5 Scary Mistakes That Will Haunt Your Job Search

Your resume and LinkedIn profile may be even scarier than your best Halloween costume. Here are my top 5 things to change immediately to your resume and LinkedIn headline to stop spooking the readers!

1.     Add Headers To Your Resume

With less than 10 seconds to garner a reader’s attention, your resume must allure and captivate the reader with those big eye-grabbing elements. Consider adding in headers that will allow your resume to stand out. They can be industry specific keywords or even things such as “Key Results,” “Key Sales Success,” or even “Key Projects.” The idea is that having the headers will allow the reader to easily scan your resume and look for the big things you’ve done!

2.     Use a Modern Font In Your Resume

You may recall the infamous Huffington Post article, “Times New Roman, Dubbed The ‘Sweatpants’ Of Fonts, Is A Bad Choice For Resumes Typography Experts,” which told us that Times New Roman is “boring” and basically unimaginative. I was quoted in that article as follows:

“Since a prospective employer is looking at the resume for only [a few] seconds, you want [a font] that is aesthetically pleasing and grabs the employer’s attention at a quick glance. The resume should be sophisticated in design with clear headings that stand out.”

A-ha! Headings! Yes!

It’s true that a font’s curvature can preclude a reader from seeing the words clearly. Trust me, I used Garamond font for more than 10 years in my legal resume, but I certainly wouldn’t use it on a client’s resume today. Instead, use Calibri, Tahoma, or my personal favorite, Century Gothic. You will notice a modernized look immediately and thank me later!

3.    Replace The “Objective” In Your Resume With A Professional Summary

Your objective is to find a job! Instead, use a professional summary that highlights some of your key skills with those industry specific words. I tell clients that a professional summary is much like an appetizer to the main dish. Make yours stand out with the right details about your best-selling attributes that make the reader want to continue reading. Mix it up with adding a few bullet points below about key career highlights that can really win the reader over. The idea is to stand out and stand apart from the other hundreds of resumes that are being submitted for the positions.

Read: The Top 5 Things Holding Your Resume Back From Being Effective

4.    Stop Using Selifes On LinkedIn

Yes, I am emphasizing this point, big time! When I work with clients on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles, the first thing I tell them is make sure their social media pictures are professional – that means NO Snapchat filters, highly filteed selfies, or photos of you holding a drink.

More than 70% of jobs are acquired as a result of networking. That’s right! Job search boards give you a 4-8% rate of return! Don’t downplay the importance of a professional picture on LinkedIn and miss out on great networking opportunities.

An even bigger statistic: LinkedIn users who have a professional headshot get 14x more views than those without.

Hire a professional photographer to take a quality branding photo of you for your LinkedIn profile. It is worth the investment because first impressions are EVERYTHING! Make sure you dress to impress, and SMILE!

5.    Create A Branded Headline On LinkedIn & A Powerful Summary

Your LinkedIn headline is more important than you could possibly realize. Google your name and add the word “LinkedIn” after it. Your entire headline populates on Google. Therefore, don’t just list your job title.  Hand-pick compelling words and details that emphasize who you are in your industry and profession. Make it personal and jazz it up!

Read: How Do You Choose The Keywords In Your LinkedIn Headline

Your LinkedIn summary must tell your career story. Don’t forget to add in at least 10-12 industry specific keywords that will allow greater search capabilities from recruiters, headhunters, and hiring managers.

Read: 3 Reasons Why Your LinkedIn Profile Could Be Hindering Your Career

Your Halloween costume may be scary, but your resume and LinkedIn profile don’t have to be!