Don’t be a Word Cloud: How to avoid being a generic brand

Premierehire Executive search and leadership strategies

By Leanne Abraham, President, Premierehire

The most common mistake we find with resumes and cover letters is people trying to cover their bases so well that they actually become a generic word cloud; a well-crafted summary that just blends into the crowd.

My advice – put a stick in the ground! Get clear on what you are looking for and what you, uniquely you, have to offer. 

Your Resume – This needs to be all about accomplishments and keywords. Make sure accomplishments are specific (numbers, timelines, measurable impact) and use words like built, developed, exceeded, and achieved. Anyone can write a job description – putting what you accomplished will stand out. Also, ten years of work history is enough but if earlier work history is relevant, just list the companies or projects.  Make sure you address any gaps without raising more questions. Keep your resume under 2 pages with lots of white space.

LinkedIn, Blogs, Social Media – take the time to ensure that all of these amplify your resume.  Use LinkedIn to feature white papers, samples of your work, blogs, awards, and recommendations. Inconsistencies either say you don’t know who you are or what you want or you’re stretching the truth. Check out Roovy to profile a multi media portfolio.

Introduction /cover note – this is where you link your accomplishments and qualities to what the hiring manager is most likely looking for. If there is a job posting, address the key items and tell her why you will succeed using evidence from past results. No need to be exhaustive – just get her intrigued enough to want to meet you.

Network – Be different – stand out from the crowd. Lou Adler has some great advice on this read more.

FOLLOW UP!  Be creative and add value. Sometimes your first tries to reach out or follow up are just during a busy week, went to junk mail, or got lost in a pile of other candidates. If you are confident that you are a good fit, act like your contact will be thrilled to get you on his team. Keep up the dialogue until he says yes or no. If he says no, clarify when to try again.

For more advice on job search strategies please click here.

Premierehire helps companies attract, recruit and retain great people. Our exclusive SmartStart program helps build synergy fast with in depth assessments, on-boarding tools and leadership/ team development.

Job seekers, or those in career transition, can receive one-on-one guidance through our Career Development  program.

To learn more please read more at the above links or contact us at or 760-579-0248.

The Author

Leanne Abraham helps leaders and teams reach higher levels of performance. She supports leadership teams as an executive team coach, facilitator, trainer, and advisor.

She and her team also help organizations find and retain the right people through her 4 Phase Executive Search and New Leader Integration Solutions.

Leanne is a certified executive coach and team coach (EMCC); is a certified coach for Birkman Leadership and Career Assessments, has completed training with the Adizes Institute, Tony Robbins coaching, the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC), and the Global Team Coaching Institute (GTCI).

Leanne serves clients throughout the US and Canada, ranging in size and industry.

On a personal note, Leanne is an avid reader, aspiring author, student of servant leadership, mother of 2, and loves hockey and skiing. She is expanding her career coaching program to provide support to executives wanting to move up or transition and she recently completed her team coaching practicum under David Clutterbuck and GTCI.

If you are looking to elevate your team, your leadership, or your career, please contact Leanne at or book a no charge consult.

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