Resumes and LinkedIn are two of the most important tools in the job search process. With the spring semester and the upcoming career fairs just around the corner, Olga Kingsbury, a career coach in the Career & Professional Development Center, is sharing five easy tips to make your resume and LinkedIn profile ready for a successful job hunt.
- Clean up your resume format. We recommend using simple layouts, consistent readable fonts and have enough white space to make your resume more reader-friendly. See our sample resumes here.
- Reframe your job responsibilities into accomplishment statements. You can do that by following a simple structure: accomplished X by doing Y which resulted in Z.
- Rethink your experience. The number one thing employers are interested to see on your resume is experience. It comes in a variety of forms: internships, full-time and part-time work, community service, volunteering, class and side projects, student clubs and leadership. All of these experiences could be included in your resume.
- Focus on transferrable skills. Don’t be discouraged if you have little or no “relevant” work experience. Any work is relevant as long as you highlight the skills you can “transfer” into a desirable position. For example, working in a customer-facing role, you probably developed excellent communication, interpersonal and customer service skills. These qualities are highly valuable in almost any role, so be sure to demonstrate them on your resume.
- Tailor your resume every time. The role of your resume is not to get you a job but to get you an interview by showing to an employer that you are a perfect fit for a particular position. As you are editing your resume, have the job you are applying for in front of you, and make sure your resume reflects the employer’s desirable skills and experiences.
- Upload a nice headshot and a banner to your profile. You don’t need to hire a photographer to get a professional photo. A headshot taken on a smartphone with a neutral background works. Pick a banner that aligns with your work, values, and beliefs.
- Fill out your headline and summary. Both sections are indexed and are searchable by Google and the built-in LinkedIn search engine. Include the keywords recruiters would be using when looking for candidates in your field.
- Get a nice custom URL by going to your profile and then “View profile” at the right top of the page. Select “Edit public profile & URL” followed by “Edit your custom URL” at the top right corner. Now you can delete your current URL, a bulky combination of letters and numbers and input your first and last name.
- Fill out your experience, education, skills and accomplishment sections to get the All-star profile. LinkedIn shows All-star profiles first to employers.
- Start engaging with and beyond your network. You will increase your profile visibility by liking, commenting and connecting with others.
Resume resources for students:
U students may email resumes and links to LinkedIn profiles to the Career & Professional Development Center at firstname.lastname@example.org whenever they would like additional help. Or chat live with a Career Ambassador Monday-Friday from 2–7 p.m. on our website.
- Tips for taking your professional headshot at home can be found here.
- Free LinkedIn banners can be found here.
For more career-related posts, visit the Career & Professional Development Center Blog Peaks&Valleys.