How do you make a resume for the digital world that gets noticed and helps you get a job? Digital resumes are not the same as traditional resumes, but they are just as important today. The majority of hiring managers are turning to social media to find job candidates and research potential employees, and you need a digital resume that effectively sells your skills and experience.
A digital resume can be formal or informal. It can sell you directly or indirectly. Depending on where you are in your job search, your digital resume will evolve from a passive representation of your work history to a fundamental tool to make you irresistible to employers.
If you’re looking for a job, you need to make a resume for the digital world as soon as possible. Fortunately, you’ve probably already laid out the groundwork for your digital resume thanks to your previous social media activities. Follow the five tips below to make sure your digital resume is ready and appropriately selling you as the best candidate for any job you want.
1. Presentation Matters
First, you need to consider how and where you’re going to create and publish your digital resume. If you already have a LinkedIn profile, then you’ve already done some of the work. Your LinkedIn profile is one of the best digital resume options. With a free LinkedIn account, you can create a profile that highlights your skills, shows your work and education history, demonstrates your expertise, and shows off your accomplishments thanks to the endorsements and recommendations that other LinkedIn members can publish about you.
Spend some time developing a detailed LinkedIn profile. Be sure to include all of the basic information as well as adding sections to your profile such as events, publications, awards, and more. These extra sections are accessible through your profile editing page, but most LinkedIn members overlook them.
Other tools you might consider to create your digital resume include SlideShare or Prezi for presentation resumes, About.me or VisualCV for standalone virtual resumes, or your own website for a digital resume that you control. For example, there are a variety of premium WordPress resume themes that enable you to show off your work history as well as your portfolio, testimonials, and more on your own website.
2. Get Visual
Once you choose how and where you’re going to create and publish your digital resume, you need to leverage the visual nature of the web and turn your traditional text resume into a visually appealing resume. Use color, images, typefaces, and video to enhance your resume for the visual medium.
Also, consider how your digital resume will look on computers and mobile devices. A busy hiring manager might look at your digital resume during his daily commute or in between meetings using his smartphone or tablet. You don’t want your first impression to be a negative one because your digital resume looks terrible on an iPhone.
3. Tell Your Story
A digital resume shouldn’t just recap your work history like a traditional resume. Instead, it should tell your story, and as discussed in #2 above, it should tell your story visually. Consider how you can enhance each step in your career path with visual imagery or quantifiable evidence.
Some people have a great deal of success doing this through an infographic. Using charts to demonstrate the quantifiable impacts they’ve made to their companies throughout their careers, infographic resumes lead hiring managers through the story of a candidate’s successes. It can be very powerful for the right person.
Of course, it’s easier for some job seekers to create a story to go with their career history than others. A graphic designer could use a digital resume to show off pieces from her portfolio developed at each “stop” along her career path. Hiring managers can see the evolution of the job seeker’s skills and talents visually, which reinforces the text information provided in the resume.
4. Consider SEO
If you want hiring managers to find your digital resume on their own, you need to consider search engine optimization as you create it. That means keywords are important. Identify the keywords hiring managers would use to find someone with your skills and experience, and make sure they’re included at the beginning of your digital resume and repeated no more than once every 250 words.
Furthermore, spend some time building incoming links to your digital resume by sharing it, writing about it, and linking to it from all of your own online profiles and websites. If you’re serious about finding a job, all of your online activities should link back to your digital resume where people can learn more about you, your skills, and your experience.
5. Write for the Web
It’s essential that you write your digital resume for an online audience. As mentioned above, visual imagery and SEO are important, but the actual text of your resume should change from your traditional, hard copy resume as well. You have to assume that no one will look at your digital resume beyond the first couple of lines. That means you need to lead with your strengths and make sure the beginning of your digital resume is laser-focused on the skills and experience hiring managers most want to see from candidates applying for the type of job you want to get.
Back everything in your digital resume up with links and examples from your social media profiles, online content, portfolio, and so on, and be sure to make your digital resume public, meaning it’s visible to anyone. Also, create a downloadable PDF version of both your digital resume and your traditional hard copy resume, and make sure your digital resume is easy to print directly from the website where it is published. Many hiring managers will want to print a hard copy to refer to later or to email and share with their team.