When I talk with my clients about their LinkedIn profile About section, I tell them it should tell their story. But that’s too vague. There’s more to your About section than this simple statement. Another way to explain this section is that it should encompass your overall value.
“Encompass your overall value?” you may wonder. People who understand what it means to encompass their overall value take the time to write compelling prose that clearly states their greatness. Yes, they don’t save all of their accomplishments for the Experience section; they present some of them upfront.
There’s more than showing your greatness to consider when you’re writing this important section for the first time or revising it. First, consider the following 8 tips. Then read about some ways you can write your About section.
Here are 8 tips to consider
1. Don’t skimp on your About section. If it’s similar to many of the ones I see, it lacks creativity. In fact, it resembles a résumé. This is what I call the bare minimum. You’re telling the world you don’t give a rat’s ass about your online image.
You’re allowed 2,600 characters—up from 2,000. It’s a lot, I know, but you’re not required to use all 2,600 characters. Some people write killer About sections with less words.
2. Make sure to include the keywords hiring authorities and other visitors are looking for. If you’re a project manager with expertise in Lean Sigma, list those words numerous times in your About section. It’s not only about the proper keywords; it’s also about density.
3. Write your About section in first-person point of view. In fact, write your whole profile in first-person to make it more personal. You can even write your Experience section in first-person.
4. Don’t be afraid to use some colorful symbols in your About section. It contributes to your personality. Just don’t over due it. You don’t want to distract your readers from the message you’re trying to deliver.
5. Use some HEADERS to guide your readers as to what your paragraphs or bullets are describing. I use all-cap headers like JOB-SEARCH STRATEGY and WHAT MY CLIENTS SAY ABOUT ME (EXCERPTS FROM RECOMMENDATIONS 👇) to indicate exactly what I’m describing.
6. Keep your paragraphs short. Three or four lines should be the limit. I’ve seen About sections written like stream of consciousness. Dense paragraphs consisting of 10 lines will scare people away from reading your content.
7. Always include your contact information. At the very least list your email address. At best include your telephone number. Here’s the thing, hiring authorities aren’t going to spend time trying to find you. And, they might not be astute enough to look in the Contact Info drop-down under your name.
8. I saved the best for last. Use your About section to brand you. There is perhaps no better place to do this; you message must be compelling—who are you, what do you do, how well do you do it, and do your readers believe it? These are questions you need to answer.
Three of the most important lines (approximately 50 words) are the ones that appear at the beginning of your About section; therefore they need to grab the reader’s attention and make them want to click …see more. I tell my clients they can talk about the following in their starter lines:
► A greater problem you solve ► What drives you in your occupation ► A question which you will address in the body
These will comprise your first paragraph. Here’s an example, from a salesperson in the LED lighting space, of the start of a great intro paragraph. He uses another approach for the intro paragraph by asking if the reader needs him, then explaining what he can do.
Are you looking for someone who can increase your ROI? With my product development, sales management, and channel management experience, I am a triple threat and will add great value to your company. I am a sales/product leader and global channel manager with a demonstrated history of working from startup to large… see more
Body of your About section
After your first and second paragraphs, it’s time to prove what you assert. Following is body content from a director of marketing. He chose to write his body highlighting areas of expertise, some of which follows what he wrote in his Header.
►DEEP PRODUCT/TECHNOLOGY CAPABILITIES: My roots are in product management/marketing. This strength has enabled me to understand and market complex technologies and I have had success with a wide variety of innovative B2B and healthcare products, including data analytics, data prep, data integration, cybersecurity/compliance, telecommunications, and IoT platforms.
►DEMAND GENERATION SUCCESS: I’ve created modern demand generation engines that have led to fast growth (50% – 160% year over year growth). I’m experienced in different approaches, including account-based marketing, content marketing, digital marketing (SEO, PPC, email, website), product-led/freemium programs, and partner marketing.
►BRAND BUILDING / CATEGORY CREATION SUCCESS: I’ve helped companies become category leaders in the eyes of customers and industry influencers, such as Gartner and Forrester. Twice I have influenced Gartner to create new categories to reflect my company’s unique value. I believe customer advocacy and partner marketing are critical elements to making a brand grow.
►SALES/RESULTS FOCUS: Yes, I am a marketer, but I focus on driving sales results, not just marketing metrics. This focus permeates activities from buyer journey development to content generation and sales enablement. I’ve event built and managed business development and inside sales teams that generated $18M/quarter in pipeline.
►HANDS-ON CAPABILITIES: My hands-on capabilities span content development, campaign execution, marketing tech/CRM deployments, SEO optimization, ad campaign management, website optimization and more. I like to build and scale organizations, but I can do the job first to get things moving.
Note that my former client uses first-person point of view to add personality to his achievements. As well, he breaks down his achievements with all-cap headers. Finally, he provides some quantified results. And yes, he exceeds the three-line limit but only in one of his areas of expertise.
Consider your About section a perfectly sculpted sandwich; the top bread is your intro paragraph, the middle is the roast beef and fixings, and the bottom bread is your concluding paragraph.
You need to tie it together with a paragraph that explains why you’ve written what you have above. I took the approach of ending my About section telling my readers that I get their plight.
I GET IT If you’re unemployed, you don’t need to be told that being out of work can be challenging, both emotionally and financially. I know because I’ve been there. So I’ll be the last person to tell you to not feel bad. However, I will tell you that it’s temporary. I’ll also tell you not to go it alone.
Clearly there are many way to write your About section. Some choose to literally tell a story that describes their career trajectory. Others are all about the accomplishments. Some like to highlight their testimonials, which is a wise decision for entrepreneurs. However you cut it, your About section must demonstrate value and a reason for your visitors to read on.
Raise your hand if you visit a LinkedIn user’s profile and get as far as the Accomplishments section. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t. Rarely do most LinkedIn members travel that far down the LinkedIn profile. I usually don’t.
Now raise your hand if you list important projects, patents, organizations, honors & awards, and others in your Accomplishments section. I think I’m hearing crickets?
Quite honestly I don’t blame you if you didn’t raise your hand to the questions above. After all, Accomplishments is buried in the basement of your profile; it can’t be moved. (I wrote about this here.) I wonder if LinkedIn users even know if Accomplishments exists or what it’s for.
The question now is how do you alert visitors of your LinkedIn profile of your Accomplishments section.
One solution: mention Accomplishments in your About section
You can write about your outstanding projects and other notables in your Experience section, which is a good policy. However, I suggest making note of them in your About section.
About is most likely the first section visitors will read. Unlike your resume, it is more personal and, in my mind, more enjoyable to read.
Enjoyable in what way, you might wonder. In About you can: provide a creative hook in your first three lines; express your passion for what you do; describe the problems in your industry and how you can solve them. It’s a section where you can tell your story. Read what I wrote about here.
How to point your visitors to your Accomplishment section
Given that your About section can draw the attention of visitors, doesn’t it make sense to point your audience to Accomplishments? Unfortunately, we don’t yet have the ability to post links to Accomplishments, so words will have to do.
For Projects you can write a brief statement:
“If you would like to read about my outstanding projects in Landscape Architecture, scroll down to Accomplishments.”
Perhaps you Published a book or article. Offhand I can think of three of my close connections who’ve written books, Jim Peacock, Brian Ahearn, and Donna Serdula. I also wrote a book, which is mentioned in my About section:
“Do you know I wrote a book on how Introverts succeed in the job search? Well, you can find it in the Accomplishments section at the bottom of my profile.”
Many of my clients have Patents for products that they’ve created in their career. This can’t go unnoticed. If you’ve own patents, draw your visitors’ attention to them:
“I’m proud of the patients I own in the field of medical devices. They’re listed in my Accomplishment section below.”
College students should make use of the Courses they’ve taken and Test Scores they’ve achieved. If you earned outstanding Honors andAwards, use About to point visitors to Accomplishments.
Other types of accomplishments not obvious unless you point your visitors toward Accomplishments include: Languages, Test Scores, and Organizations. You now have the idea of how to help your visitors find what can be a bona fide feather in your cap.
You might be a beginner on LinkedInor even well versed with the platform. Either way this compilation of posts can help you use LinkedIn more effectively. Stay current by reading the most recent ones or all of them. I hope these posts help you with your job search.
When you think about what makes a winning LinkedIn Profile, what comes to mind? Is it the first impression—background image, headshot, and Headline—the About, Experience and Volunteer sections, Skills & Endorsements, or Recommendations?
When I talk with my clients about their LinkedIn profile About section, I tell them it should tell their story. But that’s too vague. There’s more to your About section than this simple statement. Another way to explain this section is that it should encompass your overall value.
I will be the first to admit that networking on LinkedIn is complex; it’s not straightforward. What does networking on LinkedIn involve? The first step is having a strategy, which will take some forethought. You also have to be willing to reach out to LinkedIn members you don’t know. These steps are the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
In a poll that that asked, “Do you have two lives? Do you separate your LinkedIn life from your Facebook life?” nearly 70% of the 7,442 voters answered Yes. What they share on LinkedIn is professional and what they share on Facebook is personal.
Seven percent of the voters said they share the same or similar content between both platforms, and 26% are AWOL from Facebook. They’ve been there, down that
What constitutes success when creating content to share on LinkedIn? One measure of success is getting many people to react and comment on your posts, videos, articles, podcasts, etc.
Some contributors say that educating their audience—e.g. on how to find a job—is the ultimate definition of success. This is an altruistic view and, some would argue, should be the goal of everyone who creates content to share on LinkedIn.
If you think your LinkedIn profile alone will get you an interview, you’re sadly mistaken. I wish it were that easy. Imagine that you could write a great profile and wait for the interview offers to roll in. Sadly, this is not the case; it takes more than just your LinkedIn profile to get to interviews
Approximately 65% of LinkedIn members use the LinkedIn mobile app, and some prefer it over the lap/desktop version, which doesn’t surprise me. In some ways I prefer the app because of its convenience and above average functionality. This article looks at other features LinkedIn users appreciate.
This guest article is from Hannah Morgan, a LinkedIn Top Voice, job-search strategist, and founder of Career Sherpa.net. Wondering what to post on LinkedIn? Hannah provides great advice on what to share with the LinkedIn community.
You’ve updated your LinkedIn profile for the one-millionth time but nada, nothing, zilch. No one is contacting you. What if I told you that having a dazzling profile is just one small part of getting found on LinkedIn.
How to write an invite to convince someone to join your network is a common topic. But what about accepting a LinkedIn user’s invite? Do you accept the default non-message? How about an invite that includes a personalized message? In this article, based on a poll I conducted, I talk about four types of invites.
I put a friend to the test by having him tell me what I had just changed in my LinkedIn profile Headline. He couldn’t tell me. Which means he didn’t know what I had for a previous Headline. Which also means it wasn’t memorable. This begs the question if the Headline is so important, shouldn’t people remember it?
This guest post was written by Ed Han, a recruiter known for his excellent job-search advice. It first appeared on Job-Hunt.org. In it he talks about the three main benefits of posts, making and sharing status updates, finding your updates, making appropriate update posts, and how sharing Facebook posts is inappropriate.
If you ever wondered what LinkedIn features you missed in 2020, Kevin D. Turner has laid it out in this article (Originally published here). Kevin is all stats and to the point. To this end, you’ll learn a lot by reading what he has summed up. My favorite addition? Polls, of course. What is your favorite feature?
If you’re a job seeker and you haven’t optimized your LinkedIn profile, you’re missing out on a ton of opportunities. In today’s market, 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find and vet new candidates. But not everyone is capitalizing on what the platform has to offer.
In this post, Austin walks you through three highly actionable tactics that will help you appear in more searches, get more profile views, and land more jobs.
Like any list one creates, there’s a magic number in mind. It could be 10, 20, 30, etc. Mine was 50 LinkedIn voices job seekers should follow, but then I dug deeper in the proverbial weeds and found more than 50 voices who deserved to be on this list. And I’m sure I’ve forgotten people, so more will be added.
You might have noticed that content on LinkedIn has taken on a more personal touch. While I’ve never been a fan of this, I can understand it and even accept it…to a point. There was a time when I would write in the comments, “Take it to Facebook” when someone shared something personal. Now I simply scroll on down.
It’s never pleasant to remove someone from your LinkedIn network. But sometimes it has to happen. Like the person I mention in this article. I had to go to said person’s profile, click More, and then Remove Connection. I didn’t do it with malice. Like I said, “Sometimes it has to happen.”
There are many reasons why your photo should be more recent than ancient. In the comments of the poll, I shared an article I wrote back in 2016 called 4 ways your LinkedIn photo is an imposter. Trust me, the ways people’s photos are an imposter haven’t changed. Here is a rundown of what makes your photo an imposter:
I had this great idea to ask my students to be the teacher and teach me how to write a better profile, create a more effective network, and how to engage with my network. Some of them wrote that as the instructor, how can my LinkedIn campaign be improved. This article addresses how to have your LinkedIn campaign critiqued.
You’ve heard it before: LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional, online networking application with approximately 700 million worldwide members. And according to many sources, at least 87 percent of recruiters are sourcing for talent on LinkedIn. It makes sense to utilize LinkedIn for your online networking.
From guest writer Adrienne Tom: Earlier this year, LinkedIn rolled out a small change to personal profiles that seemingly went unnoticed: they increased the headline character count from 120 to 220. This increase may not seem significant; however, increased characters afford users (you!) additional real estate to share value and attract readers.
Occasionally I’m asked which I prefer writing or reviewing, a résumé or LinkedIn profile. To use a tired cliché, it’s like comparing apples and oranges. Read this article to discover why the résumé and LinkedIn profile are different.
Guest article from Virginia Franco. Career change is more complex now with online visibility required, particularly on the most important social network for professionals — LinkedIn. LinkedIn for career change is extra tricky because your resume and applications must align with your LinkedIn Profile because most employers and recruiters compare the two.
Like a lopsided political race, this one is a landslide. I’m talking about a LinkedIn poll asking 3,338 voters to chose between keeping either their resume or LinkedIn profile. Which one wins by 72%? Why, the LinkedIn profile, of course. I’m not at all surprised by the result.
I am particularly fond of LinkedIn’s poll feature which has been brought back from the early years. With Create a Poll, you can ask LinkedIn members to vote on certain topics like which three new features They appreciate most–Open to Work, Create a Poll, or Add Name Pronunciation? To my chagrin, Create a Poll didn’t win.
Wouldn’t you know it, the LinkedIn profile Headline is deemed more important than the About and Experience sections. In a recent poll conducted on LinkedIn, in which 1,189 people voted, 46% of the voters chose the Headline over Experience, 30%, and About, 24%.
An optimized profile is important, but it’s not the end all be all. A strong LinkedIn campaign also includes a focused network and engagement. This is clear based on a poll I conducted on LinkedIn. At the end of the poll, 787 people weighed in. I would say this is a legitimate case study.
Working for a One-Stop career center, I’m often confronted by job seekers who haven’t used LinkedIn but know they must in order to shorten their job search. Some of them believe they should begin by writing a compelling profile which makes good sense. But is a profile alone enough?
We’re in the midst of COVID-19 which has forced many of us to stay at home. To make matters worse, unemployment has risen to unprecedented levels. Now is the time to work on your LinkedIn profile, especially if it needs a lot of work.
To land a job in 2020, you will need to have a strong LinkedIn profile. And, that profile needs to clearly brand you. But is a strong, well-branded LinkedIn profile enough? According to four LinkedIn experts it isn’t.
I asked Hannah Morgan, Kevin Turner, Jessica Hernandez, and Andy Foote for their insights for the year ahead and received answers ranging from the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) to building a strong network and engaging with your network.
LinkedIn has launched a new interview-practice feature which leaves me with a sense of ambiguity. On one hand, I think it’s a great attempt to educate job seekers on how to interview for a position. On the other hand, there are limitations to this new feature.
The latest article makes a comparison between your LinkedIn profile and a combination résumé. Your About section is the functional piece of the combination résumé and the Experience section should be written with as much detail on the profile and résumé.
To land a job in 2020, more than ever, you’ll need to be proactive rather than reactive. In other words, stop blasting out job applications 10 per day. If you’ve been doing this for months, by now you know the ROI is very low.
This act of futility demands different approaches. This article explains how to be more proactive in your job search by researching and using LinkedIn.
You’ve heard of the seven deadly sins—Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed, Sloth. Two years ago I heard a podcast talking about them. Two years later I’m writing an article focusing on the sins you’re committing with your LinkedIn campaign.
They are not the deadly sins discussed in the podcast I listened to, but they can definitely hurt your campaign and, consequently, your job search.
Many people won’t look at your Accomplishments section. Many people don’t even know it exists. How do you draw people to this important area of your profile? You direct them to this area by mentioning it in your About section.
Like many people, I dislike New Year’s resolutions, mainly because we rarely achieve them. But this year I’m going to set some resolutions that are attainable. The resolutions I vow to achieve are ones that relate to LinkedIn. These are ones I can do. I also hope my resolutions will benefit other LinkedIn users, namely job seekers; that they will emulate them. The following are 10 actions I will take in 2020.
It’s safe to say I’ve critiqued or written hundreds of LinkedIn profiles. What’s most important in a profile is that it brands the LinkedIn member; it sends a clear, consistent message of the value the member will deliver to employers. Does your profile brand you?
In a recent LinkedIn Official Blog post, the author suggests you should connect “with people you know and trust.” This seems like sound advice on the surface, but it shouldn’t be followed literally. My suggestion is to take it a step further and connect with like-minded people.
Engaging on LinkedIn can be tough. It requires dedication, stretching your zone and putting yourself out there. But here’s the thing; if you don’t engage, you’ll be forgotten by your connections. In this article I coach you on how to engage on LinkedIn.
In a recent LinkedIn post, I asked my LinkedIn community to take a quiz consisting of 15 questions. Those who took it were honest about their LinkedIn prowess, or lack thereof. I promised in this post that I would reveal the entire quiz I give my clients. The quiz I give my clients consists of 50 questions. If you decide to take it and don’t score 100%, don’t worry. There is always room for improvement. I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t have a perfect score.
One of the things I like about the LinkedIn profile is the ability to express your written voice. This is particularly important for job seekers, as it gives hiring authorities an idea of their personality. The résumé, on the other hand, doesn’t do this as well as the profile.
I’ve come across thousands of job seekers who believe in the power LinkedIn provides to help them land a job. I haven’t, however, come across as many people who believe in using LinkedIn after they’ve landed. They feel that once LinkedIn has done its job, it’s time to part ways.
Why is that? Do people not see the value of LinkedIn in their work?
You might be in a situation where your company requires you to make your profile more about it than you. If this doesn’t settle with you, try compromising. In other words, dedicate most of your profile to your greatness and the rest to your company’s. Easy Peasy.
When you send an invite to a LinkedIn member to join your network, it’s important that you personalize the message. To do otherwise would show a lack of effort, and your invitation would probably we rejected. So what do you write in the message box when you send the invite off? This article explains how to write a cold invite, use a reference, and ask for an introduction.
If you’re searching for a job, LinkedIn can shorten your search. You’ve probably been told this, but it’s well worth repeating. Will using LinkedIn alone guarantee that you land your next gig? No; LinkedIn is a great supplement to your in-person networking, but you need to engage in both for a strong networking campaign.
LinkedIn can play an important role in your job search. You might be neglecting LinkedIn, thus hurting your chances of landing a job. Read this article to discover 8 common ways people neglect LinkedIn.
Are you wondering if you’re on LinkedIn? This article is meant for you. If you are on LinkedIn, this article will confirm your wise choice. The first thing you need to determine is if your industry is well represented.
This article stands the test of time, as I see negative posts here and there on LinkedIn. Think about how it hurts your personal brand when you show your negativity. In this article I use an analogy of a boyhood friend who was always angry. Eventually we drifted away.
Many people who know me, consider me a LinkedIn connoisseur. They would never imagine that I, in fact, enjoy Facebook. Awhile back, I decided if I were going to bash Facebook, I had to know what I was bashing. In any case, there are times when Facebook is preferable over LinkedIn. This article talks about the strengths of both.
You are killing your chances of being contacted by recruiters, hiring managers, and HR if you don’t list your contact information on your profile. Include your email address and phone number in four key places. At least your email address.
Many of my clients are unaware of the Contact Info area on their profile. This is a bit disconcerting, especially since it’s an area stock full of information. Make sure you’re utilizing it, as well as checking other LinkedIn members’ Contact Info.
When you’re searching for people on LinkedIn, there’s a nifty feature called All Filters. It allows you to narrow your job search to find who you need to connect with or send an Inmail. Read this post to learn about All Filters.
LinkedIn members can see your activity section. That’s if you have one. If you don’t have this section, you might turn people away, including hiring authorities. Don’t make this mistake. Engage on LinkedIn.
If you want employers to know you’re unemployed, here are 5 possible ways to do it. I’ll give my opinion on which ways are not preferable and which are. Here’s a hint, leaving your last position open is the least preferable.
I consider myself to be a fair guy. When LinkedIn does things right, I compliment them. When they do wrong, I criticize them. This time LinkedIn made a smart move by joining multiple job titles to fit under one company icon. But in the same fell swoop, LinkedIn truncating each position.
Use this checklist to improve your LinkedIn profile. This is part 1 of a 3-part series. To succeed in your LinkedIn campaign, follow these posts on creating a strong LinkedIn profile, building your network, and engaging on LinkedIn.
After a client asked me if she should send an invite to a recruiter after their first interview, it prompted me to ask recruiters who hang out on Facebook this question. Surprisingly, their answers were a definitive yes. Read what they have to say.
Recommendations were once the rave of the LinkedIn profile; some considered them the profile’s best feature. Recruiters only had to read them to see your excellence. They could make a quick decision on whether to contact you or not. This is no longer the case.
Would you go to an interview or business meeting without shoes? Of course not. So I wonder why people feel that a Summary statement on their LinkedIn profile is unnecessary. Having viewed hundreds profiles, I’ve seen many that simply begin with the Experience section and have no Summary.
All too often job seekers and business people ignore their Experience section, assuming people will know what their positions entail. Even if you’re a CEO, visitors would like more description of what you and your company have accomplished. Don’t undersell this important section of your profile.
Many people think having a great LinkedIn profile is enough. Well, think again. You must also develop a targeted and large network, as well as engage with your connections. These are the three pieces to a successful LinkedIn campaign.
If you’re not paying attention to the Dashboard on your LinkedIn profile, you’re missing out on some information. Who’s viewing your profile, how many views does your latest post have, and how many people have searched for you, plus more.
Now that your profile is optimized for 2018, it’s time to optimize your network. This post helps you get the most out of your network by explaining the 5 types of connections with whom you should engage.
No one knows when LinkedIn will make changes to its functionality. Some changes are good, others make you scratch your head wondering why certain changes were made. This has been LinkedIn’s MO since its inception.
How do you connect with people on LinkedIn? And what are the five steps to take to connect properly? Learn about the feature “Connections of” and how it can be a game player when you’re asking for an introduction or making a “cold call” connection.
LinkedIn members need to be aware of the LinkedIn mobile app, as it will soon surpass the use of its computer application. This is one of a three-part series that discusses the LinkedIn profile on the mobile app.
One gets the feeling that LinkedIn is migrating its desktop platform to its mobile app. Maybe not tomorrow, but gradually. The most obvious hint is the way the desktop’s interface increasingly resembles the app. We noticed this when LinkedIn launched its new, slimmed-down platform almost a year ago.
Sharing what others write is a benefit to not only that person, but a benefit to you as well. You come across as someone who cares about your LinkedIn community. This post includes names of people who are great curators.