The old adage that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression is familiar to many of us. When it comes to your LinkedIn profile and resume, a positive first impression is of critical importance. If you’re actively seeking a new job, now is the time to beef up your online presence in LinkedIn as well as your resume. Here are some tips to do that easily and quickly:
- Seeing Is Believing – always use a professional looking head shot on LinkedIn. It is worth spending money on a professional photograph. It will definitely help you to look more serious to a prospective employer. I do not suggest including a photo in your resume.
- Use A Credible Email Account – always use a professional-looking email account based on your name or some minor variation rather than some jokester, personal email address that risks creating a not-so-positive impression. For example, email@example.com may not get the result you’re looking for.
- Avoid Generic Job Titles – if you use job titles such as consultant or manager, the person reading your LinkedIn Profile or resume may wonder “what type of consultant?” or “manager of what?” Add to and expand on generic job titles so that it is obvious and describes specifically what you do.
- Use Meaningful Language – resist the urge to overload your resume or LinkedIn Profile with reams of meaningless job duties and responsibilities. Skinny each job down to the things that you have done that truly added value to your company and will resonate with a prospective employer.
- Address Gaps In Work Experience – we are all likely to have occasional gaps, whether big or small, in our work experience. Rather than leaving them blank for everyone to wonder about, consider filling these gaps with personal development and training activities, volunteer experience and other positive activities. If you do contract work, some gaps between contracts are somewhat self explanatory.
- Clean And Simple Style – avoid the use of crazy, uncommon fonts and colours that risk being a distraction. Stick with common fonts and a standard 11 or 12 point size. Your name and headings can be a little bigger but don’t go overboard.
- Scrap The Personal Information – do not include really personal information such as date of birth, religion, ethnicity, or reasons for leaving previous jobs as such information is just unnecessary.
- Use A PDF Instead Of A Word File – if you’re sending an electronic version of your resume, ensure that it’s a PDF file. While the formatting of a PDF file will look the same on most computers, the same cannot be said of other word processing programs, which may look radically different on another computer.
- Check And Re-Check Grammar And Spelling – and last but certainly not least, absolutely, positively check all grammar and spelling to eliminate any and all such mistakes. You may wish to consider having a co-worker, family member, or friend review it for you one last time just to be sure.