Top Five Tips for Making Your Black Career Network Profile Standout

You’ve joined the Professional Diversity Network, and are receiving updates about new job opportunities. You’ve applied to these jobs, but haven’t received any invites for interviews. Is there something you should be doing to change this?

If you truly want to standout amongst your competition, you need to create a PDN profile that showcases your experience and skill set is the best way possible. By following the tips outlined below, you can attract employers who are looking for a diverse candidate just like yourself.

Tip #1: Choosing the right profile photo   

profile-photoNo doubt you’ve heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousands words.”  Not only is it important to upload a photo to your profile, but also it’s important to choose the right type of photo. Remember, this is not a dating service or your Facebook profile.

Choose a headshot photo that is professional, and represents how you see yourself looking in your next job. While wearing a suit in your photo isn’t always necessary, it doesn’t hurt to look more business formal than business causal. If you don’t already have a professional headshot available, ask a friend or family member take one for you.

Bonus tip: Looking for professional photo examples? Do an image web search using the keywords: professional headshot.

Tip #2: Showcasing yourself in “About Me”

The “About Me,” section of your PDN profile is the perfect place to showcase your abilities and achievements, and give employers a sense of who you are. Start by creating a short paragraph, no more than 3-4 sentences, that tells prospective employers something about you, such as your work ethic or philosophy.

Follow-up this short paragraph with a bulleted list of your top attributes. These should not be a list of your skills, but rather a summary of things you have accomplished, your overall experience in your field, unique expertise or ability, and/or a statement of your proven track record.

Remember to use keywords in your statement and bullet points, as most employers search for candidates using specific keywords. To find the appropriate keywords for your industry, you can review job listings and look for common phrases.

Bonus Tip: For more help on getting resume and profile keyword ready, check out Resunate to see how you score against the competition.

Tip #3: Making your work experience work for you

PDN allows you to import your resume so that you can reparse it for your profile. After you’ve done this, you should review your work experience to make sure it truly represents what you did at your previous jobs.

Each previous job listing should include a list of 3-5 bullets points highlighting your experience. You want to use words such as managed, created, developed,  or increased to illustrate your accomplishments, and show how they helped your team or company.

For example, if you managed a team, include the number of members and how your management made a difference, such as increased awareness, doubled sales, furthered education, etc. Don’t forget to include keywords in this section as well to help employers find you.

Tip #4: Highlighting your skills

The skill section of your profile is the perfect place to highlight all of your unique skills. Don’t overlook the importance of this section just because it is a bulleted list. Many employers use this section as a quick overview to see if a candidate has the necessary skills needed for their job opening.

This is not where you list your accomplishments; this is where you list your software knowledge or skills needed to do complete your specific job. You can make them as specific as you want, or more general. A good rule is to create a mix of both. For example, HTML, Mac & PC proficient, Excel Expert, Branding, Editing, etc.

Tip #5: Filling out your entire profile

It is always important to fill out your entire profile. Leaving sections blank can raise red flags with employers. They might think you are hiding something, or that you don’t think it is important to fill out your profile. By taking a little extra time to include keywords, choose the right photo and showcase your skills and accomplishments, you can become the kind of standout diverse candidate that gets noticed.

Now that you know what it takes to standout online, don’t forget to update yourProfessional Diversity Network profile.

Want to share your resume or profile tips? Join the conversation onFacebook and Twitter or comment below!

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