From Good to Great:
Making Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile Stand Out
Resumes and LinkedIn profiles are one of the first things companies and businesses look at when they want to fill a vacancy on their team or if they are looking to build their team. That’s why it is important to tailor both documents and make them a direct reflection of you. This, of course, doesn’t mean that they should be a facsimile of each other. Many people make the mistake of simply copying and pasting their resume as their LinkedIn profile. One word: Don’t. It’s the fastest way for you to be ignored and passed over.
Your resume and your LinkedIn profile showcase your own professional brand. They summarize your professional experience, skills, and qualifications. They highlight your most relevant skills, and accomplishments. They also show the proof in the pudding—your work history and projects. Both need to compliment each other and present a consistent professional image. That’s why it is important to tailor them and keep them always updated, even if you are not looking for a job. Remember: you never know who could be looking and you always want to make a good first impression in any form.
Here are a couple of tips to make both your resume and your LinkedIn profile go from good to great!
Make your summary interesting. Tell your story in three to four sentences. Include your accomplishments and add data to support it. Be clear and concise and personalize. Be more creative in your narrative. Know what sets you apart and share it in your summary. For example:
Standard Summary: I am a hardworking professional with a proven track record of success in my field. I am skilled in project management and team leadership and I am looking for new challenges and opportunities to learn and grow. With my positive work ethic, I can be an asset to your company.
Edited Version: With over 20 years of experience as an Executive Assistant to C-Level Executives in the Home Health industry, I developed and implemented multiple in-house policies, streamlined internal processes, and created systems to effectively manage multiple schedules. In 2020, I led an internal audit team to oversee departmental budgets and reduced 10% of the company’s overhead spending. Acknowledging that there are many ways to improve workflows with software systems and devices, I’ve researched and presented alternative solutions to the company’s executives and board members. With my proven track record of success, I believe we can work together to achieve result driven outcomes.
Translate your job titles. State the most accurate name for your job titles, especially if your formal title is not clear to the reader. Remember: Not everything is standardized. Every company or business has their own organizational charts and designated job titles. Research other companies and find the equivalent to your job title.
Utilize keywords. Display your distinct skill set and note your strengths and accomplishments. Create the right keywords by identifying critical skills and experiences relevant to your field. Make sure you use those keywords through your resume and your LinkedIn profile.
Focus on YOUR work experience. Avoid long, generic job descriptions. Focus on what you have done for your company. Add quantitative results and accomplishments. Talk about how you developed and implemented a new policy, or how you helped cut costs. Remember to use details and specifics.
Highlight your skills. Sometimes, professional experience and work history don’t tell your whole story. Add relevant skills to boost your professional image. If you are computer savvy, specify which programs you are proficient it. Always update and add any new skills and replace old ones.
Keep these suggestions in mind as you create or update your resume and LinkedIn profile. Make sure both are polished, well-written and represent your best professional persona. When in doubt, ask a friend or a colleague to review it and give you some feedback.
For your LinkedIn profile, consider these extra bonus suggestions to increase visibility:
- Add a headshot. We’re not talking selfies! It is worth it to spend the extra time and effort to get an official headshot. It not only enhances the overall look of your profile, it can also be used on your website or other social platforms to boost your professional image.
- Make your headline catchy.
- Update your recommendations. Your credibility is strengthened with recommendations from colleagues or even former supervisors. Keep them current—at least have one within the past year or two.
- Build your network. The more connections you have, the better. Though people will tell you to opt for quantity, quality definitely plays a factor as well. Evaluate if that connection is beneficial to you.
Resumes and LinkedIn profiles are part of your arsenal when it comes to your online presence. Make sure they stand out and command the attention of your intended audience.