February 23, 2018

Tips on How to Build a Great Resume and LinkedIn Profile

The following is written by Yan Tang and Aaron Rose, co-founders of CareerLight, LLC

Xinrui "Elsa" Li receives feedback on
her resume from Meghann Kern and
Paula Fitzgerald Boos
Writing a compelling resume or creating a LinkedIn profile that will attract the attention of prospective employers or job recruiters was a topic of interest among international students who attended our workshop on Oct. 12, 2017. Therefore, we are pleased that our workshop held on Feb. 7, 2018 in Seattle, Wash. provided attendees with the opportunity to learn tips for building an outstanding resume and LinkedIn profile, polish their interview skills to stand out from the crowd, and receive feedback from professionals in career development.

Paula Fitzgerald Boos, an executive coach and professional development expert with over 20 years working with thousands of professionals from the "C" suite to the production floor, and Meghann Kern, a senior recruiter at Delta Dental of Washington where she conducts full-cycle recruiting processes, provided direct feedback to resumes and LinkedIn profiles from a few of the workshop's attendees.

Regarding the resume, Ms. Boos and Ms. Kern presented the following recommendations:
  • Do not include months (e.g., Mar. 2014 or 03/2014) and use years only (e.g., 2014-2016);
  • Use an appropriate outgoing voice message if a prospective employer or recruiter calls your phone number and you are unavailable to answer the incoming call;
  • Limited your resume to text only and do not include a profile picture;
  • Organize your resume appropriately including listing your current or most recent job first when listing your relevant experiences; and
  • When you list your skills, it is important to include when and how your skills were utilized.
As for creating a strong LinkedIn profile, Ms. Boos and Ms. Kern suggest:
  • Including a profile picture and a concise, impactful profile headline;
  • Drafting a well-written summary;
  • Listing a current job entry, even when unemployed;
  • Showing your achievements; and
  • Adding recommendations from previous employers or supervisors.
Both speakers recommend not including your grade point average (GPA) on your resume or LinkedIn profile. Moreover, the content of your resume should be consistent with your LinkedIn profile.

Ms. Boos shared a resume template she created and Ms. Kern showed a presentation on how to build a strong LinkedIn profile.

Yi-Chieh "Carloine" Tan receives feedback
on her LinkedIn profile from Meghann Kern
and Paula Fitzgerald Boos
The workshop concluded with a session on interview questions attendees may not have the confidence in providing an appropriate response (we asked attendees to list their scariest interview questions). For example, when a job candidate is asked about whether or not they are interviewing for other positions or opportunities, "I am actively interviewing" is an appropriate response.

As for answering the question about your salary range, both speakers emphasized the importance of knowing your number. In other words, you need to provide your base number. It is recommended that you review the salaries of comparable positions on websites such as Glassdoor and Indeed.

Ms. Boos and Ms. Kern encourage interviewees to provide authentic answers (be honest) and speak energetically and with confidence. Both speakers encouraged the attendees to practice their interview skills.

Based on responses to a questionnaire the attendees completed upon the workshop's conclusion, the event was a success as it provided valuable information. Some of them have said that the workshop really prepared them for better performance in the upcoming interviews.

We wish to express our gratitude to our sponsors:
  • Ascend Seattle University
  • Center for Global Business at Seattle University's Albers School of Business and Economics
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (IEC) at Seattle University
  • International Student Center (ISC) at Seattle University
  • Koba Ethiopian, LLC
  • ROI3, Inc.
  • Seattle Best Tea Co.
  • TRInternational, Inc.
  • Yeeko Inc.
And a special "thank you" to our colleagues, Mohand Alturky and Shreya Mehta, for their great work in making the workshop a great success.

CareerLight, LLC is a Seattle, Wash.-based company that provides customized career training for international students to help prepare them for a successful career. Learn more about our company by visiting www.careerlight.net.

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