I recently participated in an energetic and informative discussion with several colleagues from the Resume Chicks during an interview on Blogtalk Radio’s Career Success Radio program (@CareerRadio) with Australian career experts Keith Keller and Annemarie Cross. It was a fast hour that centered on two main areas of Career Management.
The first point addressed in roundtable discussion was on recommended strategies to strengthen resumes. Consensus among the group was that the resume should be extremely focused on the career objective at hand. It can not be merely a laundry list of all of your past work history but rather strategically selected keywords, achievements and successes that bring home your value proposition.
Including achievements and accomplishments that are fact-based and as quantifiable as possible will draw attention to a resume and was the second critical-must for successful resume development. For those careers that don’t use revenue or cost metrics, data such as customer satisfaction rates, time management improvements and recognition or awards works well to demonstrate significant contribution.
Using a format that is attention-grabbing, easy to read, and professional rounded out the top three resume improvement strategies. Since most resumes are looked at for only 20-30 seconds, the resume must immediately jump out and be noticed if it is to do its job properly. Developing a format that showcases the candidate’s values, and highlights the keywords and requirements the reader is looking for will generate interest and get the candidate noticed.
We also addressed social media and it’s relevance on a job search. Again the consensus was that networking communities such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and others are growing in effectiveness in an aggressive job search. Profiles or bio’s on sites such as LinkedIn allow for a deeper exposure and is often the first look recruiters take at potential candidates for a position they are looking to fill.
Currently more than 80% of recruiters use LinkedIn for research and as a database. For job seekers to utilize their LinkedIn profile it must include a strong achievement-based look at their work history and a summary that reaches out to readers with keywords to offer unique value. Often overlooked in the creation of a strong profile is the providing of a professional photograph, recommendations for current and past positions held, and taking advantage of the many applications now available on LinkedIn. Effective apps include linking your blog, twitter feed, slideshare or podcasts to your profile for maximum exposure.
Candidates’ online profiles and their resume and other marketing tools should compliment each other and should be congruent but not identical in their content. On the Career Success Radio program it was agreed that using both in conjunction with an aggressive job search is the most effective way for a candidate to land the right job. Tune in for the full interview at Career Success Radio
Shine On Job Seekers!