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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    On the other hand, if your online biographies are incomplete, badly written, out of date or non-existent, you will throw away an opportunity to create a good impression or to reinforce a real world encounter positively.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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    Published on January 7, 2021

    How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

    How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

    Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

    If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

    Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

    You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

    When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

    Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

    In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

    Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

    3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

    Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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    1. Respect deadlines
    2. Understand the work-flow plan
    3. Build in time to mess up

    1. Respect Deadlines

    Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

    One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

    2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

    Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

    3. Build in Time to Mess Up

    You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

    Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

    For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

    Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

    This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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    Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

    Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

    Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

    When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

    12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

    Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

    1. Learn to Listen Well

    You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

    Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

    2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

    Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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    3. Follow Rules

    Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

    4. Take Notes

    Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

    5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

    When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

    As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

    6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

    If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

    7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

    English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

    8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

    Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

    9. Minimize Distractions

    It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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    If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

    10. Take Breaks

    It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

    11. Make Time for Reflection

    At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

    12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

    This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

    Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

    Final Thoughts

    Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

    When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

    More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

    Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

    Reference

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