131. Practical Best Practices for Resumés and LinkedIn Profiles with Allison Lockett

May 21, 2020


“The job description is the question. Your resumé is the answer.”

Clearly, we are in the midst of a very disruptive situation, not only to our personal lives and the way we live. But also, disruptive to our work and potentially, our financial future.

Many of us are having to (or choosing to) change jobs, pivot, or make a career change. And of course, one of the first things we need to do whenever we’re contemplating a change in our professional life is to update the resumé and LinkedIn profile!

I don’t know about you – but this is one of my least favorite things to do. If someone were to tell me I never have to update my resume or LinkedIn profile again, I would be so happy. But we don’t live in that world. These things matter for as long as we want to be working!

So, to dive into how to go about updating our resumés, for the 21st century, I asked Allison Lockett to join me for this episode.

With extensive experience in corporate HR and talent development, Allison is a career coach who focuses on helping people step into their calling at work. She works with clients to help them gain clarity and develop strategies for moving forward with their careers faster and with confidence. And one of the writing services she provides is to help us (Yes!) update our resumes and LinkedIn profiles!

In this episode, Allison and I dig into all the resumé-related questions that are burning a hole in our minds. We first cover the basics – applicable to all situations. And then in the second part of our conversation, we talk about specific situations. What if you’re making a pivot, how do you show that on your resumé? Or what if you’ve decided to return to employment after running your own thing for a bit, what are the things you want to consider?

Listen via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get podcasts.

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A few highlights from this conversation:

I think there are psychological barriers for a lot of people where we have this idea that we don’t want to be braggy about our stuff. This is a marketing document. It is your job is to market your skills and so there’s no such thing as braggy. We’re just going to be honest and authentic about what it is that you’ve done and go from there.

The thing that we fall into the most is listing our tasks, not our accomplishments.

I think the number of cases where someone will need to go over two pages is pretty limited.

I’ve seen a lot of beautiful templates. I think it’s a little bit of a matter of personal taste. I mean, some people are going to see them and think, What is this? And other people are gonna see it and think, this person is incredible. Essentially at that point, it’s a piece of artwork. So it’s subject to the opinion of the viewer. But what I will say is some of the tracking systems have a hard time picking up text out of text boxes or tables.

I would say the only time that you’re bypassing a system most likely is when the applications are being collected by an email.

For many of us, we’re multidimensional people. We might be heading in a couple of possible directions in our job search and have a couple of different versions of our resumés, whereas we want the LinkedIn profile to be broad enough that all of the angles make sense. Like if you’re applying for jobs, you want that person to be able to go to your LinkedIn profile and say, Oh yeah. There’s alignment here.

I think the hardest thing for people to do actually is to take things out of their resume to make space for the stuff that is going to be applicable in the new pivot direction. That’s the hardest part because it feels like part of our identity and many of us feel very connected to those accomplishments.

Just the act of looking [for specific job desciptions] is very good, especially for somebody who’s considering a pivot situation. You might think that you’re interested in doing something. I often ask people to find three job descriptions. And you’ll see it will come out very quickly, the themes they are looking for.


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