Are you sending out resumes that are getting lost in the blackhole of no responses?
Are people looking at your LinkedIn but not connecting or responding?
These are two strong indicators that your resume and LinkedIn profile are dead. Or dying a slow painful death.
What happened? You’re using keywords to describe your experience. It should be obvious that you are a match. Why won’t someone talk to you? Why is your resume or LinkedIn on life support or worse?
Because you are not talking with anyone. You’re writing at them.
That’s the cause of death.
Here are the symptoms
Is your job description your main points? Are you trying to talk “resume” or “professional”? If so, you’re not engaging. You are not only killing your brand; you’re killing the conversation before it starts.
You’ve got your eyes closed, hands over your ears talking in a different language to the person in front of you. You can’t have or invite a conversation that way, now can you?
Here’s the why
Resumes are a funny thing. No, strike that. Resumes stink. They are in a weird language, use the assumed “I”, and you’re not sure of what to include, how, or even the current rules. Writing your resume is a frustrating, mind numbing, nerve racking, exercise of torture.
Given this set up, is it any wonder that most people do what is easiest – use their job description as bullet points? No, of course not.
But easy isn’t always right.
The problem in doing so is many:
- You are not conveying value.
- You are writing what you were hired to do.
- No one cares what you were hired to do.
- They only pay attention to what happens when you do it.
- They only care when it relates to them – what can you do for them.
In other words: boring, irrelevant, snooze fest, they have moved on. That’s if someone actually reads it. If it is your resume, it probably hasn’t passed the ATS system. But that’s another conversation.
Here’s the fix
Stop trying to be the right words and be you.
Have a conversation. I know resumes are a bit awkward. I call them an arm’s length conversation. You aren’t sure who is going to read them so it might be a bit removed, but you are still having a conversation.
Talk to them!
Take those bullet points, job duties, and bring them to life. Tell them why they want to talk to you. Break them down to include points of interest. Do so by examining them with these questions:
- Who did you work with?
- How did you work with them?
- What did you do?
- How did something or someone benefit from this?
- How is it better since YOU did it?
- What is unique about how you did it?
- What was the problem?
- Why was there a need for this?
It’s a bit of storytelling, a dash of context, sprinkling of keywords, and a whole lot of demonstrated value. Mix this all up and you have a conversation starter.
Talk with your reader. Imagine them asking you a question – “tell me about a time you fixed this problem”. Then answer it speaking to them directly, without the $10 words and fluff. Tell them what matters to them in a fast and understandable way.
If you drone on in person, people will tune you out. Drone on in your resume, they do the same thing.
Now LinkedIn is a bit different. The conversation changes. Instead of an arm’s length, it is now a one-on-one with the person you want to read your profile.
Think of it – and write it – from this context. You’re sitting in one of those ridiculously overstuffed chairs in a foo-foo coffee house across from your target reader. They ask you to tell them about yourself.
How do you answer that?
If you answer it like your resume, “I’m a senior technical professional with 20+ years’ experience….” Zzzzzzzz You killed the conversation. Why? Because no one talks like that in real life!
Answer it as a person. A real-life person facing another real-life person. What would you say – in person – in that casual, professional environment?
One of my most favorite examples is a client with boundless energy. And a LinkedIn opening of: “I am a TITLE with COMPANY who covers TERRITORY.” Zzzzzzz
We captured her energy by opening a conversation with an engaging statement that represents her, her industry, and her clients. In less than 10 seconds you know she is an influencer, a winner with a healthy balance of work and play.
We used “me”, “my”, “I” and “our” in her profile. She is talking directly with her audience.
Her views shot up 300% in the first week and recruiters were engaging with her.
Yesterday I talked to a young man frustrated at the lack of responses and engagement. When he explained to me one of his bullet points, he could tell me the value. His resume was a job duty. He exclaimed, “I don’t know what to say or how to say it!”
My answer – to him and to you – stop talking at someone using words, phrases or even a style that isn’t natural. Pretend you are talking to me. And be you.
You are going to get noticed and hired due to a combination of things. Your experience, skills, expertise, and/or potential. But don’t forget the most important part of that equation, what it all starts with, even that sentence: you.
How can you tweak your profile to invite a conversation?
As a triple certified as a Professional Resume Writer, Career Coach and Social Media Brand Analyst I help amazing professionals get career happy.
Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.