*This is part 2 in the series promoting my How to Land Your Dream Job course.
If you want to look like a professional, you need to look like it online. Here are the essentials:
- Have your own email address that is a Gmail address. Don't use Yahoo, Hotmail, Aol, etc. You don't want to use your email address from school just in case. Create an email that is ideally firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you're passionate about a particular topic, I would strongly recommend blogging about it. You have a few options: LinkedIn's Pulse, Medium, and Quora. You can even take it a step further and create a personal website, such as with about.me or Squarespace. People take note when you're consistently creating high-quality content, as it positions you as the expert.
- Get a professional headshot. Your online profiles will be way more likely to be viewed before others if your headshot is professional. It will be much easier for others to feel fondly for you if the image really captures the feeling of who you are. I'm sure that you have at least one friend/acquaintance that is a good photographer and will happily help you out for a free dinner.
- Clean up your Facebook / Twitter / Instagram. And put these profiles on private for those that aren't connected with you.
- Create a great LinkedIn profile. Fill in as much information as possible. Just like with your resume, add as many specific details as possible (using metrics). And don't forget using that pro headshot as the profile picture!
- One page. Seriously. You're likely not senior in your career.
- Have a nice header at the top with your name and relevant contact information.
- Have a clear hierarchy with uniform formatting. Sections have this size and thickness of font, dates have this, locations have this, etc.
- As far as font goes, I'd recommend anywhere from sizes 9 - 12. A sans serif font will greatly improve readability, such as Calibri or Helvetica.
- A "summary" / "objective" section has some flexibility, but the sections along the lines of "education," "experience," and "skills" are basically required. "Volunteer experience" can also be included.
- Use strong and varied verb list. For example, instead of saying "Made x," say "Redesigned x." You get the idea.
- Whenever possible, include specific statistics and relevant details of your duties and the results of your doing them. If you can cite that, as a cashier, you were able to propose and implement process that sped up the self-checkout line by 15%, say it!
- If you're creating a summary or objective, be specific and unique as to who you are and what you're looking for. I'll address this briefly later in a later part with your LinkedIn headline.
- Also create a public version of your resume (e.g. posting on a site like Indeed), where your phone number is removed and your address shows just your city, state, and ZIP.
- When sending a resume, always send it as a .PDF unless specified otherwise. Any modern word processor should allow you to save your document as a .PDF.
*If you want a bit more of a creative way to create a flexible online resume, check out Standard Resume.
Stay tuned for part 3 on how to create a great network with meaningful relationships!