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Online Biography VS Traditional Resume: Which Is Best?

Online Biography VS Traditional Resume: Which Is Best?

When you’re looking for a new job or hoping to gain an important promotion, do you think first about your online biography? Or do you start dusting off your résumé?

Do you have a preference?  Do you think that one is more important than the other?  Are you sure you’re focusing your efforts in the right place? Use the guidance below to ensure that you’re making the right choices and that you really are paying enough attention to the best career development tool you can use to help you to succeed.

online bio vs resume

    Your Online Biography: A Short History Of You

    Most people groan when they enter information into an online directory, a professional listing or their LinkedIn profile, and suddenly find that they need to compose some additional text about themselves. As often as not, they take a deep breath and rush off a paragraph or two that fills the available space, and then upload the material without much thought—sometimes even without checking the accuracy and sense of what they’ve written.

    This is a short-sighted approach.

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    Today people look you up online when they meet you.

    They look you up online when you informally express interest in a new role or when you put your name forward to be included in that new project team. Whether you realise it or not, they’ll find you without too much trouble. That’s the way the web works these days.

    Good online biographies serve to introduce you to people and to reassure them about your qualities and your capabilities, especially if you’ve included endorsements, testimonials and recommendations in your entry. They also add depth to someone’s understanding of you. If you’ve taken the trouble to write about yourself effectively, and crafted your personal history carefully, you won’t have too much to worry about. You will immediately create a good impression.

    On the other hand, if your online biographies are incomplete, badly written, out of date or non-existent, you will throw away an opportunity to create a good impression or to reinforce a real world encounter positively.

    Your Résumé Or CV: Your Life’s Summary

    Your résumé is very different from your online biography, and it serves quite a different purpose from any of those online biographies you’ve created. You write your résumé to help you to deal with a specific circumstance: getting a new job.

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    You’ve probably read guides on how t produce a good résumé. Typically, you’ll be asked to give an overview of what you’ve achieved, a chronological account of what you’ve done—starting with your most recent role—and information about your education, qualifications and interests along with your contact details. Most guides also encourage you to be brief when writing your résumé.

    The résumé is the HR department’s tool. A résumé, or CV, exists to help those making a recruitment and selection decision about who to appoint to a particular role. In essence it’s a summary of your experience and achievements set out to suit the requirements of recruiters.

    Your Online Biography vs Your Résumé—Which Is Best?

    Of course, both types of document matter.  You need both, as they will both help you to get that important next job.

    However, when it comes to deciding which is the better choice of document to pay attention to, and which is the best tool you can use to help you to get that job, then the online biography wins.

    Remember that your online biography is a document you control.

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    • You can choose what you say about yourself.
    • You can tell your story in the way you want it to be told.
    • You can place the emphasis where you want to place it.
    • You can write in the first person or the third person, depending on the relationship you want to build with your readers.
    • You can update your online biography whenever you like. (Today, on sites such as LinkedIn, you can include videos, slideshows and multimedia presentations to showcase your talents and your achievements more completely.)
    • You can use your online biography to build your professional community.
    • You can reach out via your online biography to connect with like-minded people.

    You can do most of these things long before you’re looking for a new job.

    If your online biography is well-optimized, it just might catch the eye of a recruiter who’s creating a list of candidates to put forward to an employer who has a vacancy.  It may even encourage your current employer to think more highly of you and possibly to reward you better.

    Of course you can refer to your online biography in your résumé, or invite the selection panel to view your LinkedIn profile for more information about your background and your work.  However, by doing that you’re acknowledging the importance of your online presence and your online biography—you’re making the case for paying more attention to your online persona.

    To Your Future Career Success

    Résumés have their place, but today you can’t rely solely on your résumé to ensure you get the job you really want. There are other media through which to communicate with your industry and the job world, and you need to use them regularly. Your online biography, your LinkedIn profile and your entries in those online directories are the means by which you build your reputation and your success, so commit to making more use of them.

    Now look ahead to the time when you’re next thinking about making a job application.

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    Of course, you’ll remember to rewrite your résumé, but will you also remember to rewrite your online biographies to ensure your entries indicate what a great success you would be in the type of role you’re applying for?

    You’ll be doing yourself a favour if you do.  That online biography is working for you, or against you, 24/7. It’s also on display to the world, not just your next employer’s HR department.  Who knows who will read it in the next twenty-four hours?

    In the end it’s the fact that your online biography is so flexible, so accessible and so useful in so many different contexts that makes it your best career development tool.  Your résumé will help you when you’re ready to apply for a job. Your online biography will help you all day and every day whatever your career plans.

    What are your thoughts?

    Are you convinced that your online biography really is the best career development tool at your disposal? 

    Let’s hear your opinion.

    SEE ALSO: How to Make Your Resume Stand Out From the Crowd

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    5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

    5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

    Not being able to stay productive at work is a problem that everyone runs into at some point; no matter how much you like your job, there are certain factors that prevent you from staying at maximum proficiency throughout the whole day.

    A lack of productive focus at work can lead to extra stress on yourself, missed deadlines, passed opportunities, raise denial, demotion and even termination.

    So, if you are someone who has trouble with your productivity, here are five effective tips on how to be productive at work:

    1. Take breaks

    First and foremost, it’s important for you to take regular breaks. Trying to work throughout the whole day will tire your brain, which will then cause you to doze off and think about something else.

    If you keep working your brain, it will fill up and get jumbled with information—sort of like a computer hard drive. Taking a break would be like resetting your computer so that it can start afresh, or de-fragmenting the data so that all the information is in order.

    This is a great thing because it allows you to solve problems you were unable to solve previously, by seeing it differently; if you are able to organize your thoughts properly, you will be able to take in new information more easily.

    There have even been studies about methods of saving time and staying proficient, and taking breaks is one of the leading factors.

    According to Christine Hohlbaum, the author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World, eating lunch away from your work area every day will greatly increase your productivity. Eating in your work area will give you the illusion that you are working, but whether you like it or not, your brain will begin to wander and think of something else and then you will be working tirelessly with no progress.

    It’s important to take breaks before and during work too: if you come to work in a rush because you woke up late, your mind will not be mentally prepared for the day ahead, and you will spend the first 10 to 15 minutes trying to get organized and composed before you can actually start working.

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    Instead, you should try to wake up 20 minutes earlier than the time it would take you to “just get” to work. Take that time to stare off into space and not worry about anything.

    If you do this, your brain will be empty and ready for all the challenges it has coming for the next few hours.

    If your employer only allows a set amount of breaks during the workday, that doesn’t mean you can’t just get up and walk around for a quick break every now and then.

    Even if it’s only 5 minutes, it will refresh your brain and you will gain renewed energy to do your job.

    Learn more about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

    2. Pace yourself and balance your workload

    One problem that most people run into is that they underestimate the amount of work they have to do, and end up doing 50% of the work in the last 20% of the time they have to do it. This is due to an issue of balancing one’s workload.

    When you receive a project, or are doing a job you normally do, take some time to really plan out your work schedule.

    Consider how much time it took you to do this last time; determine how you can break the project into smaller parts and which can only be accomplished on certain days, and whether anything might come up that could interfere with your plan.

    All of these questions are important for starting on a project, and when answered, they will help you stay productive throughout each day.

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    For example, if you needed to design a project to map out the amount of aid offered in various regions after Hurricane Sandy, you can break it up as follows:

    You will need to know what organizations are offering help to begin with, how much aid those organizations gave or plan to give, which regions were hit by Sandy, and which regions suffered the greatest losses.

    You start this project on a Thursday and know you have until Tuesday to gather this information.

    In order to stay productive, you need to plan out your work week—now you know you can find out which organizations are involved in helping the Hurricane Sandy Victims any day since that information is online, but gathering information on the organizations may require you to call them.

    Since phone calls can only be done during week days, you have to plan on gathering all of that information before the weekend comes.

    That is just one example of a situation in which pre-planning your project will help you stay productive; had you researched the affected regions first, you would not have received the info on the organizations until the weekend, and may have missed your chance to call them.

    That, in turn, would have wasted time you could have spent working on this project to finish it.

    Knowing what you need to do, when you can do it, and how long it will take you, is important in balancing your workload and being more productive and efficient.

    3. Put your work first

    This is an issue that usually occurs with young people who are new to the workforce: they’re often tempted with offers to go out at midday, and then come back lost in thought and unfocused on their work-related tasks.

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    While it is important to take breaks, your breaks should consist of you clearing your mind, not loading it up with other less important information—like sports.

    However, that is not the only situation where you need to worry about putting your work first before all else.

    In a work environment, the senior employees will oftentimes push some of their menial tasks onto the newer employees. If you fall into that category, you need to know that their work is not your work, so if you have tasks that need to be done, you need to do it first.

    If you are a new employee, you must learn to say no to other people even when it means you may not be in their good graces anymore. You can help others out once your work is done, but you are paid to do your own work, not anyone else’s.

    4. Don’t open your browser unless you need them

    In this day and age, everyone is constantly monitoring their social network. This is a major pain point for companies, which is why many don’t allow employees to access their social networks on company workstations.

    When you are at work, disconnect the internet from your phone and keep your browsers closed so you’re not tempted to log onto your social media accounts or browse any sites that are not work-related.

    If you keep your browsers closed and phone tucked away, only to be used in an emergency, you will find yourself being a more productive employee right away. 

    5. Try to be happy and optimistic

    If you always have a negative outlook on life, you will be more distracted and less motivated to get work done, so it’s important for you to start your day off right.

    This can be done by having a good breakfast or by taking time in the morning to watch one of your favorite TV shows before work.

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    If you are happy, you will find yourself able to work much more productively as your mind won’t wander into worrying about something else.

    Also, if you stay optimistic and keep telling yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to, the tasks will seem much less daunting and will go by much more quickly.

    Take a look at more effective ways to stay positive at work:

    15 Ways To Stay Positive At Work

    Happiness and optimism are the keys to being a productive and happy employee.

    All in all, heed the five tips above and you will find yourself being one of the most productive people at your company.

    While you do not need to master them all, each and every one of them will help you become a better and more efficient employee.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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