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5 Tips for Job Applications on LinkedIn

29 Nov Posted by in Careers | Comments
5 Tips for Job Applications on LinkedIn
 

In addition to my duties in public policy at Sarrell Dental, I also serve as the Social Media coordinator. Recently, our HR department asked me to assist in recruiting by posting an opening on LinkedIn. Weeks later, we had received 56 applications for an entry-level marketing position.

During the process of skimming and scanning through these applications, a few things stuck out that I thought I’d share with you in case you ever find yourself applying for a job on LI. This post may feel like a soapbox, (it is) but I’ll do my best to be concise and hopefully point out a few helpful tips you won’t find in standard career guides.

  1. Always submit your resume in PDF format. Do not use Word, Rich Text, or Otherwise. Submitting as a PDF allows you to ensure your resume appears the same on your potential employer’s computer as it does yours. I saw dozens of resumes with broken formatting, extra pages tacked on, poorly spaced lines, text overlapping other elements, and missing fonts. Chances are, the resume looked perfect before it was sent. Macs have PDF creation ability natively installed, and there are dozens of free PDF creators for PCs out there.
  2. Before uploading your resume, rename the file to something that is meaningful and compelling. “Resume Draft 4 marketing.docx” tells me absolutely nothing about you at first glance, and when the recruiter is handling dozens of resumes, this one will definitely get lost in the mix. Instead, name it something like “Joshua N Jones – Compelling NonProfit Executive.pdf” – you’re guaranteed to get at least one more chance to build name recognition.
  3. In a previous job posting, I received an 8-page resume from a 23 year-old.    No!
    2 and 3-pagers are fine if you’ve got the experience to back it up, but keep it short and concise. More than that and I expect to be reading about your physics patents and bestselling novels published. Oh, and by the way, please don’t list MS Word as a computer skill. Surely you can come up with something more exciting than that. You’ve got 30 seconds. Don’t waste it.
  4. LinkedIn allows you to upload a cover letter, yet only 25% of our applicants did. What – too busy applying for jobs elsewhere? One resume we received was incredibly impressive: rocket science, security clearance and all that, so why in the world are you applying for an entry-level marketing position? Don’t take the time to briefly explain in a cover letter and I’ll assume the worst. Even if your resume makes perfect sense, your goal is to get your foot in the door, and the cover letter is one more chance to stand out. And if I see a cover letter that looks like it was just copied verbatim from a career handbook, I’m moving on after two sentences.
  5. The days of “References Available Upon Request” are over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t copy your most compelling LI recommendations into part of your resume or an attachment. Just glancing through resumes is not when I start calling former employers, but seeing gushing praise from a past boss or team leader (that can be verified through your profile) is certain to catch my attention.
I hope some of these have been helpful, feel free to post in the comments section if you’ve got stories or suggestions of your own.

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