I heard that question, “So what?” the other day. It was a recruiter talking to us career professionals about resumes and profiles. We were gathered for a three day virtual conference to discuss career coaching topics. One of the three days was focused on resumes and profiles. The first session was a panel of nationally recognized recruiters discussing the future of the resume versus the online profile.
In a nutshell, a solid resume is still a must. In addition, a solid profile is also necessary. Resumes should be customized to the specific job where as the LinkedIn profile can have a broader base.
Back to our above question – SO WHAT? – and the recruiter. What was she trying to say? Basically, that when it comes to marketing yourself, you must answer this question at the deepest level. You have to understand the value you have brought to your past organizations and what you can bring to your next employer.
When it comes to resumes and LinkedIn profiles do these three things:
1. How can you solve my problem?
2. Keep to the point.
3. Key words are key.
Let me explain more.
1. How can you solve my problem? What this recruiter, and the two others that joined her on this panel, was saying is why should I interview you or hire you if you can’t fix my problem. As a job seeker, here is what you need to take away from this; research, find out their problem, and tell them how you can solve it.
2. Keep to the point. Be succinct in your phrasing. No need for lengthy paragraphs or extraneous words. Write in quality phrases and soundbites. Always put numbers driven information at the beginning of your phrase – front load.
3. Key words are key. Stay with quality words that match up with the core skills the employer is looking for. Use nouns or verbs not adjectives. Look at the job qualifications and where you match up with those, use the same phrasing.
I can’t emphasize enough doing solid research on your target organizations is key to being able to answer some of these questions and to landing your next job. Draft up your “so whats” for your past work. Research the needs of future employers. Answer “so what” again for that employer. This will help you get there faster.
Lisa Adams, founder of Fresh Air Careers, is a certified career management coach and job search strategist, specializing in helping young professionals navigate the waters of their first career transition.