Know How Your Resume Differs From Your LinkedIn Profile

Your resume and LinkedIn profile are two foundational tools that support your personal brand.  While each plays a role in communicating your professional background and expertise, they serve slightly different purposes.  And because of this fact, your resume and LinkedIn profile should be different.

So just how should they be different?

We leveraged the expertise from the team at Vault to answer this question.

  • Customization. Many experts recommend that you customize your resume for each job to meet the relevant needs of a specific position and the hiring manager.  Your LinkedIn profile, on the other hand, does the broad job of presenting your professional persona.  While it may require some tweaking, you typically don’t tailor it to the same degree as your resume to fit the requirements of a role.
  • Length & Level of Detail. You don’t have the luxury of space with your resume.  The document is designed to be scanned so that recruiters and hiring managers can quickly understand your career narrative and qualifications.  Your LinkedIn profile offers the luxury of space to communicate a full and colorful story.  Use it to your advantage and be certain to include information about involvement with professional associations, nonprofit organizations, etc.
  • Supplementary Proof. Your resume is typically a 1-2 page stand alone document.  LinkedIn offers features for you to add attachments, hyperlinks, videos, skill endorsements, recommendations and more.  We recommend that you take full advantage of these features to shape your colorful story on LinkedIn.
  • Privacy. Since LinkedIn is a public platform, you need to be careful about listing confidential business metrics or sensitive personal information.  Since your resume is a private document to be selectively shared, there is more opportunity to include specific facts and figures that build a strong case for you to be hired.
  • Tone of Voice. While professionalism is a must on both your resume and LinkedIn, your tone can differ.  Your resume should prioritize formal wording over colloquial phrasings, and you should avoid using first-person pronouns.  Since LinkedIn exists as a networking site and social platform, a degree of informality is allowed to the extent that you should feel at liberty to showcase your personality (within the boundaries of professionalism, of course). 
  • Imagery. For the vast majority of job seekers, your resume should never include your photo.  On LinkedIn, a professional profile picture is essential to sharing the story of you.  

Click here to learn more


Personal Branding & Job Seeking Tips for Older Professionals

Last week the folks at outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas issued a press release to promote the benefits of companies hiring workers over the age of 55.  Having recently conducted a national survey where 81% of respondents cited difficulty in filling roles, the outplacement firm is wisely touting the advantages of hiring experience.

That said, employers continue to deal with the misguided bias in perceiving that the over 55 age group can’t use technology well or work remotely.  As a consulting firm built squarely on the foundation of highly experienced professionals, the Croixstone team appreciates the following tips that Challenger, Gray & Christmas shared to combat this issue. 

  • Update your resume. Be sure your resume is up to date and emphasizes the accomplishments you achieved in your most recent positions. Do not go into great detail about things you did more than 10 or 15 years ago. Let your expertise shine, but trim the resume to keep it to two or three pages. Consider leaving off your earliest positions if they are no longer relevant. 
  • Don’t apologize for your age. Never be untruthful about how old you are and don’t apologize for it. Be confident and have a positive attitude about all you have to offer. Your age reflects years of valuable experience that can translate into impactful contributions to a company.
  • Stay current. Make sure technology has not passed you by. Do you know what software is being used in your field? Are you comfortable using video platforms for interviews or meetings? If not, learn. Take courses. Seek out tutoring. Practice. Gain new credentials and list them on your resume. Read job descriptions to find out what employers are seeking. Get a new personal, professional email address (e.g.,xxxjones@gmail.com versus ChessAce1@aol.com).
  • Embrace LinkedIn. Once you update your resume, be sure to put the same information on your LinkedIn profile. Learn how to use LinkedIn to network and to learn about job opportunities. Add a professional headshot.
  • Check your attitude. Even if you have to stifle it, do not come across as annoyed by being interviewed by someone half your age. Do not be condescending. 
  • Be active on social media. Your social media presence will be checked by recruiters and potential employers. Being active on social media shows you are current. This is a way to market your brand. You may be “older,” but if your online presence shows you as active, vibrant, and healthy (cycling on Facebook, running a 5K on Instagram), it helps counteract any preconceived negative notions of how “older” is defined.
  • Network. Reach out to your relationships you have spent a career building. Let them help spread the word that you are ready, willing, and able to find a new role.
  • Be open and be positive. Explore positions that may offer less money and a lower title than in your past. Think about safer roles during the pandemic, such as jobs you can do online from your home. It may take time to find the position for you, but with over 10 million open positions in June, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, there are plenty available.

Click here to learn more.


Consulting Industry Factoids

How is the consulting industry faring amidst the global pandemic?

Thanks to the hard work of our talented consultants, Croixstone Consulting celebrated a record revenue year in 2020 (and 2021 is proving to be even better)!  In light of our firm’s success, we decided to dive into Statista’s latest published consulting industry research over the weekend to see how the rest of the industry is faring.

Here are 5 fast facts about the management consulting industry.

  • Industry Size:  The global consulting market delivers $132B in annual revenues while the USA market produces $64.4B.  The USA is the world’s largest management consulting market.
  • COVID Impact:  After experiencing continuous growth between 2015 and 2019, the consulting industry saw a significant revenue loss (-12.5%) across all markets and segments in 2020.
  • Number of Businesses:  In 2020, the number of consulting businesses in the USA reached 831,621, a slight increase over 2019.  It is estimated that this number will increase by 30,000 units in 2021.
  • Number of Consultants:  Since 2012, the number of management consultants in the USA has increased every year, reaching 734,000 consultants in 2020.
  • Revenue Per Consultant:  The average annual revenue per consultant of management consultancies worldwide decreased overall between 2015 and 2020.  During a 2020 survey, respondents reported an average annual revenue per consultant of $208K.

Click here to read more highlights from Statista’s latest research on the consulting services industry.


Personal Branding

41 Day Challenge:  Refresh Your Personal Brand

“It’s a new brand world.”

So began an article published in Fast Company magazine in August 1997 whereby the concept of personal branding was introduced by business author, management guru, and speaker Tom Peters.  Tom’s compelling premise was that all of us are CEOs of our companies:  Me Inc.  He promoted that to be in business in today’s world, our most important job is to be the head marketer for the brand called You.

Fast Company published this article during the time when resumes dominated the world of personal branding, and LinkedIn’s launch in May of 2003 was still almost 6 years away.  As every astute business professional understands, managing your personal brand is an essential responsibility in managing your career. 

As we approach the 24th anniversary of Tom Peters’ article, the Croixstone team is launching a 41 Day Challenge to encourage all of our #FreshStart readers to take the time between now and August 31 to refresh your personal brand.  Follow the below action plan to get started.

Action Plan to Refresh Your Personal Brand

  • Step 2:  Write down 3 qualities that you aspire to in order to differentiate your personal brand.
  • Step 3:  Ask 5 people you know well and another 5 people you know less well to write down 3 adjectives about you.
  • Step 4:  Analyze the similarities and differences between the lists to understand where your personal brand is strong…and where there are disconnects to focus.

Personal Brand Factoids

  • Everyone has a personal brand.  You don’t have a say in the matter.  Accept this as a fact and manage it well.
  • Your personal brand is not permanent.  You have to work hard to build a powerful personal brand, and you have to keep working to maintain its power and grow it.
  • Your personal brand is not what you say about yourself.  Your personal brand is what others say about you when you are not in the room.  It is an assessment the marketplace makes about who you are and what you bring to the table.
  • Your personal brand is not an extension of your employer’s brand.
  • Your personal brand is not your social media presence. Rather, social media amplifies your personal brand.


Flashback to 2016 / 2017 – Croixstone’s First Year in Business

Remembering Our First Year with Gratitude

As we shared in last week’s issue of #FreshStart, Croixstone Consulting celebrates its fifth business anniversary this month. The first year of operations in any start-up is only made possible through the extraordinary efforts of many partners, friends and supporters.  We are delighted to recognize several partners whose contributions were particularly impactful during the first year of Croixstone’s start-up journey back in 2016 and 2017.

  • Brand Identity:  We owe a HUGE thanks to Wendy Accetta of W. Accetta Design for bringing life to our brand vision.  W. Accetta Design is a boutique design studio that helps clients achieve their goals through smart design.
  • Start-Up Home:  Day #1 of operations for Croixstone began in The Lofts at Factory South in Charlotte’s South End neighborhood.  Thank you to Tommy McCart for allowing us to call Loft 309 our home during our first year in business.
  • Photos:  Any new business requires fresh leadership headshots and website photos.  Many thanks to Charlotte-based photographer Jeff Cravotta of Cravotta Photography for working your magic behind the lens.
  • Legal Incorporation:  We still remember the thrill of being formally and legally incorporated as a North Carolina business.  Thank you Jameson (Jamie) Wells for your legal assistance in welcoming Croixstone to the world.


Croixstone Consulting Turns “5”

We are celebrating!  Founded by Patti Weber and Mark Weber in 2016, Croixstone Consulting celebrates its fifth business anniversary this month.  Launched in a loft in Charlotte’s South End neighborhood with the aspiration to provide a highly-differentiated business model in management consulting, Croixstone has grown rapidly thanks to the deep expertise, talents and support of our consulting team, internal staff and partners/supporters.

As all entrepreneurs understand, the art of the start-up is filled with times of both great exhilaration and sleepless nights (hello global pandemic)!  We are fortunate in that our five-year ride at Croixstone has been one of tremendous positivity. 

Here are some of our favorite special moments over the past 5 years. 

  • Launch:  Croixstone began operations in June 2016 in Loft 309 in the former Lance Crackers building on South Boulevard in Charlotte’s booming South End neighborhood.
  • Hello Uptown:  Croixstone relocated from the start-up loft to the new Industrious Charlotte Uptown co-working community in the Bank of America Plaza tower at Trade & Tryon in December 2017.
  • TABL:  Croixstone introduced TABL, the firm’s unique culinary team building experience, with a playful social media launch in January 2018.
  • New Practice Area:  Croixstone announced the launch of its new human capital solutions practice and a new executive search offering in June 2019.
  • FORTUNE Magazine:  Croixstone announced in May 2020 that Patti Weber (CEO) had been accepted as part of a competitive application process into FORTUNE magazine’s Rebuild Program that was inspired in response to the global pandemic.
  • Hello NoDa:  Croixstone relocated into larger offices in the newly-opened Industrious Charlotte NoDa co-working community in June 2020.
  • Supplier Diversity Certification:  Croixstone received national certification in July 2020 as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) by the Greater Women’s Business Council, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
  • Accelerated Growth:  Croixstone announced in January 2021 that Patti Weber (CEO) was one of 25 women across the USA accepted in the NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) Accelerated Growth Program sponsored by Wells Fargo.
  • Forty Over 40:  Croixstone’s CEO Patti Weber was named as a “Forty Over 40” award recipient by The Charlotte Ledger in May 2021.

Consulting Industry Insights: Restructurings & Turnarounds

The global pandemic has fueled an increase in consulting engagements focused on restructurings and turnarounds over the past 15 months.  In its May 2021 newsletter, BDO Consulting Group published the below informative chart highlighting U.S. corporate bankruptcies with debt greater than $10MM by industry.  Interestingly, approximately 40% of the 302 bankruptcies filings were in two industries:  1)  Oil & Gas and 2) Retail & Consumer Products.

Source:  BDO Consulting Group, LLC, Debtwire Restructuring Database
* Includes companies with at least $10 million in funded debt

So what are the common restructuring and turnaround services that consulting firms like Croixstone offer?  As published in a recent article by Consultancy.eu, these services include: 

  • Diagnosing the problem:  Identifying drivers for the crisis, stage & severity of crisis
  • Stabilizing operations:  Managing short-term liquidity & working capital concerns
  • Cost efficiency & austerity strategies:  Evaluating business needs for cost-cutting measures; designing & implementing austerity plans
  • Procurement cost reduction:  Analyzing contracted spend & redesigning & renegotiating contracts
  • Business model innovation:  Rethinking operating & core business models, value creation & enhancement
  • Divestiture strategies:  Offloading non-performing business units, distressed segments, portfolios, etc.
  • Organizational effectiveness:  Streamlining resources; revamping processes & business segments; interim C-level deployment
  • Change management:  Developing change implementation plans to ensure minimal people disruption

The Rise of the PORTFOLIO Career

Much like COVID-19 has accelerated the pace of digital transformation, future of work experts are seeing a rise in the pervasiveness of professionals with “portfolio careers.”

Ben Legg is an engineer, serial CEO of global digital businesses, former COO of Google Europe, and former McKinsey consultant.  He believes the portfolio career is a continuation of the automation of work and is here to stay. 

Croixstone’s business model is built around our deep understanding of the portfolio professional.  So what is a portfolio career? 

  • A portfolio career isn’t reliant on a single source of income.
  • Income is derived from serving multiple clients that might include project work, consulting engagements, interim roles and/or board roles.
  • Unlike a “gig economy worker,” a portfolio career is thoughtfully put together and is focused on offering differentiated services in order to maximize earnings.

Learn more about portfolio career insights from Ben Legg.


Management Consulting Factoids + Trends

The team at ReportLinker (a tech-driven market research firm) has published a new report entitled “Management Consulting Services Global Market 2021:  COVID-19 Impact and Recovery to 2030.”  Highlights of the report include:

  • The global management consulting services market is expected to grow from $819.79 billion in 2020 to $895.46 billion in 2021.
  • This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.2%.
  • The market is expected to reach $1201.06 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 8%.
  • While COVID-19 constrained growth in the industry in 2020, it is expected that management consulting will recover from the shock.

Learn more here.


New Year. New Possibilities.

Isn’t it terrific that we get the opportunity every year to hit the “reset” button? A fresh start.  A new runway to consider the possibilities to reimagine your life, your career and your personal growth in the year ahead.

Croixstone is launching into 2021 following a year of significant achievements where we:  

  • Celebrated our 4th business anniversary
  • Achieved record sales
  • Marked the 1-year anniversary of our Human Capital practice
  • Expanded our geographic service footprint to the western USA
  • Earned two national diversity certifications & one state diversity certification
  • Gained acceptance into FORTUNE Magazine’s new “Rebuild Program”
  • Introduced a new suite of services for Private Equity
  • Relocated to a larger office in Charlotte’s NoDa district
  • Launched a virtual series of professional development & networking events

While recognizing the continued health and economic challenges facing our nation, the Croixstone team is excited to build on last year’s momentum in making the most of 2021 together with our employees, clients, partners, friends and family.

Let’s go.