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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    On the other hand, if your online biographies are incomplete, badly written, out of date or non-existent, you will throw away an opportunity to create a good impression or to reinforce a real world encounter positively.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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    Last Updated on March 29, 2021

    5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

    5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

    When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

    What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

    The Dream Type Of Manager

    My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

    I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

    My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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    “Okay…”

    That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

    I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

    The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

    The Bully

    My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

    However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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    The Invisible Boss

    This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

    It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

    The Micro Manager

    The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

    Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

    The Over Promoted Boss

    The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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    You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

    The Credit Stealer

    The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

    Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

    3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

    Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

    1. Keep evidence

    Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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    Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

    Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

    2. Hold regular meetings

    Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

    3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

    Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

    However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

    Good luck!

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