Protect Your Personal Brand

We don’ t like copycats

So, after more than 15 years writing resumes, I finally decided to write a blog post on this site. Why? Because my job as your resume writer and career coach is not just to hand you a beautiful and effective resume but to empower you, educate you, and guide you in using it. Similar to how you teach your patients to continue with their treatment regimens and/or how you inform family members of the importance of follow-up plans.

Today I want to ‘talk to you’ about protecting your resumes.

Nurses are collectively very kind and giving individuals; they like to share and help. I am here to campaign on your behalf! I am your career advocate and I have to tell you…sometimes you have to take care of yourself first so that you can take care of others. Here is what happened and led to this post.

A repeat client decided to show her friends and colleagues the beautiful resume she partnered with me in creating. Note: the resumes that I write are very specific with nuances that differentiate the nurse and so no other nurse should be able to insert their name in it. But, that is exactly what her “friend” did.  Yup, she grabbed my client’s resume, slapped her name on it, and got the job my client was also interested in (she had not had the chance to apply and thankfully so because it would have been embarrassing for both of them).  And, no, my client did not give her permission to do this. She was simply trying to help her friend by sharing the resume that has gotten so much praise. The intention was inspiration not imitation. Tsk, tsk.

Today I decided that every final resume that leaves my desk will be locked with security passwords to protect your investment, your personal brand, and opportunities. (Yes, you will still receive a copy you can edit on your own as needed.)

I’d like to leave you with this word: If your friends ask to see your resume –you CAN kindly decline.

“I am sorry but this is a personal document that I use and I really need to protect it.”

“My resume writer told me that this information is copyrighted so while it is about me, it is an original creation and cannot be used by others.”

I understand that you want to help others and that is great but help yourself and protect your investment first. If you were willing to invest in your future and create opportunities for yourself, so should they. They really can.  Here are some measures you can take to protect your resume.

1. Don’t re-purpose your entire resume online. When you set up social media profiles, just copy and paste portions of your resume and indicate somewhere for them to contact you for the entire resume. Not only is this a wise way of protecting your resume copy but it makes for a more interesting social networking profile. If you decide to go ahead and make the entire resume available for download anyway, please perform the next step.

2. Protect your MS doc with a password and vet the inquiries received online/ via social networking sites. Instructions for MS 2003 protection; Instructions for MS 2007.

3. Set up a temporary free email with Gmail or Yahoo so you can better track who you have sent your resume to.  Once your job search is over, you can just get rid of that account.

4. Email the PDF version that we give you and not the MS Word.

Don’t get discouraged or concerned about job searching online. The point is for you to execute steps that will abate any unfavorable use of your documents.

So this concludes my advice for today. Don’t worry. I will be here to remind you that we work very hard on producing documents that speak to you only and that grab attention. I bet this person who stole my client’s identity will not be able to live up to what we promoted on paper.  #karma

Don’t worry about my client either. She hired me for a complete revamp and her resume is going to be dynamic and protected. 🙂

Has this ever happened to you? What did you do? Do you have another way you protect your identity or resume while you job search? Share with your nursing community below.


Rosa Elizabeth Vargas
Executive Resume Writer and Coach

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Author: Rosa Elizabeth, CMRW

Rosa Elizabeth Vargas is a uniquely credentialed executive resume writer with four of the Career Industry’s Top Resume Writing Certifications. She also offers a robust corporate background, blending hiring management accountabilities and HR.

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