. I think it is better than “results” but i don’t think you are hurt by adding it.
    So, “Leadership-Driven Certified Project Manager” or Leadership-Focused Certified Project Manager”. I prefer these over the sentence approach but you can reinforce “results” in your summary. Also, “Go to” works better when spoken – when written, it can be misinterpreted.
    Remember, if leadership is your thing be ready to hit that point hard in your summary and with you bullet point accomplishments. Also be ready to express specifically why leadership is important in your function.
    Good luck!

  • Hi Stan – To me, leadership says results. Not just from you but because of you. I think it is better than “results” but i don’t think you are hurt by adding it.
    So, “Leadership-Driven Certified Project Manager” or Leadership-Focused Certified Project Manager”. I prefer these over the sentence approach but you can reinforce “results” in your summary. Also, “Go to” works better when spoken – when written, it can be misinterpreted.
    Remember, if leadership is your thing be ready to hit that point hard in your summary and with you bullet point accomplishments. Also be ready to express specifically why leadership is important in your function.
    Good luck!

  • HiNune-Sounds like you are three different people. Plus all three of those (prior to specialist) talk only about “WHAT” you do. You cannot distinguish yourself that way unless that combination of skills/experience is really unique. You need to include the “HOW” – (e.g. Customer-Focused, Leadership, Energetic). What will you bring to the job besides your job abilities. What makes you interesting?

  • HiNune-Sounds like you are three different people. Plus all three of those (prior to specialist) talk only about “WHAT” you do. You cannot distinguish yourself that way unless that combination of skills/experience is really unique. You need to include the “HOW” – (e.g. Customer-Focused, Leadership, Energetic). What will you bring to the job besides your job abilities. What makes you interesting?

  • David Alexandre

    Hi Tim,
    What do you think of “P&L Manager with international experience of change management”.
    Thanks in advance for you advice.
    David

  • David Alexandre

    Hi Tim,
    What do you think of “P&L Manager with international experience of change management”.
    Thanks in advance for you advice.
    David

  • itafinancial1@cox.net

    Tim,
    Can you give me your opinion on the following tagline I use in my linkedin profile:
    “Management Strategist/Business Development Specialist – optimizing a company’s performance and objectives”.
    Thanks, Bryan

  • itafinancial1@cox.net

    Tim,
    Can you give me your opinion on the following tagline I use in my linkedin profile:
    “Management Strategist/Business Development Specialist – optimizing a company’s performance and objectives”.
    Thanks, Bryan

  • Stan Dvoskin

    Tim,
    Thanks, what you say makes good sense. Greatly appreciated.
    Stan

  • Hey Bryan – The first half includes a decent structure but it is missing the “HOW”. It is too full of words that describe WHAT you do. The second half (after the “-“) sounds a bit like business speak. I like the positioning statement to be more specific to you. Genuine and authentic. Those words are a bit to generic to allow you to stand out.
    How about “Strategic and Growth-Driven Business Development Specialist”. Then use your summary, strengths and accomplishments to reinforce the specific ways in which you bring this statement to life . . . good luck!

  • Hey Bryan – The first half includes a decent structure but it is missing the “HOW”. It is too full of words that describe WHAT you do. The second half (after the “-“) sounds a bit like business speak. I like the positioning statement to be more specific to you. Genuine and authentic. Those words are a bit to generic to allow you to stand out.
    How about “Strategic and Growth-Driven Business Development Specialist”. Then use your summary, strengths and accomplishments to reinforce the specific ways in which you bring this statement to life . . . good luck!

  • Hi David – Seeing just this and not knowing your last position/job objectives, it is hard to say. If you are in finance, I would say that “change management” is a bit out of context If you are in marketing or brand management, then I think there are better ways to describe your value.
    Overall, “international experience with change management” is a bit vague and I’m not exactly sure how that description will help me mentally place you in a new role at a target company.
    One to consider: “Change Expert and Global PL Manager” – that may not be right for you, but it is more hard hitting and attention-grabbing . . . Hope that helps!

  • Hi David – Seeing just this and not knowing your last position/job objectives, it is hard to say. If you are in finance, I would say that “change management” is a bit out of context If you are in marketing or brand management, then I think there are better ways to describe your value.
    Overall, “international experience with change management” is a bit vague and I’m not exactly sure how that description will help me mentally place you in a new role at a target company.
    One to consider: “Change Expert and Global PL Manager” – that may not be right for you, but it is more hard hitting and attention-grabbing . . . Hope that helps!

  • Glad to help, Stan.

  • Glad to help, Stan.

  • Stan Dvoskin

    Tim,
    Thanks, what you say makes good sense. Greatly appreciated.
    Stan

  • Kathy Rose

    Tim,
    I hope that it is not too late to get your feedback on my positioning statement. I am in market research and specialize in the analysis of consumer and/or shopper behavior. My strengths include innovation and strategic. I am passionate about turning research data into actionable results. Here are some ideas that I have come up with so far.
    “Creative, strategic shopper data detective”
    “Innovative, strategic shopper insights professional”
    Thankt for your feedback.
    Kathy

  • Kathy Rose

    Tim,
    I hope that it is not too late to get your feedback on my positioning statement. I am in market research and specialize in the analysis of consumer and/or shopper behavior. My strengths include innovation and strategic. I am passionate about turning research data into actionable results. Here are some ideas that I have come up with so far.
    “Creative, strategic shopper data detective”
    “Innovative, strategic shopper insights professional”
    Thankt for your feedback.
    Kathy

  • Wade

    Hi Tim,
    How about: Lean experienced business driven Manufacturing Executive.
    p.s. I enjoy your articles.

  • Wade

    Hi Tim,
    How about: Lean experienced business driven Manufacturing Executive.
    p.s. I enjoy your articles.

  • Hi Kathy – Never too late! Of the two, I like your second one the best. I’m a little uneasy about detective although if it is really important to you, I’m sure you could build a whole story about your style and results relating to that point.
    A few other thoughts: (1) is it consumer or shopper? (2) Some might ask what role does creativity play on data analysis and conclusions? Isn’t it supposed to be objective?
    I like “Innovation and Strategy Focused Consumer Insights Expert” or something similar . . .

  • Hi Kathy – Never too late! Of the two, I like your second one the best. I’m a little uneasy about detective although if it is really important to you, I’m sure you could build a whole story about your style and results relating to that point.
    A few other thoughts: (1) is it consumer or shopper? (2) Some might ask what role does creativity play on data analysis and conclusions? Isn’t it supposed to be objective?
    I like “Innovation and Strategy Focused Consumer Insights Expert” or something similar . . .

  • Hi Wade – Thanks for your note about the articles – they are fun to write! Concerning your statement, your first 4 words kind of fall together and I’m not sure which is modifying the other. Can I suggest “Business-Driven Lean Manufacturing Executive”? In this case you can highlight your LEAN credentials as well as your business driven (vs. throughput driven) work and decision making philosophy.

  • Hi Wade – Thanks for your note about the articles – they are fun to write! Concerning your statement, your first 4 words kind of fall together and I’m not sure which is modifying the other. Can I suggest “Business-Driven Lean Manufacturing Executive”? In this case you can highlight your LEAN credentials as well as your business driven (vs. throughput driven) work and decision making philosophy.

  • Chris

    Sounds much better…thanks!!!

  • Chris

    Sounds much better…thanks!!!

  • Kathy Rose

    Tim
    Thanks for your feedback. The creativity comes in designing the analytic approach. I like your suggestion.
    Kathy

  • Kathy Rose

    Tim
    Thanks for your feedback. The creativity comes in designing the analytic approach. I like your suggestion.
    Kathy

  • Amber S.

    Hi Tim,
    I have 6 years experience in nonprofit marketing and fund development. I am trying to tailor my positioning statement for potential jobs in either the nonprofit or private sector. Will I need positioning statements that show the different targets? I’m thinking of using:
    “Relationship-focused Communications & Development Professional”
    Thanks,
    Amber

  • Hi Tim, advice on: “Energetic, Connected and Passionate Marketing Manager”
    Thanks!
    Stacey

  • Hi Tim, advice on: “Energetic, Connected and Passionate Marketing Manager”
    Thanks!
    Stacey

  • Amber S.

    Hi Tim,
    I have 6 years experience in nonprofit marketing and fund development. I am trying to tailor my positioning statement for potential jobs in either the nonprofit or private sector. Will I need positioning statements that show the different targets? I’m thinking of using:
    “Relationship-focused Communications & Development Professional”
    Thanks,
    Amber

  • Hi Stacey – There is nothing wrong with what you’ve written. The only suggestion I might have is to consider replacing one of your descriptors with one that is more results or business related. Especially if the job you are pursuing is more of line management role vs. traditional marketing – one where analytical skills are part of the job description.
    Also, what is the value of “connected” (i.e. what do you mean by that)? Are you able to provide some context so viewers of your resume see immediate value in that word?

  • Hi Stacey – There is nothing wrong with what you’ve written. The only suggestion I might have is to consider replacing one of your descriptors with one that is more results or business related. Especially if the job you are pursuing is more of line management role vs. traditional marketing – one where analytical skills are part of the job description.
    Also, what is the value of “connected” (i.e. what do you mean by that)? Are you able to provide some context so viewers of your resume see immediate value in that word?

  • Hi Amber –
    I think your statement is pretty good! And yes, I would use it as a place to customize when you are applying for jobs that have certain concentrations. I don’t think they will need to be dramatically different – as long as you can support them with pieces of your summary and accomplishments!
    Good luck!

  • Hi Amber –
    I think your statement is pretty good! And yes, I would use it as a place to customize when you are applying for jobs that have certain concentrations. I don’t think they will need to be dramatically different – as long as you can support them with pieces of your summary and accomplishments!
    Good luck!

  • Ken

    Hi, Tim.
    Just found your blog thanks to a link from @CincyRecruiter, and RT’ed a link to your home page. It’s a fantastic site: thanks for the great practical info!
    How about: “Growing employment brands for competitive advantage”?
    Cheers,
    Ken

  • Ken

    Hi, Tim.
    Just found your blog thanks to a link from @CincyRecruiter, and RT’ed a link to your home page. It’s a fantastic site: thanks for the great practical info!
    How about: “Growing employment brands for competitive advantage”?
    Cheers,
    Ken

  • No problem, Ken. Jennifer (@CincyRecruiter) also has a fantastic group on LinkedIn called LinkedCincinnati.
    That is fine as a traditional tag-line, but not as strong of a statement. You want this to have some punch. Something people will remember. That will grab their attention instantly.
    Such as “Employment Brand Growth and Development Expert”. In the end though, you decide. You are the one who needs to build a resume and interviewing strategy around that one core idea. If you can, then go for it!
    Thanks for your feedback on the site!

  • No problem, Ken. Jennifer (@CincyRecruiter) also has a fantastic group on LinkedIn called LinkedCincinnati.
    That is fine as a traditional tag-line, but not as strong of a statement. You want this to have some punch. Something people will remember. That will grab their attention instantly.
    Such as “Employment Brand Growth and Development Expert”. In the end though, you decide. You are the one who needs to build a resume and interviewing strategy around that one core idea. If you can, then go for it!
    Thanks for your feedback on the site!

  • Rita

    Hi Tim,
    I’m re-entering the workforce after 10 years of being a stay-at-home mom. Before leaving, I was a graphic designer and illustrator for a magazine publishing company. I have had a few freelance graphic design and illustration projects (off and on) such as designing logos, direct mail postcards and illustrating concepts for editorials, etc. I would like to work for an advertising company because it would be more challenging and offer a variety of work.
    I came up with a few positioning statements. I would appreciate your feedback. They are:
    Problem-Solving Creative Graphic Designer and Illustrator
    Innovative Graphic Design and Illustration Professional
    Innovative Passionate Communication Designer
    Innovative Problem-Solving Graphic Artist
    Your help is greatly appreciated. I feel like an underdog since I’ve been away for a while.
    Thanks,
    Rita

  • Rita

    Hi Tim,
    I’m re-entering the workforce after 10 years of being a stay-at-home mom. Before leaving, I was a graphic designer and illustrator for a magazine publishing company. I have had a few freelance graphic design and illustration projects (off and on) such as designing logos, direct mail postcards and illustrating concepts for editorials, etc. I would like to work for an advertising company because it would be more challenging and offer a variety of work.
    I came up with a few positioning statements. I would appreciate your feedback. They are:
    Problem-Solving Creative Graphic Designer and Illustrator
    Innovative Graphic Design and Illustration Professional
    Innovative Passionate Communication Designer
    Innovative Problem-Solving Graphic Artist
    Your help is greatly appreciated. I feel like an underdog since I’ve been away for a while.
    Thanks,
    Rita

  • Hi Rita – Welcome back to the world of the working (although as a stay at home mom I’m sure you have been working hard and making a difference – my wife stays at home)! Your key will be in proving your skills are still fresh and in building a very strong network. Those who know your work and believe in you will be key to getting you back into a company.
    In terms of your positioning statements, I like your second one the best. I don’t like “communication designer” in #3 and “problem solving” reads a bit like an oxymoron (I don’t think of graphic designers as primarily problem solvers – although the result of a good design can clearly solve a problem so maybe there’s something there I’m not seeing).
    Structurally I like #1 and #2 the best.
    Choosing between 1 and 2 is your decision based on what really feels right to you. If you really have a powerful story behind the “problem solving” angle (including lots of benefit-based examples), go for it!
    However, #2 seems appropriate. It shows breadth (design + illustration), and suggests modern skills (innovation).
    Good luck to you!

  • Hi Rita – Welcome back to the world of the working (although as a stay at home mom I’m sure you have been working hard and making a difference – my wife stays at home)! Your key will be in proving your skills are still fresh and in building a very strong network. Those who know your work and believe in you will be key to getting you back into a company.
    In terms of your positioning statements, I like your second one the best. I don’t like “communication designer” in #3 and “problem solving” reads a bit like an oxymoron (I don’t think of graphic designers as primarily problem solvers – although the result of a good design can clearly solve a problem so maybe there’s something there I’m not seeing).
    Structurally I like #1 and #2 the best.
    Choosing between 1 and 2 is your decision based on what really feels right to you. If you really have a powerful story behind the “problem solving” angle (including lots of benefit-based examples), go for it!
    However, #2 seems appropriate. It shows breadth (design + illustration), and suggests modern skills (innovation).
    Good luck to you!

  • Tim,
    Please advise your thogughts on my positioning statement.”Documented Requirements Clarity and Relevant Solutions” I am looking for FT or Contract work as a Business Analyst.

  • Tim,
    Please advise your thogughts on my positioning statement.”Documented Requirements Clarity and Relevant Solutions” I am looking for FT or Contract work as a Business Analyst.

  • Hey Shawn – This positioning statement does not work for me. The words do not work well together and do not quickly describe who you are and illustrate what and how you will impact a new company.
    First I would make sure that “business” or “business analyst” are in there somewhere. You need to quickly tell someone what you do. The rest of it is HOW you do it (style or philosophy).
    Something like: “Detail Oriented and Customer Focused Business Analyst” much more clearly identifies those areas for me. Be direct.
    Of course you have to identify what those specific words are for you and be able to back them up in your resume and interview answers.

  • Hey Shawn – This positioning statement does not work for me. The words do not work well together and do not quickly describe who you are and illustrate what and how you will impact a new company.
    First I would make sure that “business” or “business analyst” are in there somewhere. You need to quickly tell someone what you do. The rest of it is HOW you do it (style or philosophy).
    Something like: “Detail Oriented and Customer Focused Business Analyst” much more clearly identifies those areas for me. Be direct.
    Of course you have to identify what those specific words are for you and be able to back them up in your resume and interview answers.

  • Thanks Tim,
    New Statement: “Requirements Clarity and Stakeholder Focused Business Analyst”
    All BA”s are expected to be detailed oriented. The details must be presented so that all the stakeholders understand them. Stakeholders vs Customer; Stakeholders seems more inclusive to me and invites conversation for people that do not know what a stakeholder is.
    Best Regards,
    Shawn

  • Thanks Tim,
    New Statement: “Requirements Clarity and Stakeholder Focused Business Analyst”
    All BA”s are expected to be detailed oriented. The details must be presented so that all the stakeholders understand them. Stakeholders vs Customer; Stakeholders seems more inclusive to me and invites conversation for people that do not know what a stakeholder is.
    Best Regards,
    Shawn

  • Susan Platt

    Tim,
    I appreciate your ‘spot on’ advice for conducting a successful job search. I am a certified project manager who enjoys business process improvement. How about this positioning statement? “Known for the ability to bring order from chaos.” It’s more than 4-6 words, but I’ve been told that it’s memorable.

  • Susan Platt

    Tim,
    I appreciate your ‘spot on’ advice for conducting a successful job search. I am a certified project manager who enjoys business process improvement. How about this positioning statement? “Known for the ability to bring order from chaos.” It’s more than 4-6 words, but I’ve been told that it’s memorable.

  • Hi Susan – It is not the typical format I suggest, but the key is your ability to support and drive a message home that brings your statement to life. If you can do that, then it can work great! I like “order to chaos” – “Known for the ability to” is less direct and is a longer slide to home plate! Another option for you to consider?
    “Bringing Order To Chaos”
    or
    “Bringing Order To Chaos Through Project Management”
    Good luck!

  • Hi Susan – It is not the typical format I suggest, but the key is your ability to support and drive a message home that brings your statement to life. If you can do that, then it can work great! I like “order to chaos” – “Known for the ability to” is less direct and is a longer slide to home plate! Another option for you to consider?
    “Bringing Order To Chaos”
    or
    “Bringing Order To Chaos Through Project Management”
    Good luck!

  • Brian Butcher

    Thank you Tim for the valuable info in this blog. I appreciate your reaction to my work-in-progress positioning statement…
    Technology + Training Expertise for Distance Learning Projects
    This is an important thought-provoking exercise.

  • Brian Butcher

    Thank you Tim for the valuable info in this blog. I appreciate your reaction to my work-in-progress positioning statement…
    Technology + Training Expertise for Distance Learning Projects
    This is an important thought-provoking exercise.

  • Hey Brian – You are very welcome! I like “Technology + Training Expertise” but wonder about the value of “for Distance Learning Projects”. Perhaps you need to educate me on that part. Is that a well known term (for internet education tools)? Another option is to use the first part but then include a “how” which acts as a differentiator in your field. For example:
    Customer-Focused Technology + Training Expertise
    Good luck!

  • Brian Butcher

    Excellent suggestion Tim. I originally chose distance learning to include the Internet and other technologies. I do like the lead “customer focused.” You are providing an outstanding service here. Cheers… Brian B.

  • Brian Butcher

    Excellent suggestion Tim. I originally chose distance learning to include the Internet and other technologies. I do like the lead “customer focused.” You are providing an outstanding service here. Cheers… Brian B.

  • Hey Brian – You are very welcome! I like “Technology + Training Expertise” but wonder about the value of “for Distance Learning Projects”. Perhaps you need to educate me on that part. Is that a well known term (for internet education tools)? Another option is to use the first part but then include a “how” which acts as a differentiator in your field. For example:
    Customer-Focused Technology + Training Expertise
    Good luck!

  • Hey Brian – In the end, pick one that clearly describes what you do and how you do it. It also needs to be a statement that you can support in your career summary and in interviews – with enthusiasm!

  • Hey Brian – In the end, pick one that clearly describes what you do and how you do it. It also needs to be a statement that you can support in your career summary and in interviews – with enthusiasm!

  • Good posting esp for the field under the name on LinkedIn.
    However, your examples strike me as best-roast-beef-in-town style fluff that recruiters ignore.

  • Good posting esp for the field under the name on LinkedIn.
    However, your examples strike me as best-roast-beef-in-town style fluff that recruiters ignore.

  • Thanks Animal. I love your push-back. Very few people do that . . .
    A couple of points. (1) Because recruiters are laser focused on the spec, don’t they ignore most of the menu anyway (roast beef or liver)? (2) Recruiters are not the only target for a resume (3) The positioning statement is meant to be a job seeker tag-line. If good, it sets the tone from the top of page one (or the Linkedin profile descriptor). Assuming the resume supports that point throughout via their summary, key strengths, accomplishments, you now have a more focused attempt at positioning. (4) Having a positioning statement is a confidence builder as it gives people a way to clearly talk about what makes them different.
    You have to try something (along with a significant networking push) to separate yourself from the crowd. And I think a positioning statement works better than a neon sign . . .

  • Thanks Animal. I love your push-back. Very few people do that . . .
    A couple of points. (1) Because recruiters are laser focused on the spec, don’t they ignore most of the menu anyway (roast beef or liver)? (2) Recruiters are not the only target for a resume (3) The positioning statement is meant to be a job seeker tag-line. If good, it sets the tone from the top of page one (or the Linkedin profile descriptor). Assuming the resume supports that point throughout via their summary, key strengths, accomplishments, you now have a more focused attempt at positioning. (4) Having a positioning statement is a confidence builder as it gives people a way to clearly talk about what makes them different.
    You have to try something (along with a significant networking push) to separate yourself from the crowd. And I think a positioning statement works better than a neon sign . . .

  • Sharon

    Hello, here is one idea I had:
    Workplace Learning Professional – Making Learning Work

  • Sharon

    Hello, here is one idea I had:
    Workplace Learning Professional – Making Learning Work

  • Bill

    I have just stumbled in to your postings through JobCircle and am finding them very helpful.
    How does the following positioning statement sound?
    Efficiency Minded and Value-Driven IT/Business Professional
    I am trying not to lock myself in to strictly an IT position or is this to vague?

  • Bill

    I have just stumbled in to your postings through JobCircle and am finding them very helpful.
    How does the following positioning statement sound?
    Efficiency Minded and Value-Driven IT/Business Professional
    I am trying not to lock myself in to strictly an IT position or is this to vague?

  • @Sharon – Reading yours out of context, I’m not sure what you do so it is somewhat hard to give you any feedback. Are you in the training business or education? The first half works a little better as it works harder to define you. The second half is a little bit too vague.
    @Bill – Glad you found me through Job Circle. Great! I see what you are trying to do by adding “business” to your statement. But, as you suggest, it makes you more of a vague generalist – harder to quantify what you actually do. Perhaps you could use “business minded” as a descriptor and hold on to “IT Professional”. Business-minded says both “efficient and value driven” and in the context of your resume or SoloSheet could work well . . . in the end, can a recruiter or hiring manager find you and identify you as a candidate for their position AND understand HOW you will do it.

  • @Sharon – Reading yours out of context, I’m not sure what you do so it is somewhat hard to give you any feedback. Are you in the training business or education? The first half works a little better as it works harder to define you. The second half is a little bit too vague.
    @Bill – Glad you found me through Job Circle. Great! I see what you are trying to do by adding “business” to your statement. But, as you suggest, it makes you more of a vague generalist – harder to quantify what you actually do. Perhaps you could use “business minded” as a descriptor and hold on to “IT Professional”. Business-minded says both “efficient and value driven” and in the context of your resume or SoloSheet could work well . . . in the end, can a recruiter or hiring manager find you and identify you as a candidate for their position AND understand HOW you will do it.

  • Stacie madden

    Tim – how about:
    Marketing and communications leader who creates the strategy and execution plans and programs to drive awareness and create new revenue streams

  • Stacie madden

    Tim – how about:
    Marketing and communications leader who creates the strategy and execution plans and programs to drive awareness and create new revenue streams

  • Hi Stacie – This one is too long for a positioning statement. It could part of your summary, but ideally this should be 4-6 words. A true headline. Using your content above, how about:
    Revenue-Driving Strategic Marketing Leader
    Says both the how and the what re: your potential impact on a new company.

  • Hi Stacie – This one is too long for a positioning statement. It could part of your summary, but ideally this should be 4-6 words. A true headline. Using your content above, how about:
    Revenue-Driving Strategic Marketing Leader
    Says both the how and the what re: your potential impact on a new company.

  • Sharon Hamersley

    Hi Tim, I’m the person with the “Workplace Performance Professional – Making Learning Work” positioning statement. To clarify, I do work in corporate training. My intent with this statement is to convey that I look at the big picture when developing training…what’s the expected outcome, ROI, etc. So any help with the second part is greatly appreciated.

  • Sharon Hamersley

    Hi Tim, I’m the person with the “Workplace Performance Professional – Making Learning Work” positioning statement. To clarify, I do work in corporate training. My intent with this statement is to convey that I look at the big picture when developing training…what’s the expected outcome, ROI, etc. So any help with the second part is greatly appreciated.

  • Jigyasa

    Hey Tim!
    Struggling to frame a succinct positioning statement. I am a fresher in the job market, therefore finding relatively difficult to cut down what i have penned down. This is how it goes. “Finance graduate discovering path (or, keen to) establish career in the field of finance with an agile and inquisitive mind”. Appreciate your help!

    • Jigyasa – That sounds a bit too much like an objective statement (what you’d like to do). The positioning statement is more about defining yourself for the hiring manager. Think “what do you do” and “how do you do it”. If you have just finished university work,you can say “Agile And Inquisitive Finance Associate”. And then use the career summary and key strengths section of your resume/CV to to reinforce where you specialize with finance and how you get things done (agile, inquisitive). This statement will either resonate with people at your target companies or it will not. You need to decide a nice mix between who you are and character traits your target your target companies are wanting to hire.

  • Jigyasa

    Hey Tim!
    Struggling to frame a succinct positioning statement. I am a fresher in the job market, therefore finding relatively difficult to cut down what i have penned down. This is how it goes. “Finance graduate discovering path (or, keen to) establish career in the field of finance with an agile and inquisitive mind”. Appreciate your help!

    • Jigyasa – That sounds a bit too much like an objective statement (what you’d like to do). The positioning statement is more about defining yourself for the hiring manager. Think “what do you do” and “how do you do it”. If you have just finished university work,you can say “Agile And Inquisitive Finance Associate”. And then use the career summary and key strengths section of your resume/CV to to reinforce where you specialize with finance and how you get things done (agile, inquisitive). This statement will either resonate with people at your target companies or it will not. You need to decide a nice mix between who you are and character traits your target your target companies are wanting to hire.

  • Steve Russ

    Hi Tim, I’m enjoying your blog and using it to help my current job search. I’m targeting my search for sales management or regional management positions. Please give me your feedback on my positioning statement: Bottom-line-driven Sales Manager

    • Hi Steve – I like a couple of things. First, it is short and to the point. Second, “Bottom-line-driven” clearly positions you. However, I don’t like the word “manager” (too passive and plain) and I think you are taking a bit of a risk with “Bottom-lined-driven”. What if the hiring company wants a rainmaker and you seem like you are holding the reins too tight? That phrase may be perfect for some companies and not so perfect for others.

      In the end, though, if that is you then stick with it and drive it home with a great career summary, strengths and accomplishments. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Steve Russ

    Hi Tim, I’m enjoying your blog and using it to help my current job search. I’m targeting my search for sales management or regional management positions. Please give me your feedback on my positioning statement: Bottom-line-driven Sales Manager

    • Hi Steve – I like a couple of things. First, it is short and to the point. Second, “Bottom-line-driven” clearly positions you. However, I don’t like the word “manager” (too passive and plain) and I think you are taking a bit of a risk with “Bottom-lined-driven”. What if the hiring company wants a rainmaker and you seem like you are holding the reins too tight? That phrase may be perfect for some companies and not so perfect for others.

      In the end, though, if that is you then stick with it and drive it home with a great career summary, strengths and accomplishments. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Simon gu

    Hello Tim,

    Thanks much Tim for your excellent blog. Please advice on my statement:
    “Materials Science and Thin Film Deposition Professional”
    or ” DIVERSIFIED RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN MATERIALS SCIENCE AND THIN FILMS”

    Thanks!

    Simon

    • Hi Simon – Thanks for that feedback. My preference of the two is “Materials Science and Thin Film Deposition Professional” because it better positions you. However, it is very specific – perhaps too specific – but I assume you know your industry and company targets. Also, it identifies WHAT you do but not HOW you do it. What makes you unique in this field (i.e. creative, technical, etc)? Identify that and you can better create a sense of why you should be hired over someone else . . . Good luck!

  • Simon gu

    Hello Tim,

    Thanks much Tim for your excellent blog. Please advice on my statement:
    “Materials Science and Thin Film Deposition Professional”
    or ” DIVERSIFIED RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN MATERIALS SCIENCE AND THIN FILMS”

    Thanks!

    Simon

    • Hi Simon – Thanks for that feedback. My preference of the two is “Materials Science and Thin Film Deposition Professional” because it better positions you. However, it is very specific – perhaps too specific – but I assume you know your industry and company targets. Also, it identifies WHAT you do but not HOW you do it. What makes you unique in this field (i.e. creative, technical, etc)? Identify that and you can better create a sense of why you should be hired over someone else . . . Good luck!

  • Steve Russ

    Thanks for the input Tim. I’ve decided that my operational background is stronger than my sales management background and revised my position statement to read: Results-driven Management Professional. I realize this does not set me apart or is very unique, what is your opinion? How about Results-driven Management Leader?

    • Steve – There is a big risk of being too generic. In the end, you need to find words that are unique, unique to you and memorable. The ones you’ve chosen do not set you apart and will appear generic. You also need words that can be supported/reinforced by your summary and key strengths.

  • Steve Russ

    Thanks for the input Tim. I’ve decided that my operational background is stronger than my sales management background and revised my position statement to read: Results-driven Management Professional. I realize this does not set me apart or is very unique, what is your opinion? How about Results-driven Management Leader?

    • Steve – There is a big risk of being too generic. In the end, you need to find words that are unique, unique to you and memorable. The ones you’ve chosen do not set you apart and will appear generic. You also need words that can be supported/reinforced by your summary and key strengths.

  • Simon Gu

    Hello Tim,

    Thanks a lot for your comments. How about “Versatile, results-driven materials & thin film professional” as a replacement of “Materials Science and Thin Film Deposition Professional”?
    In the job descriptions, the titles will be ” materials engineer”,”materials science”, “thin film engineer”, Coating engineer”…I am still confusing how to find an unique word for my statement.
    Again, Thanks much. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks

    Simon

    • Simon – I think “materials engineer” is a solid WHAT. The thing you need to determine is what makes you really unique/successful at it? If versatility is important, go for it, but find a word that is relevant to your profession. Words like versatile and results-driven are too generic unless quickly justified in your career summary and strengths. Sorry, I don’t know your industry well enough to help with a more specific word. What if you went back to prior reviews – what positive characteristic is most often mentioned by your prior managers?

  • Simon Gu

    Hello Tim,

    Thanks a lot for your comments. How about “Versatile, results-driven materials & thin film professional” as a replacement of “Materials Science and Thin Film Deposition Professional”?
    In the job descriptions, the titles will be ” materials engineer”,”materials science”, “thin film engineer”, Coating engineer”…I am still confusing how to find an unique word for my statement.
    Again, Thanks much. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks

    Simon

    • Simon – I think “materials engineer” is a solid WHAT. The thing you need to determine is what makes you really unique/successful at it? If versatility is important, go for it, but find a word that is relevant to your profession. Words like versatile and results-driven are too generic unless quickly justified in your career summary and strengths. Sorry, I don’t know your industry well enough to help with a more specific word. What if you went back to prior reviews – what positive characteristic is most often mentioned by your prior managers?

  • Tim, I have read every one of these with fascination having come through to it from the Linkedin group. What about “delivering economic value through IT-based business transformations”?

    • Tomi – I would rather that you write this statement in your own words – these sound like typical buzz words. Write it as if you were describing what you do/what impact you have to a good friend. Would you use those words? Try to re-write it without the big words. Concise and direct. “I help companies grow during big structural change” is directionally better, I think.

  • Tim, I have read every one of these with fascination having come through to it from the Linkedin group. What about “delivering economic value through IT-based business transformations”?

    • Tomi – I would rather that you write this statement in your own words – these sound like typical buzz words. Write it as if you were describing what you do/what impact you have to a good friend. Would you use those words? Try to re-write it without the big words. Concise and direct. “I help companies grow during big structural change” is directionally better, I think.

  • Joe Falcone

    Tim,
    This has been a bit of a problem for me and as I read through the comments, I didn’t notice many sales types. My statement is Sales Hunter and Growth Sales Manager. Another is Sales Hunter and Business Development Manager. What do you think?

    • Hey Joe – the risk with your first statement is that some companies are looking for one or the other (hunter or manager). If you try to to be both, you are neither. I think you can adjust your statement based on the needs of the target company. Not to change who you are, but to more strongly emphasize different aspects.

  • Joe Falcone

    Tim,
    This has been a bit of a problem for me and as I read through the comments, I didn’t notice many sales types. My statement is Sales Hunter and Growth Sales Manager. Another is Sales Hunter and Business Development Manager. What do you think?

    • Hey Joe – the risk with your first statement is that some companies are looking for one or the other (hunter or manager). If you try to to be both, you are neither. I think you can adjust your statement based on the needs of the target company. Not to change who you are, but to more strongly emphasize different aspects.

  • Sri Harsha

    Hi Tim,

    I am a Technical Writer with 2 years of writing experience and 4+ years of customer service (ITES) experience. I have knowledge in various fields and my zeal to learn new thinkgs makes me unique. Could you please suggest a positioning line for me?

    How is this? “Knowledge driven documentation specialist”
    or can you suggest a few?

    Regards,
    Sri Harsha.

    • Hi Sri –

      Part of your statement should be driven by what you’ve done and how you do it. Another part is driven by your job search objective. If you have a particular job in mind, you can blend what you know about yourself and what you know about what hiring managers are looking for (relevance) to create a memorable statement. Your suggested statement is unclear to me. “documentation specialist” could be someone working at a copy center like Kinko’s (US) or a technical writer. If you can, try to be real specific about these things. If you are a technical writer, say so! Also it seems like you are less knowledge driven and more “knowledge-powered”. “Armed with context and new ideas to deliver outstanding technical content”. How about “Knowledge-Powered Technical Writing Specialist”. You could then talk about the work you do to prepare for and execute great assignments. What do you think?

  • Sri Harsha

    Hi Tim,

    I am a Technical Writer with 2 years of writing experience and 4+ years of customer service (ITES) experience. I have knowledge in various fields and my zeal to learn new thinkgs makes me unique. Could you please suggest a positioning line for me?

    How is this? “Knowledge driven documentation specialist”
    or can you suggest a few?

    Regards,
    Sri Harsha.

    • Hi Sri –

      Part of your statement should be driven by what you’ve done and how you do it. Another part is driven by your job search objective. If you have a particular job in mind, you can blend what you know about yourself and what you know about what hiring managers are looking for (relevance) to create a memorable statement. Your suggested statement is unclear to me. “documentation specialist” could be someone working at a copy center like Kinko’s (US) or a technical writer. If you can, try to be real specific about these things. If you are a technical writer, say so! Also it seems like you are less knowledge driven and more “knowledge-powered”. “Armed with context and new ideas to deliver outstanding technical content”. How about “Knowledge-Powered Technical Writing Specialist”. You could then talk about the work you do to prepare for and execute great assignments. What do you think?

  • Sandra

    Hi Tim,

    Let me know your opinion on my positioning statement. “Bringing Order to Chaos with Paralegal Case Management” or “Tenacious and Energetic Legal Assistant” or can you suggest a few?

    Regards,
    Sandra

  • Sandra

    Hi Tim,

    Let me know your opinion on my positioning statement. “Bringing Order to Chaos with Paralegal Case Management” or “Tenacious and Energetic Legal Assistant” or can you suggest a few?

    Regards,
    Sandra

  • Hi Tim, I just came across your blog and it’s been a wealth of information for me. Thank you!

    Here is my first stab at a position statement: Clever Communicator and Goal Driven Brand Advocate

    Feedback appreciated! Thanks again.

  • Hi Tim, I just came across your blog and it’s been a wealth of information for me. Thank you!

    Here is my first stab at a position statement: Clever Communicator and Goal Driven Brand Advocate

    Feedback appreciated! Thanks again.

  • Lori

    Hi Tim — I just saw this and your suggestions are great. I am having a hard time with my statement because I have had my hands in alot of things as a General Operations Manager for a Marketing Research Firm. My key strengths are, ability to execute multiple concurrent projects in a complex environment. Skilled in achieving results through others by building relationships and leveraging resources. Creative problem-solver with the ability to simplify task execution, bringing order to chaos, and removing barriers to success. Highly effective interpersonal and leadership skills.

    Any ideas on what I should use? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

  • Lori

    Hi Tim — I just saw this and your suggestions are great. I am having a hard time with my statement because I have had my hands in alot of things as a General Operations Manager for a Marketing Research Firm. My key strengths are, ability to execute multiple concurrent projects in a complex environment. Skilled in achieving results through others by building relationships and leveraging resources. Creative problem-solver with the ability to simplify task execution, bringing order to chaos, and removing barriers to success. Highly effective interpersonal and leadership skills.

    Any ideas on what I should use? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

  • Danielle

    Hi, Tim ~ I just found your blog from a LinkedIn email string I received. I’ve been unemployed for almost a year and a half and am trying to update my resume to make more of an impact. Here is what I currently have for my Objective and Summary of Qualifications to give you an idea…I was thinking of something like “Energetic and Detail Oriented Manager” for my Position Statement, although I feel it may be too vague. I feel I have a wide range of experience so I don’t want to make it too specific. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. (see my objective and qualifications below)OBJECTIVE

    To secure a management position in a challenging and dynamic environment
    that utilizes my skill set and provides opportunity for professional growth.

    SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS

    • An organized and detail-oriented manager with experience in accounting, purchasing, and operations, able to prioritize and delegate tasks effectively to ensure timely project completion within a team environment.
    • Saved Element K Journals over 11% on printing costs by negotiating pricing with vendors.
    • Created process improvements that resulted in streamlining a position by 10% which allowed for increased production to meet future needs.
    • Exemplary problem-solving skills; able to identify problems and implement corrective processes.
    • Dynamic, articulate, analytical, and results-oriented; I love a good challenge.

  • Danielle

    Hi, Tim ~ I just found your blog from a LinkedIn email string I received. I’ve been unemployed for almost a year and a half and am trying to update my resume to make more of an impact. Here is what I currently have for my Objective and Summary of Qualifications to give you an idea…I was thinking of something like “Energetic and Detail Oriented Manager” for my Position Statement, although I feel it may be too vague. I feel I have a wide range of experience so I don’t want to make it too specific. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. (see my objective and qualifications below)OBJECTIVE

    To secure a management position in a challenging and dynamic environment
    that utilizes my skill set and provides opportunity for professional growth.

    SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS

    • An organized and detail-oriented manager with experience in accounting, purchasing, and operations, able to prioritize and delegate tasks effectively to ensure timely project completion within a team environment.
    • Saved Element K Journals over 11% on printing costs by negotiating pricing with vendors.
    • Created process improvements that resulted in streamlining a position by 10% which allowed for increased production to meet future needs.
    • Exemplary problem-solving skills; able to identify problems and implement corrective processes.
    • Dynamic, articulate, analytical, and results-oriented; I love a good challenge.

  • mark

    Tim, A challenge. What about someone who has been in graphics (pre & post press, bulk mailing, desktop publishing, traffic coordination etc) all of their career and is trying to find new opportunities and a new direction? I have worked in bulk mailing, print shops, advertisng companies, in house marketing (ie consumer goods), BtoB publications etc, without highlighting too much of these?

  • mark

    Tim, A challenge. What about someone who has been in graphics (pre & post press, bulk mailing, desktop publishing, traffic coordination etc) all of their career and is trying to find new opportunities and a new direction? I have worked in bulk mailing, print shops, advertisng companies, in house marketing (ie consumer goods), BtoB publications etc, without highlighting too much of these?

  • Pete

    Tim,

    Thanks so much for an extremely helpful site. I’m looking for a leadership role in an organization that is fast paced and people focused. My past roles have been in product development (management) and sales management roles. This is what I’m currently using:
    DECISIVE LEADER DELIVERING PROFITABLE VALUE
    Suggestions?

    • Hey Pete – No problem! Appreciate your stopping by!

      Again, the key with these is that the words matter to you and are relevant to your experience and ability to contribute. Overall I like it. A few comments to consider:

      The first half “DECISIVE LEADER” is good. And I’d be looking for specific examples of decisive action or characteristics in your resume and interview answers. “DELIVERING” is OK but is a little passive. “CREATING” or “DRIVING” might be better. “PROFITABLE VALUE” is vague. “PROFIT is stronger as the deliverable. So, how about: “DECISIVE LEADER DRIVING PROFIT AND STRATEGY” – the addition of “STRATEGY” adds a breadth/how to your method. You can put another word there if you want.

      What you are using now is not broken at all. But the more specific and tangible you can be, the better.

  • Pete

    Tim,

    Thanks so much for an extremely helpful site. I’m looking for a leadership role in an organization that is fast paced and people focused. My past roles have been in product development (management) and sales management roles. This is what I’m currently using:
    DECISIVE LEADER DELIVERING PROFITABLE VALUE
    Suggestions?

    • Hey Pete – No problem! Appreciate your stopping by!

      Again, the key with these is that the words matter to you and are relevant to your experience and ability to contribute. Overall I like it. A few comments to consider:

      The first half “DECISIVE LEADER” is good. And I’d be looking for specific examples of decisive action or characteristics in your resume and interview answers. “DELIVERING” is OK but is a little passive. “CREATING” or “DRIVING” might be better. “PROFITABLE VALUE” is vague. “PROFIT is stronger as the deliverable. So, how about: “DECISIVE LEADER DRIVING PROFIT AND STRATEGY” – the addition of “STRATEGY” adds a breadth/how to your method. You can put another word there if you want.

      What you are using now is not broken at all. But the more specific and tangible you can be, the better.

  • Mike Brown

    Hey Tim! You have a lot of great ideas! I’ll take you up on that Positioning Statement critique below, I appreciate the feedback. The nuts and bolts – 25 years in IT, a stellar career until two years ago when I took a role in the parent company, layed off last week, after two horrible years in that role. I’ve led teams, work I liked best, but never been a titled Manager. I also have a knack for PM work but not the expensive PMP yet, never really needed it to lead +$3M projects.

    Terms that fit: Detail Oriented, Results Driven, Effective.

    My target position is as an IT Manager position with the ability to also lead Enterprise level projects…more than six words.

    My proposal: Effective and Results Driven IT Leader

    Thanks! Looking forward to your feedback! Mike

    • Hi Mike – Clearly you have spent some time on this – that is great. The risk for your statement is that it will appear too generic. You see, I have learned a few things over the months since this post. That while your positioning statement needs to include recognizable language, it must also include words that allow you to stand out.

      While there is nothing wrong with the way the words describe you, they do not describe you in a memorable way. And though I am sure you can back-up “effective” and ‘results-oriented” with your specific characteristics and accomplishments, I’d like to push you to find words that are either more specific to you or your profession.

      Of saying it is the easy part, right? The problem is that you could drop any other function name in replace of “IT” (e.g. marketing). It would be ideal if that weren’t the case.
      Is there a word that uniquely describes successful people in your industry?

  • Mike Brown

    Hey Tim! You have a lot of great ideas! I’ll take you up on that Positioning Statement critique below, I appreciate the feedback. The nuts and bolts – 25 years in IT, a stellar career until two years ago when I took a role in the parent company, layed off last week, after two horrible years in that role. I’ve led teams, work I liked best, but never been a titled Manager. I also have a knack for PM work but not the expensive PMP yet, never really needed it to lead +$3M projects.

    Terms that fit: Detail Oriented, Results Driven, Effective.

    My target position is as an IT Manager position with the ability to also lead Enterprise level projects…more than six words.

    My proposal: Effective and Results Driven IT Leader

    Thanks! Looking forward to your feedback! Mike

    • Hi Mike – Clearly you have spent some time on this – that is great. The risk for your statement is that it will appear too generic. You see, I have learned a few things over the months since this post. That while your positioning statement needs to include recognizable language, it must also include words that allow you to stand out.

      While there is nothing wrong with the way the words describe you, they do not describe you in a memorable way. And though I am sure you can back-up “effective” and ‘results-oriented” with your specific characteristics and accomplishments, I’d like to push you to find words that are either more specific to you or your profession.

      Of saying it is the easy part, right? The problem is that you could drop any other function name in replace of “IT” (e.g. marketing). It would be ideal if that weren’t the case.
      Is there a word that uniquely describes successful people in your industry?

  • Thomas Benson

    How does “Customer Service Logistics and Quality System Specialist” read? I am trying not to be handcuffed into ‘customer service’ or ‘quality’ only. It seems that using only one of those terms limits attention! Also, I was wondering if Manager is better than Specialist.

    • Hey Thomas – There are a lot of words there! I would rather see fewer words about what you do and a few about how you do it. I like Manager better than Specialist, but what word is more likely to be found in your favorite job description? So if you remove extra words and add a few, what about this: “XXXXXX XXXXXXX Logistics and Quality Manager” Replace the X’s with a word or two that describes your how (e.g. Strategic, Innovative, etc).

  • Thomas Benson

    How does “Customer Service Logistics and Quality System Specialist” read? I am trying not to be handcuffed into ‘customer service’ or ‘quality’ only. It seems that using only one of those terms limits attention! Also, I was wondering if Manager is better than Specialist.

    • Hey Thomas – There are a lot of words there! I would rather see fewer words about what you do and a few about how you do it. I like Manager better than Specialist, but what word is more likely to be found in your favorite job description? So if you remove extra words and add a few, what about this: “XXXXXX XXXXXXX Logistics and Quality Manager” Replace the X’s with a word or two that describes your how (e.g. Strategic, Innovative, etc).

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  • Vishal

    Hi Tim,

    I want to get into the world of CAD design, and am looking for an opportunity as a Trainee CAD Designer. Below is the current personal (or positioning) statement I am using at present on my CV. Would appraciate your views and advice. Thank you.

    “An enthusiastic, hardworking, creative and articulate person, who works well with people at all levels. Possessing the ability to learn and grasp new concepts whilst making correct and positive decisions where necessary. Meticulous and a highly motivated person with a responsible attitude towards work.

    Seeking challenging and rewarding opportunity as a CAD Design/Operative Trainee with a strong, progressive company to demonstrate present abilities and develop existing skills”.

    • Vishal – Thanks for offering up your statement. However, this is not really the positioning statement that I have in mind. You have shared a combination of your “objective statement” and your “career summary”. All good content in the right place, but not the short, quick read statement that I suggest. Think of your positioning statement as a headline at the top of your resume/CV. Something that quickly identifies who you are! Example for you based only on what you’ve shared: “Detail-Oriented and Motivated CAD Design Candidate” – just an example for you to “make yours”, but that is how short and to the point it should be . . .

  • Vishal

    Hi Tim,

    I want to get into the world of CAD design, and am looking for an opportunity as a Trainee CAD Designer. Below is the current personal (or positioning) statement I am using at present on my CV. Would appraciate your views and advice. Thank you.

    “An enthusiastic, hardworking, creative and articulate person, who works well with people at all levels. Possessing the ability to learn and grasp new concepts whilst making correct and positive decisions where necessary. Meticulous and a highly motivated person with a responsible attitude towards work.

    Seeking challenging and rewarding opportunity as a CAD Design/Operative Trainee with a strong, progressive company to demonstrate present abilities and develop existing skills”.

    • Vishal – Thanks for offering up your statement. However, this is not really the positioning statement that I have in mind. You have shared a combination of your “objective statement” and your “career summary”. All good content in the right place, but not the short, quick read statement that I suggest. Think of your positioning statement as a headline at the top of your resume/CV. Something that quickly identifies who you are! Example for you based only on what you’ve shared: “Detail-Oriented and Motivated CAD Design Candidate” – just an example for you to “make yours”, but that is how short and to the point it should be . . .

  • Wendy

    Hi Tim,

    I just signed up for the Job & Career Network Group and found your ideas and this blog! Thanks for helping us all out. What do you think of this, “Experienced, Results Oriented Audit Professional”?

    • Hi Wendy – Not bad. I don’t like “experienced” – that word does not differentiate you from everyone else. What else makes you special? And what else might an employer be looking for from an audit candidate?

  • Barbara B.

    Hi Tim, In trying to apply your suggestions to a positioning statement, I’ve come up with “RESULTS FOCUSED BUSINESS LAUNCH MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL”. In my recent past life, I worked in a non-profit as Associate Director of Business Operations. I’ve been involved in 2 non-profit start ups and did EVERYTHING including program implementation and oversight. I am very good at implementing but couldn’t figure out how to use that word in my statement. Perhaps I should save it for a key strength. Some of my other ideas included:
    DEVOTED MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL
    DEVOTED BUSINESS MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL
    TENACIOUS BUSINESS START UP MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL
    EFFECTIVE BUSINESS MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL
    RESULTS FOCUSED AND EFFECTIVE BUSINESS MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL

    Nothing has really come up and “bit” me as a standout statement. Would appreciate any advise you could give. Thanks!

    • Hi Barbara – Your main statement is too generic, I think. Numbering your others 1-5, I like #3 the best (begins with “Tenacious”). The others are too generic. If you are looking for a non-profit, say so. If a start-up, say so. Again, if you are specific in your statement and can support it with experience, accomplishments and strengths, you will likely be telling a pretty good story.

      What about “Tenacious Business Manager For Non-Profit Start-Ups” – the only risk with this one is will hiring managers translate “business manager” with their open position. Risks being too generic. But that is where a cover letter can help – telling them there exactly what position you are applying for . . .

  • Barbara B.

    Hi Tim, In trying to apply your suggestions to a positioning statement, I’ve come up with “RESULTS FOCUSED BUSINESS LAUNCH MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL”. In my recent past life, I worked in a non-profit as Associate Director of Business Operations. I’ve been involved in 2 non-profit start ups and did EVERYTHING including program implementation and oversight. I am very good at implementing but couldn’t figure out how to use that word in my statement. Perhaps I should save it for a key strength. Some of my other ideas included:
    DEVOTED MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL
    DEVOTED BUSINESS MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL
    TENACIOUS BUSINESS START UP MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL
    EFFECTIVE BUSINESS MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL
    RESULTS FOCUSED AND EFFECTIVE BUSINESS MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL

    Nothing has really come up and “bit” me as a standout statement. Would appreciate any advise you could give. Thanks!

    • Hi Barbara – Your main statement is too generic, I think. Numbering your others 1-5, I like #3 the best (begins with “Tenacious”). The others are too generic. If you are looking for a non-profit, say so. If a start-up, say so. Again, if you are specific in your statement and can support it with experience, accomplishments and strengths, you will likely be telling a pretty good story.

      What about “Tenacious Business Manager For Non-Profit Start-Ups” – the only risk with this one is will hiring managers translate “business manager” with their open position. Risks being too generic. But that is where a cover letter can help – telling them there exactly what position you are applying for . . .

  • Wendy

    Hi Tim,

    I just signed up for the Job & Career Network Group and found your ideas and this blog! Thanks for helping us all out. What do you think of this, “Experienced, Results Oriented Audit Professional”?

    • Hi Wendy – Not bad. I don’t like “experienced” – that word does not differentiate you from everyone else. What else makes you special? And what else might an employer be looking for from an audit candidate?

  • Syed Moqaddas

    Hi Tim:

    please help me make my PS. I’m a HR professional with some experience in customer service. In my PS, I want to highlight my customer service attitude while dealing with my employees (current or prospective).
    thanks in advance

    • Hi Syed – You haven’t given me much to work with, but here are a few ideas:

      Employee Centered Human Resources Professional
      Customer Focused Human Resources Professional
      HR Team Leader Focused On Employee Needs

      Short and to the point – to introduce you. Then you can let the rest of your resume/CV support and add detail to how you’ve done this in the past.

  • Syed Moqaddas

    Hi Tim:

    please help me make my PS. I’m a HR professional with some experience in customer service. In my PS, I want to highlight my customer service attitude while dealing with my employees (current or prospective).
    thanks in advance

    • Hi Syed – You haven’t given me much to work with, but here are a few ideas:

      Employee Centered Human Resources Professional
      Customer Focused Human Resources Professional
      HR Team Leader Focused On Employee Needs

      Short and to the point – to introduce you. Then you can let the rest of your resume/CV support and add detail to how you’ve done this in the past.

  • Barbara B.

    Tim, in addition to earlier posting, how about “Successful Customer Driven Start Up Manager?”

  • Barbara B.

    Tim, in addition to earlier posting, how about “Successful Customer Driven Start Up Manager?”

  • How about “Results Oriented and Innovative Lean-Six Sigma Manufacturing Professional “?

    • Hey Tamara – That’s a good start! The key is to make sure that you really have a lot of great examples of “results-oriented” and “innovative”. Without the examples, the words will fall flat.

  • How about “Results Oriented and Innovative Lean-Six Sigma Manufacturing Professional “?

    • Hey Tamara – That’s a good start! The key is to make sure that you really have a lot of great examples of “results-oriented” and “innovative”. Without the examples, the words will fall flat.

  • Richard R.

    Hi Tim,

    Just found your site and think it’s great! I’m in the middle of a job search and have found it very helpful, both from a practical standpoint as well as a being uplifting. I feel that you are honestly trying to help and care about others. It’s rare now to stumble across something that seems so genuine. Thanks for that!

    With all of that said, and the reason I’m weighing in on this topic, is my own struggles with this very issue. The issue of branding myself. I’ve tried these types of branding exercises, have looked at the headlines and summaries of my LinkedIn connections, and have read a lot of branding statements/headlines/personal summaries in a host of other forums, including this one.

    Sorry to say (and I am saying this with all respect and humility (with a dash of consternation and frustration)), I find these types of statements to be somewhat homogenous and “lifeless”. They all seem to blend together like one huge cacophony of marketing-speak. Like I said, I have my own set of statements very similar to the ones I see here:

    Versatile IT professional yada yada yada
    Experienced IT professional blah blah blah
    Ad nauseum

    I recently read a bunch of summaries of my LinkedIn contacts to a friend, and, at the end, she thought they were all the same summary. They were all good, professional, and obviously well thought out…and forgettable. I wonder if this is what happens when we submit resumes or the (dreaded) cover letter (I know, Tim. I read your excellent cover letter blog and tend to agree with you) to a recruiter, HR manager, or hiring manager. Does it all just seem like noise at this point? Is it trite and overused?

    I’ve recently started playing around with the idea of being a little more creative and “out there”, with “out there” definitely being relative as I tend to be a relatively conservative person in my professional life.

    I’ve thought about branding myself more like a company than a person.

    Something like a tagline.

    Carpe Diem. Motivated. Experienced. Versatile.
    Need experience? Need versatility?

    …you get the idea.

    I’m wondering if Tim or anyone here could give me some input. Maybe you can make me feel better about branding myself in the standard way. Tell me a good branding statement works, even if it sounds like every other professionals’. Tell my what I’m considering is crazy and too far out there for large corporations and HR departments. Any other honest input is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hey Richard – Thanks for an excellent comment. And you are right to be cautious about your positioning statement. Others have had the same concern. The key as I have said is to not just pick a set of buzz words, but rather to choose words that uniquely define you. Hard to do.

      But if you can find those unique words and support them throughout your materials, you will be in better shape than most. You can certainly try to come up with “out there” words, but please test them with friends as you can get too cute and lose favor awfully quick.

      So glad to have you as a reader and I hope to earn your trust each and every day! Thanks for the critical feedback – always welcome!

  • Richard R.

    Hi Tim,

    Just found your site and think it’s great! I’m in the middle of a job search and have found it very helpful, both from a practical standpoint as well as a being uplifting. I feel that you are honestly trying to help and care about others. It’s rare now to stumble across something that seems so genuine. Thanks for that!

    With all of that said, and the reason I’m weighing in on this topic, is my own struggles with this very issue. The issue of branding myself. I’ve tried these types of branding exercises, have looked at the headlines and summaries of my LinkedIn connections, and have read a lot of branding statements/headlines/personal summaries in a host of other forums, including this one.

    Sorry to say (and I am saying this with all respect and humility (with a dash of consternation and frustration)), I find these types of statements to be somewhat homogenous and “lifeless”. They all seem to blend together like one huge cacophony of marketing-speak. Like I said, I have my own set of statements very similar to the ones I see here:

    Versatile IT professional yada yada yada
    Experienced IT professional blah blah blah
    Ad nauseum

    I recently read a bunch of summaries of my LinkedIn contacts to a friend, and, at the end, she thought they were all the same summary. They were all good, professional, and obviously well thought out…and forgettable. I wonder if this is what happens when we submit resumes or the (dreaded) cover letter (I know, Tim. I read your excellent cover letter blog and tend to agree with you) to a recruiter, HR manager, or hiring manager. Does it all just seem like noise at this point? Is it trite and overused?

    I’ve recently started playing around with the idea of being a little more creative and “out there”, with “out there” definitely being relative as I tend to be a relatively conservative person in my professional life.

    I’ve thought about branding myself more like a company than a person.

    Something like a tagline.

    Carpe Diem. Motivated. Experienced. Versatile.
    Need experience? Need versatility?

    …you get the idea.

    I’m wondering if Tim or anyone here could give me some input. Maybe you can make me feel better about branding myself in the standard way. Tell me a good branding statement works, even if it sounds like every other professionals’. Tell my what I’m considering is crazy and too far out there for large corporations and HR departments. Any other honest input is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hey Richard – Thanks for an excellent comment. And you are right to be cautious about your positioning statement. Others have had the same concern. The key as I have said is to not just pick a set of buzz words, but rather to choose words that uniquely define you. Hard to do.

      But if you can find those unique words and support them throughout your materials, you will be in better shape than most. You can certainly try to come up with “out there” words, but please test them with friends as you can get too cute and lose favor awfully quick.

      So glad to have you as a reader and I hope to earn your trust each and every day! Thanks for the critical feedback – always welcome!

  • mukolo uche

    I am a Technical support operator. What do you think about customer-driven service and problem solving support technician? I will love to get a feedback. thanks in advance

    • Hi Mukolo – Unfortunately, sounds like a lot of buzz words to me. And when you do a job that everyone understands (tech support), I think you can speak in a more plain and simple language. Words like “helpful”, “tech-savvy” or “tech smart” – or you can talk about your “passion for helping people” or “solving customer problems”. Good luck!

  • mukolo uche

    I am a Technical support operator. What do you think about customer-driven service and problem solving support technician? I will love to get a feedback. thanks in advance

    • Hi Mukolo – Unfortunately, sounds like a lot of buzz words to me. And when you do a job that everyone understands (tech support), I think you can speak in a more plain and simple language. Words like “helpful”, “tech-savvy” or “tech smart” – or you can talk about your “passion for helping people” or “solving customer problems”. Good luck!

  • Wendy

    Thanks for the feedback Tim. How about this: “Highly Ethical, Results Oriented Audit Professional”? or maybe “Highly Ethical, Detail Oriented Audit Professional”

  • Wendy

    Thanks for the feedback Tim. How about this: “Highly Ethical, Results Oriented Audit Professional”? or maybe “Highly Ethical, Detail Oriented Audit Professional”

  • Lori

    Hi Tim — I just saw this and your suggestions are great. I am having a hard time with my statement because I have had my hands in alot of things as a General Operations Manager for a Marketing Research Firm. My key strengths are, ability to execute multiple concurrent projects in a complex environment. Skilled in achieving results through others by building relationships and leveraging resources. Creative problem-solver with the ability to simplify task execution, bringing order to chaos, and removing barriers to success. Highly effective interpersonal and leadership skills. In other words the cohesive glue that keeps a company running smoothly.

    Any ideas on what I should use? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

  • Lori

    Hi Tim — I just saw this and your suggestions are great. I am having a hard time with my statement because I have had my hands in alot of things as a General Operations Manager for a Marketing Research Firm. My key strengths are, ability to execute multiple concurrent projects in a complex environment. Skilled in achieving results through others by building relationships and leveraging resources. Creative problem-solver with the ability to simplify task execution, bringing order to chaos, and removing barriers to success. Highly effective interpersonal and leadership skills. In other words the cohesive glue that keeps a company running smoothly.

    Any ideas on what I should use? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

  • Brian Dziwulski

    Tim,
    This is all so helpful. How does “Strategic, Growth-Oriented Leader” sound?
    Brian

    • @Brian – A couple of thoughts . . . I would add you function into the statement to instantly tell the reader what you do (e.g. Marketing). As I’ve said before, these words risk feeling a bit trite if not strongly backed up in the career summary, key strengths and accomplishments (especially in your most recent job). Do that and it can work. Don’t and you can look like everyone else who uses them without merit. Look also for words that help you more uniquely. What about you/the way you work makes you stand out from the rest?

      @Lori – My thoughts for you: I’m not sure what “General Operations Manager” means exactly. Are you office manager, project manager, COO? One of the purposes of the statement is to quickly position and link you with a specific role within your target company. What is an example of target job title for you? Your strengths include a lot of what I would call very valuable but somewhat generic strengths. Put someone else’s name at the top of that description – does it still work? If so, look for words that define you more specifically. I like “the glue” part. Will need more info before I can offer more. Reply back here or send me an email at tts28@me.com. OK?

  • Brian Dziwulski

    Tim,
    This is all so helpful. How does “Strategic, Growth-Oriented Leader” sound?
    Brian

    • @Brian – A couple of thoughts . . . I would add you function into the statement to instantly tell the reader what you do (e.g. Marketing). As I’ve said before, these words risk feeling a bit trite if not strongly backed up in the career summary, key strengths and accomplishments (especially in your most recent job). Do that and it can work. Don’t and you can look like everyone else who uses them without merit. Look also for words that help you more uniquely. What about you/the way you work makes you stand out from the rest?

      @Lori – My thoughts for you: I’m not sure what “General Operations Manager” means exactly. Are you office manager, project manager, COO? One of the purposes of the statement is to quickly position and link you with a specific role within your target company. What is an example of target job title for you? Your strengths include a lot of what I would call very valuable but somewhat generic strengths. Put someone else’s name at the top of that description – does it still work? If so, look for words that define you more specifically. I like “the glue” part. Will need more info before I can offer more. Reply back here or send me an email at tts28@me.com. OK?

  • Michael P

    Hi Tim,

    Great blog! Wonderful dialogue which gives me much food for thought. I agree with Richard R above about homogenizing my positioning statement and how to reflect my uniqueness. The temptation is to develop a positioning statement which is agreeable to everyone and doesn’t polarize an audience… Since we are selling ourselves, we want develop a close bond with “loyalists”, right?!

    I struggle with how to position the following – I define myself by the challenges I take which usually consist of big and audacious projects that are high-risk and high-profile, and the results are well received by the customer. I am always looking to challenge convention and seek innovative solutions to problems.

    Does “Innovative Leadership-driven Program Management Professional” make sense?

    Michael

    • Hi Michael – Yes, a lot of people want to create a resume and positioning statement that will attract a lot of attention. There’s a fear of pushing people away with too specific of a tag-line. But i would suggest you are better to be more specific when you can. Work to attract the specific companies and hiring managers with relevant and tangible content that they sit up in their chairs for . . .

      Your suggestion runs the risk of being too generic. And again the key if you use one of these is to very quickly support this statement in your career summary and key strengths sections with specifics as to what you mean. The only word in your statement that directly supports your self definition is “innovative”. That is a good word, but one that is over-used so hiring managers may run past it.

      What about: “Program Manager With Expertise In Complex, High-Profile Projects” – not sure that’s right but it uses your words and strengths in a way that your original statement does not . . . maybe you can come up with a few more like this. Then show a few friends the list and see which one feels most true to you and most compelling for the jobs you are targeting. Good luck!

  • Michael P

    Hi Tim,

    Great blog! Wonderful dialogue which gives me much food for thought. I agree with Richard R above about homogenizing my positioning statement and how to reflect my uniqueness. The temptation is to develop a positioning statement which is agreeable to everyone and doesn’t polarize an audience… Since we are selling ourselves, we want develop a close bond with “loyalists”, right?!

    I struggle with how to position the following – I define myself by the challenges I take which usually consist of big and audacious projects that are high-risk and high-profile, and the results are well received by the customer. I am always looking to challenge convention and seek innovative solutions to problems.

    Does “Innovative Leadership-driven Program Management Professional” make sense?

    Michael

    • Hi Michael – Yes, a lot of people want to create a resume and positioning statement that will attract a lot of attention. There’s a fear of pushing people away with too specific of a tag-line. But i would suggest you are better to be more specific when you can. Work to attract the specific companies and hiring managers with relevant and tangible content that they sit up in their chairs for . . .

      Your suggestion runs the risk of being too generic. And again the key if you use one of these is to very quickly support this statement in your career summary and key strengths sections with specifics as to what you mean. The only word in your statement that directly supports your self definition is “innovative”. That is a good word, but one that is over-used so hiring managers may run past it.

      What about: “Program Manager With Expertise In Complex, High-Profile Projects” – not sure that’s right but it uses your words and strengths in a way that your original statement does not . . . maybe you can come up with a few more like this. Then show a few friends the list and see which one feels most true to you and most compelling for the jobs you are targeting. Good luck!

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  • BoBMCKEEASDC999

    All this BS, just say the truth without sounding artificial.
    People read through BS
    Show you have morals and values and that is what counts

    • Hey Bob and thanks for a straight up comment. I like people who say it like they see it. I’ve learned a lot since I wrote this post. And agree that some phrases I originally suggested are beginning to feel a bit trite.

  • Sandra

    Hi Tim,
    I am a fairly recent college graduate (just over one year) and I am trying to better position myself in the job market. I want people to know that I am a creative graphic designer, but they don’t need to be afraid of how little experience I have or how young I am. This is what I have thus far for a positioning statement:
    Dedicated Graphic Designer and Problem-Solver

    • Hi Sandra – Smart to be thinking on this topic now. It’s a great idea to establish your unique value early in a career. And be able to explain it to others. So you are highlighting “dedicated” and “problem-solver” and the key for you is to be able to explain why those matter to others. You should really think about how these make you more interesting to a potential partner, client or promoter. I say this to you because, having used a lot of graphic designers, those two phrases aren’t what I’d think of first. So I’m curious as to why you chose these. I have my own ideas, but I’d love to hear more!

    • Sandra

      Well, I chose those because I find them to be qualities I try to foster that many of my BFA-pursuing peers in school didn’t. I think good design has direction and purpose, not just pretty pictures. Being pragmatic and logical are things I value, especially in my work.

    • Agree with your comments about the value of direction and purpose in design. I like the four new words you’ve introduced (direction, purpose, pragmatic, logical) better than your original ones (dedicated, problem-solver). How is your search coming along?

    • Sandra

      It could be better. There are very little openings in my field in the area, particularly for entry-level applicants. I have been working on expanding my network to supplement the lack of job openings I’ve been seeing.

    • Smart move. The networking is crucial – especially during slow times!

  • I love that you’ve taken the time to respond to everyone and have given them useful feedback.

    • Glad to help as time allows! Feels good connecting with people this way 🙂

  • Lilian

    Hi Tim

    Can you help me with my positioning statement ” Analytical, Detail–Oriented and Teamwork-Driven Risk Professional”?

    I really appreciate your help.

    Thanks
    Lilian

    • Hi Lillian – Your statement falls into a dangerous category. I’ve learned a few things since writing this original post. And by helping people think through their statements. A lot of the phrases are now becoming over-used and risk sounding generic. Of course you can try these – especially if they really do the best job of describing you. But I would work to find replacements for “detail-oriented” and the like. So that you are better able to stand out from the 5 other resumes (or more) that use the same phrases. What are some other words you can use to describe you in a more unique way and send a strong early signal to the reader that you are a great fir for the position?

  • Sonny

    Hi Tim,
    I have been out of work for a few years but am keen to get back out there again. Here’s what I Have so far:
    -Client Focused Contract Developer And Project Manager
    -Internationally Experienced Project Manager
    – Internationally Experienced Outsourcing Development Project Manager
    What do you think?

    • Hey Sonny – They key with all of these is how you support them throughout your career summary and work accomplishments. It also matters whether the industry, company and hiring manager/HR person sees your statement as relevant to their open position. For example, if “client-focused” is a given, you are not saying much on how you do your job. If, on the other hand, your industry is typically not client focused and saying so makes you different and more valuable, then there’s value. Same with “internationally-experienced”. You can use the positioning statement to emphasize a key part of your background when you know that emphasis will be especially relevant to a particular job. Does that help?

    • Sonny

      Yes, you and your website are immensely helpful. I am using your templates to redraft my cover letter and resume. Do you have any examples of what they look like when complete?

    • Yes, Sonny. Will e-mail you my samples of those templates in action!

    • Doug

      Hi Tim,
      It’s been a while since I contacted you. Have gone from placed to displaced (again). Your expertise and helpfulness are most appreciated. I followed through this entire post and now am confused by how my positioning statement should be, because of the your “maturing” responses through the time. I want to place myself in operations and business development, with some brand-building marketing emphasis. All this is too much for a PS. How would you improve this:

      Driving Business Performance & Revenue Improvement Through Operational Excellence

      Also, can I see samples of your templates in action?
      Thanks!

    • Hey Doug – Just sent you those templates. And, yes, apologies re: the maturing process. But I learn just like everyone else. 🙂

      Your PS is a little long for my original purpose – it is also not very defining (how many people other than you could use this exact same statement atop their resume?). Can you get more specific?

      “Producing Higher Profits Through Operational Leadership” is slightly better and is more singularly focused on the perhaps more obvious/tangible benefit of a strong operations team. Especially if you want to emphasize efficiency.

      Problem is that you are trying to create a brand with an emphasis in “operations, business development and marketing” – these are three very different functions. In this market, I would pick one focus on the resume so that you look like a great fit (especially your resume needs to work a little harder). When you get the interview, you can make yourself more valuable by highlighting addition abilities or areas of emphasis (marketing, biz dev).

    • Doug

      Hey Tim — thanks on the reply and templates. No apologies necessary — this is a learning process for all.

      I’m challenged to be more specific because my background is varied in different services industries, and in small companies. I’ve worn all the hats, and like it. A Biz Dev focus is most consistent with my most previous positions, and I acknowledge that this probably is my best selling point, but I want to be in operations. I’m having trouble reconciling the two.

    • It is a challenge many have! You are most likely going to be hired in today’s market for a job where you are most qualified. Skills aren’t transferring as well these days. Employers want you to line up nicely with job descriptions (lowers the risk). Specialists are winning out over generalists . . .

    • Doug

      So true, but gives me a problem to overcome. Based on this, I think my focus has to be in biz dev. Can my PS still be “Producing Higher Profits Through Operational Leadership”? Or do you suggest some alteration? Thanks!

    • No. They have to line up consistently. Unless you are able to tell your story via networking (in lieu of a resume alone).

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  • Ian R.

    Hi Tim

    I have been following you for almost a year now (here & LinkedIn). I am a recent undergrad; BA with a focus in business. I wasn’t sure your methods would work for me since the bulk of my experience is as an environmental services employee (janitor), but thought I would give it a shot anyway.

    Quality
    Focused Environmental Services Professional

    • Ian R.

       Not sure why it formatted that way.

      Quality Focused Environmental Services Professional

  • Jaffecd

    Hi Tim,

    Would love your feedback on my positioning statement: Forward Thinking Large Corporate Treasury Professional

  • Jaffecd

    Hi Tim,

    Would love your feedback on my positioning statement: Forward Thinking Large Corporate Treasury Professional

  • Jaffecd

    I should also let you know where my experience lies so that you can give me more suggestions.  I have worked in the banking industry for the past 13 years. For the first 7 years, I was a Relationship Manager and Cash Management specialist. For the last 6 years, I specialized in Cross-Border payments. This position was a combination of sales, account management and product specialist. Here are some of the descriptors in my resume:· 
    Strategic Business, Market and Sales Planning        · Revitalizing Stagnant and
    Declining Sales

    · Account and Portfolio Management                         · Strong analytics and problem
    solving skills

    · Relationship Building and Maintenance                     ·
    Extremely proactive                        

    ·
    Excellent communication abilities                              ·
    Motivated / Self-starter       

    Your suggestions are so very welcome!

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  • Passionate and persuasive presenter of problems solved. 

    I am in software presales (sales engineer). 

  • Jake

    I thought for a while and came up with “Committed and Passionate Family Life Specialist.” Is that appropriate? Love the idea of a positioning statement. 

    • Hi Jake – Sorry for a late reply – a few thoughts: 1) Assuming that “family life specialist” is an understood and clear definition of what you do and/or a description of the benefit you offer in your regular role? 2)  Committed and passionate sound pretty good based on the industry (social work?) but how unique are those characteristics?  Are there other characteristics that really help you stand out?  The key with these is to be clear and unique while delivering a statement that you can backup and reinforce throughout your career summary and accomplishments.

    • Jake

      Your questions have made me think more about a successful and unique positioning statement. Part of my confusion is that there are so many positions that can define what I do (my degree is Family & Consumer Sciences, which includes psych, soc, human development, consumer issues, etc). For example, in the entry-level positions I am targeting there are family resource coordinators, project coordinations, child life specialists, social aide workers, case managers, community outreach coordinators, youth counselors, etc. 

      Is the positing statement a seldom-changed personal brand or does it change to match the job description that you are targeting? I feel like my resume is getting turned away simply because, like you said, “committed” and “passionate” are no-brainers in this industry and “family life specialist” is somewhat unclear. For some help, I looked into a couple of my LinkedIn recommendations and others who describe me as proactive and creative, which more clearly helps me stand out in this field…. 

      Any ideas on how to implement a successful positioning statement in a broad industry with multiple roles? Should I tailor it to each position? 

      Thanks for your insight, Tim!

  • I have a degree in Computer Science and have worked off and on as a software developer for most of my career. However, it has become quite stale, so I have been searching for a way in which to apply my broad background and various talents towards a new career direction. So, what do you think about something like “Inspirational Design Visionary”? OK, it sounds over-the-top, but my career needs some serious CPR, and I’ll go ahead and tackle the design of almost anything (software, electronics, home improvement, guitars, natural languages, church liturgies, business logos, highways, etc.)

    • Hey Ken – thanks for sharing your story and proposed statement. I really dislike “visionary” – seems like a word for others to use about you. But I think you can do something with “Inspirational Design” assuming you can back it up and be ready to show examples. As well as stories about how your design work creates financial value for companies that hire you.

    • Hey Ken – thanks for sharing your story and proposed statement.  I really dislike “visionary” – seems like a word for others to use about you.  But I think you can do something with “Inspirational Design” assuming you can back it up and be ready to show examples.  As well as stories about how your design work creates financial value for companies that hire you.

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  • Great articles. By the way, the link to the article given at the end is wrong, with /blog missing. The correct URL is https://timsstrategy.com/blog/the-one-question-job-seekers-struggle-to-answer/ . Thought you should know.

    • Hi Kokab – Thanks for the feedback and for catching the link issue – now fixed. 🙂


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