What happened to the good old resume? That one or two page typed document used to be the difference between getting a job interview and silence. Now, companies rely more on online professional profiles to evaluate job candidates. Sure, some sections in an online profile, such as experience and education, are similar to the old paper document. But, professional profile sites like LinkedIn, CrunchBase and about.me give employers a better picture of applicants as people than a typed document. With so many online profiles, though, how do you make yours stand out? Here are five tips to create a killer online professional profile.
- Write a Great Headline
Develop a strong headline that grabs the reader’s attention. For a headline to be effective, you have to incorporate who you are, what you do and what you want. Sound difficult? It’s not really. If you are a recent college graduate looking for a job, you could use the headline ” College Grad Looking for Job,” but who’d care? What if you used, “UC Berkeley 2016 Grad Seeking New Opportunities in Systems Administration. Ready to Take on Your Biggest IT Challenges,” instead? If you have a work history and experience, how about something like “Strategic Marketing Expert Turns Small Companies Into Stars. Will Yours Be Next? Let’s Connect.” The good thing about your headline is that it can be changed. Test, change and find a headline that works.
- Action Words are Your Friend
Whether it’s the summary, the experience or about me section, use strong action words that show initiative. Avoid boring, oft used words that don’t move people. Here is a list of a few passive words and strong action substitutes to try instead:
- Led: Controlled, coordinated, orchestrated, produced, headed.
- Managed: Directed, inspired, facilitated, motivated.
- Researched: Analyzed, evaluated, assessed, quantified.
- Wrote: Composed, authored, documented.
- Saved: Conserved, reduced, lessened.
- A Picture Says a Thousand Words
If your online profile picture is a mysterious avatar, stop. Employers are 14 times more likely to view a profile if a picture is included. Avoid the temptation to use that adorable picture of you and your dog on the couch. Your picture should be a headshot and you should look like a professional.
- Make It Personal
The about me section is where you can let your personality shine through. It’s the place where you summarize your education and experience, but also where you add hobbies, interests and show off your personality. Don’t overdo the personality sharing, but give employers an idea about who you really are.
- The Importance of Links
The about me section is a great place to add links to your previous projects, online publications or anything else you’ve done that shows your work and experience. Adding links bolsters the straightforward facts in the experience and education sections. Links give potential employers the opportunity to learn more about you.
Are resumes dead? Not quite. You still need one. But you also need an online professional profile. With a little work, you’ll have a killer profile that gets noticed.