How to Improve Your CV and LinkedIn

This year, Inc.Line series were back with two workshop sessions on How to Improve Your CV and LinkedIn and How to Do Well in Job Interviews. Inc.Line is a series of career enrichment workshops hosted annually by PPIA Melbourne University, which aims to help our members reach the most out of their career through gaining invaluable insights from professionals.

Our first workshop was held on the 10th of April 2018 at the University of Melbourne campus. We invited the Director and Head Career Coach at ACECIS, Naren Chellapah, to talk us through writing an excellent CV and well-regarded LinkedIn profile. Participants of this workshop were also able to send their CV over to Naren, in which he has provided personalized and comprehensive feedback  for each.

ACECIS is one of Australia’s leading employment agencies that helps international students and skilled overseas professionals find work in Australia. They provide a range of careers services and internships to help you get a job. Head Career Coach at ACECIS, Naren Chellappah has extensive experience helping international students, skilled migrants and job seekers get jobs in Australia. He has held senior management roles at Pacific Brands, Swinburne University of Technology, Monash University, the Salvation Army Employment Plus and Melbourne Business School.

If you did not get the chance to join us during the workshop, no worries! Here’s a list of the key takeaways to be remembered from our workshop with ACECIS.

How to Improve Your CV

1. Have a profile statement at the top of your resume
Your CV must begin with a profile statement, which summarizes your skills and experience. This is important as it acts as a quick identifier for your potential employer of the value you can bring to the job. A profile statement will roughly be 50-200 words, but remember not to ramble. End the statement by providing keywords of your skills and qualifications that are specific to the job you are applying to.

2. Different job, different resume
As different types of job have different requirements, you should have separate resume for each. This way you can customize your resume to match with what the position is looking for specifically. Customizing your resume can comprise of removing and adding bits of content and emphasizing a particular set of skills. Your resume would not look completely different from one another, but you are just creating different versions of it.

3. Employment history
The outline of your professional work experience is clearly one of the most important parts of your CV. This order of your employment history should be from the most recent to the oldest, and the years of your employment should be clearly stated. An important tip from Naren is that you should include your responsibilities as well as your achievements. Stating what you have accomplished, rather than just what you were assigned to do, shows how well you undertook your responsibilities.

4. Include referees
Referees are the people who are willing to be contacted to describe what you are like as an individual and how it is like to work with you. Ideally, you should have two referees and include them at the end of your CV. Of course, you need to ask for their permission and their preferred contact details. Your referees can be your past employer and also your lecturers – so make sure you build and maintain good relationship with them.

5. No experience? It’s time to start!
If you do not have previous professional experience, don’t worry! Your volunteering experiences are as meaningful. You do, however, need to be proactive! Take initiative in any volunteering positions, start networking and get involved in student-run organizations.

How to Improve Your LinkedIn

1. Writing the headline and summary
Your headline and summary should introduce who you are. A tip to have a great headline is to describe your specific position or what your major is, and use the space to include what opportunity you are seeking for as well as your top skill. Your summary will be an elaboration of your headline, and should include your current position, experiences and skills; much like your personal statement in your CV. At the end of your summary, it would be good to include your preferred contact details.

2. Grow your network
Having a lot of connections give you credibility, so it is important to build your network. As LinkedIn displays 500 connections at most for one profile, you should aim to reach that number. In addition, you should start following companies you would work for, as it not only keeps you up to date with their job postings; but also shows your genuine interests in them.

3. Profile URL and visibility
For a LinkedIn profile to appear professional, having a customized URL is crucial. You can do this by clicking the button on the top right of your profile that says “Edit public profile & URL”. On the same page, you can also edit your profile visibility, which should be made to public. This is also important to make sure that your potential employer can view your profile.

4. Keep it up to date
Companies look for coherence between your CV and LinkedIn profile. Therefore, you need to keep both up to date with relevant and truthful information about your qualifications and experiences. An uncompleted LinkedIn profile would look unattractive to companies, so make sure to avoid that. With that being said, do not forget to include your LinkedIn URL on your CV.

5. Attach a personal invitation message
Last but not least, Naren from ACECIS recommends you to write a personalized message when sending an invitation to a professional on LinkedIn. To write a good invitation message, begin with introducing yourself – your name and your area of study. Next, outline your relevant areas of expertise and your invitation intention; for instance, an expression of interest for an internship position.

These are the five top tips that we take away from our first Inc.Line workshop with Naren from ACECIS. Discussing the next stage in pursuing your career, our second workshop discussed about how to do well in job interviews with Bank Mandiri.

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