Tag Archives: experience section

5 reasons why you shouldn’t ignore your LinkedIn profile Experience section

So your LinkedIn profile Summary is personalized with first-person point of view and shows accomplishments to pack a powerful punch. You tell a story that includes who you are, why you do what you do, and how well you do it. Your Summary kicks ass.

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Having a stunning Summary is great, but when your Experience section consists only of bare essentials, such as your titles, company names, and years of employment; your LinkedIn profile lacks the punch that propels you to the top of the list. It is incomplete

Many Recruiters see your Experience section as the most important part of your profile. They’re looking for your years of experience, the companies for which you worked, and accomplishments with quantified results. In addition, you must include keywords for search engine optimization (SEO).

So here are five reasons why you shouldn’t ignore your LinkedIn Experience section.

1. Start utilizing SEO by expanding your title. Did you know that the titles of your positions are weighed heavily in terms of keywords? This is a simple fix. Instead of simply listing your title and where you work, e.g., CEO at ABC Company; add some of your areas of expertise.

Better, CEO at ABC Company ~ New Business Development | Global Strategic Relationships | Marketing and Sales

If you are currently looking for work and have decided to list an end date for your previous position, simply leave out the company name.

Note: you are limited to 100 words.

2. Your experience section needs to tell a better story. A quick fix of copying the content of your résumé to your profile is the first step in building your Experience section; however, you’re not done yet. You still have to modify your profile to make it more personal, a networking document. This means your point of view should be first person and, of course, include quantified results.

Take, for example, an accomplishment statement from a résumé: Volunteered to training  5 office staff on new database software. All team members were more productive, increasing the team’s output by 75%.

Better: I extended my training expertise by volunteering to train 5 office staff on our new database software. All members of the team were more productive as a result of my patient training style, increasing the team’s output by 75%.

3. Your position doesn’t tell it all.  You’re a director, CEO, or CFO, so you think that says it all. Wrong! Executive Résumé Writer, Laura Smith-Proulx believes the more relevant information, the better; particularly when you’re trying to differentiate yourself from other executives. She writes:

The key to a strategic message in your CFO résumé is to do MORE with the details – taking the hard facts of budgets managed, teams directed, or cost savings achieved to fold in personal brand messages.

At the very least, your leadership as a director of an organization plays an essential role in its success. What is the scope of your authority? How have you helped the organization grow? Have you contributed to the community or charities? Have you turned around failing companies and made them more profitable? Remember, you’re representing the organization. Or perhaps you’re passively looking for another job.

4. The power of LinkedIn is greater than you think. LinkedIn’s search engine is extremely powerful. If you have the proper, and numerous, skills (keywords), your chances of being found by recruiters are great. Don’t forget to emphasize the quantified accomplishments!

Businesses are looking to connect or employ people with expertise; and although you have what they need, without the skills listed your message isn’t crystal clear.

A recruiter would like to read how you developed a fund-raising process that resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars, but your Experience section is nothing more than company names, titles, and years of employment. Lost opportunity.

Suppose you find yourself out of a job and suddenly need to connect with others who can help you in a big way. Rushing to create an Experience section that warrants the assistance you need is a bit late and will lengthen your job search.

5. Finally, more isn’t always better. There are two ways you can look at your position descriptions; you can stick with the accomplishments, or you can mimic your résumé. I’m in the opinion that your accomplishments alone would impress recruiters more than all your duties and a few accomplishments.

You’re probably proud of those duties and don’t want to let them go. Here’s the thing, accomplishments speak much louder than duties. Unless you can turn those duties into accomplishments with quantified results (or perhaps qualify them), I suggest you ditch them.


These are five reasons why you require an Experience section that is strong and worthy of your greatness. Your Summary is a great start; now you need to follow it with an Experience section to support it.

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The differences between the Experience sections of your résumé and LinkedIn profile–Part 4

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In part three of this series, we looked at the differences between the Summaries of the résumé and  LinkedIn profile. In this part of the series we’ll look at the differences and similarities between the Experience sections of the résumé and LinkedIn profile.

Similarities between the two documents.

Although there are differences between the Employment sections of the résumé and LinkedIn profile, there are some obvious similarities, namely accomplishments and keywords.

Excellent résumés and LinkedIn profiles will include quantified accomplishments in their Experience section–#’s, $’s, and %’s are what speak loud and clear to recruiters/employers. People who are determined to show only the duties they performed at their previous organizations, rather than prove their potential value through showing their accomplishments, lose out in the battle for interviews.

Another serious consideration are the keywords and phrases that match a particular job description. The proper and frequency of keywords propels your résumé to the top of the pile that an applicant tracking system (ATS) deems worth reading. Similarly, keywords are essential to being found by recruiters/employers culling for talent on LinkedIn.

The format of both documents is chronological. How you are required to list your title, company location, and dates of employment on your LinkedIn profile, may be different than how you chose to treat this information on your résumé. LinkedIn wisely chose the chronological format as the structure for the Experience section; but if you want to use a functional profile, the skills area will be placed in the Summary.

Three differences between the Employment sections of the résumé and LinkedIn profile.

1. While some LinkedIn pundits believe you should copy and paste the contents of your résumé Experience section to the profile; others, including myself, feel that the LinkedIn Experience section should focus solely on a handful of accomplishments. The purpose of doing this is to show recruiters/employers what is most important, your accomplishments. Another sentiment is to provide them a different look than what they see on your résumé. Why be redundant?

2. The second strategy, treating the Experience section of the LinkedIn profile like the résumé, serves to provide recruiters/employers a full sense of the important duties you’ve performed and accomplishments you’ve achieved. In other words, copy the contents of your résumé to your profile.

If recruiters/employers are searching through LinkedIn for talent and not calling for résumés yet, they will get a good sense of what you’re capable of doing. This being the case, you will rely on them to sift through the content and glean what is most important.

Note: Another important point to make for this approach is the potential for more keywords in this section–thus, the potential of being found.

3. The third way to treat your LinkedIn Experience section is by doing nothing with it, as is the case with many executives I’ve seen on LinkedIn. I think this is a mistake. CEOs and Directors should at the very least describe what their company/organization does, giving visitors an idea of the breadth of scope of their responsibilities.

Executive résumé writers will tell you that every section of the résumé should be maximized with accomplishments and keywords. Why then should the LinkedIn profile Experience section not do the same?

Executive Resume Writer, Laura Smith-Proulx believes the more relevant information, the better; particularly when you’re trying to differentiate yourself from other executives. She writes: 

“The key to a strategic message in your CFO résumé is to do MORE with the details – taking the hard facts of budgets managed, teams directed, or cost savings achieved to fold in personal brand messages.”


The differences between the Employment sections of the résumé and LinkedIn profile are not as noticeable as the differences between the Summary, but it is important to take this section seriously, if not for citing your accomplishments and keywords. To create effective inbound marketing, you must help potential employers find you.

Finally we’ll look at the most obvious differences between the resume and LinkedIn profile.

The first of 3 steps for a successful LinkedIn campaign: creating a presence

linkedin2Some of my LinkedIn workshop attendees have told me they were encouraged to join LinkedIn because LinkedIn is the answer to their job search. I cringe when I hear this because what they were told is only partly true.

Being on LinkedIn will increase your chance of getting a job, but it isn’t a guarantee, especially if you don’t understand what it takes to be successful on LinkedIn.

I tell my workshop attendees their LinkedIn strategy involves 1) creating a presence, e.g. your profile, 2) connecting with others, and 3) being active. Without all three, your LinkedIn campaign will crash and burn.

Creating a presence. Let me make this easy for jobseekers who are starting their LinkedIn campaign. Leverage what you’ve already created, your professional résumé, by copying and pasting it to your profile. However, don’t stop there. After doing this you need to revise it to reflect a networking document.

Many pundits have written about how to create a powerful profile, so I’ll simply outline the necessary components:

Your Snapshot area is where you capture readers’ attention with your quality photo and branding headline. Don’t waste this area with a poorly done photo and a headline that simply states your title at your previous job. Both your photo and headline can brand you–a photo that shows you’re a professional and a headline that states your strong areas of expertise.

Let’s not forget how your headline can contribute to the keyword count. These are the skills recruiters/hiring managers/HR type into Search. Having the proper keywords and more instances of them will rank you higher and, consequentially, garner more visitors.

Make your Summary worth reading by writing it in first- or third-person point of view; include some Wow statements; and express your passion for what you do. You’re allowed 2,000 characters for your Summary, so use them all. This will allow you to tell your story, as well as give you more space for those ever important keywords. For more on this, read 4 reasons why you need a strong LinkedIn Summary.

Your Experience section can resemble your Work History from your résumé or you can simply highlight the accomplishments. I favor the latter, but some think their profile might be the only document an employer sees, so showing all is the way to go, duties included. One of the areas weighed heavily for keywords is the position’s title. You’re not limited to your title; you can add some areas of strength as well.

Ex. Project Manager | Budget | Lean Six Sigma | Cost Reduction | Leadership

The Media section is where your profile can be really dynamic. I tell my workshop attendees that it’s their online portfolio. There are a number of different media you can include in your Summary, Experience, and Education sections. On mine I share PowerPoint presentations and a link to my blog. Others, like my valued connection Anton Brookes, have YouTube videos and/or documents.

Your Education is more than what you include on your résumé. It allows…or rather encourages you to expound on your degree and/or training. Along with the traditional information–college or university, dates attended (optional), GPA (also optional)–you’re given the option to include Activities and Societies, as well as Description.

Next we’ll look at the second of three components necessary for a successful LinkedIn campaign, connecting with other LinkedIn members.

When your LinkedIn profile says practically nothing; 8 key areas

I recently read an article by Laura Smith-Proulx, Quick Fixes to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile, that addresses the “Minimal-Effort Profile.” She writes, “Here it is—your name, college education, and current job. Wait – where’s the rest?”

While Laura points out the profiles that show little effort on the user’s part, I’m going to talk about the profile that contains practically nothing. You wouldn’t think it possible, but I’ve seen and immediately abandoned such profiles. I bet I’m not the first either.

Has no photo. This makes me wonder, “Are you faceless?” Can’t you see how a photo can make you easily recognizable and say more than thousand words about you? When I see a photo, I see possibilities–a person who’s a manager, a caring therapist, an established resume writer, a CEO, an aspiring actor.

Lacks a branding, keyword-rich title. Laura nicely states it this way: “This is where you make your opening statement. The key in altering your Headline is to use terms that will trigger your hit rate for both your job target and current position (and potentially your industry).” I say, “No branding title, time to move on.”

Is devoid of a story-telling Summary. Can you believe I’ve seen summaries that…don’t exist? Not even a heading. Why? Because the person hasn’t gotten around to writing one? Here’s where you get to explain your professional experience, state your aspirations, tout your accomplishments. Write in first person if it suits you. Explain why you’re looking for a new career and how your transferable skills make this possible.

Contains no descriptive Experience section. Essentially it says the person has done nothing, accomplished zilch. It says, “I worked as a Graphic Designer at ABC company from 1996 to 2012, and this is all I want to share.” This is where you can dump the content of your résumé or highlight four or five accomplishments. I prefer the latter. How far do you go back? My opinion is stay consistent with your résumé–10-15 years.

Has nothing in the Education section. If you went to college or just high school, you must list it. Not only that, list the activities and societies to which you belonged. In Additional Notes list the most relevant courses and internships in which you partook. You interned at the New York Times? My god, boy, that needs to be said.

Doesn’t make use of Applications: A great way to brand yourself. Do you blog? Show your expertise and writing abilities by starting a blog. WordPress is free (this is not a plug) and there are others. Excellent work to show, like a PowerPoint presentation on the 10 Must-Haves to Be a CEO. This can be placed in Box.net Files. These are just a few.

No Skills section. This is a fairly new LinkedIn feature that requires at least three skills on your way to 100% completion. It is essentially replacing the Specialties feature. Show visitors, including employers, the skills you demonstrate, as well as increase your SEO potential. Check out the bells and whistles this feature provides. People with whom you should connect and projected growth of a skill are just a couple.

Haven’t requested and written recommendations. The last section I’ll address is recommendations, which do a tremendous job of telling visitors who you are through the eyes of your former supervisors, colleagues, vendors, partners, etc. Ask for and write at least five or six recommendations. A profile without recommendations tells employers 1) you haven’t taken the effort to request them and 2) no one will write one for you.

It’s frustrating for me when I see a profile that is bare and demonstrates no effort. My reaction is to move on. And if I’m sent an invite from someone whose profile contains practically nothing, I click “Ignore.” I don’t think I’m superior–I really don’t–but I see a bare profile similar to meeting someone at a networking event who doesn’t talk. Says nothing….