How to fill an online profile – 10 tips for Microsoft Dynamics consultants
If you’re a Microsoft Dynamics consultant looking for a new role, job portals on the Internet are one of your best options for finding it. But given the high number of potential candidates on each of these websites, it’s not easy to stand out. Here are a few tips to help you make your online profiles more attractive to employers.
My experience working as a Resource Manager for 365 Freelance has allowed me to compile this list of tips from our clients’ reactions to our consultants’ profiles.
1 – Fill in all the sections
The various sections on job portals are designed in accordance to what an employer or a client needs to know about you to decide whether they’re going to contact you or not. When looking for candidates to fill a position, an employer will look for the key skills and experience that match their job description. The more information you give (within reason), the more likely you are to come up as a match and then to be approached with an offer.
2 – Upload a picture of yourself
81% of our clients said that they look at the profiles with pictures first. When looking for resources online, employers tend to feel more comfortable with candidates whose faces they can see, which means uploading a picture increases your chances of being hired.
Make sure that your photo is a headshot and that you’re alone on it. It helps to look relaxed, but don’t be too way-out as that can look unprofessional. Although you don’t have to use a professional business portrait, keep in mind that your profile picture plays a big part in how you present yourself to an employer. Be mindful of what the photo you’re using says about you.
3 – If possible, upload your CV and connect your LinkedIn account
Our clients told us that they love it when they are able to view a consultants’ full profile and CV in one place. Make it easier for them to hire you by uploading your CV if the option is available on the site you are using (it is on www.365Freelance.com).
For the same reason, connect your LinkedIn account to your job portal account if possible. This will help employers get a full visibility of your previous projects and experience.
4 – Indicate what kind of project you’re looking for
Many partners and end-users have needs for both freelance and permanent positions. In order to be contacted with project offers which match your wishes, it is important that you give as much information as you can regarding the type of role you’re looking for – is it freelance, permanent, or both? Also indicate whether you’re looking for full-time or part-time roles; for onsite or remote positions.
5 – Indicate your availability
This is especially important if you’re a contractor or a freelancer: it’s always disappointing to receive great project offers when you’re already on a job. On the other hand, when you need a new engagement, it’s never good if no one calls. Make sure you indicate your availability on your online profiles.
6 – State clearly which Dynamics products you can work with
Recently, some of our clients have expressed a need for consultants who have experience working across several different Microsoft Dynamics and Office products. This reflects Microsoft’s recent focus on integrating products into an overall project, to provide highly functional solutions with which rival suppliers cannot compete.
You can ride this wave and get more work, or more highly paid work. By indicating the range of Microsoft Dynamics products and modules you’re able to work with, you’ll increase your chances of being offered a position that allows you to make the best out of your skills. This will enable you to appear in search results more often and to gain visibility.
But be careful not to go too far – if you indicate Dynamics products with which you’re not too comfortable working, you’ll risk being contacted with irrelevant project offers and maybe face difficult interviews – it’s really important always to make a good impression.
7 – Advertise your certifications
2014 has been amazing in terms of new Dynamics releases and updates: NAV 2015 back in October, recent GA of CRM 2015, GP 2015, SL 2015 and AX 2012 R3.
Microsoft are starting to focus more and more on certification and so are a number of Dynamics partners – some are making it a prerequisite for you to have up to date exams before they will consider hiring you.
We are regularly being asked to provide information about independent consultants with specific certifications (on both new and specific old versions). This is why it is in your own benefit to list all your certifications and exams (even old ones) in your profile so you can stand out when a client needs a specialist with your skills.
8 – Advertise your special skills
With the new product releases coming up, more and more end-users are purchasing Microsoft Dynamics solutions – which creates a huge demand for Dynamics training specialists. If you have particular training skills – especially if you’re a Microsoft Certified Trainer – don’t forget to mention it in your profile. If you aren’t a MCT yet, it might be worth considering it as your next certification: this will open more opportunities for you.
Skills outside core Dynamics – .NET, Azure, BI tools, Office 365 among others – are also becoming increasingly important to Dynamics projects. Please highlight skills and experience in these areas, and if you haven’t any, build them into your long-term personal development plans.
9 – Make good use of the summary/background section
This section allows you to tell the employer what kind of a professional you are and to attract their attention. Use it to summarise your general experience with Dynamics products (10 years with CRM, 5 years with GP); to highlight your areas of expertise and to advertise your main achievements.
Many job portals allow you to see your profile as a potential employer would see it. Use that option and make sure that all the information is there and visible.
About us: 365 Freelance is the first online platform that gives Dynamics partners and end-users instant access to hundreds of contractors. With a network spanning 78 countries, it allows companies to search for freelancers based on their skills, rates and available dates, enabling them to find the best person for their projects without incurring the hefty fees typical of recruitment agencies. Register here – www.365freelance.com.
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