This summer I’ve gotten a lot of “Kelly, will you look at my resume and tell me what it needs?” That question for me is much like this book…it’s never just about your resume.
Yes, I will look at your resume. And I always preface “Yes I will” with, “put on your big person pants because I’m going to talk with you and not use a filter”. I use a filter most of the time, but when it comes to resumes, it’s easier if I just say exactly what I think. If you are asking anyone to help you with your resume, ask them to be direct and skip the whole “I don’t want to hurt your feelings” crap. This is how you present yourself to the rest of the world, you need to know what works and what doesn’t. And keep in mind resumes are subjective. It’s okay to have more than one version and certainly okay to run it by more than one “expert”. Save every version and figure out what you like and what works best.
Please don’t send me, or your friend, your resume as an attachment. Email and I have a love/hate relationship. It’s a necessary evil but I’m inundated with it. The better route to go? Create a Google document and share your resume with me. I can easily post questions to you, make edits, we can “chat” within the document and really get you up and rolling so much faster than passing the .doc back and forth via Outlook. And you can dowload that Google doc to Word or PDF format very easily. And if you don’t have a Google account, now is the perfect time to get one, don’t do a stupid username like HotSoccerMom but one that you can use for your new Gmail account you’re going to set up and use for your jobsearch. And now that we’ve conquered all of the resume jazz, let’s talk about LinkedIn.
If you have not built a LinkedIn profile, do it. If you just finished your resume, upload it. That quickly populates your profile and even better, contains a lot of the keywords recruiters will use to find you. If you built a profile and haven’t updated it in ages, update it. Worried about your connections seeing what you’re doing? Turn them off for a while. You can control your activity broadcasts here – and it’s something LinkedIn actually suggests. Link not working for you? Sign in to LinkedIn, visit your settings and you’ll find “activity broadcasts” under privacy controls. And make your profile public. That way if a recruiter is searching for candidates on Google, your profile will appear. And yes, network, connect, join some groups. Connect to friends, neighbors, co-workers, former co-workers and make sure you get a recruiter or two. I could probably talk to jobseekers for 8 hours on how to really use the site to their advantage, but that’s for another time. Because now we have to think about Facebook.
Update your Facebook profile. Include your work information on your info page. Add your resume to your notes section. Let your friends know you’re looking. Friends with your boss? Better visit your privacy settings first or be selective in what you share, i.e. don’t post “I need a new job” if you’re friends with your boss. Not the way to get a decent reference if you need one. Make sure you check in on the Marketplace for job postings. Recruiters post there because they can for free. Most times when I get to this step with job seekers they are adamant they are not job hunting on Facebook because that’s their personal life. I’m fine with that, just saying it’s an option. Just like Twitter.
Build a Twitter account? That’s your call. I like Twitter. You can definitely search it for job posts and follow companies you’re interested in working for. Will it have the highest return on your time investment? I’m not so sure. But it’s a good place to engage and get referrals. I pass on many a contract sourcing job through Twitter because the response is so much quicker than when I post on LinkedIn. You can create lists of your peers, companies you’re interested in and really gain a lot of incredible real time information. And now that you’ve done all that, it’s time to go back to Google.
Back to Google? Yes. Back to Google. Because you’ve used Docs to edit and rebuild your resume, and created a Gmail account for your access to all things Google and to use as a hub for your job search emails. Now you need to build your Google + profile. This is your hub. It’s a site that’s free for recruiters to search. You’ll want to upload all of your pertinent professional information, link to your other social network sites and if you’re really savvy, create a link to your resume in .pdf format. Need an invite because you’re new to Google? Let me know and I’ll help you out.
Too much? It is a lot. But once you do it, very easy to maintain. Got questions? Hit me with them in the comments below…I’m happy to help.