Four areas on your resume and six on your profile.
Talking with a client the other day, we had a conversation about the difference between bragging and promoting one’s greatness. Now, I’m the last person who would outright brag. Promote my greatness in a factual way? Sure. But brag, that isn’t me.
And by no means was I suggesting that my client brag. I pointed out that her resume and LinkedIn profile lacked the oomph that would impress employers and separate her from every other job candidate.
Here’s the thing about your resume and LinkedIn profile: you are given permission to promote your greatness…in a factual way. You are not encouraged to brag; there’s a difference. So, let’s break this down in simple terms.
There are four areas where you are encouraged to write about your greatness. They are your Summary, Skills and Experience sections, and even Education.
In the Summary it’s imperative that you convey the greatness you will deliver to the employer. Make it brief. No hiring authority wants to read a 10-line paragraph. You might decide to go with bullet points to separate the major areas of value. Here’s an example:
- Workers Compensation Director with expertise ranging from examining claims to developing and marketing managed-care products and services
- Establish relationships with partners in the Northeast region, exceeding managements’ expectations
- Design products and provide services that Saves millions of dollars for client companies
Avoid using cliches like “results oriented,” “ingenious,” “outstanding,” to name a few. You get the picture. They do nothing to promote your value.
The Skills section is where you list the skills that are pertinent to the position at hand. Don’t be shy. Highlight at least nine skills mentioned in the job ad in order of priority. Reading the job ad you notice the following skills required for a marketing manager:
Your greatness is proven by knowing which skills to include in this section. If you list skills that aren’t relevant, you’re missing the mark. You will further backup your skills in the Experience section.
The Experience section is king when it comes to your resume. It’s where you must demonstrate your greatness. Again, avoid lofty platitudes that carry no weight. If you want to come across as a great sales person, prove it.
- Increased company revenue 65%—in a turbulent economy—by following up on sales made 2 years prior. Earned “Employee of the Year” for 2020
Prove you’re an outstanding IT specialist who can increase productivity and were acknowledged for your efforts.
- Increased productivity of Sales Team 50% by initiating and implementing Infusionsoft software 2 weeks before 3-month deadline. Received accolades from CEO
Wondering if you should use metrics in your accomplishment statements, read Should You Have Metrics on Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile?.
Even your Education section can demonstrate your greatness. Don’t be hesitant to let employers know what you accomplished 20 years ago; if you earned it, tout it.
Bachelor of Science, Software Engineering
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Summa Cum Laude, in the top 5% of graduating class
You’re a smart cookie, so show it.
Hint: one strong suggestion is to make your resume easy to read. Here’s an article that explains how. 7 Ways to Make Your Resume Easier for Hiring Authorities to Read.
There are six areas where you should express your greatness. They are your background image/banner; Headline; and About, Experience, Education, and Recommendation sections.
Promoting your greatness with your LinkedIn profile is a bit different; there are more ways in which to do it. It’s not bragging, for instance, to post a background image/banner. Make it relevant to the work you do or industry you’re in. Even make it about what you enjoy doing.
To learn more about the importance of a background image, read 4 Reasons Why Your LinkedIn Background Image Shouldn’t Be Ignored.
Tons of articles have been written about the Headline. Instead of getting into all of that, check out the list of LinkedIn voices job seekers should follow. There are about 100 plus people on it. Ergo the title, The Ultimate List of 100+ LinkedIn Voices Job Seekers Should Follow.
Check out their Headlines to see which ones draw your attention. These are LinkedIn members who are definitely worth following for the content they deliver on LinkedIn..
Again, much has been written about this section of the profile. In an article called 16 LinkedIn Pros Talk about Creating a Powerful About Section, the common theme is telling your story and starting with a hook.
The secret behind the success of these pros is their lack of reluctance to promote their greatness. I tell my clients to let loose some accomplishments to whet the appetite of hiring authorities who visit their profile. They don’t need to be saved for the Experience section.
This is a section where you should show your greatness with quantified results. Similar to your resume, the accomplishment statements should include actions and positive results, but not necessarily in this order. I’m a fan of leading with quantified results followed by actions.
Their are two points I make with your About and Experience sections. First, write it in first-person point of view. Second, only include the outstanding accomplishments. Let hiring authorities look at your resume to learn about the other stuff.
How would writing about your greatness in first-person point of view look? Take the aforementioned accomplishment statement above.
- I Increased productivity of Sales Team 50% by initiating and implementing Infusionsoft software 2 weeks before 3-month deadline. As a result, I received accolades from CEO
This makes the Experience section of your profile more conversational, gives it a personal tone.
Read why the LinkedIn Experience section shouldn’t be ignored. The Majority of Hiring Authorities Read the LinkedIn Profile Experience Section First, so Make It Shine.
Similar to the outline of your resume, the next profile section is Education. You guessed it; this section must also tell a story. Also similar to your resume, it includes the same information, degree you earned, academic institution, and year of graduation if you choose to list.
You can take it further than you would on your resume. In addition to the above information, LinkedIn encourages you to tell a story that includes any designation you earned, as well as what you did while at university. Here’s an example.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Master’s Degree, English/Technical Writing
Grade: Magna Cum Laude
(You can provide a description of your time at university) This was one of the most exciting times of my life, as my wife and I were beginning our family. During this time, I interned at Mount. Holyoke College as a career advisor. This is where I learned I wanted to be in career development.
Let’s skip to the next section where you can demonstrate your greatness. This is Recommendations which is, unfortunately, anchored in the basement of your profile. This said, you can direct visitors of your profile from the About section to your recommendations.
A statement at the bottom of About like, “If you want to see my recommendations, scroll to the bottom of my profile.”
Your recommendations will do the speaking for you. You aren’t required to display every recommendation written for you, so only display the ones that speak highly of your greatness.
There you have it. Your resume and LinkedIn profile provide you with plenty of opportunities to promote your greatness. Don’t give up these opportunities. Grab hold of them like a python, because if you don’t you’ll be like the other job seekers, normal.