Your online profiles – whether it is CareerQuest, LinkedIn, or both – give others clues about your personality and career path. It is often the first impression to hiring managers looking for specific skill sets to fill open positions.
Not sure if you need to update your profile? When was the last time you made updates?
If you are not sure, it has probably been too long. The longer you wait, the harder it may be to remember all of the great things you have done, so the time to update your online profile is right now! Employers actively use your online profiles to identify potential talent, and the more detailed your profile is, the more likely you will be found. Here are a few areas of particular importance:
- Professional Headshot: Do you have a profile picture in your online profiles? If so, know that employers use sites such as LinkedIn and CareerQuest to identify potential talent for their organizations, so choose a picture that will demonstrate that you are a serious professional. Be sure to dress professionally, don’t use too much makeup, and choose an appropriate backdrop and facial expression that demonstrates the kind of impression you are trying to make. Also, remember to smile.
- Current and Past Experience: Is this section filled out? Does it include all prior jobs that are relevant to your future goals? Did you include keyword-rich descriptions of your job duties and accomplishments?
- Background: Have you included all of your degrees (including if you are currently enrolled)? Did you double-check your spelling in this section?
Additional information you may want to consider including: Are you currently seeking a job? Are you employed? What kinds of opportunities are you looking for? Do you have an active security clearance? Have you acquired any new skills and/or certifications that relate to your target career?
- Resume: In select online career platforms, you have the opportunity to upload your resume. For example, many UMUC students and alumni upload their resumes into CareerQuest, but you must choose to make it public to employers using the CareerQuest platform. To do this, log into CareerQuest and click on your picture in the upper right corner. Then select My Documents. To make your resume public, slide the circle under the word “Public” to the right (like for the Resume document in the picture above). If you do not wish to make the document public, keep the circle under the word “Public” to the left (see Cover Letter document in the picture above). If you would like to delete any of these files, you can select Delete. To upload a new file, click on Add New File.
Remember, in most cases you only get one chance to make a great first impression, and this often holds true with how potential employers view you online. Invest a few minutes today to update your online profiles, and tomorrow may unlock the next chapter in your career.
Omega McIntosh is the program management specialist in the Office of Career Services at University of Maryland University College (UMUC). She’s worked in higher education for the past year and currently manages UMUC’s various online career tools and resources and the university’s Career Mentor Program. She has a background in office support and customer service, and most recently worked as the administrative assistant for UMUC’s Career Services team.