If you’re planning on starting a new job search in 2022, you need to know that how you search for a job has changed greatly over the years. Whether you’re a new grad, management professional, seasoned executive, or C-Suite office holder, you need to ensure that you have the “dos” and “don’ts” of today’s job search necessities down to a science BEFORE you start your search. One necessary tool for today’s jobseekers is having an optimized LinkedIn profile! A few easy “dos” and “don’ts” to consider when preparing your LinkedIn profile for a job search….
DO customize your URL and put a link to your profile on your resume. If your name is already taken, use a middle initial, special numbers, or a credential to make your URL unique.
DON’T use the URL that LI assigns you when you create your initial profile.
DO have a customized banner at the top of your profile. There are plenty of free sites to create a banner on, or, if you aren’t into doing your own thing, hire a designer to create one for you. This is where you can show a little personality on your profile while still looking like a professional.
DON’T use the LI default banner or your current company logo – if you are in a job search.
DO post a recent, professional-looking headshot of you (and ONLY you) in the photo.
DON’T post of photo of you cropped out of a group photo at an event or a photo of you from 20+ years ago – you don’t want to see shocked faces when you arrive for your interview!
DO display your name as it appears on your resume and what you go by in the workplace. Add any relevant credentials after your name.
DON’T use a nickname or outdated maiden name just because that’s the name you had when you created your original profile.
DO create a branding statement for the top of your resume and in the headline section of your LI profile. Use descriptive, high-impact, and industry-specific keywords to communicate your brand. You have 220 characters to brand yourself here – make them count!
DON’T use your current job title (LI default) in your headline – ugh…so boring!
DO include a targeted, keyword-saturated career summary at the beginning of your resume and in your LinkedIn profile (About) section. Remember to write toward the job/industry you’re targeting. You have 2,600 characters to write your story – use them to your advantage!
DON’T bypass this section – and don’t just make it paragraphs of boring text – readers will lose interest in you and your qualifications immediately. Use bullets to separate sections that give a brief synopsis of your skills, experience, and achievements. Show the value YOU can offer in one quick read!
DO put your most up to date and relevant information on your resume and LinkedIn profile. Include achievements in bullet lists and job titles that are in line with what is on your resume.
DON’T include your entire career history-only jobs that are relevant to your current career goals. Stay away from posting proprietary or confidential information in this section.
DO include all of your relevant degrees. Undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral, etc.
DON’T include the years if you graduated 10+ years ago, or information about what you did in college unless it is pertinent and relevant.
DO list certifications/licenses that are relevant to your career goals. If you are currently in the process of getting a certification/license, then just add it with the expected date of receiving the credential.
DON’T list actual license numbers (hello identity fraud???) on LI or include outdated information that is no longer active (unless it matters if you had it in the past).
DO use industry-specific keywords/skills on this list. Be descriptive and ensure that your skills are in line with your level, job skills, experience, etc. “Pin” your top 3 skills at the beginning of this section. LI does this automatically – you need to ensure that the top 3 are truly, well, the top 3!
DON’T list bland words like “Leader” or “Projects”. Focus on stronger terms – “Executive Leadership” or “Project Management”.
DO include your memberships in professional organizations (especially in industry-specific organizations). List your role in each organization (Member, Board Member, Committee Chair, etc.).
DON’T list organizations that you haven’t been affiliated with for years.
DO include recent volunteer work or past work that may be relevant to your current job search goals. Include any leadership positions with organizations or special events you chaired.
DON’T put in volunteer work from 20+ years ago or if it was an event that was a one-hour commitment!
DO look at all the additional sections LI offers (Patents, Projects, Honors/Awards, Courses, Publications, Languages, etc.).
DON’T add a section just to add a section. You want to have relevant and informative content on your profile – not uninformative fluff that takes up space.
DO give/request recommendations from clients, colleagues, supervisors, etc. Encourage those giving you recommendations to make them achievement/leadership-focused, so that the best you have is what they are talking about. You should have recommendations that are as current as possible.
DON’T use recommendations that are filled with typos or information that is outdated/unmeaningful.
DO check your settings and ensure that they are aligned with how you want to be seen, who you want to be able to see you, etc.
DON’T turn your profile completely off to public viewing. What’s the point of being on LI if nobody can see you?
DO make the profile unique to YOU. Make sure you can back up all the information you have put out there during an interview, and ultimately on the job for your next employer. DON’T take information from a friend’s or colleague’s profile or include skills/achievements that you can’t own. Your LinkedIn profile is a living document – keep it current and fresh. Finally – you have optimized the information on your profile, now you need to network! Engage with others by posting and commenting to get your name/profile seen by more people!
Many times, someone will look at the price of having a professional resume writer develop their resume and wonder if it is worth the cost. There’s a way to put the cost of a professional resume service into perspective: How much will it cost you to stay unemployed and searching for a job?
Say you are hoping to find a job that pays $52,000 a year to make this exercise easy. That means your pay before taxes is $1,000 because there are 52 weeks in a year. If you have been looking for a job and nobody is calling you back, your resume usually has a lot to do with that, so your current resume and job search methods have already cost you however many weeks you’ve been using them.
Now take a look at the prices of the various a la carte services or packages. Look at those prices in terms of the salary you are hoping to earn and the time you have been searching for a job — and think how improving your resume or distribution will improve your chances of finding that job. It may cost you less than one day’s worth of future salary to have your current resume critiqued and know how to improve it. It could be less than a week of your future salary to have a professional resume written.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll get hired with a professionally written resume, but you almost certainly will get called in for an interview, and the rest is up to you. It’s costing you quite a bit in lost wages to use an inferior resume that is not getting results.
How Much Detail Should A Professional Resume Have?
A professional resume is like a high-quality photograph of your career. Within that photograph, you can see incredible detail. If you have the capability to zoom in on a section, that detail is easier to see clearly. But the photograph doesn’t show you everything about the subject, does it? If you want to find out more than you see in the photograph, you need to either look at more pictures or actually talk to the person in the portrait.
Because your resume is a limited look at who you are and how you would fit into a potential job opening, the reader is looking for details that fit their criteria:
Does this applicant have the credentials we need for the position?
Does this applicant have the professional skills we need for the position?
Does this applicant have assets that could compensate for a lack of credential or skill?
As a result, the details in your professional resume need to be details that matter to the reader. Keeping your “skills” section professional, for instance, means that your love of live action role play probably isn’t what they are looking for. On the other hand, if you are applying for a job that involves the ability to create costumes and characters, it might be exactly what they want.
When you look at samples of professional resumes there are a variety of details in each one. Each resume has been carefully edited for the inclusion of the types of detail the potential employer is looking for. There will be a right time to share an enthusiasm for a hobby, but your resume will be much more professional and much more attractive to that potential employer if the details on your resume are applicable to the job opening.
Avoiding Red Flags When Updating Your Professional Resume
One of the red flags an interviewer looks for is inconsistency in your information. If you have updated your professional resume, take the time to look at your cover letter and online information carefully to make sure they all match. I’m not saying to keep a falsehood consistent because lying is never a good idea, but I am saying that if you are not updating everything when you refresh one thing it eventually will look like you lied because the records are inconsistent. This is an easy trap to fall into because there are so many places your professional information can be found. If you have recently taken a seminar on a specialty in your field, you may remember to put it on your resume but forget about your LinkedIn profile. Do that three times and your online brand is lacking three important pieces of information about you. Do that ten times, and an interviewer will wonder what’s going on. This is also an easy trap to avoid! All you need to do is understand that updating your professional resume involves more than the pages you print out to mail with a cover letter or attach to an email. When you look at the professional resume packages offered, you’ll see that reflected. If you aren’t going to invest in a service like that, then it is a good idea to post a reminder to yourself in your resume folder that change to one means changing it all. You are a package deal; a composite of experience and training and perspective that will benefit an employer. Your professional resume ‘package’ is a composite of your online brand, resume, and any other information a potential employee can dig up. Keep your information consistent across that package and there won’t be any red flags to find.
There comes a time in your job search when it’s time to bring in the professionals. If you have been handing out the same resume that you typed up when you started looking for a job too long ago, it is time for a tune up. A professional resume compares to that so-far-ignored resume as a professional mechanic compares to somebody opening up the hood of their car, opening up the manual, and trying to figure out what’s wrong. They both may come to the same conclusion, but the professional mechanic will fix it faster and be worth the charge for their service.
Professional resumes are useful in career searches across the entire range of industries available today. Each industry, and every job within that industry, has unique aspects that can be utilized in a resume crafted specifically for the job you are seeking. I don’t have room on this blog to list them all, but check out some sample resumes to see some of the ways a professional resume can vary.
According to the dictionary, two of the definitions/usages for professional are (1) characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession and (2) exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace. Those qualities are applicable to every job I can think of, white or blue collar. Your resume should reflect positively on you, demonstrating how you meet the standards in the job you are seeking, and how your qualities will be an asset in that position. It should show your own professionalism.
So, when is it time to get a professional resume? When you are ready to be a professional in your career search.
If you are looking for an easy way out of creating a resume you are out of luck.You will need a resume for practically everything, including a promotion within your own company.
While it will be different for every company, most will require a resume of some sort. Even for entry-level positions. This means that you need to have a resume no matter what. Not only will it save you heartache during your job search, but it will be impressive to employers who have not required a resume. By having a resume, you make it easier for potential employers and it also makes your job of “selling” yourself to the company easier. It is just a good idea to have a resume no matter what. However, there are definitely some cases where you won’t need a resume.If in the job posting it specifically says “no resume needed,” then you are in luck. Another case may be if a company has an application that they want all applicants to use instead of a resume for organization and record keeping, then you have again lucked out, but for the most part, this will not be the case. The vast majority of the time, employers want a resume from you so you better be prepared to give them what they want or they won’t give you what you want — the job. A resume is not difficult to put together if you take the time to do it.And if you really feel you can’t write an impressive resume, hire a resume service to help you out. There is no harm in having a resume, and who knows? The resume may just get you that job.
When you are out searching for a job it is very likely that you will never even see your potential employers, let alone meet them, until you get an interview.You will be giving your professional resume and applications to receptionists and other employees.
While you want to provide an image of who you are, you do not want to look unprofessional. You may feel like a fun and whimsical font is a better representation of your personality. That’s fine for informal or recreational documents, but not for your professional resume. Your font should serve two purposes: it should make your resume look professional and it should be easy to read. Using a font that does this will bring your resume–and your image–up a notch.
You may also want to avoid clip art or picture images in your resume. I once received a resume to critique that had dollar signs ($) where all the ‘S’s were and little clip art images of dollar bills throughout the document. While I got the meaning (the client was in finance), it was very distracting and, okay, very tacky-looking. Keep it clean, crisp and concise. Try not to write a resume novel. Your potential employers are reading through stacks of resumes and they want to be able to look and see immediately what makes one candidate better than another. Keeping it to a couple of pages will help keep the hiring manager from either rolling their eyes at your resume, or falling asleep.
Hopefully, these simple tips will help you understand why your professional resume is so important to creating your image and they will give you an idea of how to go about creating a professional resume that provides an image that employers want to have working for them.
After spending hours of distributing your resume, here it is.You got an interview. The one and only chance to prove that you are exactly what the company is looking for. Talk about stressful. Here are a few tips that should help you make the most of that first job interview.
The first thing you need to remember is to smile. Not only does it ease the interviewer, but they will take on the attitude you put forth, which will also help to ease your nerves.
Talk confidently. Yes, it is nerve wracking to go to a job interview, but don’t let your interviewer know that you are nervous. When you speak do not use fillers, such as “ummm,” or “hmmm.” Using fillers like those will make it seem like you do not know what you are talking about.
Be yourself. Yes you need to smile and be confident, but do not become someone you are not just for an interview. If you are hired you will be working side by side with these people and they need to know that the person they interview is going to be the same person they get when they hire you.
Practice these things before going into your interview. Think about what are some logical questions they might ask you at the interview and answer them out loud while looking in a mirror so you can make sure that you are smiling. If you think about what you want to say before you say it in the job interview, then you should be able to eliminate those unhelpful fillers.
While there are many other factors that go into securing your job, such as creating a professional and accurate resume before your interview, if you follow these tips they should help you make the most of your interview and, hopefully, help you land the job.
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