While the good old resume is in no danger of disappearing, you’d better have your online profiles in shape. Something like 80% of all employers check you out online when you apply for a job. Assuming that you’re smart enough to have tailored your Facebook profile during the job hunt, you need to focus on the things that will get you noticed, examined and hired.
While it used to be true that LinkedIn was THE place to host your professional profile, upstarts like BeKnown (from Monster) are making headway in the social job hunt. You’ll want to test out the new sites by building a profile and watching the results. It’s worth noting that the newer entrants have more reason to work for your success. After all, like you, they are trying to make a name for themselves.
When you post a profile or resume somewhere, you only have one goal: to get noticed by the right recruiter for the right job. Once your resume is on the list, it needs to grab the recruiter’s attention with data points that highlight your success and effectiveness in jobs like the one you want. Your profile needs to scream “Pick me! pick me! pick me! Hey, look over here and pick me.”
Here are five steps to improve your profile to get the attention you want.
- Study the descriptions of jobs you’d like to have. Read the job descriptions and learn the jargon. Print out 20. Prioritize them (from 1 to 20) by the degree of their appeal to you. Go over them line by line with the person who is your job hunt sounding board. Be able to explain why you prefer one over the other.
- Now that you have a very clear picture of which words recruiters are using to define the jobs you want, make a list of the 30 most commonly used words in those job descriptions. This is a critical step. These are the words that recruiters are searching for when you want them to find you.
- With the list in hand, rewrite your profile to make sure that you use each of those keywords at least 3 times in your profile. Be careful to make sure that your language flows gracefully. If it appears that you’ve simply stuffed the profile with key words, you are going to get ignored.
- Look for services that use your profile to match you to jobs. See if your profile matches you to the jobs you want. If it doesn’t, tweak it and watch what happens. The best profiles are tested and retested and you learn about what the market is currently offering.
- Be extremely attentive to your current job title and job description. What matters is how the recruiter will think about it, not how you, your boss or your colleagues think about it. Search LinkedIn for people with the same job title and look to see how they’ve described their job and experience. Many companies, maybe even most, have unique and idiosyncratic names for their jobs. The closer yours is to what they’re looking for, the better off you are.
The profile is here to stay. You have to manage it like it was a new puppy. By paying attention to the grooming and feeding of your online profiles, you can increase the chances of finding the job you want.