Three critical aspects of your job search profile you must get right

Three critical aspects of your job search profile you must get right

Evergreen Trading is growing, and with that growth comes the need to find great people to add to our team. So we've posted an opening on LinkedIn and been showered with responses. As we review the mountain of responses, we've come to see a repeating pattern of what we consider mistakes being made by people looking for a job. So, consider this our little bit of public service. Here are three problem areas we have frequently seen from candidates, young and old alike.

Are you making these mistakes?

1. A bad photo. In this digital culture, a good online photo is absolutely necessary. If you respond on LinkedIn, you must have a good photo. Examples of poor photos include photos so dark that you cannot see the face; the face is too far from the camera; a side profile shot; an action shot as if the person is caught mid-scene on stage with wild arm gestures; and a blurry or pixilated photo. One respondent has a current big movie star photo for his LinkedIn photo. I guess some may find it entertaining, but not knowing him, I found it odd for a corporate job applicant.

Men are the main culprits of these photo problems. Women seem to do a much better job with their photo. On the whole, women care more about their appearance. But if you're looking for a corporate job, guys, get a good looking professional head shot. Make sure most of the space is filled with your face looking toward the camera with an engaging expression. Hire someone good with Photoshop to make the image sharp, color-corrected, and light-balanced.

2. A messy resume. White space is good. I see a lot of resumes that are crammed top to bottom, side to side with words. As someone who is looking at these resumes, I can tell you that if it is difficult to read, I read less of it. Also, don't submit your resume in Microsoft Word form. Write it in Word, but then convert it into a PDF (Print/Save as PDF). Reading a resume in Word compounds the problems of a word-stuffed document. If the recipient has "Check Spelling as You Type" and "Check Grammar as You Type" turn on (as I do) all those green and red squiggly lines make your resume even harder to read. Use Word for composing, but never for final submission.

3. Warn out clichés throughout your resume, cover letter and on-line profile. "Extremely motivated person with over twenty five years of experience with a proven track record of exceeding sales quotas. Team leader with strong leadership skills and exceptional work ethic resulting in maximizing profitability by building senior level relationships."

If these types of well-worn clichés are in your professional description, eliminate them immediately. These phrases are in most resumes and they tell me that you don't really know who you are and what makes you stand out. Write about you and be specific. If you are stuck, ask someone with whom you've worked to describe what makes you different. They may not give you the perfect final edited answer, but it should provide some fresh material for you to polish.

Unemployment is high and LOTS of people are looking for the job you are seeking. Stand out from the competition by displaying a great looking sharp photograph of yourself accompanied by an organized, easily-read, freshly-written resume.