In today's world, having a strong online presence is more crucial than ever before. This is particularly true for college students in the job search process while still in school.
A digital resume may be the perfect instrument to exhibit your abilities and talents to potential employers. We'll look at 'why' and the steps you need to take to develop a fantastic digital resume. Let's get started.
What is a digital resume?
A digital resume is like a traditional resume that you use for a job search. The only difference is that you can download resumes through e-mail or an offline format. Having your resume online helps employers and hiring managers understand your work history more efficiently.
Digital resumes are a great way to show hiring managers that you are savvy enough to put your resume on the internet, and you will stand out from other candidates in the process. All "digital resume" means is that your resume is available online. Take your existing resume and turn it into a digital resume today and secure your dream job!
Why do you need a digital resume as a student?
A digital resume shows potential employers that you are proactive and have the skills they are looking for. It is also a great way to keep track of your accomplishments and experiences.
And if you are a recent graduate, it can help you secure your dream job with a future employer. Creating a digital resume is not as difficult as it may seem.
With a little time and effort, you can create an online resume that will help you get the job you want before you graduate. However, here is one golden rule that you must remember at all times: "Start now because if you have only 5 days to graduation, it might be too late. This process will take about 30-45 days to complete, and the earlier you start, the more successful you will be."
Is LinkedIn a digital resume?
Consider a LinkedIn profile as a job application on the web. This is different from other social media platforms that do not always showcase your professional online presence.
Similarly, a job application can showcase a person's abilities, experience, and education. However, LinkedIn profiles have many other advantages than a traditional resume or just simply having your resume online.
This includes photos, references from colleagues, employers, and many more. Other social media platforms do not display details about your work experience or community engagement like LinkedIn does.
Feel free to take your existing resume and upload it to your LinkedIn profile to build more engagement from future employers. Popular jobs are usually looking for future employees on this platform so you may not have to actively apply if your work history is displayed.
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How to start creating your online resume
Now that we've talked about the why and the what of a digital resume, it's time to get into the how of creating an online resume. Creating a digital resume is not as difficult or time-consuming as you may think. Here are the steps you need to take.
What to do when you don't have any experience
If you are applying to your first job and do not have any experience to add to your digital resume, you can create some. It is never too late to start building your online resume.
Check the job description on job boards that are usually listed by the hiring manager. Do this before building your online resume to make sure to look for experience in relevant fields. Here are a few simple steps you can take and list on your digital resume once contact has been established.
- Create a Fiverr, Upwork, or Freelancer account and advertise your services for insanely cheap. Offer an amazing deal on your best service no matter how long it takes to complete the work. You may charge more after you get some feedback and stars. In the future, you will thank me for giving to the key to a digitally nomadic life.
- Contact the webmaster of three to five of your favorite businesses and request a guest blog article. You may accomplish this using the Hunter.io chrome plugin. Mention what is missing in their blog. Do not, however, annoy corporations with requests. Remember to show them that you are offering them value, not the other way around.
- On websites like iTalki, you may teach English or your native language online. I've had excellent results with this, and it's great to have over 100 people vouching for my communication abilities even though my present job has nothing to do with it.
What software should you use?
You don't need to spend anything to create an amazing resume. Enter Canva to help you build your digital resume! This is one cloud base software that blows everything away. It's easy to use and has a free version.
There are a few different software options to create your digital resume. The most popular options are Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office. If you want to create a more aesthetically pleasing resume, we recommend using Adobe Creative Suite. However, if you are unfamiliar with this software, Microsoft Office is a perfectly acceptable option.
There is no need to reinvent the wheel when you are in a tire shop. Canva has a plethora of beautiful resume customizable templates. You can find them as demonstrated in the screenshot below.
Feel free to get as creative as possible if you want to impress a potential employer with your digital resume. Use templates provided by Canva to create the perfect interactive online resume. Creating a video resume is also an option. During the hiring process, potential employers look for applicants with a standout resume.
Modify a theme to fit you
Choose a template you like and modify the colors according to your taste. The key here is not to get carried away. Keep the color light and easy to read.
Use company logos & links
Company executives and HR personnel sift through hundreds of boring resumes a day during the hiring process. Using company logos of your past employers will immediately catch their attention. If you include a logo of a possible partner company, then your odds of success will be higher than most. Plus, it shows are familiar with the company and its work.
You can enhance your logos by hyperlinking them to your online comments or freelancer profiles. It's a good way to show your skills and intellect. The image can be further hyperlinked to your online profiles. As shown below.
There are many free page builders, but for students, I'd recommend WIX. It's easy to use, and you can finish a single-page website in 2-3 hours if you put your mind to it. Show a searching hiring manager that you can access online resources to get your resume created.
You can have an interactive resume using a site or video resume, but you do not have to get carried away in the process.
Be sure to check them out but don’t spend more than a few hours putting something together. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to be functional and portray your work history.
What content should you include?
When it comes to the content of your digital resume, less is more. You want to include only the best examples of your work in your digital resume. If you have a lot of experience, you can include up to ten pieces of your best work.
If you are just starting, we recommend including five to seven pieces. Include a mix of writing samples, design work, and anything else that showcases your talents and skills. If you choose to create a video resume, the same is true.
Digital Resume content
The online resume should be simple and clean. You want it to be a brief introduction to yourself. We live in a time where the attention span of people is minuscule. So, it has spoken to the interviewer in a visual language they can understand immediately.
Your friendly smiling face, images of potential partners, and relevant skill set need to be placed strategically. I have used the same format for years, and it works like a charm.
When starting your personal website, don't worry about the accolades you don't have. Focus on things you have accomplished so far.
Focus on what you have done or can do immediately to stand out. Your homepage on your personal website needs to show that you are confident in your ability so far. You can talk about the following things
- Your ambition
- Your 5 and 10-year plan
- Your desire to volunteer and help
- Your selfless desire to help animals
All these things will tell potential employers about you as a person. The goal is to let them know you are unique and will go above and beyond to make things work.
Include a video link where possible (optional)
Videos are a great way to show your personality and stand out. Most jobs don't require it but it is still a great tool. You can use a video to introduce yourself, showcase your work, or give a presentation.
If you decide to include a video, make sure it is high quality and professional. In 2022, all it takes to make a professional video is a tripod, a phone, and a quiet room. Hire a video editor on Fiverr to add music and touchups. If you can edit in FCPX, you'll get this done in about 2 hours.
Here is a good video format How to Give a 60 Second Self-Introduction Presentation
Pro Tip: Do not include your personal social media short clips, especially if you have wild videos on them.
How do you solve problems?
Think about a situation where you solved a complex problem in school and list it in your summary. As a student, you are constantly learning and acquiring new skills. So, when working on your digital resume, don't be afraid to show off what you know. Here are a few tips.
Think of a complex project you had for one of your classes and how you found a solution. For example, this could be a project where you had limited resources, and it was challenging to bring your idea to life. However, you managed it through ingenuity.
Think of dealing with a challenging project team member or a colleague at your part-time job. We've all had those. If you didn't, you are lucky and unlucky simultaneously. Lucky because you didn't get a headache back then and unlucky because it's rare to live our lives without conflict.
How to use your digital portfolio during a job search interview?
Now that you have a digital resume, you're probably wondering how you can use it in job interviews.
The answer is simple. In your future interview, bring up one of the projects from your resume and use it as a way to start talking about your skills and experience. This will help you stand out from the other candidates and show the interviewer that you're truly prepared for the job. Here are a few ways you can use yours.
Use it as a confidence booster
Once you've got your strengths in your digital resume, it will be easy to talk about them. However, be careful, you don’t want to come across as cocky. I have seen interviews turn to offers within 30 minutes.
However, when starting, it might be slightly challenging at first, but you will eventually know what to do after a few tries.
Use it to negotiate a better salary
This is my favorite part. I have always been on the higher end of the salary average. Remember to check the salary range on glassdoor.com before you start negotiations. Talk about numbers at the end of the interview process and not at the beginning.
Use it to guide the direction of the interview
Once you've got your first position and established yourself, you can use your digital portfolio to get a higher salary in your next interview. However, the most exciting part is that you can even control the direction of the interview.
In Tokyo, an employer asked me, "Please tell me about yourself?" and I replied, "Is there something specific you would like to know that is not listed on my resume?" This caught the interviewer off guard, and I controlled the interview from that point onwards.
Did I get that job? Yes, I did and worked there for more than a year. Don't be afraid to politely sweep the interviewer off their feet.
Keep your digital resume updated
Once you have created your digital resume, it is important to keep it up-to-date. As you gain more experience, be sure to add new examples of your work. This will show potential employers that you are constantly improving and expanding your skills.
You will be surprised to learn how much of a perfectionist you are during that process. Don't be surprised if one day you might become a top designer.
Additional Digital Resume Questions
How do I make an electronic resume?
If you want to get started building an awesome digital resume, use the steps highlighted in the current blog post on creating the perfect online resume.
You can take the process a step further by finding an example resume that you like and using it as an online resume template. Take the job search process to LinkedIn and look for companies that are in the hiring process.
Most importantly, do not forget to let someone read over your digital resume before you begin the job search process. Take advantage of your university’s career center resources.
Can my existing resume be a digital resume?
Your existing resume can be transformed into a digital resume using the steps outlined in this digital resume ultimate guide.
If you want an interactive resume for those creative jobs, then taking a cover letter and converting it into a digital resume is an extra step in the process. Be sure to add career highlights to your online resume.
Summary For Building A Resume Online.
When it comes to digital resumes, there are a few key things you want to keep in mind to make sure yours stands out.
- First, use color. A pop of color will help your resume stand out from the rest.
- Second, use a clean and simple format. You don't want your online resume to be too cluttered or overwhelming for the reader.
- Third, use images. Including images in your digital resume along with your work will help to break up the text and make your online resume more visually appealing when you begin the job search process.
- Finally, make sure to showcase your best work. Only include your absolute best samples for your digital resume so that the reader gets a true sense of your skills and abilities.
Employers are not looking for immaturity on TikTok or your social worth. They are looking at your ability to solve their problems and bring them revenue. Your online resume should reflect your capabilities and work history and portray a professional online presence. Having your resume online is a good first step in turning your traditional resume into your best job search tool.
So, there you have it, everything you need to know about building a digital resume as a college student.
With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to building an awesome online resume, impressing future employers, and landing that dream job. Good luck.
Aziz Khan is the founder of Manruption. He has been running Manruption since 2021. While originally from Toronto, he calls the USA and Japan his second and third homes. Manruption has inspired people to live better and more sustainable lives. His mission is to inspire others to live their dreams and never give up in the face of adversity. Aziz enjoys coaching, photography, and MMA.
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