A common component of the critiques I provide often include discussion around highlighting ‘brand’ names that are sometimes buried or otherwise obscured by poor formatting and / or composition. I recently reviewed a document submitted by a mid-career professional who attended Columbia University’s Teacher’s College; she failed to mention this anywhere on her first page (she had a two-page resume and given her tenure in the workplace this was perfectly acceptable). Her mention of the school looked like a footnote. Columbia is a fantastic name with which the client had an affiliation. Given her focus of her job search, strategically placing the school and something related to her work during her studies was appropriate. These things are not always readily apparent to a job seeker; however the strategy connected to including some of this information made perfect sense for this candidate.
If you are thinking of refreshing your resume let this serve as a reminder that brand names matter and can help you. A material brand name doesn’t just mean a Fortune 500 company but can also be applied to the school you attended. And brand name schools aren’t only the usual suspects in the Ivy League – if you attended a strong public or state school with a strong and vibrant alumni base, make sure you point this out prominently in both the summary section at the top of your resume (when relevant) and in a separate education section at the end of your profile. You never know what shared connections you might have with a reviewer looking at your resume; people naturally like to see where you’ve been in your past. When re-writing your resume – remember to play to your strengths and recognize that brands do matter!