Leadership / 07.14.20
11 LinkedIn and Resume Tips from Entertainment Recruiters at SearchWide Global
Many things have changed because of the pandemic, but landing your next role still requires a whole lot of enthusiasm and tenacity to grab the attention of employers and recruiters.
Do you need a great LinkedIn profile and resume? The answer, regardless of your current situation, is “Yes!” Are there things you can do to stand out like the shining star that you are? Absolutely.
We spoke with Mark Gnatovic, Executive Vice President at recruiting firm SearchWide Global. After 15 years in the convention and event industry, he has led the firm’s venue search practice, covering convention centers, stadiums, arenas and performing arts facilities, as well as the trade show and experiential marketing segments since 2006. Gnatovic recently served six years as a Board of Trustee for the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Foundation and is currently on the Executive Committee for the IAVM Board of Directors. Here are 11 tips from our chat with Gnatovic and from his firm.
- Choose a polished profile picture for LinkedIn (and include it in your resume, too). You know that old saying, that a picture is worth a thousand words? It is so true! Not only does the right photo help to create a great first impression, but research from LinkedIn shows that “having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others.” Make sure it is recent, high-res and that your face takes up at least 60% of the frame. Smiling naturally helps too because it makes you look more approachable and likable.
- Leverage the LinkedIn headline. This is one of the most visible sections of your profile. You have 120 characters including spaces to tell the live events industry what you can do. Do not just use your current or most recent job title and the name of your organization. Go big, go bold and share your value proposition! Need some ideas? Check out these examples.
- Tell a story in your “About” summary. “The first thing to say about your LinkedIn summary,” says SearchWide Global, “is make sure you have one!” Many people leave it blank and, simply put, this is a lost opportunity to promote yourself. On your resume, go one step further and customize the summary for each job.
Now you know you should do it, but how? Share your accomplishments instead of just listing off a bunch of past titles or skills and how many years you have been doing those things. Help people feel your enthusiasm. Bring to life how you used your skills to add value to the organizations where you have worked. As an example, there is a huge difference between managing a group of ticket sellers for five years in a new venue versus building a new team that sold out hundreds of shows in a row and increased revenue year over year through upselling merchandise and other add-ons.
“[Employers] want somebody that can come in and develop revenue, hunt for new business, improve service or create efficiencies after doing that before within another organization,” Gnatovic says. “Be prepared to talk about that. How can you be a solution for them?”
- Ban the buzzwords. If you describe your experience the same way that others do, how will you stand out from the crowd? Avoid the “sea of sameness” by eliminating words like specialized, experienced, leadership, skilled, passionate, expert, motivated, strategic and successful.
- Use bullet points to share your experience.
- Got your attention? Exactly!
- Bullet points stand out versus long sentences and paragraphs.
- Point-form statements are easy to read.
- Use keywords you are seeing in job ads (but remember to stay off the buzzword bandwagon).
- Keep bulleted lists to a reasonable length.
- List your relevant skills. This is an easy win. Simply click “add a new skill” in the Skills & Endorsements section on LinkedIn, then pick from a list of recommendations based off of your profile or search for others. Once you have done this, others can endorse your skills.
- Ask for recommendations. Don’t be shy! If there are people in your LinkedIn network who have worked with you and can sing your praises, reach out and ask them. These third-party compliments add credibility. Be sure to do the same for others if you are asked.
- Volunteer information about the volunteering you have done. There is a section for that on LinkedIn, and it is great information to include in a resume, too. Giving back shows a desire to learn, lead and strengthen our communities.
“Having volunteer leadership experience within a resume will help somebody build out that experience of leadership, of leading others and holding them accountable, even if they may not have it in the position that they are currently working in,” Gnatovic says.
- Make sure your resume and LinkedIn are aligned. “Your digital footprint says a lot about you,” Gnatovic says. “[Potential employers] look at your resume, then they will go right to LinkedIn. Make sure there are no discrepancies in dates or changes in titles. We have seen it before, and we question that when we see it.”
- Network, network, network! Connecting with new people through LinkedIn is invaluable. Sync your email address book to receive recommendations, ask colleagues and peers to introduce you, or reach out to people you would like to know with a personalized note and request to connect.
Building your circle of influence does not stop there. If you meet someone new through an industry organization, interview, Zoom call or online meetup, follow up with a connection request. This, says SearchWide Global, is a great way of keeping your network vibrant and up to date.
- Be active on LinkedIn. It is so much more than an online resume. LinkedIn is a great place to share materials you have produced or media stories in which you are featured. You can publish your own content or comment on stories others have written to start a conversation. If you are more active, your profile will become more visible. Publishing and sharing your views also showcases your opinions and expertise.
Gnatovic recommends using online resources or reaching out to a professional for help if writing is not your strong point or you want to take things to the next level.
“Specific to our site, we have candidate resources on SearchWideGlobal.com. We recommend and have worked with Pathfinder Writing and Career Services for 14 years. They are solid, and they have great solutions for individuals at all levels. We have also partnered with ePresence, which helps individuals with their personal online brand,” Gnatovic says. “We also showcase 44 resume writing tips and some simple ways to spruce up your LinkedIn profile.”
In closing, we share an important piece of advice from Gnatovic: “You know what your digital footprint says about you, and that is so important because we will look for it. Lock [other social profiles] down if you can and keep your LinkedIn polished, because that is the source anybody will go to before they actually pick up the phone and call you.”
SearchWide Global is an executive search firm primarily for companies in the travel, tourism, hospitality, convention, trade association, venue management, experiential marketing, sports and entertainment industries. The firm specializes in C-level and Director-level executive searches for companies ranging in size from Fortune 500 corporations to mid-sized public and private companies and associations. In live events and entertainment, Mark Gnatovic led the searches that placed President and CEO Maureen Andersen with INTIX as well as Brad Mayne as President and CEO of IAVM, among others.
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Tags: Social Media , Leadership , LinkedIn