- 3 Resume Mistakes You’re Making and How to Correct Them Now
- 10 Places to Promote your LinkedIn Profile
Three Resume Mistakes You’re Making And How To Correct Them Now
Although job seekers tend to make many different kinds of them, there are the resume mistakes that tend to tarnish that five-second review you get from hiring managers.
Disorganized Or Unattractive Resume Format
You can preach all day about the keywords and content of a resume, but the most important principle in resume writing—you MUST have an attractive resume format if you want to be seriously considered. Messy, disorganized, unpolished resume formats say exactly that about the type of candidate you are—not to mention they are difficult to read.
If you’re making it hard for the hiring manager to find the information he or she needs to consider you for employment, you just lost your shot at the job. Someone else will have taken the time to construct a strategically laid out resume that is polished, easy-to-read, and attractive to the eye.
Call Out The Critical
Yes—keywords are extremely important. But that being said, just haphazardly throwing them into the resume is pretty much pointless. Sure, you may get past the computer scan, but when that entry-level HR rep or hiring manager prints out the resume or pulls it up on the screen to review it—if he or she can’t immediately see your qualifications you can forget about him or her investing anymore time reading it. He or she will probably just skip to the next person.
Create a bulleted section that is NOT too text-dense but is eye-catching and calls out the most important keywords relevant to the job. Put this in the top one-third of the resume to catch the employer’s attention. Again, it’s all about making the information they’re looking for easy to find.
Watch Your Text Density
Try to keep your paragraphs to a maximum of 3-5 sentences long—especially your opening career summary and personal branding section. You’ll lose the reader’s attention before you ever catch it! If it looks too text dense, he/she is not going to waste (or invest) the time in reading it.
Most hiring managers will just quickly scan your resume—just like you scan articles like this one or stories on the web. Hiring managers scan your resume briefly to see if it’s worth a more in-depth read
So let’s recap the critical points here:
- Call out the important stuff. Bold, underline, and create targeted sections with white space that draws the eye.
- Keep it between 3-5 sentences—no longer. Remember, you’re writing to catch their attention during the initial scan but also to provide compelling content for the hiring manager who will invest more time once you’ve caught his or her eye.
Of course, there are many other factors to consider when writing your resume, but these three areas are critical to that initial first impression and quick scan the hiring manager will give your resume. The pertinent information the hiring manager is looking for needs to be easy to find and eye-catching while professionally packaged in an attractive format.
Incorporate these tips into your resume and you’ll be more likely to make it past the initial scan and have the hiring manager invest more time in reading the content and calling you for the interview.
10 Places To Promote Your LinkedIn Profile
Think of your LinkedIn profile as the hub of your online identity. All of your online content should lead to your profile, and your profile’s purpose is to guide readers to call you or request your resume.
When you think of your LinkedIn profile this way, you’ll see why it’s critical to secure a custom URL for yours if you don’t already have one. You can achieve this at no cost by logging in to LinkedIn and navigating to Settings > Edit Public Profile > Create Custom URL.
Once you have a custom LinkedIn URL, what do you do with it? How can you share it with others to help drive traffic to your profile and interest to your resume?
1. Your Email Signature File
Arguably the most important place to include your LinkedIn URL is in the signature file of your email host. This feature can be accessed from your email system’s settings page. Note that this for your dedicated job search and career management email address here, not your employer, business, or personal email account.
- The simplest email signature is your name, of course, but if you’re using this email for job search and career management purposes it really should contain more information such as:
- A title or positioning statement
- A tagline or power statement
- Your personal contact information
- Your LinkedIn URL along with links to other key social networking sites.
- A link to your blog or Twitter stream, if pertinent and appropriate.
- You may wish to consider including a photo.
2. Your Bio Or Marketing Brief
Bios or marketing briefs are better suited for networking purposes (a bio presents a third-person narrative description of your brand and career story, while a marketing brief provides a richer array of information about your candidacy, impacts, and goals). Most job seekers will need one or the other, not necessarily both.
- Since the task of either of these documents is to lead the reader to learn more about you, it’s appropriate to include your LinkedIn profile URL. It can be embedded as a link or listed in full address form.
- You can also insert a QR code leading to your profile.
- Curious how else you can leverage a bio?
3. Your Business Card
Depending on your job search geographic targets, you may or may not need to do local or regional face-to-face networking as part of your search. If you are, consider making or securing a business card not affiliated with your current or most recent employer.
- Use a positioning title that echoes the one used in your LinkedIn profile headline.
- Include all of your contact information along with URLs to social networking profiles, including LinkedIn.
- You can use a QR code which leads readers to your LinkedIn profile if you like, though I would also recommend listing your URL in non-QR code form as well, since many folks do not have a QR reader or functionality.
- Don’t forget to highlight your core competencies and career brand on your business card as well.
4. Your Cover Letter
There are different kinds of cover letters – those written for job boards, companies, and recruiters to name but three. In each of these, it is vital to showcase the URL to your LinkedIn profile.
- Embed your URL as a link if possible if you are using an MS Word document (or the equivalent thereof). If you’re writing a cover email instead, either embed your URL or include the full address.
- Also ensure your URL is included on the other letters you’ll be writing as part of your job search campaign: thank you letters, follow-up letters, networking letters, referral letters, and spot opportunity letters.
5. Industry Blog Or Article Comments
As you source blog posts or articles in your areas of expertise online, find ways to interact with the material as a means of commenting on it. Most blog and article publishers offer readers the option to comment, and these comments, when leveraged fully, help disseminate your brand across the Internet.
- Only use your name as part of the comment if your content is favorable to your brand.
- If offered the option to create a profile, do so, and include your LinkedIn URL in that profile.
- Share an insight, opinion, or response to the blog post or article and include your LinkedIn profile URL in your comment.
- Keep in mind that your comments may show up in Google searches conducted on your name, so make 100% certain that you strategize how you wish to portray your brand in your contribution.
- Seek out industry or skill-related blogs and articles rather than job search blogs or articles. The key here is to post comments where recruiters and hiring executives are most likely to be reading online.
6. LinkedIn Group Discussions
LinkedIn Groups are a very powerful tool for job seekers in active or passive search mode. Join the maximum number LinkedIn allows if possible (50), blending a combination of alumni, industry, trends, geographic, and job search groups.
- Create a post schedule for your LinkedIn Groups.
- Introduce yourself to each group you’re a member of; LinkedIn will automatically link back to your profile.
- Comment on the discussions started by others in your LinkedIn Groups. Look for ways to add fresh insights, resources, and ideas that set your career brand apart.
- Source white papers, blog posts, articles, resources, events, and news items to share in your LinkedIn Groups. Introduce each one with a comment, question, or opinion to spark discussion. Again, LinkedIn will automatically link your posts back to your profile.
- All of the above also applies to LinkedIn status updates which potentially reach a broader audience than your Group posts.
7. Industry Association Forums
Ideally you are already joining industry and professional associations, most of which will likely have an online means to connect members such as forums.
- Comment on other’s discussions in the forum and include your LinkedIn profile link in your forum “signature.”
- Additionally, start your own discussions by sharing your blog posts or those of others. Ask a question or comment on the content to invite other members into the conversation. Include a link to your URL in your post.
- If the association website includes a profile feature, make sure your LinkedIn URL is highlighted there.
8. Your Own Blog
Publishing a blog is one of the simplest and best ways to demonstrate your expertise. You can establish one via WordPress.org or Blogger for free.
- Make sure you include your LinkedIn profile URL in the About Me section.
- Consider establishing a links section and adding your URL there as well.
- Showcase your blog by links to your posts on other social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter (which you can do with one click from the LinkedIn status update function).
- Add a link to your blog from your LinkedIn profile
Google+ is growing at a superfast rate and is a key social networking site to get current with for many job seekers. If you don’t have a profile already, start one today. If your LinkedIn profile has been professionally written, you should be able to adapt some of that content to make your Google+ set-up a breeze.
- List your LinkedIn profile link in your Google+ profile.
- Include it as a shortened link in any post you share on Google+.
- Add a link to your Google+ profile within your LinkedIn profile.
- If you don’t tweet now but want to demonstrate thought leadership in your target industry(ies), you should start.
- Consider registering a hash tag that reflects your thought leadership focus.
- In addition to including your hash tag, content, and Twitter handle, also include a shortened link to your LI profile in every tweet if at all possible.
If your profile has not been professionally written, leading readers to it may detract from your presentation of your career brand. Include your URL on your resume if your LinkedIn profile has been written professionally – that way you can be sure your brand will fully aligned in both documents.