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Resource: Better Resumes
The Mistakes On LinkedIn You Never Want to Make
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What's great about LinkedIn is that it's like the Facebook of online job boards. It's the networking social network that focuses on what people have done, are doing, and hope to do in their professional lives--nothing else (ideally, at least). Everyone has a professional goal on LinkedIn that they want to accomplish and this type of online networking makes it easier and quicker to do.

If you think that as long as you have one social media profile that your job establishing an online presence is complete, then you're a long way from a job offer. Each social network is designed with a different purpose in mind.

But having a social presence is only as effective as the amount of engagement. Are you actively using LinkedIn, or do you just check it from time to time when you've made a new request? Do you use it to make new connections or simply have it for the sake of having one?

LinkedIn has a direct influence on your career prospects because it's where your professional background is most reflected. Making mistakes on your profile can be seen by more eyes than you think, eyes that may have belonged to someone who could have benefited your career.

Whether you're looking for a job, wanting a better one or simply trying to get the most out of your current one, the following mistakes are ones you should be extra careful to avoid making:

Omitting a picture.
This is basic Online Profile 101. Profiles without a picture can't be taken seriously. An incomplete profile doesn't look legitimate and potential employers aren't going to take a chance on someone who seems like they're hiding something. Without being able to see who you are, they're going to think something is wrong and who could blame them? Plus, if you give out your profile link to someone you met in person, having your picture on your profile will make it easier to remember you.

The wrong type of picture.
Your LinkedIn picture is meant to identify you to the outside world. Some people might take it as an opportunity to show off their pets or family but that's what Facebook is for. Your profile picture should show your face and nothing else. Also, don't be self-conscious of your age. Putting up a picture that doesn't accurately represent who you are in the present day will do more to harm your chances of getting a job than an age-revealing picture. A hiring manager that calls someone in for an interview and doesn't get what they expected isn't going to be pleased. So remember, no false advertising!

Adjust your privacy settings.
Most if not all social media networks put these there for a reason. It's very important to make sure that your online activity on professional networking site is done discreetly. If you're currently employed but are actively seeking new employment via LinkedIn, better be sure to keep this kind of information from your boss. Knowing that you don't intend to stay will give them a reason to go ahead and let you go so they can find someone else. Make sure that people will see what you want them to see so that you don't end up having to do damage control or turn your "new job" hunt into an "any job" hunt.

LinkedIn is a valuable tool that job seekers from 2001 and before probably would have loved to have. The website puts the job market and the people who influence it right at your fingertips. With all the different types of social media networks available now, remembering the right kind of etiquette for each one can be tough. LinkedIn is one of the easier ones--if don't belong in a cover letter or resume, it shouldn't be on your LinkedIn profile.

Most Common Resume Writing Myths
Monday, April 15, 2013

Some of the hardest work you'll in your career up is when you're not even employed. Dedicated job seekers like yourself spend many laborious hours tweaking their resumes. When you're meticulously modifying every little detail to make it as flawless as the resume templates out there, you wouldn't think that following some of those guidelines may not actually make for the perfect resume.

To help you make the most of your resume-writing time, here are the most common resume writing myths:

Resumes have to be one page.
Typically resumes have been said to be one page in order to be brief and concise since hiring managers have a lot of resumes to go through in one day. Nowadays, having valuable material on your resume is important. There's nothing wrong with having a two-page resume as long as everything on it is specifically relevant to the job position.

Graphs and charts are pointless. In today's skeptic world, people are more willing to believe things when they can see the proof. By adding a graph to your resume, you can quickly show your story in a way that allows the viewer to absorb the information with a quick glance.

Spelling errors immediately disqualify you. While spelling errors can ding you a few points on your thorough proofreading skills, it doesn't automatically mean that it will land your resume in the reject pile. Hiring managers will take more consideration into your work experience to see whether you would be a good fit. Always be sure to read and re-read your resume before sending it out.

Objective statements are required. Nope. It's actually becoming more common to see the space that was once used for the objective statement replaced with something of more value. Recruiters and hiring managers quite frankly don't care about your objective, they only care about their own. They are more interested in seeing your qualifications for the job to determine whether you would be the right fit.

Full contact info is mandatory. Your resume is precious real estate that should only be filled information the hiring manager or recruiter will find useful to their purposes. As long as you have direct lines listed for them to reach you at such as your main email address and cellphone, your address and middle name aren't a must.

Job searching practices are evolving along with job market demands. From applications going digital to directly connections with hiring managers online, approaches to finding a job isn't what it used to be. The same goes for resumes. We've all grown up with the cookie-cutter style of resume ingrained in our minds but as competition for jobs gets more intense, standing out takes more creativity. Don't be afraid to let a little of your personality shine through your resume as long as it isn't blinding!

Why Design Matters When Writing Your Resume
Friday, February 15, 2013

Guest post: Jordan Grimes, freelance recruiter

After you've put your resume together you give it a read and feel that every word says what you want it to. But does the look of your resume give off an equally satisfying impression? Resume structures are a big deal.When you hand a resume over to a potential employer, the first impression they get from the looks of it.

From things like spacing to text amount, hiring managers and recruiters can make major decisions from just a quick glance. I can't even begin to tell you how many face-lifts my resume has gone through over the years. Resumes go through a lifelong metamorphosis because the process in which they are created is that of continual trial and error.

For the longest time I assumed that as long as the substance of my resume was on point, where the words fell on the page were essentially trivial. WRONG! Your resume makes the same kind of first impression on a hiring manager with the appearance of its format as you do with your attire. There is the right way to dress in an interview and a right way to doing some resume feng shui.

A good exercise that will help determine the effectiveness of your resume formatting is by putting one together using Lorem Ipsum. When not focusing on the actual words, you can start to see the resume as a whole picture. You'll notice subtle changes in legibility due to spacing or how increasing the font size for certain headings makes things pop.

Remember to always keep your audience in mind. The more corporate the place is, they don't care to see any kind of frills. More lax places will find hints of flair to be refreshing and may even be looking for it. Take a look at your resume right  now and compare it to the examples below:

 

Both have different styles and formatting, but can still catch the eye of a hiring manager. Granted, the one on the right has significantly larger font than making it much more noticeable, though a hiring manager might see that as a shortcut to fill up space on the page. It really all comes down to the overall cohesion of the resume.

Having a resume entirely in black and white like my first few drafts were is perfectly okay, but these days there's no such thing as doing too little to get noticed by a potential employer. You don't have to use crazy fonts--nor should you actually--but do get a little creative. Dare to align to the right, even.

The thing to remember about resumes is that who you are and your personality should be reflected in them. Just like your bedroom reflects your personal taste, add some of that style to your resume. In this case though, keeping it clean is mandatory. Do some research, try out different settings and stick with one that feels right to you. Before sending it out, get a second opinion and go back to the drawing board if you have to. 

You shouldn't rush the resume process because you're going to have to revisit again sooner or later. Think of a resume as a recipe. There are always core ingredients that go into it, but you can always modify different parts to suit your taste buds. It's better to make small changes along the way rather than starting over from scratch each time.