Advance Resume Design for Twenty-Somethings: LinkedIn and Your Resume

 

According to a recent article by Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, a writer at Grammarly, managing the way you include your LinkedIn information is important.  The article goes on to explain:

Include your LinkedIn profile URL at the top of the resume next to your contact information. If you’re using a networking resume and not applying via an applicant tracking system (ATS), hyperlink the URL so the hiring manager can go right to your profile. If you’re creating an ATS-optimized resume you may not want to hyperlink the profile URL because it will cause some systems to toss the resume out as spam. Some 87 percent of recruiters report using LinkedIn first when it comes to searching for qualified candidates, so this needs to be the first place you direct the employer so that they can learn more about your accomplishments and evaluate your culture fit for their company.”

Pro Tip: make sure you proofread your LinkedIn page carefully as well as any articles or other documents you attach.  Prospective employers read LinkedIn even more carefully than they read your resume.

Gaming the ATS is a basic fact of creating resumes that work well for online job applications.  So, while you are already in LinkedIn, spend some times using it’s search feature to your best advantage.  Here is some excellent advice from Anish Majumdar, contributing writer at the online job site, Glassdoor. He suggests that you skip using job postings themselves to select and match keywords. Because these words are not ranked in order of importance, designing a resume to include them can backfire.  Instead he suggests you look up young professionals in your same line of work – just use the LinkedIn search feature and type in the title of the job you are applying for.  You will get a list of others who have your current job. Take 10 or 15 of these profiles and scroll down to the “Featured Skills and Endorsements” section. Here you will find actual relevant KEYWORDS that have been pre-optimized by going through the LinkedIn. Write down all keywords that seem relevant.  However, when updating your resume, use only those keywords that you can fully tie in to a description of direct experience you want to showcase.   

 

Dwight-Schrute-Sample-Resume_l

Dwight Schrute’s Resume is unlikely to make it through the corporate HR ATS system.

Pro-tip:  Have two versions of your resume. The main resume should be simple with few graphics so it doesn’t confuse ATS systems.  Your secondary resume should have a bit more visual interest for use with real human contacts.  Remember, nearly 70% of all job changers report that their new job came from a networking source, so don’t skip personal networking – this should be the basis for any job search process.

Start The Path to Working When Your Child is Young

BOred kids
Days seem longer when you are starting out in the world of work.

 

As you probably know, I believe that academic success and leadership positions are overrated as tools that help students move from school to full time work.  Of course these successes are nice features to have in your toolkit.  But, we all know many successful professionals who were C students and never led a club or a team during any of their high school or college years.  So, what does matter in the toolkit of young adult?  IMHO, the most important features of a successful young adult job applicant are: self-awareness, teamwork, organizational skills and the willingness to seek out mentoring and be managed by a boss. Develop these areas starting at a young age and you are likely to have a successful transition to paid employment later in life.

Kids need to experience work.

But, how do you get them there?  Parents: start young — assigning household chores will start to build your child’s tolerance for the pacing when they enter the workforce.  Slowly have them graduate from chores to ever more challenging neighborhood jobs.

But first, help them practice Self-Awareness as they try out jobs with a close neighbor or family friend.  Ask them to brainstorm, “what skills do I have?” “what do I like doing?” “Why do I like doing that?” Often they will select pet sitting, babysitting, snow shoveling and yard work – help them to explore why they enjoy these tasks and maybe even relate these tasks to a few parallel adult careers like pet sitting might lead to vet tech or hotel management or being a fundraiser at the zoo. Baby sitting might lead to teacher or child psychologist.  Shoveling and yard work might lead to owning a landscaping business or becoming a plant scientist or construction supervisor or civil engineer.

Second, help them master Organization:  Before they start their job, have them create a Task List that they regularly review with a list of the steps they should always follow in order to be a success in their job (example: always double check that you locked the door when you finish dog sitting).  This list should be thorough, clear, ordered in proper sequence.

Additionally this list should contain 3-4 steps where they experience Teamwork with you as their “team member” so they consciously practice having good communication. Example of a teamwork-oriented step: “Work with (Mom, Dad, My Sitter, My Older Sibling) to get a ride to my job.  Request a ride early!” or “Work with (family member/sitter) to help me to remember where I will keep my copy of the pet owner’s key. ”

Finally, when they have perfected their Task List, have them share the list with the person who has hired them and request feedback.  This step promotes a relationship of Mentoring and allows the person employing them to Act Like A Boss, showing them improvements and specific ways they like tasks to be done and then setting the stage for the employer to correct the child if it is not done properly. (Clue the neighbor/family friend in if you can, so they understand the role they will be playing with your child).

To be successful and happy in full time work later on, most young people need to have practiced the separate rhythm of work beginning at a young age. They need to experience progressively more complicated jobs in many settings as a tween and teen before they can transition successfully into a full time job in the workforce.  Patiently helping them learn from you and then giving them a step-by-step path to begin learning from outside employers will solidify their ability to work effectively at the entry level, both by themselves and in groups, while reporting to a demanding manager.

The Smart Way to Pick a Major that Most Students Skip-Talk to People Who Have Already Graduated with the Degree

chuttersnap books
Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash – So many subjects, so many choices when picking your major.

A report released Fall 2017 by The Gallup Organization and Strada International show that when students gather information before choosing a college major they rely predominantly on their social contacts including friends and family. The report details that, “the majority (55%) of U.S. adults with at least some college but no more than a bachelor’s degree list their informal social network as providing advice about their college major. This is the most often-cited source of advice when choosing a major for the majority of U.S. adults.” Media sources play a role, so does college advising staff and even high school teachers.  However, the report goes on to warn that the most helpful source of information, a student’s current and future employers , as well as an informal network of career mentors made up of professionals who have the desired degree are rarely consulted by students and their families.  These are the best sources of concrete information about the major and they are the best contacts you will ever have – both in terms of advice and as contacts when you begin searching for full time employment.

Give some thought to brushing up on your informational interview techniques freshman year. This will help you feel confident in spending substantial time from freshman Spring into the summer (before you declare your major) meeting with people who declared that major and are now employed.  You will learn a great deal and set yourself up for scholastic and employment success. And, if you are a highschooler who plans to apply into a major for college, spend the time discussing your choices with family friends and extended contacts before you make this big decision – you will want to be aware of the long term upside and downside of any major before you lock yourself in. Of course you can change majors once you declare.  However, there is often extra time, cost and sometimes even an entire extra semester of work and expense if you decide to change too late in your college career.

To read more, this Washington Post article gives an in-depth summary of the many issues when selecting a major: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2017/12/08/why-is-choosing-a-college-major-so-fraught-with-anxiety/?utm_term=.da9563cbc834

Super Bowl 2018 – MLK “Drum Major Instinct” Speech

Superbowl 2018 MLK ad
MLK as quoted by CityYear from the Drum Major Sermon, Feb 4, 1968

 

Fifty years ago today and only a few months before his assassination, MLK spoke of the natural human tendency to want to be out in front, grab the credit, seek the glory all the while extolling the search for true virtues: service and love.

Excerpt from MLK’s Famous Drum Major Speech – Showcased at Super Bowl 2018

Everybody can be great, because
everybody can serve. You don’t have
to have a college degree to serve.
You don’t have to make your subject
and your verb agree to serve. You
don’t have to know about Plato and
Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to
know Einstein’s theory of relativity
to serve. You don’t have to know the
second theory of thermodynamics
in physics to serve. You only need a
heart full of grace, a soul generated
by love.

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“The Drum Major Instinct”
Ebenezer Baptist Church
Atlanta, Georgia
February 4, 1968

 

Full Video Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBiFnDuCJIU

Your Aptitudes Define You at Your Best – Build An Ongoing Personal Success Story To Guide College and Work Choices

As an art history major myself, I have absolutely no problem with students who choose to pursue a liberal arts education.  Thinking, writing, quality assessment and detailed discernment, analyzing for meaning on multiple levels, proffering original ideas, dialoguing in class, managing complicated research projects, meeting deadlines, gaining feedback from a professor and classmates – these skills are all transferable to the work world.  I always maintained that the same internal drivers that made me able to the discern between a group of  20-30 Madonna paintings and then write a paper also helped me to discern the relevant characteristics of my candidates for a client’s senior level actuary or CFO job, sort the executives by the most relevant achievements and then write succinct summaries that helped my client hire the best executive for their job and work environment.

If I were to go back to my youngest memories, the Montessori primary school I attended provided the very happiest environment, with classrooms organized around ordering, sorting and categorizing.  You can start to see how at the beginning of my career, even with no actual work experience, I was able to think back on what I knew about myself, recognize the highlights and pick a career direction.  I also trained myself to link my peak experiences using a story thread that allowed me to sell myself to companies and organizations even if my experiences weren’t exactly what that company would be hiring me to do in my future job. The ability to draw relevant analogies and paint a vivid picture of one’s abilities is a deciding factor in who gets hired and who doesn’t.  It is worth practicing from a young age.

You can help your child continue to hone this self-awareness too – just begin to pay attention to their work styles in school, and activities, and during chores at home.  Enter into many brief low key discussions over the course of late elementary into high school where you help them see patterns that will benefit them as they pick a major or a first job out of college.  And if you are reading this and you have already moved out of your parents’ home, go back and have a discussion with your family, siblings, family friends, and particularly trusted teachers and adults who coached or mentored you.  What did they notice about your periods of happiness and excitement?  Start to think about a thread that ties all your best experiences together and begin to practice telling this story – it is the basis for self-knowledge and ultimately will drive your career satisfaction and happiness.

Photo 1: Madonna del Prato (Madonna of the Meadow) by Raphael, painted in 1506 now hanging in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. This Madonna, with Jesus and St. John the Baptist is renowned for the exquisite contrasting blue and red colors of her dress, the locked gaze of the two cousins that holds the bottom of the configuration, and for the triangular construction of the figures that mirrors the mountains in the highly evocative background.

Photo 2: A Young professional woman walking briskly to a meeting by Mike Wilson on Unsplash. A quick read of this young adult candidate as she comes into my office: what is the appropriateness level of her interview outfit, does she show a the spring in her step, does she wear a watch on her wrist so won’t have to tell time by looking at her phone during our meeting, does she carry a portfolio or folder with extra resumes and writing samples as well as a writing pad where she will take notes.  The act of noticing these aspects of a candidate in the first minute of our meeting is an act of discernment. Later I review the relevance of these details in the same manner that I used in my analyses of multiple similar Renaissance paintings.

A Simple Resume 101 for Teens and Young Adults Ages 13-20

RESUME 101 FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, COLLEGE FRESHMAN AND COLLEGE SOPHOMORES

resume writer

Photo by Juliette Leufke

Resumes at this age are pretty straight forward.  But everyone benefits from a sounding board when starting a resume. Have your child pull out their “dossier” document and if you don’t have one, see my post :

(https://entrylevel.blog/2018/02/04/for-parents-of-high-school-students-have-your-child-create-a-dossier-by-the-end-of-ninth-grade/ )  This summary document will be the basis for their resume, college application, letters of recommendations and interview preparation.

Basic Features of a Beginner Resume:

  • Use a centered header of name, address, cell number.
  • Include an email address with a professional sounding name (no cutesy addresses like: fuzicaaats@yahoo.com!!) – link the professional email to their main email or they will never check it.
  • Under the main header, use a standard resume layout.
  • Your first section should be ACADEMICS under which you list your most recent school first working backwards to your high school(s). Include la short list with bullets that showcases key classes, academic activities, academic awards, and if strong, GPA and any standardized test scores of note.
  • The JOBS section comes next (unless your child hasn’t held a job yet – at which point get them a dog walking or babysitting gig, stat!). List the jobs chronologically, most recent job first, and include 3 bullets maximum per job with a focus on quantifying accomplishments (note: if your child works a number of hours, this section can be listed before ACADEMICS).
  • EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES go last – again, make the bullets in this section accomplishment-oriented. Bullets can be listed chronologically, or grouped under italicized sub-headers such as Sports, Theater, Music, Scouts etc.
  • Lastly, if there is room, a one-line section under the header HOBBIES can help a reader connect to your child’s interests. Things like cooking, Fantasy Football, Magic the Gathering, fiction reading can go here.
  • Parent and child should write this document together then review it several times over the course of two weeks to have the best chance of correcting typos and adding missing activities.

Childhood Roots to Adult Job Satisfaction

skateboarder

Photo by Jase Daniels on Unsplash

 

Helping another adult craft a resume can be a tedious exercise of adjective selection and careful proofreading.  Making a resume with a teen can be far more exciting.  Teens run the 400.  They twirl en pointe and slalom race and scoop ice cream and care for pet raccoons at the local nature center.  Getting them to tell you about their achievements and dreams gives you a unique window into their world – theirs is a world of novelty, challenge, excitement and heartbreak.  Hear their stories. Tease out their passions.  Let them tell you everything that their hobbies mean to them.  How is it that those activities given them pleasure?  Get them to use lots of adjectives and validate their feelings by reacting with enthusiasm, even if right now they love video games and junk food and speak of these things with great delight.

Then ask about their work life – paid work, volunteering or chores around the house. Listen carefully for how the demands of the work dovetail with their preferences:

  • Is it physical energy that drives them like the skills that are used in waitressing and babysitting for younger kids?
  • Is it sustained repetitive tasks like stuffing envelopes for a political campaign or programming?
  • Are they customer service oriented, selling shoes or cookies door to door?
  • Do they patiently talk to an older neighbor or always greet people as they walk down the street?
  • Maybe they like to be paid for exercise and hard labor – do they like shoveling, dog walking or mowing the lawn?
  • Can they get themselves up early for that lifeguarding job or are they better bussing tables till midnight?

Ferreting out these truths can become the beginnings of them seeing and understanding basic patterns and rhythms that will drive their adult satisfaction in a lifetime of jobs.