How a Strong LinkedIn Profile Can Get You Noticed by Recruiters

When you’re looking for a new job, you’ll likely focus some time on updating your LinkedIn profile. However, even if you’re not actively searching, you should always keep it as timely as possible. Recruiters are constantly using LinkedIn to find good quality candidates. When your profile is polished, professional and optimized, it could land you a great new job…even if you’re not looking. (more…)

Guide to Perfecting Bullet Points on Your Resume

You invest hours into crafting the perfect resume. Hiring managers, on the other hand, spend seconds scanning it. How can you make your background stand out, so you’re the obvious fit for the job?

It can be challenging to do. However, when you include the right information and properly format it, your skills and abilities will be easy to scan. You’ll stand out from other candidates and hopefully get a call for an interview. Here’s how to do that:

List bullet points under each job.

Bullet points are best used in the Work Experience section of your resume. This is the area that hiring managers will be most focused on, so you want to spend time making it persuasive and easy to read. To do that, list two to four bullet points under each job title discussing your duties and accomplishments. Be specific and include relevant results and quantifiable accomplishments wherever you can.

Be as specific to the job as possible.

Your bullet points might be different depending on the position or employer you’re applying to. In fact, to make your resume as strong as possible, you should be tailoring and tweaking it for every opportunity. This means making each bullet point as relevant and specific to the particular job as possible. Be sure to list accomplishments or duties in order of importance.

Keep your bullet points brief.

There’s a lot to fit on a resume. However, you don’t want it to come across as cramped and sloppy. It’s why you need to be brief with your bullet points. Keep in mind your resume is just a highlight reel. You, therefore, don’t need to include every job or task you’ve ever performed. Instead, keep each point brief, only including the necessary information most relevant to the job opening.

Use action verbs in your bullet points.

Begin each bullet point with an action verb. These bring a more confident tone to your resume when compared to passive language. Just make sure you’re not using the same one over and over again. Some different examples to consider include:

  • Led
  • Spearheaded
  • Organized
  • Delegated
  • Assessed
  • Coordinated
  • Orchestrated
  • Launched

Format your bullet points properly.

Don’t use any fancy graphics or formatting when creating your bullet points. Just use the standard circle. This will keep the look of your resume simple and clean, without distracting the hiring manager as they’re reading it.

Would you like help creating a resume that gets results?

Turn to the experts at ResumeSpice. With our resume writing service, we can help you to polish your existing resume or create a new one from scratch to help your background stand out. We also know how to properly format it, so it’s easy to scan and gets noticed by hiring managers. If you’re ready to learn more, call 832.930.7378 or contact us online.

 

10 Top Free Career Aptitude Tests

Are you considering a career change? Or perhaps you’ve always wondered which career best suits your strengths and personal motivators? Or maybe you’re just starting your career and you’re unsure about which line of work to pursue.

That’s where a career aptitude test can help and, fortunately, there are a number of free options that can provide valuable information to those seeking career clarity.

 

What is a Career Aptitude Test?

A career aptitude test (or career assessment) is a tool that asks specific questions about your personality traits and provides clarity (and often, recommendations) for your career path, based on your answers. 

The power of a good career assessment test is that they provide an objective look at the types of work that could be a strong match for your unique skills, values, and interests.

We’ve curated a list of 11 top free career aptitude tests to help you determine the right career path for you. 

 

1. My Next Move: O*Net Interest Profiler

This free 60-question career assessment seeks to determine your ideal career by asking questions related to your likes and dislikes. It’s administered by the United States Department of Labor. 

 

My Next Move: O*Net Interest Profiler

 

The assessment provides a list of task options such as “Buy and sell stocks and bonds” or “Develop a new medicine.” Select among five preferences for each option: “Strongly Dislike,” “Dislike,” “Unsure,” “Like,” and “Strongly Like.” You’ll be provided with career options at the end of the test.

 

2. Truity: The Big Five Personality Test

Truity’s scientific personality test seeks to accurately measure your key personality traits. Here’s how it works: you receive a list of statements such as “I am always prepared” or “I get chores done right away.”

 

Truity: The Big Five Personality Test

 

You then rate each statement according to how well it describes you. You’ll receive a score for the five top personality factors: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. The test includes 60 questions and takes about 5-10 minutes to complete.

 

3. Career Explorer: Career Test

Career Explorer uses advanced machine learning, psychometrics, and career satisfaction data to design the assessment. The basic test is free while the premium report costs $35.

 

Career Explorer: Career Test

 

The career test provides a series of questions that reflect upon your past experiences and future goals. Suggested careers are then based on your interests, goals, history, workplace preferences, and personality. 

 

4. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is known as being one of the most accurate career aptitude tests. While Myers-Briggs offers a paid $50 version of the test, this is a free version known as the Jung Typology Test. 

The personality assessment presents a series of 64 statements such as “You like to be engaged in an active and fast-paced job” and “It is difficult to get you excited.”

 

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

 

Choose whether or not you agree with each statement. Your answers are analyzed and the test provides careers and occupations that are most suitable for your personality type.

 

5. Rasmussen University Career Aptitude Test

The Rasmussen University Career Aptitude Test analyzes your skills and interests to offer career recommendations.

 

Rasmussen career aptitude test

 

Instead of working off a question basis, the test allows you to adjust sliders for seven categories (e.g. Artistic) so they represent your personal skills (from high to low). A list of career suggestions based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is then provided.

 

6. Careerfitter Free Online Career Test

Receive a free career report when you complete the Careerfitter Online Career Test. This 60 question test takes about 10 minutes to complete. 

It analyzes four dimensions that contribute to the foundation of your personality including Energy, Perception, Decision Style, and Planning Style.

 

Careerfitter Free Online Career Test

 

The free career report includes information such as how much money you can earn in careers that match your personality, career fields you should consider, and the number of specific careers that fit you.

 

7. Princeton Review Career Quiz

The Princeton review career quiz consists of 24 questions that each contains two different scenarios. You choose the scenario that best fits you. 

 

Princeton Review Career Quiz

 

For example, two scenarios might include “I would rather be an auditor” and “I would rather be a musician.” Once you’ve made your selection for all 24 questions, you’ll receive “interest results” and “recommended careers.”

 

8. MyPlan Career Assessment Test

According to MyPlan, this values-based career assessment test can help you learn more about your underlying work needs and motivations to help you decide what is important to you in a job.

 

MyPlan Career Assessment Test

 

The assessment consists of 20 cards or statements and takes about 12 minutes to complete. Within this test, you group cards that relate to different aspects of work and identify how important each statement is to you. 

The point is to find a career that relates to your work values as this highly correlates with job satisfaction. 

 

9. MAPP Test

The MAPP test is a bit more intense than some of the other career aptitude tests on this list, but the results are comprehensive. With this assessment, you’ll be presented with 71 different triads that include three statements a piece. 

 

MAPP Test

 

For each statement, you choose if it represents you the most or least. It normally takes about 20 minutes to complete. While the test is free to take, there is a fee to review your full results. However, if you choose to pay the fee, the results are very reliable. 

 

10. 123 Career Test

This career aptitude test takes 5-10 minutes to complete. It’s a visual style assessment that provides fifteen sets of four pictures that show specific work activities. 

 

123 Career Test

 

If you like a specific activity, click the green arrow. If you don’t, click the red “x.” You can choose one activity that you like the most and one activity that you like the least. This test helps you discover what kind of work environments and occupations are best for you. 

 

Discover career possibilities with a free career aptitude test

A career aptitude test isn’t perfect and shouldn’t be the only data point when deciding which career to pursue. Your own vision for your life plays the most important role. But a career aptitude test can offer clarity and ideas for career directions that you might not have considered before. 

If you’re looking to make a career change, ResumeSpice is here to help. We offer premium career coaching, resume writing, and cover letter services, LinkedIn profile writing, and more. Please contact us today to learn about our services! 

“Why Should We Hire You?” Tips to Deliver the Best Response

There are many interview questions that are tricky to answer. You might feel put on the spot or have a hard time promoting your skills and abilities. One of the more challenging ones is “why should we hire you?” You want to answer it in a way that positions you as competent and capable, yet you don’t want to come across as arrogant. How can you strike the right balance? Here are some tips for answering this difficult question. (more…)

LinkedIn Background Photos for 21 Different Industries

LinkedIn is the largest business-oriented networking website – and with over 500 million members – it’s more important than ever to stand out. 

The content of your LinkedIn profile is key – from your intro bio, to your experience, education, skills, recommendations, and accomplishments – every section is important. But one commonly overlooked area is your LinkedIn background.

Also known as the background banner image, the LinkedIn background photo gives you the opportunity to visually support your overall profile and creatively communicate who you are as a professional. 

Below are LinkedIn background photos that are perfect for 21 different industries. We’ve also included steps for changing your LinkedIn background and the ideal LinkedIn background photo size (and where to find the best LinkedIn photos). 

Keep reading to learn more!

  1. Administrative
  2. Business Management
  3. Finance
  4. HR & Recruitment
  5. Technology
  6. Marketing, Art & Design
  7. Healthcare & Wellness
  8. Real Estate
  9. Sports & Entertainment
  10. Legal
  11. Retail
  12. Media & Journalism
  13. Tourism & Hospitality
  14. Construction
  15. Childcare
  16. Education
  17. Transportation
  18. Food & Beverage
  19. Non-Profit
  20. Government 
  21. Beauty

Where to find best LinkedIn photos

The ideal LinkedIn background photo size

How to change LinkedIn background

 

1. Administrative

 

Whether you’re a program administrator, executive assistant, medical secretary, etc., use your LinkedIn background photo to reflect your organization skills and attention to detail.

 

best linkedin photos

 

A neat, orderly workspace with greenery in the background stands out nicely. 

 

good linkedin background

 

linkedin background photo

 

You can also select a photo that highlights tools of your trade such as a calendar. 

 

2. Business Management

 

It truly depends on the business management role you’re in (e.g. account manager), but a good rule of thumb is to choose a background photo that is professional and reflects your strong managerial abilities. 

An office space, conference room, or team workspace are all potential options. 

 

 

You can also go minimalist with a geometric picture that suggests connectivity or big picture thinking.

 

 

3. Finance

 

If you’re in the finance industry, consider a background image that includes financial or accounting tools such as a calculator or computer. 

 

 

 

Into the fintech startup scene? Select a photo with cool financial graphics for a modern look.

 

 

4. HR & Recruitment

 

For HR and recruitment roles, demonstrate your focus on finding perfect job candidates with images that highlight one individual. 

 

 

 

To show that you are committed to strong company culture and smooth onboarding experiences, upload a background photo that suggests inclusivity

 

 

5. Technology

 

Whether you spend your day coding or analyzing data, incorporate technological elements such as HTML code or a circuit board into your technology LinkedIn background photo. 

 

technology linkedin background 

 

6. Marketing, Art, & Design

 

Any career in marketing, art, and design provides an opportunity for a creative background image.

 

 

 

Bold colors, unique graphics, and artistic elements are all viable options within your photo and demonstrate your creativity and problem-solving abilities.

 

 

7. Healthcare & Wellness

 

Careers related to the medical field, fitness, coaching, nutrition, etc. are all hot topics right now. 

Choose a background photo that uniquely reflects your position in the industry such as images of healthy food or pics of the tools you use (e.g.stethoscope).

 

 

 

Consider incorporating variations of light blue as this color is associated with health and healing. 

 

8. Real Estate

 

Are you involved with personal or commercial properties or maybe even the real estate tech world? 

 

 

 

Include architectural elements in your background photo, as well as warm, inviting colors that suggest a hospitable personality. 

 

9. Sports & Entertainment

 

Sports agent, athlete, actor. If you seek a career that’s more in the public eye, your LinkedIn background is crucial. 

 

A picture of cameras or a microphone can go a long way and suggest that you’re comfortable in the spotlight. 

 

10. Legal

 

A career as an attorney, paralegal, court reporter, etc. gives you a few routes to take with your background photo. 

 

 

 

Courthouse and gavel pictures are one option, but so are less obvious images that demonstrate strong communication and listening skills. Also, incorporate the color blue within images as this color symbolizes trust.  

 

11. Retail

 

Retail careers are typically customer-facing roles. Consider LinkedIn background photos that reflect happy customers. 

 

 

You could also choose a photo that represents a storefront.

 

 

12. Media & Journalism

 

Careers in media and journalism require excellent writing and communication skills. 

 

 

Reflect these skills with photos of a typewriter, computer or even a camera or microphone if you’re a news anchor. 

 

 

13. Tourism & Hospitality

 

For roles within tourism and hospitality, consider photos that reflect new destinations or relaxing atmospheres. 

 

 

 

Include warm, inviting images with appropriate colors. Tones of yellow, for example, are associated with attentiveness, optimism, and happiness and can help your background image stand out. 

 

14. Construction

 

If you work in the construction or the maintenance industry, images with tools of the trades are a great option, as well as photos of worksites and architectural plans.

 

 

 

 

15. Childcare

 

Working with kids requires a photo that reflects responsibility, a caring nature, and fun atmosphere. Brightly colored toys and organized play spaces are two excellent photo options. 

 

 

 

16. Education

 

Eye-catching education background photos can include your own classroom, books on a shelf, and even your desk. 

 

 

 

If you work in an online education setting, incorporate pics of remote learning such as a video screen. 

 

 

17. Transportation

 

Transportation and logistics can mean many different career paths, but movement is a key element. Photos of vehicles, the highway, or even moving objects are all potential options.

 

 

 

 

The color green also represents safety. Consider incorporating shades of green in your background photo to convey, for example, that you are a safe driver. 

 

 

18. Food & Beverage

 

The foodservice industry offers a wide range of photos to choose from. Cups of coffee, delicious meals, and clean eating areas make excellent images if you work with food and beverages.

 

 

 

 

19. Nonprofit

 

The right LinkedIn background photo truly depends on your specific nonprofit, but here are a few ideas. 

If you’re passionate about sustainable energy, incorporate images of recycled materials, plants, and greenery. If you work with animals, include pics of cute pets or related pet items. 

 

 

 

For a catch-all photo, include abstract images demonstrating progress being made such as through the photo of a staircase. 

 

 

20. Government

 

Government careers offer another opportunity to select minimalistic images such as of government buildings, green walkways, and spiral staircases. 

 

 

 

 

21. Beauty

 

Perfectly represent the beauty and cosmetology industry with bright, warm images of flowers, makeup, and greenery. Backdrops of marble and white wood also suggest luxurious treatment. 

 

 

 

 

Where to find the best LinkedIn photos

Many sites offer free stock photos that are license-free. Simply visit these sites and type in keywords in the search bar such as “desk,” “calculator,” and “construction.”

Here are a few of our favorite stock image sites that offer high-quality images:

Another option – take quality, well-lit shots with your iPhone and capture your own pictures for your background image. Your background image will then be completely original.

 

The ideal LinkedIn background photo size

LinkedIn recommends that your background photo size should be 1584 x 396 pixels.

 

linkedin background photo size

 

LinkedIn accepts different file types including PNG, JPEG, and GIF. 

 

How to change LinkedIn background

 

Step 1: Go to your LinkedIn profile 

Click the camera icon.

 

how to change linkedin background

 

 

Step 2: Upload a photo

Upload a photo from your computer. 

 

linkedin photo

 

You can also now choose among LinkedIn’s pre-set custom images. 

 

Step 3: Adjust your photo and save 

LinkedIn gives the option to edit your background photo directly within the platform. Easily crop, zoom, and straighten your photo.

 

background photo

 

LinkedIn also offers filters for extra editing

Once you’re satisfied with your photo, click “Apply.”

 

 

 

Your LinkedIn background photo is now ready for others to see. 

Related: How to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job

 

Stand out with your LinkedIn background photo

According to studies, people can recall 65% of visual content they see vs 10% of written content around three days later. Plus, LinkedIn statistics show that if you include a photo on your LinkedIn profile, you’ll receive 21x more profile views.

The takeaway? It’s worth taking the time to add a LinkedIn background photo to your LinkedIn profile. It helps you make the best possible impression on recruiters and hiring managers!

Want to level up your LinkedIn profile even more? Reach out to ResumeSpice where we work with you to create a strong, personalized LinkedIn profile. We also offer resume writing services, cover letter writing, interview prep, and more! Contact us today to learn about our services. We’d love to speak with you.

 

Gaps in Your Resume? Ways to Take Gaps & Turn Them Into Bridges to Your Next Job

Looking for a new job is always a challenge. However, if you have gaps in your resume, it can be even more of an uphill battle. If you don’t handle them properly, they can make hiring managers stop and think the worst. In fact, there’s even what’s called an “unemployed bias” where employers assume a candidate is less-qualified because of their lack of employment.

If that’s the case for you, what can you do? Here are some tips to help. (more…)

Email or Snail Mail? The Best Way to Thank Your Interviewer

After the interview, you can’t just wait for a call. You need to be proactive with a thank you note. The question is: do you send a handwritten one in the mail or an email? Both have their pros and cons; however, the key is to follow up promptly with a heartfelt and relevant message. Once you do that, you’ll cement the positive impression you made during the interview.

To help you decide whether to email a note or mail one, here’s a look at what to consider about both. (more…)

How to Make a Memorable First Impression

When a hiring manager first meets you, they’ll evaluate you within a few short seconds. This first impression they get from you will form the basis of their overall opinion. It’s therefore difficult to undo if it’s negative. To make the most favorable impression, here are a few tips to follow:

Be on time.

If you’re running even a few minutes behind, it’s going to impact the impression you’re making on the hiring manager. It’s therefore important to know where you’re going ahead of time, so you’re not late. Also, give yourself some extra time in case of an accident or traffic jam.

Be prepared to dress the part.

The clothes you’re wearing will have a big impact on the impression you’re making. You, therefore, don’t want to look sloppy or underdressed. Instead, don a business suit or, if more appropriate, business casual clothing. Whatever you wear, make sure it’s cleaned and pressed ahead of time, so you’re not left scrambling right before your interview.

Be ready with a smile.

When you first meet the hiring manager, make sure you’re smiling, making eye contact and shaking hands firmly with them. You want to come across as confident and friendly. If this is difficult for you to pull off, practice ahead of time with a family member or friend.

Be mindful of body language.

The hiring manager will be taking in everything you do, so avoid any nervous ticks, like twirling your hair or tapping your feet. This will immediately send the message that you’re not at ease and can impact the way the hiring manager perceives you. Instead, keep your body language in check by sitting up straight and keeping your hands still in your lap.

Be open to small talk.

Depending on your personality, you might love or loathe small talk. However, you should follow the hiring manager’s lead on this. If they seem like they want to chat for a few minutes about the weather or another topic ahead of the interview, engage with them. If they’re ready to get right down to business, then don’t hold them back with small talk.

Be polite and professional.

In everything you do, be polite and professional. This includes any interactions you might have while waiting in the reception area. These are the people who will often report back to the hiring manager about how they were treated. So make sure you are professional and courteous with everyone you come in contact with.

Need more help with your next interview?

At ResumeSpice, we offer an interview preparation service that will ensure you’re ready to ace your next conversation with a hiring manager. We can help you get everything right, from your body language to what you say, so you make the best impression. If you’re ready to learn more, call 832.930.7378 or contact us online.