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ResumeEdge http://www.resumeedge.com Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:39:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 It’s Not Bragging http://www.resumeedge.com/bragging/ http://www.resumeedge.com/bragging/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:39:09 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4520 At least once a month I work with a client who is concerned about bragging in his or her resume. As I conduct the interview to find ways to quantify experiences and accomplishments, I often get a nervous chuckle with this reply: “Gosh, I just don’t want to sound like I’m bragging.” The dictionary defines...

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At least once a month I work with a client who is concerned about bragging in his or her resume. As I conduct the interview to find ways to quantify experiences and accomplishments, I often get a nervous chuckle with this reply: “Gosh, I just don’t want to sound like I’m bragging.”

The dictionary defines bragging as speaking – or in this case, writing – of one’s own achievements arrogantly or boastfully. The vast majority of my clients describe themselves as humble even when they are go-getters who work hard within teams or are leaders who want to ensure their teams are credited for hard-earned success. Humble, according to the dictionary, means to be unpretending or unpretentious.

“But can you brag humbly?” they ask, to which I explain that it is not bragging when you present your experiences and accomplishments in quantified terms that let the numbers do the talking without excessive adjectives. In other words: facts and not fluff.

I recently spoke with a local business leader to get his input on why it is important to provide quantified information on a resume. Daryl Skoog is the Executive Director of MicroPlanet Technologies, a consulting firm supporting large microfinance networks; previously he was the EMEA Chief Information Officer for FEDEX. With extensive experience in two very different business environments, Mr. Skoog knows first-hand the hiring manager’s perspective. He estimates that less than 10% of the resumes that have crossed his desk and email have results that are quantified. “You have to tell me what you can do for me in quantifiable terms,” he said. “And I would expect to see it in the resume.”

Mr. Skoog also says that job seekers need not worry about bragging when they have the right attitude about their accomplishments. “I like when they have really thought about what they can do to make the business successful,” he said.

If less than 10% of candidates are providing examples of their results that are backed up with numbers, dollar amounts, and percentages, then my clients are already ahead of the pack when we work together to discover how to include quantified information in their resumes.

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Make Your Next Phone Interview Perfect http://www.resumeedge.com/make-next-phone-interview-perfect/ http://www.resumeedge.com/make-next-phone-interview-perfect/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 14:21:59 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4507 Today’s job hunters must take phone interviews as seriously as in-person interviews. However, you should understand that you must prepare for a phone interview differently than you would for a face-to-face discussion. Most of these ideas are great for Skype or other video interviews too. Schedule the call for a quiet time and place. Be...

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Today’s job hunters must take phone interviews as seriously as in-person interviews. However, you should understand that you must prepare for a phone interview differently than you would for a face-to-face discussion. Most of these ideas are great for Skype or other video interviews too.

Schedule the call for a quiet time and place. Be sure to schedule the phone interview for when you will be able to give it your undivided attention. Be sure the kids are all occupied and that the TV, radio, and computer are all off. Don’t forget to put the dog outside too. You do not want any random sounds or allow any loud noises that may distract you and/or the hiring manager.

Have the right resume beside the phone. Make sure the version you submitted to the interviewer is the one you have in front of you. The interviewer will be looking at a copy of this same resume, and you want to be sure you know exactly what they are looking at.

Dress right and put yourself in the best setting. Studies have shown people wearing casual clothes respond differently on the phone. Sit upright at a desk or at a table, with nothing in front of you that is not directly related your interview. The more it feels like a traditional in-person interview, the more likely you are to respond appropriately. Forbes recommends “Whether your call is video or telephone, do it in a quiet, businesslike setting, ideally in a room with a door.”

Prepare your notes. Have prepared answers ready for basic questions and take advantage of the fact that this is a phone conversation. Use notes to help yourself say exactly what you want to say. Use easy-to-read bullet points and print out your notes and resume in a larger font. A writer at USA Today reminds job seekers that “A benefit of having a Skype interview is that you can have a cheat sheet in front of you so that you don’t have to memorize everything you want to mention.” [Source:http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/personal/2013/08/01/13-tips-for-a-great-skype-interview/2608915/]

Research the company. Get to know the company. Review their website, make some calls to find out more about their business and history. You will be remembered better than other candidates if you show specific interest and knowledge of the company.

Know your calendar. If the interviewer is interested in planning a follow-up face-to-face interview, be prepared to know what’s already on your schedule. The last thing you want to do is have a successful phone interview only to have to ask to call back because you are not sure of your schedule. Have a copy of your calendar in front of you.

Plan your closing. How many times have you thought of something you should have said after leaving an interview? You don’t have to let this happen with a phone interview. Ensure that you have said everything you want and need to say before you hang up. Develop some notes with your closing lines.

And most of all, relax. Good luck!

 

 

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What’s your 90 day plan? http://www.resumeedge.com/whats-90-day-plan/ http://www.resumeedge.com/whats-90-day-plan/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 15:25:17 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4511 Have you gone to an interview and been asked “if hired, what will you achieve in the first 90 days?” It’s important for the hiring manager to envision what you will do for the organization, what impact you will have, and what you’re able to achieve. Here are three tips to help prepare you and...

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Have you gone to an interview and been asked “if hired, what will you achieve in the first 90 days?” It’s important for the hiring manager to envision what you will do for the organization, what impact you will have, and what you’re able to achieve. Here are three tips to help prepare you and land that new position.

Be specific

Your plan needs to be specific to the position—not generic. You will want to do research on the target company and find out their focus. Look at the company’s site, along with LinkedIn®, Hoovers, Glassdoor, and Facebook.

Priorities

Know your position’s priorities and how your job will affect the rest of the team.  Take this into consideration when drafting your 90-day plan to uncover the most important priorities.

Goals and objectives

Create specific goals and objectives, and set these in 30 day increments. That is, think about what you want to accomplish in the first 30, 60, and 90 days.

30 days

Plan to meet team members and spend time with experts in the company to get the opportunity to pick their brains. Learn the various products, organizational structure, and competing industries and, of course, do lots of training!

60 days

Over the past two months, what will you have observed? Have you uncovered the top priorities that you’re able resolve in a short period of time—those items you want to attack and complete before you first 90 days are up? Have you met all the team players—who can help guide you to your ultimate goal? If not, plan to do so.

90 days

Review and determine if you have achieved your short term goals, or at least identified the priorities. Decide how you will measure your progress throughout the year? Set time with your immediate supervisor on a weekly or biweekly basis, so you can touch base and get a pulse on how you’re doing and what changes you need to make, before you’re too far down the road.

You don’t need to have a plan on your first interview, since you will want to use this for gathering information, but after that be prepared —having a plan will make you a stronger candidate for having done so and shows them you mean business.

 

 

 

 

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Three ways to speed through an online application http://www.resumeedge.com/three-ways-speed-online-application/ http://www.resumeedge.com/three-ways-speed-online-application/#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2014 14:56:46 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4500 You’ve spotted the perfect job. You’ve customized your resume to the posting. You’ve also created a powerful cover letter. Now you have to spend a half hour or more filling out the online application. Ready to give up? Don’t! There are ways to make it easier and worthwhile, if you are truly interested in the...

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You’ve spotted the perfect job. You’ve customized your resume to the posting. You’ve also created a powerful cover letter. Now you have to spend a half hour or more filling out the online application. Ready to give up? Don’t! There are ways to make it easier and worthwhile, if you are truly interested in the position.

 According to an article on usnews.com by Miriam Salpeter, about 50% of mid-sized companies and nearly all large corporations use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to screen candidates for job opportunities. This is how HR professionals narrow down a pool of sometimes hundreds applying for each position.

These tips can save you some headache:

  1. Don’t start if you’re in a rush. Preparation is key to speeding up the process. Actually rushing through the steps could lead to errors and frustration. Be sure to read and follow directions thoroughly to avoid entering data in the wrong fields, answering questions incorrectly, or missing required documents. Remember that some application systems time out after a certain amount of inactivity, which means you could lose some steps completed or have to start over. So it’s best to complete it when you have ample time and all the information you’ll need beforehand, such as employment dates, previous pay rates, salary expectations, work samples (if applicable), and references.
  2. Create an ASCII resume. Some online applications will allow you to upload your resume in a format of your choice, such as MS Word or PDF. However, there may be file size limitations. Or you might be allowed to copy and paste content from your resume or use a resume builder incorporated into the system. For this option, an ASCII (or plain text) version would be useful. You can create it from your MS Word file by saving it as “plain text.” Copying and pasting from this format can help prevent variances in fonts, bullet styles, etc. from distorting your content when input into the ATS fields.
  3. Have your cover letter handy. If you can upload your cover letter as an attachment, do so. If you can copy and paste the content of your cover letter into a section, do that also or instead. You never know how the ATS is set up to scan your information for matching key words. If you don’t have a cover letter, use the summary of your qualifications from your resume, preferably from the ASCII plain text version. If you paste the content of your resume into a different section, make sure to remove the summary of qualifications part from it to avoid redundancy.

Final thought: If you come across a position on a job search site or job posting list sent via email, check out the company’s website before you apply. That way, you can find out more about the company (culture, benefits, etc.) or even see if there are other current openings that might suit you better. Most companies have positions posted under an “About us” or “Careers” tab. In some cases, positions are handled by a specific recruiter or staffing agency, so you might have to apply through the source of the posting.

Pro tip: Applying directly with the company  can“speed” up your application process.

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How to negotiate the best salary http://www.resumeedge.com/negotiate-best-salary/ http://www.resumeedge.com/negotiate-best-salary/#comments Tue, 01 Apr 2014 16:21:36 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4496 You made it through the interview process and you’ve reached the “official offer.” How do you make sure you’ll be paid what you’re expecting? Many candidates think they don’t have room for negotiating with a slowed economy, but this is far from true. Here are some tips to negotiate the best salary—which should start before...

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You made it through the interview process and you’ve reached the “official offer.” How do you make sure you’ll be paid what you’re expecting? Many candidates think they don’t have room for negotiating with a slowed economy, but this is far from true. Here are some tips to negotiate the best salary—which should start before the first interview.

Leave it blank

I can’t stress the importance of leaving the “salary expectations” blank on the application. You want to make it to the interview process, not have the recruiter believe your salary expectations are too high. You at least want to be given the chance to prove you’re worth the pay.

Be patient

Wait to discuss salary till the end of the interviewing process. You want to make certain they want you, before you talk money—typically the first person to discuss pay will lose.

Do your research

It’s important to research the typical salary in your field and within your location. This is important, so have a range and know your starting point so you’re not blind sided with a lower number.

Range

Always give a salary range, as opposed to an exact number. When you give an exact number this will pigeon hole you and not allow for wiggle room.

Know your worth

You should write down everything that makes you unique and what skills and strengths you have to offer and when you counter the offer you will have a list prepared, as to why you deserve a higher salary.

Many times people are too afraid to ask for a higher salary—they feel this will turn the employer off and they will start off on the wrong foot. This is untrue, this is your time to get paid what you feel is fair. If you don’t mention anything and you just take the position, chances are you will be disappointed and always wonder if you could have made more and end up unhappy.

 

 

 

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Quality vs. Quantity: Will Applying to More Jobs Help or Hurt? http://www.resumeedge.com/quality-vs-quantity-will-applying-jobs-help-hurt/ http://www.resumeedge.com/quality-vs-quantity-will-applying-jobs-help-hurt/#comments Thu, 27 Mar 2014 16:19:01 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4491  Most people approach the job search with little to zero knowledge of the recruiting process.  You may think an increased number of applications will result in an increased number of interviews.  Not necessarily true.  We’re all familiar with the saying “quality vs. quantity” and this certainly applies to job searching.  If you think it’s a...

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 Most people approach the job search with little to zero knowledge of the recruiting process.  You may think an increased number of applications will result in an increased number of interviews.  Not necessarily true.  We’re all familiar with the saying “quality vs. quantity” and this certainly applies to job searching.  If you think it’s a numbers game –you’ve only increased your chance of wasting time in your job campaign!  Many job applicants will say they applied to hundreds of jobs before receiving an offer.  This creates a false impression that one must apply to this many jobs to land an interview.  For every 20 or 30 resumes you send out, you might get one offer for an interview.  There are a few problems with spending this much energy on sending out resumes.

For starters, the “job-hunt” is a highly studied and researched phenomena which we actually know a lot about it.  Research suggests there are 16 different job hunting methods in this country, however, out of every 100 job hunters who use only one method about 51 of them abandon their job search by the second month (www.jobhuntersbible.com, 2013).

Rather than applying to more jobs – consider utilizing more job search methods!  Research suggests it’s best to use four different methods to job search.  The information below, taken from What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles, clearly shows that job-hunters often use job search methods that are the complete opposite way employers recruit candidates!

Typical Job Hunter Methods Typical Employer Methods
Sending resumes online Look within the company
Review ads Colleagues
Colleagues Referrals
Referrals Drop-ins with proof
Contacts Agencies
Drop-ins with proof Ads
Look within the company Accepting resumes online

So, rather than wasting hours sending resumes through online applications, why not spend hours locating contacts within the company?  Or, networking with colleagues to create a pipeline of referrals?  Better yet, building your network using social media such as LinkedIn?  Of course all of these methods require a polished resume, but the takeaway is – it’s not effective to use just one job search method.  So, ditch the 100+ jobs you have line up to apply for (which will take hundreds of hours) and focus on approaching the job search with at least 4 job search methods.

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Freelance workers on the rise http://www.resumeedge.com/freelance-workers-rise/ http://www.resumeedge.com/freelance-workers-rise/#comments Tue, 25 Mar 2014 15:45:44 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4481 Freelance work has become very popular over the years, and it’s estimated that 1 in 3 Americans are currently freelance workers and that number continues to rise. With healthcare costs increasing, companies are making the shift to freelance work.  Baby boomers are looking to supplement their incomes, so freelance work is a perfect fit.  With...

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Freelance work has become very popular over the years, and it’s estimated that 1 in 3 Americans are currently freelance workers and that number continues to rise. With healthcare costs increasing, companies are making the shift to freelance work.  Baby boomers are looking to supplement their incomes, so freelance work is a perfect fit.  With a competitive market, you may want to explore the idea of becoming a freelancer, as there are many benefits.

Flexibility

This is one of the biggest benefits of freelancing. You have control over your own schedule, freedom and the opportunity to own your career. You don’t need to request permission for time off, but instead own your schedule. You never have to miss another ball game or fun event.

No commute

No more traffic lights, or bumper to bumper traffic, or driving through a snow storm to make it to work. You’ll also save on gas, and wear and tear on your car, since you won’t have a daily drive. You can work from the comfort of your home—in your pajamas if you want too!

Income control

You can save on gas money, child care expenses, and control your income. You can determine how much you make and not wait on an annual raise—if it hasn’t been cut from the budget. You can choose to take on additional clients when you have the capacity, or even outsource work to others if you have too much.

Coworking Spaces

A fairly recent phenomenon, coworking spaces have gained popularity in the last several years as a place for freelancers, satellite employees and small companies to have a professional environment. Many freelancers enjoy the added flexibility of a coworking space—come in when you need to use the printer, have a client meeting, or if you just need to get out of the house, but you’re not tied to the cost of a traditional office space. There are many other benefits that I didn’t mention, such as lower stress level, control over work and many others. Where do you begin to find work?  There is a great website that can help you do just that. Visit Workhoppers to get started today https://www.workhoppers.com/

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How Important Is A Cover Letter? http://www.resumeedge.com/important-cover-letter/ http://www.resumeedge.com/important-cover-letter/#comments Thu, 20 Mar 2014 15:15:34 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4473 Job hunters regularly ask how important it is to have a strong cover letter compared to having a winning resume. How much time should a candidate devote to it? In a December 2013 article on the American Journalism Review website, Adrianne Flynn, career development professional, states that “Cover letters are the first introduction. If it...

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Job hunters regularly ask how important it is to have a strong cover letter compared to having a winning resume. How much time should a candidate devote to it?

In a December 2013 article on the American Journalism Review website, Adrianne Flynn, career development professional, states that “Cover letters are the first introduction. If it doesn’t grab a hiring [manager]’s attention in a good way, your presentation is already a fail.” (Source:)

Insider Advice on Cover Letters

Flynn quotes two recruiters that offer top insider advice. One states, “Just a few simple sentences, in active voice, on why you want to work for me. Don’t be too clever.” Another recruiter reveals that an “interesting, lively cover letter” can mean a “second look” for a candidate with a resume that’s a little weak.

Why Cover Letters Matter

Jodi Glickman, author of the book Great on the Job told Harvard Business review in February 2014 that “Not sending a cover letter is a sign of laziness. It’s akin to making spelling and grammar mistakes in your résumé. You just don’t do it.”

Duke Law School encourages its students to concentrate attention on their cover letters and suggests that “in today’s highly competitive job market, a creative, thoughtfully composed, well-written cover letter can make a significant impact on hiring manager to move your resume from the tottering stack of many to the well-balanced stack of a few.”

The career professionals at Duke Law also state that “Most importantly, your cover letter should be absolutely perfect, with no typographical errors or misspellings.” That is one reason many savvy job seekers utilize professional writers like those employed by ResumeEdge.com.

Make It Personal

Duke Law further tells its students that cover letters are “an opportunity to distinguish their credentials, attributes, and experience.”

Keep in mind that personal doesn’t mean unprofessional.  A writer at Harvard Business Review suggests that job seekers should not “try to be funny” in their cover letters because “too often it falls flat.” (Source:)

Some final tips

Harvard Law coaches its students to “go into detail about your background and skills instead of reiterating what is already on your resume.” (Source:)

Harvard Law suggests “cover letters should be about one full page” and recommend an introductory paragraph, middle paragraphs that are written to “stress those work experiences that are most relevant to the position” and a closing paragraph that has your contact information.

Follow the tips above and you should have a cover letter that not only does a great job of promoting you–it will also get you noticed by recruiters and hiring managers.

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Turn a Temporary Position into a Job Offer http://www.resumeedge.com/turn-temporary-position-job-offer/ http://www.resumeedge.com/turn-temporary-position-job-offer/#comments Tue, 18 Mar 2014 13:35:33 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4471 In a competitive job market, securing a contract or temporary position for a great job is still a foot in the door. But how do you turn that position into something long term? Read on  for  tips from the ResumeEdge team for making this position a permanent one. Go Above and Beyond: If the position...

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In a competitive job market, securing a contract or temporary position for a great job is still a foot in the door. But how do you turn that position into something long term? Read on  for  tips from the ResumeEdge team for making this position a permanent one.

Go Above and Beyond: If the position is temporary, or even a contract to hire position, you need to remind your supervisor, the hiring manger, and even your coworkers what an asset you are to the team. Build relationships, volunteer for extra work when you’re able, and make sure that you’re doing the best job possible. Basically, make yourself indispensable.

Showcase Your Talents: Are you a wizard at Excel?  Great at leading group brainstorms? Make sure that your best talents are on display. Even if your skills don’t directly relate to the job you’re working on currently, showing a wide variety of skills that can be applied in different situations can help potential employers think about your worth long-term.

Have A Great Attitude: We’ve all been there. Someone on the team does amazing work, but their attitude stinks. It brings everyone else down. So stay positive. Make yourself an example of how a great attitude and a pro-active approach can buoy a whole team.

Become a Part of the Company Culture: Every office has a different culture, and being able to fit in is often a large part of a company’s decision to hire one candidate over another. If everyone gathers around the conference table for lunch every day, or hits a weekly happy hour, do your best to be a part. Show that you’re eager to make yourself a member of the team.

Have A Great Resume: This should be obvious, but it must be said. While you’re working that temporary position, keep your resume up-to-date and on hand. If the hiring manager takes an interest, you want to make sure you’re  ready to provide your credentials.

Want more tips on the making the most of your job search? Check out the rest of the ResumeEdge blog for more great ideas on how to find your perfect fit.

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Top Tips to Keep Your LinkedIn Profile in Tip-Top Shape http://www.resumeedge.com/top-tips-keep-linkedin-profile-tip-top-shape/ http://www.resumeedge.com/top-tips-keep-linkedin-profile-tip-top-shape/#comments Thu, 13 Mar 2014 18:48:25 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4466 William Arruda recently published a Forbes.com article on the best tips for having a LinkedIn profile that is hitting all the marks. Being “secretive” is #1 on the list William Arruda shares in his witty Forbes.com article, “22 LinkedIn Secrets LinkedIn Won’t Tell You.” By that, he means adjusting your privacy settings whenever you edit...

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William Arruda recently published a Forbes.com article on the best tips for having a LinkedIn profile that is hitting all the marks.

Being “secretive” is #1 on the list William Arruda shares in his witty Forbes.com article, “22 LinkedIn Secrets LinkedIn Won’t Tell You.” By that, he means adjusting your privacy settings whenever you edit your profile. You can do this by turning off activity broadcasts and changing the “Select who can see your activity feed” setting to “only you.”

Bonus tip: You may also want to turn this option off if you’re looking for a job and don’t want your present employer to see that you’re updating your profile.

A few more of my favorite tips from the article include:

Being “opportunistic” when joining groups

Linking with a group helps you connect with people in your target audience beyond your contacts. When you join a group, you’re granted permission to reach out to its members and invite them to join your network. Bonus tip: You don’t need to upgrade to a premium LinkedIn account to do this. You can join a group by going under “Interests” at the top of the page, then selecting “Groups” from the drop-down menu.

Being a “chameleon” when listing your name(s)

Have you ever seen your name misspelled in an email or text from someone you just met or even a friend who knows you very well? Well, imagine how easily someone could make the same mistake when searching for you via social media. If you have a very common name, uncommon spelling, maiden name, nickname or aliases, you’ll definitely want to dispel the mystery to help people find you.

Being “selective” when listing your job details

Much like a well-written, well-purposed resume, you don’t need to include every detail of every job you’ve ever had in your LinkedIn profile. Don’t make it cumbersome; make it engaging for the reader. Too many details or large blocks of text can weaken your social media’s appeal and effectiveness. Bonus tip: Leave off your early jobs if they are not relevant to what you do now or list them all under one heading, such as “Internships,” or “Additional Work History.”

Being up close and “personal” with your photos and phrases

LinkedIn can be an amazing tool for career growth when used effectively to build social networks. So don’t be anti-social by leaving off your photo or using one that raises eyebrows. Use a high-quality headshot and make sure you’re facing the camera or at least turned to the left toward your content. Extra Bonus tip: If you’re looking to your right or gazing off the screen, it inadvertently conveys that you’re not connected to the content on your own page. Flip your photo if it’s facing right.

Remember your LinkedIn profile should complement, not duplicate, your resume. It’s the perfect place to display your values, passions, and personality in a professional manner. Make your content conversational by writing in first-person. Fill in all the “Site-suggested sections” to share what you do outside of work as you see fit, including languages, interests, websites and blogs. This is how you make people want to be “linked in” to your circle.

 


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