A simple guide to updating your LinkedIn profile & CV

Updated: May 12

2020 has sent us a shocker in the form of Covid-19 and there is not a person out there who hasn't felt the impact of this horrible virus. While we've focused on protecting our health as best as we can, we've not all be able to protect our income in the same way. There's been so much stress and change that it can be pretty hard to see a path for the future.


I was thinking about what I could do to be useful and help others so I figured sharing some knowledge was a good start.


A little bit of copywriting magic can really make a difference to a CV/LinkedIn profile. I thought I'd share some simple tips in this blog, aimed at giving you a guide to take steps to get your CV and profile streamlined, up to scratch and ready to send out to the world to get you noticed faster.


LinkedIn is your online CV


If you're not already that active on LinkedIn, you're really missing out on some great networking, recruitment and personal branding opportunities. There are over 2 million users in New Zealand, so it's certainly not a platform to be ignored.

I recommend that you refine the details on your CV first and then you can replicate work experience and personal summary on LinkedIn for consistency. However, you have an opportunity to showcase more of your work on your LinkedIn profile.


Start with a strong headline


Use your headline to sum up your area of expertise and you can state that you are looking for work if that's applicable. You may default the headline to your current job title or create something more personal like the below examples:


  • Senior Marketing Manager +20 years experience - currently seeking new opportunities

  • Content Marketer at Content Wiz - 2 x winner of NZ Best Content Marketer

  • Marketing contractor available for immediate start

  • Freelance photographer and image editor

  • Tech business leader and investor - helping grow the NZ tech economy


Introduce yourself


Write a short summary about yourself to start things off for both CV and LinkedIn. Just a few sentences/short paragraph will do. Express your status in your industry and where your ambitions may lie - especially if you are looking for a career change. Then add your current or most recent role followed by your other work experience - remember to keep it short and to the point. If it suits your personality, add in some info on your hobbies/interesting skills outside of work. This intro can be used for the start of your CV and the LinkedIn about section.


For example:


I've worked in marketing for over 2o years, mainly within the construction industry. Most recently I worked with Hammer Homes on the NZ House project. My qualifications in change management and project management are transferable to any industry so I'm keen to take on a new challenge.


Depending on the layout of your CV, and the relevance to your industry, you can choose to add your education (most recent comes first) after your intro.


Utilise the 'Featured' section on Linkedin


Just below the about section, LinkedIn allows a space for you to 'pin' some of your best work. You can add a LinkedIn post that received lots of engagement, a link to a blog, news article or website and/or upload a presentation or portfolio of work. It's also a great way to keep your profile relevant without much maintenance - just update your links and media here as you complete jobs and projects.



Prove that you'll deliver


It's all very well listing every item that's in your job description but what recruiters/managers really want to know is can you actually get results? Will you deliver that project on deadline and within budget? Have you been recognised for exceptional work or won any awards? What savings/profit impact have you had during your time at a company?


Make sure you communicate what your proudest outcomes or best results were for each of your previous roles. Use data to highlight great achievements and it's important to sell you! Try something like;


Due to an initiative of mine, our email marketing database grew 200% during my first six months in the job.


Show them you're a star and it'd be their loss not to hire you. In LinkedIn, you can add links and media to each section of work experience to showcase such results.


Looks do matter


A recruiter might find you on LinkedIn but still want you to send over your CV, so ensure you've got all your ducks in a row and both are consistent. Remember that the average hiring manager will spend less than 10 seconds looking at your CV. You've got to get them hooked quickly and I recommend you definitely don't go over two pages on your CV. Don't write you're whole life story, you only need enough info to get you noticed. Save the best stories for the interview.


Make your CV layout simple using headings and section titles to make it easy to skim read. Use concise copy that contains keywords from your industry/skillset so they can jump out of the page. No images, fancy fonts or OTT design necessary.


Tailored to fit


Although your LinkedIn can be easily edited, you don't want to be changing it up too often so I suggest you ensure it contains your key work experience highlights and achievements for each job. However, you may want to tailor your CV for a specific role you are applying for. This may mean making slight tweaks when applying for each new role e.g. expanding on a particular project that is relevant or ensuring you're highlighting the relevant work experience for this particular role. It's worth the 15 mins of extra work before submitting an application to make yourself stand out.


If you find you want some extra help, please do get in touch with me.

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