The landscape of the job market has undergone significant changes in recent years. During the Great Recession, a seismic shift left many individuals shocked and confused. People who had dedicated their time and effort to their employers suddenly faced job cuts. This wake-up call made it clear that individuals must be prepared for the unexpected and build a career that does not solely rely on employers for security and advancement; in the years since, professionals have embraced personal branding and professional development outside their workplace to support their career aspirations.
In this new reality, the resume has become an essential tool for showcasing the value individuals bring to the table. It serves as a marketing tool, telling the story of their accomplishments and contributions. Dawn Rasmussen, certified resume writer and president of Pathfinder Writing and Career Services, advises her clients on how crucial it is to keep track of all achievements, work plans, staff performance reviews, and project recaps. These details provide a comprehensive perspective on how individuals have made a difference and moved the needle in their roles.
Gone are the days when simply copying job descriptions into resumes would suffice. Employers now seek to understand the value that candidates offer. It is essential to demonstrate how someone has made a difference and benefited previous companies, revolutionizing how resumes are written and how individuals present themselves.
Regularly updating your resume is an excellent exercise that should be undertaken consistently rather than sporadically or only when necessary. By staying present with accomplishments, individuals gain a sense of security and confidence in their value. This confidence can also translate into promotions, raises, or the empowerment to seek new opportunities if the current situation does not align with their goals.
Utilizing LinkedIn to compliment your resume
LinkedIn has become a necessity in today’s digital age. Employers often seek additional information about candidates beyond their resumes. LinkedIn allows individuals to speak directly to their target audience and showcase their expertise. It offers a personal touch, enabling candidates to convey their cultural fit and chemistry.
When optimizing your LinkedIn profile, there are two key aspects to consider. First, you need to ensure that your profile is comprehensive. Take the time to fill in all the fields and add relevant sections to make your profile as robust as possible. This will allow you to display your skills and expertise effectively. The more information you can include, the better; add additional sections and links to highlight your achievements. Aim for a profile that stands out and captures the attention of potential connections and employers.
While this is an excellent place to start, simply building a profile is not enough. Individuals must actively engage with others on the platform and post regularly. Think of LinkedIn as a garden that requires constant attention and nurturing. In addition to posting, it’s a great idea to share links, participate in polls, comment on other people’s posts, and join groups to facilitate conversations.
LinkedIn does not replace resumes entirely but complements them; the platform adds a social element to the conversation and allows others to understand better who you are.
Balancing Your Professional and Personal Side
While it’s important to let your personality shine through on LinkedIn, it’s crucial to remember that the platform is primarily professional- it differs from other social media platforms as it focuses on career connections and employment opportunities. Understanding your target audience is key!
Occasionally, you can incorporate personal elements into your profile to provide a glimpse into your life outside of work. For example, share a personal blurb about a trip or a conference you attended. Dawn Rasmussen has written blog posts on LinkedIn, sharing her experience of being bullied as a child and how she overcame it. This type of post allowed Dawn to showcase her resilience and personal growth while tying it back to her professional journey. Remember that everything you put out there can have an impact, positive or negative. Even if you delete a post, it may still be archived online. So exercise caution before posting.
Enhancing your LinkedIn profile requires a comprehensive and robust approach. Customize your profile, engage with others, and find the right balance between professional and personal content. By leveraging the power of LinkedIn, you can effectively showcase your skills, expertise, and unique personality to attract the right opportunities and connections.
Optimizing your resume
Keywords play a critical role in the job search process. It is essential to have a job title headline at the top of the resume that not only points towards the desired career path but also frames the resume’s content. This approach helps organically surface the right keywords, increasing the chances of being noticed by employers. Employers are unlikely to invest time deciphering a candidate’s potential without a clear focus and concise explanation of skills and expertise.
When it comes to job titles, it is crucial to go beyond generic statements. Instead, individuals should provide specific information about their career level and function. Clarity is key, whether someone is an assistant, specialist, coordinator, manager, director, senior director, VP, EVP, or part of the C-suite. Understanding career level and function not only aids in career advancement but also determines earning potential. By combining these two aspects, individuals can establish a target to work towards.
The job market has undoubtedly experienced significant shifts in recent years. To navigate these changes successfully, individuals must adapt their approach to resume writing and utilize platforms like LinkedIn to their advantage. By understanding the importance of keywords, job titles, and clear communication of value, professionals can position themselves for success in the competitive job market.