Brooklyn Resume Studio – NYC Resume Writer & Career Consultant
Welcome to Brooklyn Resume Studio - Brooklyn Resume Studio – NYC Resume Writer & Career Consultant. Impactful Resumes: Expertly Written & Designed to Stand Out in a Competitive Job Market Brooklyn Resume Studio offers professional resume writing, personal branding, and career consulting services, and was founded by former hiring manager, writer, and branding consultant, Dana Leavy-Detrick.
In a digitally-driven job market, having answers and information at the click of a button has become a standard. Unfortunately, that’s not quite how it works when it comes to hiring and human resources. The job searching process has often been referred to as one of “hurry up and wait”, causing frustration and anxiety to job seekers eagerly in search of their next career opportunity. So, the question ‘why haven’t I heard back from HR’ is a reasonable one.
The fact is, many variables are involved in the hiring process. There are a number of factors that can slow the decision-making process that candidates may not even be aware of, and that may have little to do with their qualifications. Even candidates in their third, fourth, or tenth round of interviewing, with all but a promise of an offer letter, have found themselves waiting for a definitive decision from prospective employers.
To avoid some of the unnecessary stress that comes with job searching, it’s important for candidates to understand how human resources works. Doing so will allow you to better gauge the likelihood of a resume turning into an interview, an interview turning into a job offer, how frequently to follow up, and when to move on.
Hiring is a Serious Investment
Hiring is a costly investment for employers and a hiring manager’s job is to perform the necessary due diligence to ensure that investment will provide a return. On average, it is 3x more expensive to hire a new employee than to retain an existing one. Hiring the wrong candidate can be even more costly and time-consuming. This is especially true if you factor in the fees associated with hiring an outside placement or recruitment agency to assist in the hiring process. They often charge employers upwards of 20-25% of the candidate’s base annual salary.
Many organizations have designated hiring budgets, some broken up by department or function. It is not uncommon for a job opening to be put on hold due to budget constraints, or because another position has taken priority on the hiring desk. Even if the position is well into the hiring and selection phase, a key position within the organization may open up that needs to be filled immediately.
Your Resume is Not Communicating Your Qualifications
A resume isn’t just about having well-written, grammatically correct content. It’s also about attractive layout and formatting, optimized readability, solid branding, and not cramming too much information on the page. All of the different sections should come together to convey a consistent branding message about what you bring to the table for a potential employer.
Think of the resume essentially as the film trailer, not the full-length feature. Its job is to assert the basic information that a hiring manager needs, but also give a couple of well-branded, compelling conclusions around what makes you uniquely qualified against the next candidate with a similar background, and prompt them to bring you in for an interview. Make sure you have a strong, branded summary statement at the top, your skills, qualifications, accomplishments are clear, there are no holes in the work experience, and the formatting and layout are appropriate for the volume of information.
The Company is Still Interviewing Candidates
Even after you’ve been called in for one, or multiple, interview(s), it can still take some time for hiring managers to make a final decision and determine next steps. With many companies, there is a formal period of time or volume of applicants that need to be considered before they are able to make a decision and extend an offer. Just because you haven’t heard back doesn’t mean you’re out of the running.
The interview process requires the participation of multiple people across different levels and functions. It can be challenging to coordinate the interview process into the schedules of staff members for whom hiring is not a part of their core job function. Often times, staffing absences or scheduling conflicts will slow the interview and hiring process.
You Were Stronger on Paper Than in Person
It’s easy to get nervous in the interview process, which results in coming off too modestly at the very time when you should be aggressively (but professionally) selling yourself. Poor body language is another culprit here, as it’s easy to send a confident, assertive message on paper and then become unaware of your nervous, non-verbal cues when sitting in front of the CEO.
Pay attention to posture, eye contact, and other body language. Taking a moment to respond to questions is fine, but avoid filler words like “Um” and “Like.” Give off an air of confidence that you’re truly the best fit for the job.
For best results, try practicing common interview questions with a colleague or a career coach who can observe your body language and provide pointers on your messaging. Having someone who is familiar with your position and accomplishments can help you identify where you may be underselling yourself in the interview process, or on your resume.
Culture Fit Was a Concern
Maintaining a strong and cohesive company culture is important, and those joining the organization need to fit well into that mold. This is a tough one to circumvent, and HR will never actually confront a candidate on this for fear of making them feel discriminated against.
But understanding the company culture comes down to things like identifying with the mission and the values of the organization, having synergy with the people you meet, even how you dress for the interview (too formal versus too casual). Research the company culture before you go in; talk to people who have worked there, look for photos of company events on social media, LinkedIn, or in the news, and get a sense for what they value as a collective team.
They Hired an Existing Employee or Internal Referral
Just when they think they’re done with the hiring process and ready to move forward with making an offer, a star candidate jumps into the mix and wows the team with their resume. They bring them in last minute to interview, and unfortunately for you, they become the new frontrunner.
Similarly, applicants who were referred by internal employees, or existing staff members interested in promotion, may have a significant advantage. After all, it’s cheaper to hire from within and retain an existing employee — they don’t require as much training, and there’s already a good indicator of their work ethic and how they will fit into the company culture.
In an ideal world, the organization will have enough tact to apologize and let you know that they enjoyed meeting you but decided to go with someone else.
There Was an Issue With Your References, Background Check, or Employment Verification
It’s tempting to stretch the truth on your resume or salary history to better “fit” the requirements, but in the hiring process, honesty is always the best policy. Lying or forging information on a job application is absolutely grounds for rescinding a job offer, even after it’s been handed to you. Keep it clean, keep it consistent, and double check all of your application forms for errors.
What Can You Do?
The important thing to remember in any of these scenarios that oftentimes the situation is simply outside of your control. Your responsibility is in positioning yourself as best you can for success in your search, with:
And in the event you’re left in the dust without explanation, always remain professional and never burn bridges. You never know what opportunities or crossed paths might present themselves in the future.
There is a lot of competing information out there on what makes an effective resume. While technology and digital media have given way to more and more non-traditional self-marketing platforms like LinkedIn, video resumes, social media, and the like, the traditional resume remains the standard tool for job seekers.
What Has Changed in Resume Writing?
One of the biggest shifts in resume writing is the heavy focus on personal branding and impactful storytelling. Traditionally, resumes were meant to function as a high-level summary of a person’s professional experience, education, and skill set, listing out general information such as job titles, company names, dates of employment, and day-to-day responsibilities.
These days, it’s no longer enough to present a resume solely based on responsibilities and skill sets. The job market is changing, and so too are the ways in which hiring managers and recruiters are evaluating talent. They’re looking for candidates that bring not only the right skills and experience for the job, but those who demonstrate in-demand qualities such as growth potential, leadership, innovation, and impact.
Think of the resume as less of a list of qualifications, and more of a short story around you are, what you’ve done, and the value you can bring to an employer. Don’t just list out what you did, but describe it in a way that highlights the results, accomplishments, and impact your role brought to the organization.
How to Write an Effective Resume
The goal of the resume is to showcase your experience, skills, knowledge, training, and other relevant attributes that would be of interest to an employer, based on the qualifications of the role.
While each person’s resume will differ, we can break the general structure of the resume down into 7 key sections:
Summary or Objective Statement
You can think of the Summary or Objective Statement as your elevator speech – the opener for the resume that introduces who you are, your level of experience, and areas of expertise while setting the tone for the rest of the document. Keep this section concise – ideally 3-5 sentences or bullet points. Make it impactful and representative of your personal brand, and be sure to customize it to fit the role you’re applying to.
Digital marketing strategist with experience crafting high-impact integrated campaigns for global brands in the travel, hospitality, and lifestyle space. Partners with brands to create a cohesive presence and ensure consistent messaging across all channels. Enhances ROI through digital, print, and social media campaigns targeting domestic and international audiences. Seasoned project manager with proven success in marketing, concept development, content management, branding, social media strategy, and sales.
Skills & Core Competencies
You mentioned what you do well in your summary, now tell me everything else you do that’s related to the job. Your strengths might be designing stellar apps with keen attention to usability, but you also know a little bit of PHP. That goes here. Creative Suite whiz? Check. Inside sales? check. Final Cut Pro? Check, and check.
Including a Skills section on the resume is a great way to highlight your core competencies and optimize the resume for keywords.
SKILLS: Digital Marketing Strategy | Social Media Management | Influencer Marketing | Brand Development | Market Research | Project Management | Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The Experience section of your resume should detail your current and previous roles, with the goal of including the most relevant information. It’s not necessary to detail every task and responsibility. Instead, think about what aspects of your role will be most impactful and relevant to your audience, and focus on communicating those.
Bullet points or paragraph format are both fine, but keep it consistent so that each of the positions listed follows the same format.
Ideally, you want to structure your points in a way that show impact – i.e. “I performed X task which produced Z result.”
Communicating your impact isn’t limited to number or metrics. Revenue figures, growth, and click-through rates are great metrics to highlight, but they’re not relevant to every role. Instead, you can illustrate the value of your work by talking about key projects, improvements you contributed to, processes you helped design, people you developed, or any other way that your work contributed to the goals of the organization.
Participate in client meetings to define expectations and develop a consistent brand image across platforms; advise on marketing and programming strategy to maximize following and engagement.
Responsible for contract fulfillment at all stages of campaign delivery.
Leads content development, digital design, and creation of marketing calendars for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Source visual inspiration for content photo shoots and assists with concept development, photography, and styling.
You may choose to highlight your accomplishments in a subsection within your Professional Experience section that you may want to utilize to highlight any particular examples of accomplishments, key projects, or situations where you made a contribution or received the recognition that was outside of your day to day tasks.
Boosted revenue by more than 300% during tenure, developing highly successful in-house brands representing millions of dollars in sales.
Integral in positioning the organization among Crain’s list of Top 25 Minority-Owned Businesses in New York.
Recognized as a top sales performer company-wide throughout tenure.
If you have experience that doesn’t fit into the above section, but would be valuable to highlight, you may choose to include an Additional Experience section. This can include outside projects, volunteer work, freelance positions, consulting projects, or internships. You might also include positions that, while not relevant to your area of focus, cover a period of time that would otherwise show up as a gap in the resume if you left it off.
The Education section should highlight your college or degree programs, professional or advanced training, and other courses, workshops, or professional training relevant to your field. Remember: most relevant, pertinent selling points should come first. Education may appear towards the bottom of your resume if it precedes your more recent and relevant experience, or towards the top if it’s a key selling point or required for the role.
Memberships & Affiliations
Highlight any industry or outside organizations of which you are a member or participant. This can include professional and trade organizations, cultural or community organizations, and even volunteer roles. In the same fashion, you can create a section to highlight your accolades and awards:
M E M B E R S H I P S & A F F I L I A T I O N S
Member, Sommelier Society of America
Member, New York Women’s Culinary Alliance
Volunteer, New York Women’s Agenda
H O N O R S & A W A R D S
Apprenticed under the direction of Master Sommelier John Smith
Awarded the Silver Tasting Cup for highest marks in class – New School of Culinary Arts
Ready to elevate your resume to the next level? Contact us to discuss how we can help you create a more impactful, streamlined resume and professional narrative.
Changing careers used to be considered a risky move, with a certain level of prestige being placed on building a lengthy tenure at one company, or progressing upward in an industry. These days, more and more job seekers are changing careers after 10, 20, or more years of experience in their field, looking for new opportunities to leverage their skill sets and create greater impact.
From a marketing perspective, navigating a successful career change comes down to identifying and articulating your transferrable skill sets. In other words, what experience or skill sets have you gained in your current field that can bring value in another industry?
For example, someone with a lengthy career in software sales might consider marketing themselves to another industry (say, media or cannabis), where their selling, relationship building, and presentation skills could prove valuable in marketing a company’s product or service.
A career change can prove especially tricky when it comes to building a resume that effectively markets those transferrable skills, particularly when you lack hands-on industry experience.
Here are a few tips to help you get started on preparing an effective resume to change careers:
1. Utilize the Resume to Rebrand Yourself
Your resume should be tailored towards the role you’re looking to obtain, and not necessarily the one you’re currently in. The same goes for your target audience, and you want to be sure that you’re speaking to the needs and interests of your future employer, and not just your current industry.
The first sections on your resume should include a well-written Career Summary Statement and a Skills/Core Competencies section. In a situation like this where you may lack relevant experience, you want to start off with your strongest branding information that tells your audience what you’re qualified to do and what you can bring to the table.
You may find it makes sense to condense earlier or less relevant information and place more emphasis on your skill sets. Create a strong opening summary that details your transferrable experience and highlights elements that would be relevant in your target field.
2. Focus on Relevance Over Detail
When including job descriptions, avoid listing out every responsibility and task, and instead focus on those that add direct value or demonstrate transferrable skill sets. Watch out for industry-specific language that may be confusing to hiring managers in another field – it may be beneficial to omit that information.
As mentioned earlier, you may opt to condense earlier roles or experience that is no longer relevant. In many cases, it’s more effective to have a concise, high-level resume that contains relevant information, versus a detailed resume packed with accomplishments, tasks, and responsibilities that are specific to one field.
While it’s best to avoid huge gaps in your resume, ideally you want to list the roles that demonstrate those skills which will be directly transferrable to the new type of role or career you’re going after. Employers want to know that hiring you will be an easy transition, and they more relevant skills you can show them, the more they’ll be convinced.
3. Highlight Transferrable or Relevant Experience
Highlight any outside experience or training that may be relevant to your target industry. This can include education, internships, or volunteer/consulting work, as well as any online training or professional networking opportunities (trade shows, conferences, Meetups, etc.).
Make sure the information does not get lost if placed at the end of the resume. You may instead choose to highlight these aspects towards the top, in the Education, Summary, or Skills sections.
4. Created a Targeted Cover Letter
The cover letter is an excellent tool for expanding beyond the information that’s in the resume and communicating the details around your transition. Avoid reiterating what’s already in the resume, and focus on telling an impactful story around why you’re looking to make a change, and what draws you to the industry, organizations, or role. Culture fit is also important, so don’t be afraid to mention what inspires you about the company, their mission, or their work.
The challenge for any career changer comes in positioning yourself competitively against candidates with more traditional backgrounds in that industry. You’ll also want to highlight your transferrable experience and summarize why you feel you’re a strong candidate for the role.
Changing careers can be a challenging process for even the most qualified candidates. It requires the ability to set a clear vision for success, articulate your transferrable experience, and communicate how those attributes can bring value to an organization.
Communicating your accomplishments on a resume can be challenging, particularly if you’re in a role that doesn’t have direct impact on the numbers, or that isn’t metrics-driven. Resumes are less about detailing your day-to-day responsibilities and more about telling an impactful story around how your role and your work positively impacted the organization.
For professionals in areas like sales and marketing, accomplishments may be easier to show if they’re directly tied to certain numbers or performance indicators. Often these include thigns like revenue growth, new customers or accounts, audience size, click-through rates, etc.
How can you highlight your accomplishments if you’re not in a numbers-driven role, or if you don’t have direct access to that information?
Not all Accomplishments Need to Include Numbers
Focus on showing impact versus numbers, as not every accomplishment is quantifiable. While it’s easy to detail things like revenue growth, marketing reach, or how many subscribers you brought on – don’t overlook accomplishments that aren’t based on metrics.
These can include things such as turning around a struggling client relationship, increasing team or employee morale, stepping in on a special project, or in the absence of an employee, and anything else that supported your organization in achieving its mission or goals.
“Increased employee engagement by reworking the compensation structure.”
“Improved productivity by setting clear goals and holding weekly team meetings.”
“Contributed to the success of a high-profile company event, by redesigning the collateral, invitations, and promotional items.”
“Secured meetings with high-level decision-makers by building trust and rapport with their administrative teams.”
How to List Accomplishments in the Resume
The best way to show your accomplishments on the resume is in one of two ways:
1) Create a separate section at the top of the resume that includes 1-2 highlights from each of your roles. Instead of including your accomplishments in the job descriptions, you can group them into one section that summarizes your impact across your career. This can be a good option if your resume is already text heavy, or if you can’t consistently list accomplishments under each entry in the experience section.
Recognized as the top sales producer for three consecutive years (Company ABC).
Turned around multiple struggling accounts into profitable relationships with multi-year renewal contracts (Company XYZ).
Generated over $1M in additional revenue through upselling and cross-selling efforts (Company Confidential).
Received high-profile press mentions in major publications (Forbes, Wall Street Journal), recognizing innovations in customer success and software sales (Company X).
Played an integral role in scaling a technology start-up into a multi-billion-dollar company, and positioning it for successful sale to venture capital firm (Company Z).
2) Include 2-5 accomplishments for each role under the experience section. You can lead with these points, or call them out as a separate subsection within the job description. This is a good solution for breaking up the text so that the accomplishments don’t get lost in a lengthy paragraph or list of bullets. It also makes them easier to understand by first summarizing your role and responsibilities, and then providing concrete examples of how you were successful in the position.
Worked closely with company founder to identify hiring priorities and form the company’s first 3D design team.
Developed a streamlined process for evaluating and interviewing candidates.
Successfully hired over 20 full-time employees in the first quarter.
What if You Can’t Show the Results, or they Aren’t Impressive?
It’s not always possible to show the results of your work, and in some cases, you may not want to if the results were less than impressive. Perhaps you performed highly as an individual, but the team or organization did not. Circumstances beyond your control – such as organizational changes, leadership shifts, or issues within your customers’ businesses – may impact your personal results. Many clients have described the challenge of signing onto a new position, only to find out it was misrepresented or not what they expected.
So should you try to list results that are less-than-stellar, or avoid including them altogether?
If you can, spin it in a positive light. If you can’t list specific accomplishments, talk about what you did take away from the role – whether that was learning a new skill, building new relationships, or learning about a new sector.
In most cases, you are better off omitting information from your resume that does not support your overall message or that paints you in a potentially negative light. Be prepared to speak to this in the interview process, and talk about your experience with the organization. If you find yourself discussing a negative aspect of the role (i.e. a layoff, internal restructuring, leadership issue), always try to bring the conversation back around to your strengths, and end on a positive note.
“While it was difficult to be a new employee at a time when the company was struggling, I did learn a lot about thinking on my feet.”
“I wasn’t aware until my first few weeks how strained the company really was – but fortunately we were still able to meet our deadlines despite the reduction in staff.”
“I was excited to join the company, but unfortunately the position turned out to be different than what I expected. I appreciate the opportunity, and am using this time to strategically plan my next career move.”
The purpose of showing accomplishments on your resume is to communicate how the work you did directly support the goals of the organization. Do include quantifiable metrics (growth, profitability, new customers, audience reach, etc.) if you can, but not all accomplishments need to include numbers. Instead, focus on communicating impact, talk about how you were successful in the role, what you learned, and how you contributed to the overall growth, profitability, or mission of the organization. What did you take away, and how can that add value in your next role?
Need help communicating your value and putting your accomplishments on paper? We know the right questions to ask, and can help you formulate and impactful narrative that will grab a recruiter’s attention. Contact us to learn more.
Q: Will having a LinkedIn profile improve my chances of getting a job?
A: Over 95% of recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn to source and connect with top talent. And with a network of over 500 million users, LinkedIn is the leading online professional networking resource, and a standard across all industries for building a strong digital presence.
LinkedIn provides unmatched access to millions of employers and job postings.
There are over 26 million companies and more than 15 million ACTIVE job listings on LinkedIn. In addition to being a platform for connecting with your peers, LinkedIn offers access to premium and exclusive job postings that may not be listed elsewhere, as well as millions of more opportunities posted by top employers on a daily basis. In order to apply to jobs through LinkedIn’s job board, you need to be a registered member with an active profile.
LinkedIn keeps you connected through millions of industry-specific groups.
From mid-life career changers, to wellness entrepreneurs in New York, and digital design professionals in Minnesota, one of the greatest features LinkedIn boasts is it’s highly targeted niche groups, designed to connect professionals within various fields and specializations.
While some require membership approval by their moderators, many groups are open to the public, the LinkedIn groups are resources to tap into, as some of the larger groups offer instant access to and opportunities to share content and ideas with thousands of your peers.
It’s an easy way to increase your visibility and forge connections with potential influencers who can help you tap into job opportunities. And over 80% of LinkedIn users belong to at least 1 group.
LinkedIn makes you more visible to recruiters and hiring managers.
LinkedIn uses a performance metric called the Social Selling Index (SSI) score, which rates a candidate’s profile quality based on four key pillars. These pillars take into consideration such information such as profile completeness, relevance and acceptance rate of your connection requests, what kind of content you’re contributing/posting, and your level of activity and engagement with others.
A “complete” and quality profile includes all of the key sections – a profile photo, headline, summary or short bio, experience and education sections, and relevant entries and endorsements in your Skills section. The more complete your profile, the greater your chances of appearing in relevant search queries for candidates with your background and skill set.
Even if you’re not actively looking for jobs, having a polished, professional LinkedIn profile will help you build your network, tap into new opportunities, and maintain an active presence among professionals in your field. It will immediately increase your visibility to hiring managers and recruiters, while also positively impacting your Google results, and strengthening the overall credibility of your personal brand.
Need help crafting an impactful LinkedIn profile and digital brand presence? Contact us to learn more.
Are hiring managers really using it to recruit candidates in my industry?
Can’t I just copy and paste my resume into my profile? What’s the difference?
I’m a private person – how can I avoid publicizing my information online?
The biggest mistake I see job seekers making is having either no presence at all, or a “bare bones” profile that lists no discernable information other than job titles and employment dates. If you’re concerned about tipping off your current employer, there are many different options for controlling the information in your LinkedIn profile that is available to the general public.
LinkedIn is meant to complement your resume. Providing a high-level overview of who you are, what you’ve done, and value you bring to the table will help you stand out to employers and hiring managers.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, set aside 30 minutes during your lunch break and make it your top priority. If you have a profile but have neglected it in recent months (or years), take time to update it and make it great with a proper bio, job descriptions, relevant employment information, education, and skill sets.
5 reasons you should have an updated LinkedIn profile:
LinkedIn is One of the Top Recruiting Platforms in the World
With over 250 million active members and more than 15 million active job postings, upwards of 95% of recruiters and hiring managers are using LinkedIn to source qualified candidates.
The platform remains one of the most highly utilized hiring and recruiting resources in the world, while offering a host of other valuable job seeker tools and benefits.
Hiring Managers Use LinkedIn to Compare Information on Your Resume
In addition to using LinkedIn to actively recruit candidates, recruiters and hiring managers will often compare a job applicant’s resume against their profile to check for accuracy and consistency. Make sure whatever you communicate in your resume remains consistent with the information on LinkedIn.
This means you’re highlighting similar skill sets, job titles, company names, and dates are consistent, and that you have a recent photograph. Recruiters will also look at your activity on LinkedIn (and social media, in some cases) to see how active you are within your industry – whether that’s in group discussions, sharing relevant content, or following companies of interest in your field.
To avoid any discrepancies, make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are closely matched and speaking to the same qualifications, job titles, and audience.
LinkedIn Builds Connections, and Connections Lead to Opportunities
The best way to get your resume in the door of an organization continues to be through a personal connection. LinkedIn is the number-one professional networking site in the world and an ideal platform for building and managing your network. It’s not just about amassing connections either. Those who get the most benefit out of LinkedIn are those who consciously build, nurture, and leverage their relationships.
Looking to break into a particular company? It’s likely that someone in your network has a direct or indirect connection that – with the right introduction – could help you get in the door. Take an inventory of your network, see if there are connections that you haven’t been in touch within a while or new connections that you’d like to make, and create an outreach strategy to build and nurture those relationships.
LinkedIn Is the Cornerstone Your Online Personal Brand Presence
If you’ve ever done a Google search on your name, your LinkedIn profile is often the top result that appears. By having a quality profile, you’re controlling the data that’s out there about you, and ensuring that information makes it to the top of the relevant search list.
Maintaining your personal brand includes taking a regular inventory of what kind of information and search results are connected to your name, and making sure your digital reputation remains in good standing. Having an active LinkedIn profile gives you a degree of influence over how hiring managers access your personal information, and the professional image you’re projecting.
LinkedIn Provides Access to Exclusive Job Postings
LinkedIn has its own exclusive job board where companies and employers can actively post openings, review resumes, and recruit top candidates based on skill set matches. While not every posting is exclusive to LinkedIn, there are over 15 million active postings on the platform, and you must have a profile in order to apply to jobs.
In addition to the job board, LinkedIn groups also provide access to peer-submitted job postings from other group members. And since the groups are often structured based on geographic or industry focus, you’re more likely to find opportunities that are specific and relevant to your field.
Do a search and request to join relevant groups in your industry or market. Sign up for daily and weekly group email digests that provide listings of job postings and other opportunities submitted by group members.
There is a multitude of reasons to have an active LinkedIn presence that pose immense benefits to job seekers. Most notably, being on LinkedIn will increase your chances of standing out to hiring managers, allow you to cultivate and leverage valuable industry connections, and provide access to key job opportunities.
Ready to craft a winning profile?Contact us, and we’ll work with you to build your presence and develop a keyword-optimized profile that gets hiring managers’ attention.
Your LinkedIn profile is the cornerstone of your digital brand presence, and – along with your resume – a critical tool in your job search portfolio. More than 95% of recruiters and hiring managers actively use LinkedIn to source top talent. This complete guide to creating a great LinkedIn profile provides you with the know-how to create a polished, professional portfolio that will significantly increase your chances of standing out among the competition.
With over 200M active members and more than 15M job listings, LinkedIn is a valuable tool for professionals across all industries, regardless of whether or not you are actively (or passively) looking for a job.
Continually updating your LinkedIn profile with relevant, keyword-rich information an important part of maintaining an effective presence. LinkedIn uses algorithms to assess a member’s profile quality based on several key pillars that focus on relevancy, engagement, and activity patterns. A completed profile – i.e. all primary sections are populated with content – has a much higher chance of showing up in relevant search queries based on title and skill set.
Not sure where to start? Focus on building out the primary sections on your profile. These include:
Education & Training
Skills & Endorsements
Start With a Strong LinkedIn Headline
How Long Should Your LinkedIn Headline Be?
Your headline is a brief description that appears next to your profile in search results, and at the top of your profile when a viewer clicks on your page. You can include up to 120 characters of text to describe what you do, whether that’s a brief description or your current job title. Avoid using symbols, emojis, or other characters in your headline, as they are not searchable.
What to Include in Your LinkedIn Headline
Your profile headline should be optimized for keywords and phrases closely related to the types of roles you’re targeting. It is acceptable to use your current job title so as not to raise red flags among your employer, if it’s relevant and descriptive of your specialty. Or you can create a broader, concise description of your expertise. Avoid using overly creative titles that don’t accurately represent your function, and stick to keyword optimized, common search teams.
Examples of Good LinkedIn Profile Headlines:
Strategic Marketing Manager for Luxury & Lifestyle Brands
Social Media & Content Marketing Consultant for the Hospitality Industry
Key Account Manager at XZY Company
Create a Concise & Impactful Profile Summary
How Long Should Your LinkedIn Summary Be?
The summary section of your profile provides a concise overview of your skills and experience, and can include up to 2000 characters of text. Pay attention to keyword optimization, and include a brief bio that integrates important search terms relevant to your current role and target job opportunities.
How to Write a Profile Summary
Similar to your headline – and much like your resume – the summary section of your profile should accurately describe your experience, skills, and strengths, and be keyword optimized based on the roles you are targeting. As LinkedIn is a less formal platform than the resume, using either first-person or third-person voice is acceptable.
Summary Example 1 (First-Person):
With more than 10 years of experience in healthcare, wellness, and fitness industries, I am passionate about bringing holistic health and beauty practices to women across the globe. As a certified yoga instructor and trained holistic expert, I strive to create accessible and engaging solutions that support stress management and healthy lifestyle goals. I have been an avid practitioner of meditation for more than 15 years, and try to integrate aspects of mindfulness in all areas of my work.
Michelle is an expert resume writer, personal brand strategist, and trained career coach who has helped thousands of professionals in areas like marketing, design, technology, fashion, sales, and finance navigate career transition and job change. With over 15 years of recruiting, consulting, and HR experience, she advises clients on strategies for successfully navigating the most competitive job markets and maximizing their earning potential.
Michelle is the founder of Aspyre Solutions, a New York-based career consulting and job placement firm, where she leads a team of HR specialists in placing top talent at organizations across the US. She has been recognized as an influential expert on hiring, job searching, and career transition by Forbes, USA Today, and Fast Company.
How to Represent Experience & Education on Your Profile
There is no one correct way to present your experience on LinkedIn. Profiles range from minimal information (job titles, dates, company names), to copying and pasting information straight from the resume.
As LinkedIn is designed to provide a high-level introduction to you as a potential candidate, aim to include concise descriptions that give a short, punchy description of your role. No need to go into full detail, and in many cases, it may be best to leave off numbers, accomplishments, or information that may be too specific for broader audiences.
While you can cut and paste bullets, LinkedIn’s formatting options are limited. The best way to present your information is in short, descriptive paragraphs that are easy to read and scan.
Senior Recruiter / Team Lead Company XYZ January 2015 – May 2018 | New York, NY
As one of the first members of a newly established recruiting division, I managed all aspects of talent sourcing, interviewing, and placement for clients in advertising, marketing, design, media, and technology. As a team lead, I implemented marketing and growth strategies, financial goals, client service, and internal hiring protocols to ensure continued growth and profitability. I led the group in recruiting over 200 multi-level job seekers annually while cultivating relationships with top advertising and marketing agencies.
Education & Training
The Education section should list credentials such as undergraduate and graduate degrees, certifications, training, courses, or other professional development accolades from college and beyond. While including your high school diploma is typically not advised, some professionals will include their school for alumni purposes.
LinkedIn also offers a separate section to highlight professional certifications and courses under the Accomplishments section.
Highlight Your Top Skills & Endorsements
Skills & Endorsements
Including relevant skills in your profile is a great way to showcase your abilities while ensuring the profile is optimized for keywords. Select ones that are most closely matched to your experience, expertise, and skill set, and go with common terms that are likely to be searched.
The skills you include in your profile can be endorsed by your connections, and you have the option to select 3 Top Skills to appear at the top of your list.
While the number of recommendations no longer factors into your completeness score, having at least 2-3 recommendations adds credibility to your profile and allows you to apply to certain opportunities on LinkedIn’s job board. Aim to include a mix of recommendations that show various working relationships with peers, supervisors, clients, or direct reports.
You can request a recommendation from any of your first-degree connections using LinkedIn’s form. Your connections must submit the recommendation through their own account at which point you will be asked to approve it before appearing on your live profile.
You can upload media and other files – such as letters of recommendation or references, but only within the summary or experience sections. If you have examples of your work, these would also be good places to highlight those or provide a link to a portfolio or other site.
Can my LinkedIn Profile Replace a Resume?
Your LinkedIn profile is not designed to replace your resume but it should complement it as part of your job search tool kit. The goal is to create a consistent brand presence across all platforms. Both the resume and profile should communicate a similar message, with consistent titles and information so there’s no discrepancy between the two.
It is not uncommon for hiring managers and recruiters to cross-check an applicant’s resume with their LinkedIn profile, and vice-versa. Make sure that both your resume and profile remain up to date and in sync as far as your current role, previous positions, headline, summary, and skill sets – so that you’re putting your best foot forward.
Recruiters will also look at your activity on LinkedIn (and social media, in some cases) to see how active you are within your industry – whether that’s in group discussions, sharing relevant content, or following companies of interest in your field. To avoid any discrepancies, make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are closely matched and speaking to the same qualifications, job titles, and audience.
Even if you’re not actively looking for jobs, having a polished, professional LinkedIn profile will increase your chances of standing out to hiring managers, enable you to cultivate and leverage valuable industry connections, and provide access to key job opportunities. It will immediately increase your visibility among like-minded peers while also strengthening the overall credibility of your personal brand.
Ready to craft a winning profile?Contact us, and we’ll work with you to build your presence and develop a keyword-optimized profile that gets hiring managers’ attention.
Having a strong LinkedIn and digital presence is key to the success of your job search. It boosts your visibility to hiring managers and recruiters. It provides a valuable opportunity to connect with industry peers. And gives access to relevant job opportunities through LinkedIn’s job board and industry groups.
But make no mistake, LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, a tool designed to complement your resume, not replace it.
Why You Still Need a Resume & Cover Letter
Most job postings still require that you upload an actual resume and cover letter document to apply to a position. In some cases, you may be able to use your LinkedIn profile to apply to job opportunities through LinkedIn’s own job board. But rarely is that the case for outside platforms. Therefore, it’s important to have a strong resume and cover letter individually tailored to the role and organization you are applying to.
Your LinkedIn Profile
How much detail should your LinkedIn profile include? I’ve seen profiles ranging from nothing but job titles and company names to a full cut-and-paste of the resume content. The most effective profiles land somewhere in the middle, in terms of the volume and descriptiveness of content.
Include a strong, keyword-optimized headline that describes your focus and area of expertise.
Create a brief opening summary or short bio that introduces who you are, what you’ve done, and what you have to offer.
Your job descriptions should include your current title, employer, dates, and location, as well as a brief paragraph or two describing your position from a high level.
You can include additional sections such as Education, Certifications, Projects, Publications, and Volunteer work.
Boost your profile by asking your connections for recommendations on your work. Diversify the mix of recommendations across peers, supervisors, clients, or direct reports to showcase your various working relationships.
Much like the resume, the LinkedIn profile should be clear, concise, and easy to read. Too much content will lose your reader’s attention. Not adding any content is a missed opportunity to grab their attention and start a conversation.
Important Facts About LinkedIn
LinkedIn relies on something called a Profile Completeness Score, which is essentially an algorithm that evaluates the relevance and legitimacy of your profile’s content and uses that to determine how you show up in relevant search queries for your skill set. That score is raised by filling out all of the key sections of your profile: Profile Photo, Headline, Summary, Experience, Education, Skills, and Recommendations.
The most emphasis is put on your Skills & Expertise, with the goal of using that information to connect you with people who have similar skill sets or employers looking for subject experts in those areas. It puts less emphasis on the things you have less control over, such as recommendations.
Additionally important are your profile photo, headline, and two most recent positions – which are weighted heavily for keyword relevance and completeness. According to LinkedIn, including your two most recent positions increases your chances of showing up in relevant search queries more than 10-fold.
The Major Differences Between a Resume and Your LinkedIn Profile
Your resume and your LinkedIn profile serve different purposes. From a strategic perspective, they should be treated as different tools in your professional toolkit.
More formal in tone and language, always written in 3rd person.
Typically includes more detailed and granular information about accomplishments and key responsibilities.
Is an outbound marketing tool that should be continually tailored to your target opportunity or employer.
Needs to include the right language and keywords to ensure it is optimized for ATS (applicant tracking software) compliance.
Can be created into multiple versions serving different audiences or focuses.
Your LinkedIn Profile
Less formal and more flexible, able to accommodate a more narrative or casual first-person voice.
Presents information in a more high-level structure, as it’s reaching a much broader audience.
With hardly any formatting options, it lends itself best to more concise, single paragraph style layout.
An inbound marketing tool and platform to which people searching for specific skill sets can find you, versus you soliciting them.
Should also be regularly tweaked (but less often) in accordance with employment changes, new skill sets, titles, or areas of focus.
Represents your digital presence within a much bigger platform that offers exclusive job opportunities, networking potential, and niche group conversations.
One of the first entries to appear in search results when someone Googles your name, thanks to LinkedIn’s high SEO and site credibility.
LinkedIn is a valuable tool for job seekers of all levels and industries. Having a polished, professional presence will increase your visibility.
It’s not just an extra tool to supplement your resume, it’s the core foundation of your digital presence. And possibly the primary way hiring managers will find you.
Ensure all sections of your profile are filled out with clear, concise, and keyword-driven content that speaks to your skill set and expertise.
Connect with peers in your field, and ensure your resume and LinkedIn profile convey a consistent message around your experiences, skills, and value.
One of the biggest challenges with infographic resumes is that they are generally not ATS compliant. The format and presentation of the resume may prevent the Applicant Tracking System from accurately reading your resume, and passing it through the system.
Also, graphical elements, text in the form of images, and tables are generally not readable by the ATS system, and using them in your design will render your resume ineffective.
You can incorporate creative elements such as lines, color, and attractive font choices to make your resume stand out. Just make sure your resume adheres to the “3 C’s of Content”: clear, compelling, and concise.
There are still a couple of creative tactics you can employ to give your resume a well-designed look that helps it stand out among a sea of black and white templates.
Here are three examples that blend high-quality design with exceptional content, while following the rules for ATS compliance:
ATS COMPLIANT RESUME EXAMPLE #1
What Makes this Resume Effective:
Using one color sparingly and strategically to highlight different sections.
Using lines to separate the section headers and break up the resume for easy scanning.
Including a text box in place of a table to add a subtle backdrop and interesting visual element at the top of the resume. Tables are generally not readable by ATS, but text blocks are.
ATS COMPLIANT RESUME EXAMPLE #2
What Makes this Resume Effective:
Using a two-column format makes the resume easy to read and scan.
Employing lines and text boxes in place of tables ensures the resume is ATS compliant while creating opportunities to use color, weights, and visuals to make the resumes stand out.
Contrasting colors effectively highlight sections and key phrases – such as job titles, company names, and core skill sets.
ATS COMPLIANT RESUME EXAMPLE #3
What Makes this Resume Effective:
Contrasting header adds an interesting visual element while ensuring the resume is still easy to read.
The “E-Style” formatting optimizes the layout for reading from left to right, which is more natural to the eye.
The use of lines and bold fonts in the section headers make it easy to jump between areas of the resume without missing key information. It breaks it up into more digestible chunks that a reader can scan through.
All resume designs copyrighted by Brooklyn Resume Studio. View more of our resume examples.
The purpose of the resume is to make a strong first impression, by highlighting your most relevant skills, experience, and knowledge. It should be impactful, concise, and provide your reader with a clear message as to why you are qualified for the role. Hiring managers scan hundreds of resumes for each job description, and no one wants to read a document full of nondescript adjectives and verbs. So choose powerful, descriptive words to boost your resume.
“Dedicated and results-oriented professional with 10 years of experience supporting marketing and advertising departments.”
“Dedicated” and “results-oriented” are phrases that most people use to describe themselves, and hold no weight from a hiring perspective. Chance are, you can name 10 people who possess similar qualities and also enjoy seeing the positive results of their hard work.
Avoid Overusing Phrases on Your Resume
Though the point isn’t to write an exhilarating action novel, you should talk about your career, your experience, and your value in an interesting and impactful way that uniquely describes you.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of overusing common phrases such as created, developed, managed, handled, coordinated because they mimic the way we speak in everyday conversations.
After multiple uses, they start to lose their integrity, and candidates sometimes try to work around the scenario by defaulting to overly-wordy phrases that say the same thing in a more drawn out way: “Was primarily responsible for the development of…”.
Take a look at the verbiage you use to describe your responsibilities, impact, and qualifications, and ask yourself if there is a choice that sounds more powerful/high level/interesting/etc.
Communicate Simple Ideas in a Powerful Way on Your Resume
Avoid overused resume verbs and replace them with these alternatives to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments:
Use instead of: created, developed, produced Use to: Convey the idea that you created something that was new and successful, whether that’s a process, guideline, workflow, or product.
Example: “Architected a new manual for training and onboarding new hires.”
Use instead of: improved, organized, coordinated, made more efficient Use to: Convey the same ideas as the words above, but that in doing so you created greater efficiency or a similar positive impact.
Example (as a verb): “Streamlined the web design process by creating a universal style guide for corporate branding.”
Example (as an adjective): “Created a streamlined process for updating the website by implementing a universal style guide outlining corporate branding guidelines.”
Use instead of: used, utilized, called upon Use to: Show how you put specific knowledge or skill sets into use to achieve a desired result.
Example: “Leveraged social media marketing skills to create a Facebook advertising campaign that increased monthly website traffic by 75%.”
Use instead of: built (relationships), developed Use to: Communicate the idea of relationship building from a more strategic angle.
Example: “Cultivated relationships with key retail partners to increase sales and market share.”
Use instead of: experience, focusing on, with knowledge of Use to: Present supporting information around areas in which you have experience or knowledge and want to emphasize.
Example: “Ten years of project management experience with significant exposure to digital media and mobile platforms.”
Additional Verbs to Make Your Resume Stand Out
Language in a Resume
The quality of language and content can make or break your resume, profile or cover letter.
Boring repetitive language will fall short of effectively marketing your key points, while excessive, complex, or drawn out ideas and phrases will sound artificial and like you’re filling space.
The key is to remember that less is often more, and using colorful and descriptive words to communicate your ideas will create a more impactful message around your unique value as a candidate.