The days of cover letters are long gone with resume not far behind. Social media websites like LinkedIn have become a great source for networking and establishing an online identity. Many of my peers have talked about the effectiveness of using LinkedIn as an online professional profile. I do agree with them but at the same time worried about the issue of overcrowding.
Students and recent graduates are the fastest growing demographics on LinkedIn with a total number of over 39 million. Since everyone is on LinkedIn and it is slowly becoming a norm won’t it just be a standard resume? Everyone have obviously read the same methods and tips on how to create an effective profile. So how do I stand out among these people?
I did some research and found a useful post on LinkedIn’s official blog which I believe my mates and I will be benefited from since we will one day graduate and maybe resort to LinkedIn for jobs. It is about how people are using the same adjectives to describe themselves and their experiences. Above is the list of overused words that should be avoided so we don’t sound the same like everyone else. Other than banishing these words from your LinkedIn profile, I think it is wise to not use it on tradition resumes as well.
Definitely don’t go about replacing these words with a lackluster synonym! Rather, what we can do is to use concrete examples of our accomplishments and upload examples of our work. For instance, maybe you were part of a marketing team that successfully launched a product. You can add in newspaper articles or advertisements announcing the project to your profile. Or maybe you work in a team that generate ideas for a marketing campaign, find the PowerPoint slides used during your presentation and share it. This way, your motivation and creatively can be easily illustrated!
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LinkedIn. 2015. About LinkedIn. [ONLINE] Available at: https://press.linkedin.com/about-linkedin. [Accessed 06 November 15].
Catherine Fisher. 2015. Brand YOU Year: How to Brand Yourself Without Sounding Like Everyone Else. [ONLINE] Available at: http://blog.linkedin.com/2015/01/21/brand-you-year-how-to-brand-yourself-without-sounding-like-everyone-else/. [Accessed 06 November 15].
ICON. (2015). How To Build Your Personal Brand. [Online Video]. 13 August. Available from:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaP7ofAHoc4. [Accessed: 06 November 2015].
Many companies are increasingly using online platforms to recruit people. And as job seekers, we should start taking our online identity seriously by posting the right content to impress potential employee. Imagine if a potential employer were to research you online, what would he or she find?
If you haven’t realised, traditional resume are no longer useful in helping us stand out in the competitive society! What we can do though, is to create a professional profile using sites like LinkedIn, WordPress or Twitter.
Here are more reasons to why online profiles will replace resumes.
With that, let’s look at tips on building an online profile!
- Be Image Conscious
Choose a photo that best represent your personal brand. It can be a photo of yourself in a business suit or standing on top of MacRitchie Treetop Walk smiling! Try to make sure that every photo that can be recoverable online should at least be appropriate and that all of your other profiles and websites are using the same photo. This will maintain a consistent brand image that employers will begin to recognize.
- Be Everywhere
Use social media websites like Twitter, Google+ and Facebook aggressively to share your profile. It can boost your personal search ranking and make your information available to anyone which allows you to network with people you normally can’t reach. Keep your message consistent so your profile can be seen as authentic and you don’t come off as someone with multiple identities.
- Use Elevator Pitch in Your “About Me” Section
Imagine you are sharing an elevator with an employer of your dream company and have only 30 seconds during the ride to introduce yourself. Make a short video introducing yourself by stating precisely who you are and what drives you. Then move on to some of your experiences and skills that make you stand out. A video can add authenticity to your profile.
Below is a video showing how you can go about doing so:
- Keep it Up to Date
Every time you make changes to your profile you post an update so people can keep track of your latest information. Also refresh keywords and phrases that people use to search for your profile. The more active your profile is, the higher chance of people believing your profile is authentic.
Good luck and have fun! 🙂
Nathan Parcells. 2014. How to Create a Killer Online Professional Profile. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.looksharp.com/blog/how-to-create-a-killer-online-professional-profile. [Accessed 05 November 15.]
Jesse Gant. 2012. 7 Ways to Optimize Your Professional Profile. [ONLINE] Available at:http://mashable.com/2012/07/17/optimize-online-professional-profile/#wgrG41xQASqr. [Accessed 05 November 15].
Dan Schawbel. 2011. 5 Reasons Why Your Online Presence Will Replace Your Resume in 10 years. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2011/02/21/5-reasons-why-your-online-presence-will-replace-your-resume-in-10-years/. [Accessed 05 November 15].
Howcast. (2010). How to Perfect the Elevator Pitch. [Online Video]. 08 April. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1Y02_oZP8U. [Accessed: 05 November 2015].