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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Copywriting for your On-line Profile

Today I listened to a webinar entitled Writing Powerful Online Profiles that Lead to More Connections, Interactions & Possibilities with speaker Allison Nazarian author of “One Minute Copy Writer”.  Here are my thoughts and notes based on the webinar.

During your job search, potential employers will Google you to see what you are about. Only 17% of jobs come from job boards. What would a hiring company find if they see your on-line profile?

Writing for paper is different than writing for online profiles. You don’t want to just cut and paste. Your résumé may stay the same for years. Social media allows for more personality. You could potentially be editing your social media profile hourly. The social media medium allows you to brand yourself in your own voice.

You forward a paper résumé to a company, possibly unsolicited and wonder what if anything is done with it. If you update your LinkedIn or other on-line profile, you could receive an immediate response from people within your network. You are able to create a dialogue when writing for the on-line medium that isn’t available in a written résumé.

Copywriting principles apply to on-line profiles. You are selling yourself on your profile to a potential employer. Your profile is your on-line advertisement. Use words to sell your career skills.

1. Know your target market - before you place your profile or make a change to it, determine who you are targeting to read your profile. What is the job title of the person who would hire you? What are the demographics of the company that would hire you? How can you solve the problems your potential hiring company might have? You are also writing to your allies and advocates who might know someone who needs a new employee with your skill set. Be deliberate with your keywords for the search engines to hone in upon.

2. Benefits vs. features – your résumé will list the skills and experience you have, but doesn’t necessarily allow you to express the benefits without adding several pages to the document. On-line profiles allow you to express the benefits of your problem solving actions that could be applicable to the company to which you are applying. Potential employers think “what’s in it for me?” Make it short, sweet and simple so that the employer knows what you are offering.

3. Formatting – make your profile easy to read and visually pleasing – use short paragraphs, bulleted lists, bolded sub-titles, and ensure it is easily scanned for rapid review. Use first person when writing your profile. i.e. Use XX machine to complete orders.

4. Action verbs – use an active voice and action verbs when writing your profile – see our previous post on action verbs for a list of action verbs. Action verbs express that you do things, perform for an employer and act on problems. Get specific with what you can do for a potential employer. When you edit your profile, let your verbs do the work for you. Be conscientious of using the verb groups “to be” (is, are, & were), “to do”, “to say” and “to go”.

Remember you are selling yourself to a potential employer or business associate if you are seeking contract work. Use all of the tools at your disposal to get yourself re-employed.

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