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Your LinkedIn profile --- Treat it as your Workplace

LinkedIn is a wonderful tool for showing the professional that you are and bringing forth your body of work for employers, recruiters, and colleagues, to see.  It is one of today’s most important social network tools of the work place.   But remember this:  it is not Facebook.  Be careful of inappropriate pictures and incomplete work profile.  Anywhere you would post your professional experience or resume should be treated like your workplace or mirror you as a mature professional. 

The majority of people who want to view your LinkedIn profile are bosses, potential employers, recruiters, employees, and colleague, so be sure to show your profile in the best light possible to obtain that next interview or job.

Here are some tips to keep your LinkedIn profile in top professional shape– and make sure that you don’t end up in the “reject” pile.

 Have a Complete Profile and review it often: Many job candidates ask recruiters to check their LinkedIn Profiles in lieu of sending a CV/resume, fully expecting it to show they meet all qualifications required for the job.  LinkedIn profiles are usually inadequate as a substitute for a resume because the profiles are so summarized; it amounts to a sound bite compared to a CV/resume.  If you are to use it this way, you should make sure it shows

Ten suggestions for Finding International Development Jobs or Internships

In my last blog, I wrote about suggestions and resources for breaking into International Development.  I write about this topic because, in my daily mails, I often get emails from professionals, and students, asking how to break in or make the transition into the International Development sector.   As a follow-up to my last blog article, here are 10 suggestions for finding International Development jobs or internships:

Suggestions and Resources for breaking into International Development

In my daily emails, I often get letters from professionals, both entry level or late career, asking how to break in or make the transition into the international development sector.  Although an individual may have international experience, this does not guarantee a lateral move or easy entry into the international development sector.  The development sector can be attractive to college graduates and also executives weary of the ups and downs of labor market affected by cyclical economic fluctuations.  Development sector jobs, which are created and funded by large donor organizations and their contractors, are less cyclical and include the various posts needed for managing/implementing foreign aid, humanitarian programs/projects in developing countries worldwide.   Such post may be challenging but they are attractive and even addictive to those who crave adventure, travel and excitement of creating solutions or resources that can make a big difference.

It is best to start in your own environment and build from the networks close at hand.  Start by building up your international networks, by speaking to people who volunteer for overseas projects, and join those projects.  Seek out international projects around your town, such as international church projects, college exchanges, rotary.  Look for fellowships, internships.  Add your international experiences to your resume.

How to Have A Better Resume for International Development

One of the most important element of applying for a position with a firm in the international development sector is to have a CV/resume that is easy to review  for everyone in the employer's organization.  That includes the first line recruiters,  the Hiring Agent and all the way to the CEO of the firm.   In the US, most International Development sector  organization seem to prefer the longer, more detailed, chronological format resumes.  This is quite different than  the short one-page resumes that businesses in the private sector prefer.  The employers in this sector also need a set of critical information  to be within each professional entries that quickly shows the applicant meets the minimum qualifications requirements listed on the position description.   This information is comprised of six items listed in detail below and, as a regular blogger on this site, I will come back to it often as it is an important tool, critical to bringing applicants to the short list of the hiring agents.

Chronological format  resumes should have the most recent experience and end with oldest experience.   In this sector, hiring agents also prefer the longer more detailed resumes that show a chronology of the projects ---especially those in developing countries ---  that the applicant has worked on.

Cover Letters: What to write so you get to the next level

I have been meaning to write in my blog about what makes a good cover letter for me and my clients.  I often get cover letters that merely summarize with is obvious in the CV/resume.  When a cover letter is requested, it is not our aim to just give you more busy work.  It is an opportunity for you to give us some additional information that may not be in your CV.  Or it is a way to have you give the various recruiters that will be reviewing your information to get more info that is  targeted to the job ad or position description.  The best cover letters are those that address all the qualifications requirements  in the job description and shows the reviewer how you have that required experience. 

Here is some important advice for cover letters directed to International Development sector organizations: