Dan Landy
Dan Landy
Recruitment Manager, UK
January 23, 2018

New Rules for Building Your Professional Profile

Ask the Recruiter

January heralds the new year, and for many people, top of their list of resolutions is a fresh professional challenge via a career move.

Changing jobs can be a time-consuming exercise, but making sure you are positioned effectively both on- and offline can drive opportunities and maximize your chances of being considered for a dream role. So, how can you stand out and save time and effort as you take the next step on your career path? These tips will help.

If you build it, they will come.
Searching for a new role can be a time-intensive process that requires continuous engagement, even if you set up job alerts. But building a strong online presence can make it easier for recruiters to bring opportunities directly to you, reducing the need to search and apply yourself. Even if you aren’t actively looking to make a career move, establishing this visibility will leave the door open for opportunities to come to you. Your perfect job could be just around the corner, but if people don’t know you exist, the opening might pass you by.

  1. Google yourself and see what you get. Are you easy to find? Is the information up to date and relevant? Is this view the way you want to be seen? If you aren’t happy with the answers, the solution can be as simple as creating a Twitter account. Remember, you own your online image. If you don’t like what you see, change it!

  2. Pick the right platforms. LinkedIn is the obvious choice for a professional profile, but recruiters can and will use all platforms to find talent. Think about what forums best represent what you want to be known for, and set your privacy settings accordingly. While platforms like Instagram and Facebook offer insight about who you are, make sure they tell the story you want to be told.

  3. Get the basics right. Make sure every profile is complete and helps you stand out.

    • Pick a suitable photo that fits the work-sector culture where you want to work. And don’t be afraid to show some personality.

    • Include a succinct and snappy summary that brings you to life. Use authentic language; avoid marketing jargon.

    • Highlight your technical skills in the relevant spaces, and do not make it the core of your content.

    • Seek endorsements from clients and past/current colleagues. What they say about you matters.

    • Focus your work history detail on the most recent experience. If you are keen to move into a new space, talk about your transferrable skills or what you are doing to develop relevant expertise.

  4. Connect with people that are doing what you want to do. A big network means greater access to opportunity. Look at the groups they belong to, see what they’re reading and track their professional journey. You need to fish where the fish are swimming.

  5. Join relevant groups and communities, and make sure you interact. By sharing your thoughts and opinions, you build a reputation that will encourage others to engage with you. This can lead to referral opportunities, and it will raise the visibility of your profile. And while it’s fine to challenge people’s thinking, remember to keep it constructive. Arrogance and hostility never reflect well regardless of the validity of your point. You can also consider writing blogs or simply share content you read on social media. The important thing is to decide on what frequency you want to contribute, and stick to it.

Paper is still a priority. 
People have been predicting the demise of the CV (resume) for nearly 20 years, but most companies still want to see a career summary, regardless of how great your online profile is.

  1. Keep it focused. Personally, I don’t believe you need to tailor your CV for every application, but be conscious of the skills likely to be required, and make sure you prioritize those. For example, if you want to work as a technology consultant, understand that the role is as much about advisory skills (communication, sales, influencing, presenting, designing solutions) as it is around specific technology skills. Recruiters assess thousands of CVs a year, and you have about one minute to make your mark. Make sure the most relevant information takes center stage.

  2. Know your industry expectations. While CVs are not dead, I do think cover letters are a thing of the past. There are, however, still some sectors that put value on them, especially for junior-/entry-level positions. If you are using a cover letter, make sure it adds value to your application and don’t just repeat content from your CV.

  3. Look for ways to stand out. CVs as infographics are a great way to show creativity and stand out from a crowd. Alternatively, consider including links to published articles, recorded talks, etc.

  4. Keep it concise and results-driven. A CV should never be more than three pages. Focus on an impactful introduction summary paragraph, followed by your work experience with the detail on your most recent roles. Don’t waste space on roles from five years ago unless there is specific relevance to a required skill not recently demonstrated. Likewise, the content should be more than a list of responsibilities. Use this as an opportunity to show the impact and value of your work by providing examples of results.

  5. Revisit it at least once every six months. Keep your CV current so you don’t have to scramble to update it when an opportunity arises. Regular updates avoid the need to spend hours reworking content, which is time that could be better used preparing for your interview.

Ready to explore opportunities that await? Check out open roles at Accenture.

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Smita Sinha • February 15, 2018

How to join Accenture as QA 2+ years experience

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madhobi_dass • February 15, 2018

This article is very helpful. Thanks for sharing the relevant points.

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