Simple ways to make a better first impression
You’ve heard the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This is especially true for your job search
Of course, it’s important to have the right skills, experience, and in some cases, education. However, recruiters and employers may not be able to contact you for an interview if you don’t make a good first impression.
At least good enough to get them to learn more.
You will meet recruiters and employers in different ways. It may be when they receive your resume. They may be viewing your profile on LinkedIn. It might be when they see something on social media. Since you have no way of knowing, it’s important to cover all fronts.
If you’ve been actively hired for your past positions, a boring, task-oriented resume likely worked for you. It might not have been much more than a formality.
However, when you reach out to recruiters and employers, replacing your boring, task-oriented resume with a results-driven marketing tool and developing a robust, streamlined LinkedIn profile will make you more marketable.
Both of these take time, effort, and maybe even hiring a professional writer. Even so, there are some pretty simple, often quick things you can do to make a better first impression.
# 1 Get LinkedIn background photo
Add a background photo to your LinkedIn profile. A few years ago, LinkedIn changed the user interface. One of the biggest changes was the addition of a background photo.
Years later, I still see people with the mild, generic blue backgrounds for not bothering to upload anything else.
If you keep the default background, you will also look dated and generic. There are many ways you can meet one today.
# 2 Email address with ditch date
AOL was one of the earliest email providers. It was cool to have an @AOL email address 20 years ago. I had my first email address, writer @ AOL, before most of my friends had emails.
It’s not cool today. Neither @Yahoo nor @Hotmail is. Out of date email addresses also make you look out of date.
Keep your old @ AOL or @ Yahoo email for friends and family. Get a new, modern email address like @Gmail for your job search. Pick something professional like first name last name or first name last name etc. I choose to use numbers as your choice will be made. Do not use digits that indicate your age.
# 3 Ditch Objective Statement Too
Not much can make your resume look more dated than an objective statement. The possible exception is the use of Times New Roman or another serif font.
For one thing, employers are not interested in YOUR goal, but in what you can do for them.
Plus, you’re wasting valuable resume real estate that can be populated with information relevant to employers
# 4 Upload a LinkedIn photo
If you don’t already have a LinkedIn photo, get one. If you show up while searching for a recruiter or employer on LinkedIn and they don’t see a photo, he or she will wonder if you’re hiding something.
Many will just move on.
While you can choose to invest in a professionally captured photo, you don’t have to. A clear headshot, preferably smiling, in business attire is fine. look at it photofeelercom to get objective feedback before you post.
$ 5 No long emails
In most cases, e-notes have replaced the cover letters. The key is to get the employer’s attention and sell yourself in a concise manner. You don’t want them to have to scroll and scroll and scroll.
Just like with résumés, recruiters and employers scan your emails and don’t read them. Try to limit your content to 99 to 120 words.
It’s harder to write a short note than a long letter, but it’s worth the effort.
While the job search involves many steps, it starts with a solid first impression. If you don’t, you may not have an opportunity to move forward.
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