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Ten tips for the perfect LinkedIn profile

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LinkedIn is a great tool to find jobs, stay updated with industry goings on, network with professionals from relevant areas and generally stay within the radar of potential employers.

However, crafting a LinkedIn profile that does all this is not an easy task. Here are 10 tips to help you get it right:

  • Include a profile picture – It may sound shallow, but having a profile picture is imperative. When a recruiter sees a blank space where the profile image should be, it evokes a sense of mistrust right from the get-go. Also, it is important to make sure that the picture is suitable for a professional website. It doesn’t have to be shot in a studio, but should make you look professional yet approachable — somebody a recruiter might want to hire. Also make sure it’s a good quality image, not pixelated, blurred or too dark/light.
  • Summary – Recruiters or employers can have as many as hundreds of resumes and LinkedIn profiles to run through to find a suitable candidate for the job. Thus, chances are, they won’t spend too much time reading your entire profile. You must make the self-sale in the summary section. Ensure that the summary is impactful and describes sufficiently, in the limited space, who you are and what you can offer.
  • Settings – Change your settings while updating your profile or making any job search-related posts; the last thing you need is your current employer getting wind of it. Likewise, when making a new profile, turn off the updates; otherwise, LinkedIn will blast feed every little change you save, every time, to all your contacts, and this can be very annoying.
  • Headings and sub-heads – It is important to break up the text into short, descriptive headings and then describe the details under appropriate sub-heads. Large chunks of text can be boring and the recruiter might lose interest. Precise headings allow the recruiter to know what you are going to be talking about next.
  • Formatted, uniform look – Use bullets and pointers instead of long paragraphs to make your point. This makes it less tedious for a time-pressed recruiter to go through your profile, winning you brownie points
  • Lying – Do not lie in your profile. Industry folk tend to know each other on LinkedIn. So the next time you go for an interview based on false claims, not only will the employer realize that you have fibbed on your profile, he could also spread the word around, ruining any other chances you might have of getting calls from other places.
  • Update your profile – Remember to update your profile from time to time. The last thing a recruiter wants is to call you as a potential candidate based on the details you have revealed on your profile, only to realize that it hasn’t been updated and you do not meet his requirements. If you were a job seeker three years ago, make sure you change that after you get a job, otherwise you will keep getting jobs suitable for freshers, without understanding why that is the case. Likewise, if you are looking for a job but your profile says you already have a job, it could mean you aren’t getting calls you otherwise might have received, so change that.
  • Endorsements – Make sure you put up skills which you truly have. Being endorsed for the wrong skill-sets for the right job will not win you any brownie points. It doesn’t matter if you have 50 endorsements for a skill-set if it isn’t relevant to you. Instead, take time to think about which are the skills you want to be known for and list only those.
  • Words not to use – While it is important to remember that you must use words that are likely to optimize your profile and put you at the top of search results, going for the overkill or using words that have been done to death is not effective, either. As of 2012, words like ‘creative, organizational, effective, motivated, extensive experience, track record, innovative and responsible are considered taboo for using on your LinkedIn profile.
  • Connections and groups – This may seem innocuous, but be mindful of the people and groups that you have listed on your profile. If a potential employer sees your connections and groups scattered across completely unrelated industries, it will fail to impress him, the idea being that you aren’t focused enough. So, make sure to avoid having unrelated people and groups.

 

Let us help you

With these 10 tips, you can’t go wrong with your LinkedIn profile. But if you still think you can’t manage on your own worry not. Style Resumes will be happy to help you on your path to success. Simply contact Style Resumes and a useful, impressive LinkedIn profile can be yours.

 

 

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The Importance of Updating Your Resume

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Jot it down while it’s still fresh

Having an up-to-date, ready to send resume is a time critical factor in maximizing your potential in the job market. Unconsciously, most people omit lots of key achievements from a current or previous role when eventually updating their resume if they don’t do it on a regular basis.

In our daily working lives, we could be contributing to a key company project, increasing profitability and productivity in our departments, training other staff effectively and so on. These are just a few key things that could be included on your resume as you update it. If you are not keeping an active eye on your resume regularly, it’s easy to forget to add important achievements.

Trying to delve deep into your memory bank to remember why you were so great and effective in your job before the company cut staff or closed down, is not an easy task. Losing a job creates massive impacts on our ability to really market ourselves well. Shock sets in, we lose confidence, we are distracted with the worry at not having a regular income, we panic…the list is endless. However, losing a job doesn’t have to be the end of the line; it’s an opportunity to reinvent yourself and make the most of your core skill-set and apply those to creating a winning resume.

Tips for keeping your resume up to date

Now that you know how important it is to update your resume regularly, how can you do it? At the end of each week, think about what you have achieved, and if there is anything that would really stand out on your resume. For example:

  • Did your line manager or maybe the MD of your company acknowledge something you did well?
  • How did you perform in a team task, did you manage to motivate and support your colleagues in getting the results you were all aiming for?
  • Did you implement a new system that increased productivity in your division or for the company?
  • Did you win a new hard to reach client by applying a new sales technique?
  • Did you finish a project in record time and brought it in under budget?

Anything positive should be listed in your key achievements within your resume. What may have seemed a small thing at the time or part of your usual week, may actually be the difference of a potential new employer offering you an interview and subsequently a job. Don’t take for granted your daily duties. You are contributing everyday to make your company and department a success.

Outside work, interests are a key attributing factor at making you stand out from the pile of resumes on a recruiter’s desk. Perhaps you recently started some voluntary work for a local charity, maybe you are involved in some sort of team sports – this is a great indication to a recruiter that not only are you a team player, but also that you think beyond the norm.

Whatever it is that you do, remember it is valuable in its own way and may just be the difference between you and the next candidate from getting the job you want!

Craft a perfect resume with Style Resumes

Writing resume is a tricky job. You think you are well-versed in crafting the perfect resume, but more often than not, you are not. So, it is always better to leave it to professional resume writers who know exactly what they’re doing. At Style Resumes, we are equipped with the skills and knowledge to write you various types of resume and cover letter. Let’s craft that perfect resume and snatch away that dream job of yours!

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Why is a cover letter important?

Everyone knows that a resume needs to be accompanied by a cover letter during job hunting. It is, after all, the golden rule. But with the advent of technology and introduction of new forms of online applications, is a cover letter really important?

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A recent survey targeted to close to 3000 respondents showed that a whopping 86% of them decided that a cover letter is “not very important”. So why are we still following the 14% of them?

The power of a cover letter

Many experts believe that submitting a cover letter with the resume is still necessary even in today’s context. This is because the cover letter still proves to be more functional than a resume in capturing the reader’s attention.

Consider this: The purpose of a cover letter is to get your resume read. The purpose of the resume then is to land you that interview. Ultimately, that interview will secure you the dream job. So the moral of the story is, you won’t get the job without first writing that cover letter.

Here are some reasons why the cover letter is so important.

Your resume cover letter is a sales letter. It sells your resume; therefore it sells you. It is the fundamental tool that acts as a bait to hook the reader, mainly your hiring manager. Most hiring managers tend to scan materials quickly, hence it is important that your cover letter is attached to the resume, because it lists down specific qualities that are made to stand out and grab the reader’s attention.

According to Pennell Locey, senior consultant for Keystone Associate, a career management consulting firm headquartered in Boston, many companies still prefer the cover letters to be submitted alongside the resume because it is valuable. In a cover letter, hiring managers are able to precisely match one’s qualifications to the job requirements and to the company to a degree “that’s difficult in a resume”.

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Short and sweet but impactful

Using your cover letter to catch the attention of your hiring manager is more advantageous than using a resume because of its short, brief and succinct content.

Cover letters are more appealing to the eye precisely because it is not supposed to go beyond one page. Applicants usually list down few but powerful points where they feel their qualifications directly make them stand out from the crowd on the cover letter. This makes the cover letter a lot easier for an employer to read.

According to Tracy Cashman, partner and general manager of the information technology division of Winter, Wyman – one of the largest staffing firms in the Northeast, cover letters are also useful because it explains certain information not reflected on the resume, such as a gap in employment history or a position outside the applicant’s career track. This helps build some form of a connection and allows the hiring manager to understand you better because after all, you will be working with him or her for quite a while.

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Start writing that cover letter

So now that we have established the fact that a resume might not be as appealing without a cover letter, it’s time to start thinking of a way to craft one. Many online websites and resume writing courses might help you produce a cover letter, but is it good enough? At Style Resumes, we provide the best cover letter services as we have been specializing in this industry for many years. Not only is it affordable, it also represents you, especially since we have the experience, knowledge and expertise in writing cover letters and resumes. So stop worrying about whether you will get that interview, start worrying about what to wear on the first day of your job instead!

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Top 5 Cover Letter Mistakes

A good cover letter can get you the job, but a lousy one can lose you the job. The key is to proofread your letter numerous times and make sure it is free from these common mistakes:

  1. Send a generic cover letter to many different companies. You may not love the idea of composing a unique cover letter for each job you apply to, but it’s worth it. A hiring manager can immediately recognizes a stock cover letter that you’ve mass-distributed to every place in town, and your cover letter is most likely to be put in the trash. Personalize your letter! Research on the company and write a cover letter that’s specific to the job and company you’re applying to.
  2. Send an unclean cover letter. Have we not told you enough times to proofread, proofread, and proofread your cover letter before sending it? Hiring managers are quickly turned off by typos, misspellings, incorrect grammar or punctuation, smudges, or even worse: grease from yesterday’s lunch.
  3. Waste your first paragraph by writing a boring introduction. The first paragraph of a cover letter is the “prime estate”, so be wise and use it to grab the employer’s attention. In the first paragraph, give the employer the reasons you are qualified for the position so s/he would read the rest of your letter.
  4. Reiterate your resume in your cover letter. Your cover letter is meant to complement your resume—not repeat it. So, it won’t do you much good if you simply take the best bullet points from your resume, repeat and rephrase them a bit in your cover letter. Use your cover letter to describe additional details that you weren’t able to squeeze onto the single page of your resume and tell the story of why you’re the perfect fit for the company.
  5. Use flowery language that takes up space. Hiring managers are not impressed by complicated, flowery language meant to sell yourself. Instead, it might distract him/her and blur your points. Use simple language and uncomplicated sentence structure, eliminate all unnecessary words and keep your letter well under a full page.

 

Take advantage of other people’s mistakes!

As many people are uninformed about these cover letter mistakes, you can turn it into your advantage by submitting a unique cover letter that goes beyond “the art of copying and pasting”, which truly displays that you are the perfect fit for the company.

At Style Resumes, we provide the best cover letter services as we have been specializing in this industry for many years. We will craft a perfect cover letter that represents you and showing the best of you.

Stop worrying about whether you will get that interview, start worrying about what to wear on the first day of your job instead!

6 Ways to Prepare Yourself to the Next Great Job

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You might have been laid off recently, or you are on a career move. Do not fall into depression because of you sudden change of employment situation, and engage yourself in these six activities.

Volunteer

Those skills you kept thinking you might be able to learn on past jobs are out there waiting for you in the world of volunteering. One person volunteered to build a data base for a group and learned to use a tool that they couldn’t get training for on their jobs. That tool was the deal maker in their resume for a step up in their career. Another person volunteered as an actor in a community fundraiser. Where interviews had been disappointing and matched his fading level of energy before the fundraiser, interviews after were energetic. Shake yourself up a little.

Buy a new outfit for interviews

Maybe clothes don’t really make the man or woman but the impression you make can make a huge difference. During a previous downturn, a fellow in his fifties was getting the old “over-qualified” line in the interviews he could get. His wife said, over breakfast one morning, “We’re going out to buy you a new suit.” He protested about spending for any item that was not absolutely necessary. She stood her ground and said it was absolutely necessary. They picked out the most expensive suit he had ever owned the night before the interview that got him the best job he’d ever had. His attitude was different. Perk yourself up.

Get in touch with your network

If you made the dreadful mistake of getting so busy that you’ve lost touch with old friends and coworkers, get busy rebuilding those bridges. Don’t feel self-conscious about getting back in touch when you need them. Don’t ask for a job. Let them know what you’re doing and find out what they’re doing. The young person you mentored on a job a while back could be the VP of Engineering for a software developer now. A network is a two way street. You could be the one your contacts need the next time around. Keep it healthy and energetic. Don’t put it on a back burner again.

Get up to speed on social networking

Communities like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and others offer an assortment of opportunities for getting involved and meeting new people. While you’re getting up to speed on them, don’t shoot yourself in the foot by contributing anything you would not want n employer to see. HR departments include social networks in their research. That wet t-shirt contest might not fit the preferences of a conservative employer with just the job you’ve always wanted. Do check out discussion groups in your field. Don’t connect with people who have brown paper bags for heads or weird bios. Make your connections with people in your field who can carry on a lively conversation about your area of expertise. Let people know you’re looking in your status blurbs.

Get that certification you haven’t had time to get

How many times have you wished that you had time to go for certification in your specialty? Professional associations and colleges have an assortment of certifications to offer. When his last assignment for the Navy was a base closure, a Naval Officer received the equivalent of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for an extremely successful base closure using the techniques he learned in APICS certification classes that he took the time to take. That training and the award led directly to his first civilian job after retirement. Get ready to take a step forward in your career while you do have the time.

Get professional resume help

When you are looking for job, your resume is your most powerful weapon to score that dream job of yours. Most people think that writing resume is an easy job. However, more often than not, they are wrong. They end up submitting a messy and unimpressive resume which is quickly thrown into the trash bin.

Don’t let your resume get treated like that! A good resume is an investment for your bright future. At Style Resumes, we know what we’re doing. We’ve helped thousands of job seekers get their dream job by giving them an impressive resume and cover letter that made employers feel in love with them. Get in touch with us and let’s craft that perfect resume!

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