This week, I noticed Chris Brogan posted a video highlighting tips from Derek Halpern of Social Triggers.
In the video, Derek was outlining things to think about regarding website design and how to pull together a site to encourage people to take the actions you want them to take. Watching it, I realized a lot of the advice Derek offered is similar to advice to I give to help people optimize resumes.
The first thing he said, “Just because you know what you’re about doesn’t mean others do,” got me taking notes for a resume post! It’s so true, and something a lot of people don’t think about when they write their own resumes. It could be very clear to you what you’d like to do next, but if your resume (or online materials) don’t make it obvious where you are headed, you will probably lose your audience. On a website, that means the reader will immediately click away. On a resume, it means you won’t get a chance to interview for the job.
Today, I reviewed a resume from someone I thought was interested in working in the medical field. (Based on something I had seen her post elsewhere.) However, the resume itself had nothing about the medical field on it at all. I’m now assuming I was wrong about what I previously saw, but someone in a position to hire someone in the medical field will simply put the resume aside, assuming there is no direct connection between the candidate and his or her hiring needs.
Another thing Derek points out in the video: “Welcome is not a good benefit – make a promise.” This, in relation to how to encourage people on your website to DO what you want them to do. Just “welcoming” them doesn’t cut it. Think about this regarding both cover letters and resumes — how are you showcasing something (a promise) to encourage readers to be interested in learning more about you? And no, just saying, “look at me” isn’t enough.
Which leads to Derek’s suggestion to use a headline at the top of a website! The best resumes today take advantage of headlines to reel readers in. The headline needs to be about your future, not your past. It’s about the job you want NEXT. Do you use headlines in your resume? They can be your targeted title, focus on your accomplishments, skills…The headline needs to be what will interest your reader. The headline is like a “promise” saying you are what the reader wants.
Derek kept talking about making that promise. He reminded viewers of an interesting point:Ã‚Â “Cluttered (web) pages used to convert better because people would be confused and click on ads.” I thought that was so interesting! Maybe that is why there are so many cluttered web pages out there – people are focusing on strategies that USED TO work. Same with resumes — so many resumes look dated and old fashioned. It’s time to think about what works today. Don’t get caught up in yesterday’s best practices.
Derek also gives advice regarding regarding font size, color, encouraging people to take action once they land on your website…While font sizes and use of color on resumes is a little different, the touch points between his web advice and resume advice are similar: you need to spell out your message clearly and make it easy to read and understand in order to convert readers to fans. Take a look at the video and be sure to visit Chris Brogan’s site for lots of useful and interesting information about social media and other topics.
photo by >^..^< maggz >^..^<