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Profile Power: The Importance of Having a Professional Bio


July 2010 (SmartPros) Networking sites have put a spotlight on the value of a well-written profile. In the past, professional biographies were typically only needed by executives or conference speakers. But today, job seekers and professionals at all levels post them on LinkedIn and Facebook as a vehicle for self-promotion.



Other people send these biographical snapshots to hiring managers and potential clients to give them a quick, easy-to-digest overview of who they are and what they bring to the table. While the profile doesn’t replace the traditional resume and cover letter, it certainly deserves a place in your career toolbox. Consider the following bio-building tips:

Remember that brevity is best. In an era dominated by quick communication in the form of tweets and text messages, the bio’s appeal is easy to understand: It’s accessible and user-friendly. Don’t attempt to recount your entire work history or connect the dots of your career trajectory as you would in a resume or cover letter. Instead, think of your profile as the written version of your “elevator pitch” — the punchy sound-bite you’d deliver to a prospective employer if you had a mere 30 seconds of his or her time.

Focus, focus, focus. Zero in on the skills, attributes and accomplishments that are most compelling and relevant to your current goals. That might mean you only mention the last few positions you’ve held, or even just your current one. Showcase your biggest selling points, such as your considerable experience or proven ability to identify cost savings and manage critical projects.

Keep it fresh. Your bio isn’t meant to be set in stone. In fact, a stale bio often looks worse than having no bio at all. When you get a promotion and/or title change, earn a credential such as the Certified Payroll Professional designation or receive professional honors, update your profile quickly. After all, marketable achievements won’t do you any good if nobody knows about them.
Accountemps is the world’s first and largest temporary staffing service specializing in the placement of accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The company has more than 360 offices throughout North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and offers online job search services at www.accountemps.com.

2010 SmartPros Ltd. All rights reserved.

Source: Robert Half

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