Tag: resume tips


How to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out

A couple of weeks ago I did a group coaching call with my clients on the topic of LinkedIn. It was a Q&A call and one of the many questions I covered was, “How should my LinkedIn profile differ from my resume?”

How Your LinkedIn Profile Should Differ From Your Resume

The beauty of a LinkedIn profile is it can do things your resume cannot. Trust me, you want to take advantage of these features so your profile will stand out from your resume. And so it will stand out from other LinkedIn profiles.

The first difference is, a resume limits you to your employment history and professional items from the past. On your LinkedIn profile, you can share both your professional past AND your future professional goals.

You can incorporate your future professional goals in your headline and summary section. Feel free to share in these fields what it is you’re working toward using relevant keywords that will show up when recruiters’ search results when they search those same keywords. You can also incorporate your goals in the interests section. Do this by following companies and joining groups related to your career goals.

The headline and summary are also good places to show some of your personality and work philosophy. You can’t always do this on a resume.

Another great feature of LinkedIn is you can include a digital portfolio within your profile. You can add media, files, and links of samples of your work in both the summary section and in each job entry. This keeps your profile from looking “flat” and gives viewers an idea of the type of work you’re capable of.

In addition, you can showcase your writing ability by posting articles on LinkedIn on a regular basis. This is great if you like to write or are looking for a role that requires a lot of writing. These articles show up on your profile and you can share them via the newsfeed and within your groups.

While you can’t target your LinkedIn profile like you can a resume, you do have the option to add a personalized note to potential recruiters. You’ll find this feature under the “Career Interests” section when in the profile edit mode.

What You Need to Know About Your Profile Photo

The most obvious way your LinkedIn profile should differ from your resume is you should include a photo of yourself.

While there are several new resume templates in platforms like Canva that have a place for you to insert your photo, it’s still frowned upon in some industries to include your photo on your resume. But you are expected to have one on your LinkedIn profile. (In fact, it appears kind of “sketchy” if you don’t!)

You don’t necessarily have to hire a professional photographer for your picture. But it should be a photo of you looking professional. It should be one of you wearing the type of clothing typical of your chosen industry. And the background should be one of a work environment.

It amazes me how many people still will use a wedding photo of them and their spouse for their LinkedIn profile picture. Or a photo with their bestie. If you and your bestie are of the same gender, how am I supposed to know which one of you in the picture is the one I’m reading about??? Don’t ever do this!

How Your LinkedIn Profile Should NOT Differ From Your Resume

What should NOT differ from your resume is your descriptions of your past jobs. Just like on your resume, you want to include the things you accomplished in your job and the results of your work (with numbers to quantify it!).

If you choose to only list your job title, company name and dates of employment, you’re leaving a huge, gaping hole in your LinkedIn profile. Especially if a recruiter decides to save your profile to a PDF, which is an option available to them directly from your profile (see screenshot below).

 

Most job seekers aren’t aware of this option, but recruiters know about it! When anyone saves your profile as a PDF and downloads it, it pops up in a resume format. Not having all of your profile filled out, especially all your job descriptions/duties/accomplishments, will make the PDF look like a very sparse resume.

Don’t believe me? Go to your profile and click the “More” button under your headline. When you “save to PDF” and the downloaded PDF pops up, are you happy with how it looks? If not, you need to go back and fill out your profile more thoroughly.

Disclaimer:

Keep in mind the above suggestions are based on the features and functionality of the LinkedIn platform available at the date of this post. LinkedIn is notorious for changing its functionality and removing features on an extremely frequent basis (one of my biggest pet peeves). What may be accurate at the date of this post may not be accurate even a week from now.

Help With Your LinkedIn Profile:

If you’d like a critique of your own LinkedIn profile or would like to learn more about how to better use LinkedIn to your advantage, please click here to fill out the paNASH intake form.

If you become a paNASH client, you’ll also receive access to the recording from the LinkedIn group coaching call where I answered several other questions about LinkedIn including:

  • Should I purchase the Premium membership?
  • Do recruiters really use LinkedIn?
  • Do people really get jobs through LinkedIn?
  • and more!

In addition, you’ll receive access to other past group coaching recordings and invitations to future group coaching sessions.

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linkedin profile

How to Gain a Little Protection From Ageism (Part 1)

While ageism is illegal in hiring processes, it unfortunately still happens to those over 40. Also unfortunately, there’s not a lot a job seeker can do to fight it.

My clients who’ve previously experienced age discrimination often say,

“If I could just get in the door for an interview I could really market my experience and show them I’m the right person for the job. I could show them how I’m an asset for their company instead of a liability.”

But much of the discrimination comes prior to the interview, usually at the first glance of the candidate’s resume or LinkedIn profile. This is when it’s hardest to prove or fight.

The timing of the discrimination makes it darn near impossible to advance to the interview where the candidate can really show his or her competitive advantages.

So, what can a 40+ candidate do (or not do) on his or her resume and LinkedIn profile to increase the chances of landing an interview?

Several things!

What to Avoid Doing on Your Resume

There are several mistakes older job seekers make on their resumes that quickly give away their age. These are mistakes you can easily avoid and therefore increase your chances of landing an interview.

1. Avoid using outdated contact methods.

If you still have an email address ending in aol.com or hotmail.com, this just screams over 40 (more like over 50)! Instead, create a Gmail account you can use just for your job search correspondence.

Also, don’t list both a landline and a cell phone in your contact info. Only include your cell phone.

You probably also don’t need to include your mailing address since most companies no longer send snail mail. Just your city and state is fine.

2. Avoid specifying exactly how many years of experience you have.

Announcing immediately in the profile summary exactly how many years of experience you have is not always a selling point. The only time it is a selling point is if you have the same amount of years of experience as the job ad requires.

But, if for example you have 20 years of experience for a job only requiring 15 years, you probably want to re-word your summary from “20 years of experience” to either “15+ years of experience” or “extensive experience.”

3. Avoid listing jobs from more than 10 years ago.

Many candidates want to show every job they’ve ever had, but employers really only need to see the last ten years of your experience.

If basing it on requirements like the one in the example above, adjust accordingly.

4. Avoid the outdated typing rule of two spaces between sentences.

If you’re over 40, you probably took typing in high school on a type writer. And you were probably taught to put two spaces between each sentence.

Well, this rule no longer applies since people no longer use typewriters (Google it if you think I’m wrong).

So break the habit now before you give away your age! Trust me, it’s not as hard of a habit to break as I thought it would be.

5. Avoid listing outdated (or obvious) technical skills.

That software program you learned at your old job which is no longer used anywhere else – leave it off!

Also, unless the job ad specifically states Microsoft Office as a must-have skill, don’t list it. At least not the programs EVERYONE uses, like Word or Outlook. Almost everyone has (and should have) these skills so they’re kind of “a given.”

And if you do feel like you need to include Microsoft Office, indicate your level of proficiency for applicable programs if you can honestly say you have “intermediate” or “advanced” proficiency.

Or name some of the advanced features you know how to use that will be useful in the potential job.

This will make you stand out from those who only list the program names.

Next, go and start learning some of the software and platforms required for the job you’re not already familiar with.

Many programs and platforms have free demos or online tutorials you can do right from your own computer. Start there and then play with them! Then, you can at least say you have “working knowledge” of those programs.

An example would be Slack, a platform many companies are now using as a team collaboration tool.

I have a Slack channel set up for me to communicate with my clients and for them to communicate with each other (both openly and privately) in one place.

By making this available for my clients, it gives those new to Slack the opportunity learn it and add it to their skillset.

6. Avoid listing your graduation dates.

You can take your graduation dates off your education if you’ve been out of school for at least 5 years.

There’s no need to have them on your resume. (And you definitely don’t want the hiring managers doing the math in their heads from your grad date since you’re trying to protect yourself from ageism.)

Just list all the other information about your education, and use the most up-to-date name of your institution. (For example, if your alma mater’s name changed from “_____ College” to “_____ University” after you graduated, change it on your resume.)

7. Avoid including your photo.

This advice isn’t just true for older candidates. It’s true for most candidates of all ages. While it’s okay and even encouraged to have a photo on your LinkedIn profile, it’s still not widely accepted on the resume.

This is true even though there are several online resume templates with a designated space for the candidate’s photo.

But, you can appear younger to employers by using one of these more modern looking templates (check out Canva) and just deleting the placeholder for your photo.

The templates found on Canva are good if the job is in an especially creative field where graphic resume designs are more appropriate. I would advise you not use these templates if you’re seeking employment in a more traditional or conservative industry.

How to Protect Yourself from Ageism, Part 2

But what about LinkedIn? Should you include a photo there? And how far back should you go on your experience in your profile?

Stay tuned for next week’s Part 2 post!

In the meantime, get more resume writing tips and advice when you purchase my on-demand course Resumes That Get You the Interview: Surprising Secrets to Getting Your Resume Noticed.

ageism

Should You Share Your Side Hustle on Your Resume?


As a career coach I often get the question, 

“Should I put my side hustle on my resume?” 

This question comes from a variety of clients. 

Sometimes it’s from clients who still have plans to turn their side hustle into a full-time gig, but in the meantime need to find employment to help fund that dream.

Sometimes it’s from clients who started their side hustle to keep them afloat during a lay off or temporary time of unemployment.

And sometimes it’s from clients who have their side hustle strictly as a hobby or a passion.

In fact, I previously wrote a similar post, Should I Share My Passions on My Resume?


Is It Relevant?

Just like in my previous post, the answer to whether you should put your side hustle on your resume can be either “yes” or “no”. Of course this depends upon your own unique situation.

The best way to answer the question is with a question. Always ask yourself, 

“Is it relevant?”

Is your side hustle relevant to the job for which you’re applying?

Or is it relevant to the skills needed for the job for which you’re applying?

Is it relevant to show you have the “soft skills” employers now seek? (I.e. curiosity, the ability to learn, the ability to take initiative, etc.)

Is it relevant to help you land your next client?


How Your Side Hustle Makes You Marketable

In today’s job market, side hustles are no longer seen just as employment gap fillers. 

In a recent article in Fast Company magazine, the CEO of Quizlet Matt Glotzbach says that by discussing your side hustle and other self-driven learning projects in an interview, you’ll show employers your ability to understand today’s technology and to learn new skills and subjects.

And this is what employers are currently looking for!

So if it’s important to discuss this type of work experience in the interview, why wouldn’t you include it on your resume? Especially if it’s relevant to the job or it demonstrates your transferable skills.


How to Market Your Side Hustle on Your Resume

Unfortunately, a lot of people miss this opportunity. That’s because they think a resume should still look the way it did when they conducted their first job search 20 years ago.

They assume they can only include their full-time paid work under the “Experience” section of their resume.

This simply is not true. 

If you created a side hustle for whatever reason, you can include it under the “Experience” section of your resume as well. Even if your side hustle hasn’t earned you a lot of money, you’ll want to include it for the new knowledge and skills you’ve gained from it! 

Don’t worry so much about how much money you’ve made. Instead focus on what you’ve accomplished in that time. This includes:

  • The skills you’ve gained.
  • The software programs and platforms you’ve learned.
  • How you’ve been able to build relationships with strategic partners.
  • The number of clients or customers you’ve gained in a short period of time.
  • The things your customers have recognized you for.
  • Customer satisfaction feedback.
  • Any funding you’ve been able to raise.

The same thing goes for volunteer work. If you’ve volunteered your talents to a cause that’s near and dear to you AND you’ve learned a new skill while doing so, you can still include this under your “Experience” section with the job title of “Volunteer” (or whatever official title the organization gives to their volunteers). 


Connecting The Dots

Including such experience on your resume, however, does require you sometimes to connect the dots for the reader. 

While it may be obvious to you how your skills transfer to the job at hand, it may not be so obvious to the reader of your resume. 

Therefore, you need to make sure your wording is clear about how your skills transfer over to the job. 

One way to do this is to use some of the same language from the job ad.


Practice Connecting the Dots

For example, I like to challenge my own resume writing skills. I take a job ad I see posted and write a resume that includes my own experience as an entrepreneur. I include how the skills I’ve gained from that and other experiences are relevant to the job.

Since I personally am not looking for a job, I don’t submit my resume. I just use the job ad as a way to practice connecting the dots for the reader. 

This sharpens my writing skills by helping me put myself in the reader’s shoes. Also it sharpens my skills in helping my clients do the same with their own resume.

In fact, just recently I saw a job ad for an E-Commerce Lead Generation Specialist with a stand up paddle board manufacturer. Many of the sales and marketing skills required for this job are ones I’ve learned from marketing my own career coaching services. 

My past speaking engagements also meet their requirements for someone with public speaking experience. And the fact that I have my own business meets their need for someone who’s a self-starter.

Not only that, my passion for stand up paddling and my previous side-hustle of teaching beginner standup paddle boarding lessons helps me understand the needs and desires of their target market. This also shows I’m immersed in the lifestyle they’re company promotes. 

I simply re-wrote my resume to address the top concerns listed in the job ad. Then I used similar language from the job ad to show how my experience is a good fit for this specific position. 

It’s a good thing to practice even when you’re not looking for a job. By doing this simple exercise it will teach you how to write better marketing copy to your unique audience, no matter what kind of work you do.


For more resume writing tips, check out my on-demand video program Resumes That Get You the Interview: Surprising Secrets to Getting Your Resume Noticed.

side hustle on your resume

Look Out! Here Comes a Truth Bomb About Your Resume

Truth Bomb:  Your Resume is Not About You!

Shock is the reaction I usually get when I say what I’m about to say. Your resume is not about you. Thinking it is, is one of the biggest mistakes people make when writing their resume. Here’s what I mean:

A few weeks ago, I was working with two different people to help them polish up their resumes. One was a client seeking a pay raise and promotion. The other was one looking for a new job following a downsize. Resumes for both clients had the same common mistake: they were void of any results or accomplishments from their past jobs or positions. This is a HUGE mistake because that’s the one thing people reviewing resumes are looking for the most!

When I first suggested to each client we add in some results of their past work so their resume doesn’t read like a generic job ad, one said, “I was just there to do a good job, I wasn’t seeking any kind of glory.” While this is a noble approach to good work, job seekers have to understand that including accomplishments on their resume is not about them. The moment you say, “I don’t want/like to brag,” is the moment you’ve made it all about you.

Resume Truth:  It’s about them!

Including results of your past work on your resume and talking about those results in an interview or a performance review IS NOT ABOUT YOU! It’s about what you can do for the company’s bottom line, which is all the hiring manager really cares about (typically and mostly).

Your resume should always speak to your audience’s pain points by showing how you can solve their problem. The way you show this is including the results and accomplishments you’ve had when solving similar problems in your previous jobs.

The reader knows that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. They’ll want to learn more about you if you can show how you’ve excelled in the past in problem solving. But you have to speak their language. And you must connect the dots between your past experience and your audience’s current needs.

How to Make It All About Them

In order to do this, you must know something about your audience. This is why you must research the company you’re applying to. This is also why you can’t rely on one blanket resume for each job.

It’s important to really analyze the job ad to figure out what they need from the new person in that role. Start by looking at what are the top 3–5 skills listed in the requirements for the job. Can you think of a specific time when you’ve demonstrated each skill? What was the result? Can you quantify the result? How did it impact the company’s bottom line?

  • Did it increase profit or revenue? By how much?
  • Did it decrease spending? By what percentage?
  • Did it save man hours? How does that translate to dollars saved?
  • Did it increase customer satisfaction or decrease customer complaints? By what percentage?
  • Did it make processes more efficient? How much time did this save?
  • Did it boost staff morale? How much did productivity increase with this boost?

By showing the byproducts of your good work, the hiring manager can infer that you can and will produce similar results for them. Not sharing those results will leave the manager wondering if you’ll be a productive and valuable addition to the payroll. Don’t leave your audience in the dark!

The result of including results

Defining your results and being able to articulate them tactfully is one of the biggest challenges of a job search or promotion negotiation, but there is help. I work in depth with my clients on how to properly word their results and accomplishments for both their resumes and their responses to interview questions.

By doing this, my clients gain a better understanding of their skillset and greater confidence in their net worth, resulting in successful salary negotiations, higher salary offers, and better promotions.

Are you looking to get hired, earn more, or advance in your career? If so, now’s the time to learn how to do it with a little paNASH! Click here to get started.

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Why You Should Update Your Resume Every 6 Months (Re-Post)

Does your current resume get you as many interviews as you’d like? Or does it just seem to end up in a black hole in cyber space?

I have a lot of clients updating their resumes right now. Their reasons for doing so vary. Some are leaving their current company but want to continue working in their field with another company. Others are moving to a new city or state. Some are looking to change industries all together. 

Update Your Resume Every 6 Months

It’s important to keep your resume updated, even when you’re not changing careers or seeking a new job. I tell all my clients they should update their resume every six months, regardless of their current work situation. Why? Because:

  1. It’s much easier to remember what you’ve done in the past six months than trying to remember what you’ve done in the past six years.
  2. You never know when you may lose your current job and have to start looking for a new one.
  3. You may have to provide a copy of your resume for reasons other than trying to find a new job. 

For instance, if you’re up for a promotion, or if you’re asked to present or speak at a conference, you may be asked for a copy of your resume. 

Last year I worked with someone who’d been in the music industry for about 20 years and found himself suddenly out of work and looking for a job. He’d never updated his resume over the course of those 20 years. However, when I had to help him put together a new resume, he was scrambling to try to remember results, accomplishments, dates, and other necessary details for a resume. It took us a little longer to complete his resume since he’d not kept up with it during his career.

Include Results to Get Results

When making your updates to your resume, always remember to include your accomplishments and results of your hard work. This is necessary to land an interview. If your resume only lists your job duties, it will end up in a black hole in cyber space. Or worse, in the trash.

Recruiters want to see what you’ve done for your past employers. For instance, have you made them money, saved them money, saved them time, increased efficiency or improved customer satisfaction? If you can show you’ve previously done these things and can quantify them, recruiters will assume you’ll be able to do the same for their company.

Most people struggle to come up with accomplishments for their resume. I you properly word your accomplishments so your resume will get you more interviews. When you include results on your resume, you see results in your job search!

Learn How to Write a Stellar Resume

 

update your resume

Updating your resume not only helps you stay prepared for the unexpected, but it also gives you a sense of achievement, rejuvenates you, and helps you brainstorm future work opportunities and projects.

To learn how to improve your resume and get more interviews, register for the on-demand program Resumes That Get You the Interview: Surprising Secrets to Getting Your Resume Noticed. In this program I teach you how to properly word your accomplishments in a way that grabs the reader’s attention. I also provide some of the best resume advice you’ve heard in 20 years!

Related Post:

Look Out! Here Comes a Truth Bomb About Your Resume

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