Working as a recruiter over the last 7 years has had me review a lot of resumes and Linked In profiles. While some people are great at making them, others struggle with the task. However, what I’ve noticed is your ability to make your resume doesn’t have much to do with your actual abilities. The inability to build a proper profile that highlights your skills can hurt your chances of getting a role. For this reason, I’d like to give some insight on tips for how to build a better profile.
Why it’s important
I’ll be the first to say that a resume or profile doesn’t tell your full story. It’s hard to give full insight into who you are and even what you’ve done. In saying that we do have to realize that this is your first impression with an organization or recruiter. Before you even get a chance to explain anything, they will view your profile and begin to make decisions on how you fit their needs. You can get disqualified for not putting enough detail in explaining your previous roles or simple having a bad format. First impressions matter so it’s best to build a proper resume to give you every chance possible of getting that role.
Most common mistakes
Building your profile can be confusing as there are often so much contradicting advice out there. Some are focused on building a short and concise resume on one page while others focus on extreme detail and key words. In my experience there are a few things that people do poorly that you should avoid. Here are some of the most common mistakes that people make when building their resume or profile.
Lying on your resume
I understand why this has become common place in the practice. With many recruiters using only keyword matching to look through profiles it has pushed people to lie. By adding all sorts of skills to their resume they hope it will help them get noticed more and as a result increase your chance of getting an interview. People also use lies to cover gaps they might have between roles in order to make their profile more attractive. In total it’s estimated around 85% of people will lie on their resume so you’re not the only one. However, the impact is that around 38% of managers will not hire a candidate if they discover a lie.
Advice- You don’t need to lie in order to attract attention to your profile. While many recruiters will keyword match to find you those usually aren’t the recruiters you should be working with. Only putting relevant skills on your resume might reduce the number of opportunities you receive but increase the quality. Managers will also appreciate the honesty and it will go a long way to helping you get that next role.
Describing your tasks
One element of a resume often overlooked is the description of tasks for your role. Many people leave this aspect too vague and don’t include enough information. This may be happening due to advice around keeping your resume short or simply not being sure of what to put in each description. The impact is that recruiters and even hiring managers just aren’t sure of what you did previously. Most screening and interviews are based off what you’ve written in your resume. Without an understanding of what you do it could hurt your ability to get that next role.
Advice– Be clear and precise in which tasks you had in your previous roles. In doing this you can focus on the more difficult or more enjoyable tasks of each role. This way you don’t have to list everything but can bring attention to your expertise or the career path that you want to take. An example might be if as a developer you also took on deployment or automation. Managers typically go through your resume and ask you questions around these which can help you better navigate an interview.
Highlight your projects
A major mistake that people make is not having any details on projects or achievements in a previous role. They list out some standard tasks as well as a technology stack for each role and it’s not enough. This may be happening because of trying to condense a resume or you just want to focus on tasks. It can have a negative effect in limiting the people reviewing your profile from understanding what you can do.
Advice- Make sure to put down at least 1 project for each of your previous roles. If it’s a technology project like putting in place a new tool or upgrade, it tells a better story of how you used that technology. By showing how a technology project impacted the business is also valuable. Many companies appreciate someone who understands the business aspect and can keep that in mind while building technology.
While this piece of your profile can often be overlooked there is some value you can add. For the most part this section is often very generic without much in terms of information. That’s if they even if you’ve decided to add this section at all. It might not be the most important part of your profile but can add some insight into who you are. As a recruiter I’ll often read through this section to get a better understanding of the person.
Advice- It’s best to give a brief overview of your experience and highlight which technologies or processes you are best with. It needs to be to the point and give anyone reading it an idea of what you do. Then take the second half to give some insight into what you find important. It’s an opportunity to let them know what drives you and perhaps help them understand if you’re a fit for their organization. Some examples might be your passion of technology or your desire to mentor and coach the people around you. Every organization value different traits so listing them can help them identify you.
In creating your profile it’s important to add elements of your own brand to it as well. If that’s images or structure, it’s up to you to decide what that means. In terms of format or length I think it all depends on your experience, but I wouldn’t try too hard to condense it to fit a standard. There is no such thing as a perfect method but using these tips for how to build a better profile can help.
How avansai can help
avansai advisors are here to help you at each step of your career including helping you build a relevant profile. If you need help in finding your next career opportunity it starts by filling out our Career Matrix. If you’re just looking for advice you can always reach out to Corey or me for more tips for how to build a better profile.