By Megan Cunnane
When applying for a new job, or even when keeping your Linkedin profile up to date, it is always important to consider the quality of the recommendations you present about yourself as well as the language you use when describing past work experience and relevant skills. It is important that you maintain relevance, specificity, and clarity in all areas of your profile. Here’s how you can begin to do that:
What to ask for in a recommendation
When concluding an internship or job, you should always ask someone who was close to you in the work environment to write you a recommendation, either for Linkedin or a specific job application that you are working on. A good recommendation is one that is not generic—one that conveys specific instances in which you proved yourself as innovative, hardworking, open, etc. So, think carefully about the moments that you would like to be included in a recommendation and ask if the person who is writing it can discuss those moments. For example, you could ask ask, “would you mind talking about the Child Protection article we researched and wrote and what role I played?” or mention specific skills you would like to highlight, such as cooperation in the workplace, innovation with design, presentation of proposals, etc.
Your CV: Quick Tips for Improvement
- Use active, positive words when describing your responsibilities and activities at previous jobs and internships. For example, “Analyzed data…,” “Interviewed high level figures in government…,” “Managed a staff of writers…,” “Produced multimedia for the website…”
- These words should always come first. In fact, you should describe your responsibilities at each post in bullet-point form, not full sentences. For example, “Pitched, planned, and organized multimedia pieces in the News section” can be one bullet point under a specific position, Multimedia Editor for News.
- Consider the job you are applying for and make sure that in your descriptions of your previous jobs you use words that would appeal to those reading your current application. For example, if you applying to be an intern at a radio show and they mention that they would like proficiency in a specific program, rather than just featuring that in your skills (you still should), repeat it throughout your CV in different contexts. For instance, “Created PowerPoint presentations…,” “Presented the board with PowerPoint presentations of proposals….”
- Be as specific as you can. For example, when talking about improvement you brought to a company, mention numbers (maybe you made a different in profit), and when talking about writing articles, briefly specify content (beauty, literature review, etc.) and mention how many you wrote. Stay honest—they may contact people for reference.