Resumes SUCK. 3 things you can do about it now!

There I was… battling slumber as I came this close to ignoring my focus on deliberate blogging – yes, it’s a play on deliberate practice (well, never mind). And, all it took for me to get this post up was a kick in the blogs from an old post (circa 2008, but relevant today) by Dave McClure. I love Dave’s posts – yes, this too is one of em with colorful language, and by colorful I mean COLORFUL in more ways than one – but it’s a doozy.

Resumes SUCK! 3 things you can do about it. Read below.

But, I digress. Dave was responding to a prior post by Scoble (again, remember this is 2008) on why resumes suck by amplifying what specifically sucks about it and drawing out 4 specific ways to beat that. Great tips all.

I’m gonna focus on three of those key ingredients cos it’s worth repeating:

1. A LinkedIn profile is a MUST-HAVE:

I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it with Dave this time — every professional MUST-HAVE a LinkedIn profile, and I’m not saying this just cos I work there. I cannot think of a more time effective way to let the world know that you rock at what you do and why – all crafted with relevant keywords that help you pop up when someone searches for your name or job focus in a search engine. It’s also the best 10 minutes you could ever spend, since that’s all the time it takes to get the basics up there and maybe another 20 minutes to PIMP IT OUT as Dave suggests:

A simple LinkedIn profile is nice, but it’s not what i’m talking about.  you better work, sister (sashay, chante!) — get your connections into LinkedIn, fill out a work history with different positions you’ve held & expertise gained, get recommendations from people & partners who you worked with (not just your boss), answer questions on topics that matter in your line of work, etc.  most importantly, reference companies, products, skills, and other keywords that are important to you & others

And, then update your LinkedIn profile (stuff you’re working on) whenever you reach a major milestone at work – 15 minutes a month! Done. Even better is recommend a colleague you’ve worked with once you’re done working on a specific project. You get the idea. But, frankly there are no more excuses. Everyone from your hiring manager to your peers are looking for you on LinkedIn. And, not having a presence there will reflect poorly on you.

2. Career Blog around keywords:

My blog not only helps me arrange my thinking on topics I’m most passionate about (for e.g. top business blogs or community marketing) but more importantly since it’s a career blog, it led me to my dream gig. For those of you, who are considering a blog and have time to invest (especially you job seekers, I’m talking to you), I’d recommend having a strategy around specific keywords you specialize in or want to be found for.

These are the same keywords you should have on your LinkedIn profile under the specialties section. Yes, think about your professional brand holistically and apply across all social media hubs you’re now a part of.

Use similar keywords on your LI profile and your blog

Also, add your blog and Twitter URL (if you have one) with a clear description from your LinkedIn profile.

Add your blog and Twitter URLs to your LinkedIn profile

And, finally to complete the career focused social media trinity, you can also add your blog or LinkedIn profile (whichever is  updated more often) to your Twitter profile – under the website section in your profile.

Add your LinkedIn URL or blog URL from your Twitter profile

Simple SEO friendly actions such as the above tips, will go a long way in helping you build your brand on topics you’re most passionate about. As more people search for those topics – your blog posts and LinkedIn profile are bound to show up more frequently, but all of this takes time and dedication. Nothing comes easy. Finding a dream job is a long term gig, NOT a short term win.

3. Build relevant content on other social media properties:

Finally, if you have even more time on your hands, go ahead and create relevant content on career friendly social media sites. Dave gives a great example of how a Flickr picture and a slideshare that he created got thousands of views and ranks really high for a popular term.

this one is actually overlooked by a number of very thoughtful (but not very colorful) bloggers.  i once wrote a post about Facebook licensing their platform to Bebo in response to Google launching OpenSocial.  the copy was pretty much empty blather except for the somewhat insane graphic at right that i created using powerpoint, and then uploaded to Flickr (and also to SlideShare), then embedded in the post.  i probably spent about 5 minutes writing the post, but i killed most of an afternoon (3-4 hours) putting together one silly image to satisfy my own freakish psychotic social network addiction.  the photo later got picked up by several other bloggers, and when i checked just now the Flickr photo had over  6000 views.  the SlideShare presentation (just one slide) has about 5600 views.  and the photo comes up on the first page of google image search results for the term “social graph“.  whaddya know: my crazy-ass graphic is DOMINATING the social graph term!  and i bet my post gets more awareness than any ten other high-and-mighty bloggers who wrote some in-depth intellectual analysis (yeah i know i do that shit too).

Agreed. But, let’s face it there are very few folks like us (can’t believe it’s nearly midnight already) who invest the level of time and dedication on crafting social media content consistently. But, if you’re a professional who presents at events and conferences, slideshare is a great place for you to host your content. And, don’t forget to cross link your slides from your LinkedIn profile.

Use LinkedIn's Slideshare app to host professional slide content

Not only that you can also pull in your WordPress blog content into LinkedIn through a LinkedIn app as well.

If you've a WordPress blog, pull that into your LinkedIn profile too

But, I could go on and on and on about this. FACT: The world is changing and showcasing the work you’re really good at it is NO LONGER the job of resumes. The above three tips and tools mentioned can help you achieve the same but far more effectively.

Also, if you’re looking for tips and tricks on finding a job, check out my posts on that topic. If you like what you read, you should subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter!

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