Tag Archives: LinkedIn profile

The Thoughts of 7 Recruiters on How to Get To an Interview

The life of a recruiter is not an easy one. It requires a lot of digging and scrapping for talent to fill positions for their clients, the employers. It’s not unheard of for a recruiter to have as many as 30 plus requisitions at a time to fill. For the mammoth companies, hundreds of requisitions (as one recruiter says) are possible.

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of the job for recruiters is trying to satisfy the ultimate hiring authority who is looking for the ideal candidates. As hard as they try, some recruiters fall short of meeting the expectations of the hiring authority, while others succeed. Those who succeed more often are the ones who stay in the game.

From my observation of the life of a recruiter–talking with them, seeing their posts on LinkedIn, and reading their brutally honest banter on Facebook–their most pressing struggle is bridging the gap of communication between job seekers and their employers.

The communication gap can’t be understated; it’s real. Who gets more frustrated, recruiters or job seekers? I would wager the frustration is weighed differently. Recruiters are trying to maintain their employment, and job seekers are trying to…get employed.

If you’re a job seeker who is having trouble finding the right way to communicate with recruiters, this article is for you. You see, there’s an art to communicating with recruiters. It’s not a subtle art; it’s a common-sense type of art.

Are you wondering what an application tracking system is? You’re not alone. In this article a recruiter will break it down for you. What about ghosting? You might have experienced a time when a recruiter didn’t get back to you upon sending them your resume or after an interview.

These are just a couple of topics this article will address from the point of view of recruiters. There are seven topics in all, so take some time to absorb what the recruiters in this article have to say. Here they are in order:

  1. How to connect with a recruiter
  2. What to write when connecting with a recruiter
  3. Ghosting and whether you’re being ghosted
  4. Writing resumes that appeal to recruiters
  5. That dang ATS and why not to fear it
  6. The steps to writing a compelling LinkedIn profile
  7. Preparing for an interview with a recruiter

Before I go any further with this article, I have to make one thing clear; the recruiters/former recruiters who contributed to this article are people who want you, as job seekers, to succeed.

How to connect with a recruiter

Ed Han Talent Acquisition Geek | Job-Hunt.org Contributor | JobSeeker Ally | I’m not active on LinkedIn: I’m hyperactive! | Wordsmith | Recruiter at Cenlar FSB | Ask me about IT opportunities in the 19067 and 08618 ZIP codes!

Everywhere you go, people are talking about the importance of networking in a job search. And people talk about the importance of talking with recruiters because we’re the ones with the jobs.

But how?

As a recruiter and avid networker, here is what I would recommend you do to network with us.

Before we get into that, it would be a good idea to understand the two major kinds of recruiters, in order to help you tailor your approach and strategy.

  • Agency/external recruiters. Employees of a recruiting firm, agency recruiters work on job requirements assigned by their clients. When they are able to place one of their candidates with the client, an external recruiter earns a commission.
  • Internal/corporate recruiters. Often part of HR, internal recruiters are employees of the hiring organization and work on job requirements from within that entity. When they are able to get one of their candidates hired with the hiring manager, a corporate recruiter still gets paid a flat salary.

Whether agency or internal, recruiters tend to have areas of specialization. It could be industry-driven for external recruiters (obviously not relevant for internal recruiters), but quite often is oriented by skillset: creatives, IT, finance, etc. In some large organizations, they might specialize even further, such as within IT, software engineers vs infrastructure.

And you know what? We tell you on our LinkedIn profiles! There just aren’t a whole lot of recruiters who do not have a LinkedIn profile–which is great, because the odds are that is where you will find us most readily.

Sending someone a LinkedIn invitation to connect is good–but recruiters get tons of invitations to connect, and you want to stand out from the others.

Do that with a note sent along with the invitation. And here is where a lot of people take a sub-optimal path.

Do you possess a skill set that the recruiter specializes in? 

Hint: look at the profile and scope out their employer. A quick look at the company page will tell you.

Strike up a conversation with the note you send to connect. “Hey, I’m a [profession] professional. Your profile suggests that you work with my skill set. Can we have a conversation?”

See? That’s all it takes: starting a conversation. 

Networking isn’t a transactional exchange. It’s a relationship in which the parties both get something out of it.

What to write when connecting with a recruiter

Kelli Hrivnak Recruiter partnering with companies to hire Digital Marketing & Technology Talent | Dream Team Builder Career Growth Catalyst

Contrary to what you may have heard, recruiters can be a valuable resource in your job search. But do remember this: A recruiter’s objective is to find people for their jobs. Not to find jobs for people.  

Ed Han explained the two types of recruiters and their roles in the recruiting process. Now that you have narrowed in on recruiters aligned with your area of expertise, it’s time to craft your message.

Here’s what you should not do:

Hi ________, I am starting to explore job opportunities. Do you have any jobs that would be appropriate?

Why this isn’t efficient:

Unless we have communicated recently, I don’t know what your strengths or career objectives are.

You are putting a lot of trust in the recruiter to guide your career path.  

Recruiters are slammed right now. Succinct details will help a recruiter customize what clients and searches would be the best match for your career growth.

Some call it your elevator pitch or value prop. I need the hook–What information do we need from you instead? 

What are your skills/strengths? 

Positions/titles

Target salary range/benefits/comp

Remote/in-office presence

Industries/target companies

Here’s how to fine-tune your messaging :

Hi ___________, 

I am starting to explore job opportunities. I’d prefer to work for a mature, structured company with over 500+ employees (non-consulting), with a company that respects work/life balance. I am open to hybrid/remote, within a 30-mile radius of Baltimore City. Compensation 120k+. 

I’ve been doing UI design but also managing design operations, and I’d like to leverage that experience to shape the operations of a future UX department. My base resume is attached.

****************************************

Do your research. Do you have any shared connections? If you were referred, name-drop.

Keep it short. Don’t ask for a coffee chat as your call-to-action. Trust me–the recruiter will reciprocate communication if they are interested.  

If there is a specific job posting you are interested in, include the URL. Some recruiters are working with companies that have 200+ job openings. 

Are you making a career transition or believe you can choose a variety of career paths? It’s okay if you don’t have 100% clarity of your next steps, but do spend time identifying your options and transferable skills. Career coaches can help with this process and planning if you are having a difficult time determining focus.

Recruiters want to find the right talent for their open jobs, but they don’t have time to uncover your interests and wants. Help us help you and make this a win-win situation by communicating what you bring to the table. 

Ghosting and whether you’re being ghosted

Dan Roth Technical Recruiter at Amazon

Before getting into whether or not you are being ghosted, I want to highlight two things. The first is that while I am a recruiter, I spent the first 17 months of the pandemic as an unemployed job seeker navigating the market like so many of you. I have seen what you have seen and felt what you have felt…I get it.

The second thing I want to highlight is: Is Ghosting a real thing? The obvious answer is yes. However, in my experience, there are a few different kinds of ghosts. Below I will break them into what I have found to be the 3 most common types of ghosts to help you understand.

The mass reach-out ghost: This type of ghost is the one that sends you a template e-mail saying something along the lines of, ‘based on your experience we feel you could be a good fit for X (company). You get this e-mail; your hopes are high…but then nothing.

This type of ghost has probably sent out thousands of emails prior to looking at any one resume. Once you respond, it either gets put in a massive pile of other responses only to be forgotten in time or after looking at your resume, they realize you are not the right fit…and don’t let you know because ‘it’s awkward.’

The Recruitment Influencer Ghosts: Let’s be real, because of the pandemic and the reliance on social media and specifically social audio, many recruiters, myself included, have become somewhat of micro-influencers.

This group gets hundreds of inbound messages per day and while it is a nice theory to say this type of influencer can get back to everyone, it gets incredibly overwhelming and even the most diligent recruiter may miss their fair share.

The Ignorant Ghost: These are the worst kinds of ghosts. These are the people you have had multiple communications with…you may have had multiple interviews and then nothing. I could give you potential reasoning for why this may happen, but there is no excuse for this. It is just absolutely horrible and these kinds of ghosts should not be recruiting.

Regardless of the type of ghost, it makes for a horrible experience. As a job seeker the natural instinct is to wonder what it was that you did wrong. It is in those moments that I will ask you to pause, take a breath and realize that getting ghosted by a recruiter is not a reflection on you, it is a reflection on them. You are better off at a company that values you and your time.

Keep your head up, your spirit high…your time is coming.

Writing resumes that appeal to recruiters

Matt Warzel, CPRW, CIR Helping Job Seekers Find Their Next Career Move 20% Faster With A Pay Increase of $15K on Average Award Winner Jobstickers.com Blog WriterSpread Joy, Be Empathetic, Make a Change, Then Make Your Impact

The resume needs to be logical first and foremost. If the reader is wrinkling their forehead, you’ve lost the initial battle.

With this said, have a target in mind and build your messaging around this target. Have a vision of your dream job. Think of your job drivers. What’s important to you? Time, money, benefits, 401(k)s, location, product offerings, company image, culture, values, progressive versus traditional setting, remote versus on-location, passionate project opportunities, etc.

Each is different for each person. What motivates you? What’s your passion? What can you do that will make you happy in 2 weeks, 3 months, a year? The candidate should research his or her new career field/job target! You need to do your research. You need to get a feel for the way the industry and respective companies function in the world, the services they provide to others, and the types of jobs out there in that industry that could pose as a potential new career.

I love using Google News, Google alerts, Salary.com, Glassdoor, Indeed, and LinkedIn to uncover industry and job research. Using this research can be a good way to spot industry and job keywords (for the core competencies and summary sections), role responsibilities (for the experience section), and important transferable contributions (for the accomplishments section) for inclusion on your resume. Read trade journals of major industry players to stay on top of insights in your space.

Be realistic in what you can achieve. While taking chances and risks are a good thing, do not over-stretch yourself into a role you simply are not a fit for (yet). What industry do you want to live in, and in what role? Be specific in what you want, clarify it, write it down, consume knowledge of it, live it.

Recruiters cannot help you if you nor they know what you want to do. Most people have skills and experience that can transfer nicely to another industry or job. The key is knowing how those skills reasonably transfer, and what sort of value they bring to the prospective employer. The challenge is that most are unsure of how their skills are exchangeable to other duties.

If you’re an accomplished professional, it’s best to use actual methodologies, processes, skills, or technologies relating directly to the open job description and your experience. These are good ideas for those greener candidates. Also, opt for free experiential learning like internships. Work freelance projects for friends, neighbors, etc., and continuously build your portfolio, skills, and competencies.

Back to the resume – next, make sure it has optimized keywords, quantifiable content (even if there are no metrics, but metrics are preferred), and a format/layout that adheres to applicant tracking system mandates. Think quantifiable content and write it pragmatically. Also, stick to brevity while making those bottom-line accomplishments shine. Again, as long as you aren’t wrinkling the readers’ foreheads (I love this visual, LOL) when they’re reviewing your resume, you’ve done your job…now if you match the qualifications, it’s interview time!

That dang ATS and why to not fear it

Amy Miller Sr. Recruiter – I build the teams that build the satellites. Recruiting Truth Teller & Mythbuster. Somehow, LinkedIn Top Voice 2022

A quick Google search of “How To Beat The ATS” yields over 6 million results. SIX. MILLION. RESULTS.

All about how to “beat” something that usually amounts to a digital filing cabinet.

Job seekers are frustrated. Recruiters are confused. How did we get to this point, where alleged best practices around job search have created a mythical bot standing between you and your dream job?

First of all, let’s understand how most companies utilize their ATS – our first clue is in the name. ATS stands for

Applicant

Tracking

System

Essentially, most ATSs are simply large (albeit complex) databases that track a candidate’s journey from application to onboarding. It is literally a System that Tracks Applicants – and considering many recruiters are juggling hundreds of applicants at a time, you WANT us to have some mechanism to keep it all straight!

Many job seekers fear the ATS as something to be “beat” or even want to find a way to get AROUND an ATS – which is unfortunate, considering the ATS is a critical tool that helps recruiters keep all this activity straight.

Let’s start by walking through the candidate journey in the typical ATS.

APPLICATION

This is where it begins, and often the only part a job seeker will see. Candidate information is stored in a profile – searchable by name, email, or candidate ID (random personalized number generated for each new profile).

Candidates can apply directly to roles they choose, current employees can refer candidates, and recruiters can sometimes “tag” a candidate to an open role. (Open roles are ALSO created in the ATS, generating their own “profile” and job ID).

ACTIVITY

Once a qualified candidate has been identified, there is typically a process flow. Resumes/profiles are sent to hiring managers. In some cases, assessments are requested or calendar invites sent. These invitations can be for initial recruiter calls, technical screens, even interviews.

MOST ATSs aren’t even that complex, and scheduling can be done the old-fashioned way (typically via email). However, NOTES about all that activity should be recorded in the ATS note fields, so other recruiters or hiring managers with access can see at a glance the status of roles and applicants.

There is a LOT that happens in the “activity” portion of the ATS – we could write a novella about all that! Documentation is CRITICAL. Required documents, interview notes, feedback and next steps – ALL TRACKED IN THE ATS.

OFFER

Congrats! An application was successfully reviewed, interviews scheduled and documented, and a hire decision has been captured in the ATS. Now we can make an offer!

Many ATSs can create offer letters that allows for the requisition to be closed, and the candidate record updated/sent to the appropriate HRIS database once it’s accepted. In the event of a decline, we can still see that candidate history, in case we want to try recruiting you again!

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BOTS?

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of misinformation out there about “bots,” auto screeners, or rejection emails. I have yet to work with ANY system that does any kind of filtering without human intervention.

What further complicates this, is the sheer number of ATSs on the market. There are literally hundreds of ATSs and a near-infinite number of configurations. I’ve used Taleo at 3 different companies – the experience was COMPLETELY DIFFERENT each time.

WHAT IS A JOB SEEKER TO DO?

The best way to “beat” the ATS? Pay it no mind. Seriously. Forget about the tool being used, and worry more about where you are spending your time. Write a targeted resume written for a human audience (recruiter AND hiring manager).

Network with people who hire (or do) the kind of work you want to do. Understand how companies hire. If you’re a new college grad trying to break into FAANG – applying to senior roles and hitting up SWE Managers is hardly going to get you the results you want – those companies generally hire new grads through very specific University Recruiting programs (and they use the same ATS!).

Other recruiters might choose to use Boolean strings, or trust a ranking system to identify the top applicants (I don’t, but others may). Talking to recruiters at your target companies can help demystify how THEY use their ATS – so you can focus on more important things.

I WAS REJECTED. NOW WHAT?

The good news? Your information stays in the ATS. Smart recruiters will actually START their search when recruiting for a new role – IN THE ATS. We can conduct searches, review “silver medalists” on previous roles, even read other recruiters’ notes and feedback. Not to mention we have your contact info and can quickly get in touch!

There are certainly land mines to avoid when job searching – the ATS just isn’t one of them.

The steps to writing a compelling LinkedIn profile

LIAM DARMODY Growth Operations | Talent Attraction | Employer Branding // Husband+Dad | Hot Sauce Aficionado | Blockchain Bull | LinkedIn Branding & Content Strategist

Your resume gives recruiters a glimpse into what you’ve done and when you’ve done it,

but recruiters want to know “WHAT(ever) ELSE” they can about you when considering

whether to reach out or move on to the next profile. Be sure you’re making it easy for us

to get an authentic glimpse into:

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • Why you do it
  • How you do it
  • How you think & communicate
  • What it might be like to have you on the team

Be authentically, genuinely, unabashedly yourself, because there’s no reason not to be. Those recruiters who like what they see will reach out with opportunities they think are a good match. Those who don’t like what they see, won’t, but as far as you’re concerned, you don’t want to be considered for jobs that your personality doesn’t fit into anyways.

Use all the LinkedIn profile real estate you need to tell your story the way you want to. As a recruiter, there is nothing quite as satisfying as reading a well-written profile, which means:

  • Create a banner that reflects you & your personal brand (Canva is great for this)
  • Turn on Creator Mode and record a 30-second cover story in your headshot that shows your personality & value add. Bonus points if you can make me laugh.
  • Use your headline summary as more than just your title & company. Tell us more about what you are and what you care about. I like to think of mine as a representation of the things that fascinate me.
  • Use the featured section to populate examples of your work or things you’re proudest of. Could be anything – a LinkedIn post, a PowerPoint, a video clip, a PDF certification of a course you took. Just don’t NOT use that prominent real estate – it would be like choosing not to run free billboard ads.
  • Create a compelling About section that elaborates on the whole “fascination” theme and makes it easy for recruiters to get a sense of how you communicate, think, and dare I say… live! Yes, that’s okay to share too!
  • Be sure to provide any additional context in your experience section that you don’t feel was fully captured in your resume bullet points.
  • Solicit skills endorsements & recommendations from others in your network. This is especially helpful in technical fields where keywords play such a critical role in the success of your visibility and consideration on LinkedIn. Bonus points if you complete skills assessments and feature those there as well.

Last but not least, don’t ignore the obvious fact that LinkedIn is fast becoming a social network as much as it is a professional network. Posting your thoughts on business, life, family, and whatever else you’d ever care to talk about with colleagues in a professional setting is not only okay, it’s encouraged.

Preparing for an interview with a recruiter

Teegan Bartos, CCMC, CCM Mid-to-Senior Level Leaders Accelerate Your Career Land Your Perfect FIT Job Quickly Making More Money Than Ever Before Career Coach, Job Search Strategist, Resume Writer

Congratulations! Your referred resume, LinkedIn profile, or application just captured the attention of a recruiter and you’ve been extended an interview. Now, you may be thinking the recruiter is only a box-checking gatekeeper, but wowing the recruiter is imperative if you want the hiring manager to select you for the next round.

So, how do you prepare for this interview? By understanding what the recruiter’s role is and what the recruiter is looking for so you can strategize accordingly.

The Recruiter’s Role: Recruiters are compensated and evaluated on their ability to place people in open positions, often being judged on retention, quality placement, and speed to fill. That said, they are looking to create win-win situations for not only the hiring manager but also the candidate.

Box Checking: More often than not, a recruiter is not going to be asking the “tough” technical questions, so for this round, know yourself, research the company, and study the job description to prepare tailored interview answers to prove you understand and can meet the companies needs.

Know Yourself: Truly know why you’d be open to new opportunities and what it would take for you to leave your current organization. Here are some examples because this can be challenging:

“My company’s direction recently shifted and when I saw {Company Name} was embarking on {fact from your research}, I had to explore it further.”

“I currently make $225K with 20% bonus being paid out in March and was awarded $50K in equity two years ago that vests over 5 years. With a company as good as yours, I trust that the offer would be competitive.”

Tailored Interview Answers: Nail your opening “tell me about yourself” answer by incorporating details you learned are important to this role. Be prepared to give examples of times you’ve done what is in the job description with SOAR (explain the situation, reference obstacles to success, state what action you took, and most importantly finish it off ideally with quantifiable results.) And lastly, be prepared to ask questions that you couldn’t find via a google search. 

_____________________________________

Here you have the thoughts of seven recruiters on how to get to an interview. It begins with How to connect with a recruiter, what to write when connecting with a recruiter, understanding that ghosting is something to expect, writing resumes that appeal to recruiters, that dang ATS and why not to fear it, writing a compelling LinkedIn profile, and preparing for an interview.

Enough with the Excuses, Promote Your Greatness with Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile

Four areas on your resume and six on your profile.

Talking with a client the other day, we had a conversation about the difference between bragging and promoting one’s greatness. Now, I’m the last person who would outright brag. Promote my greatness in a factual way? Sure. But brag, that isn’t me.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

And by no means was I suggesting that my client brag. I pointed out that her resume and LinkedIn profile lacked the oomph that would impress employers and separate her from every other job candidate.

Here’s the thing about your resume and LinkedIn profile: you are given permission to promote your greatness…in a factual way. You are not encouraged to brag; there’s a difference. So, let’s break this down in simple terms.

Your resume

There are four areas where you are encouraged to write about your greatness. They are your Summary, Skills and Experience sections, and even Education.

Summary

In the Summary it’s imperative that you convey the greatness you will deliver to the employer. Make it brief. No hiring authority wants to read a 10-line paragraph. You might decide to go with bullet points to separate the major areas of value. Here’s an example:

  • Workers Compensation Director with expertise ranging from examining claims to developing and marketing managed-care products and services
  • Establish relationships with partners in the Northeast region, exceeding managements’ expectations
  • Design products and provide services that Saves millions of dollars for client companies

Avoid using cliches like “results oriented,” “ingenious,” “outstanding,” to name a few. You get the picture. They do nothing to promote your value.

Skills

The Skills section is where you list the skills that are pertinent to the position at hand. Don’t be shy. Highlight at least nine skills mentioned in the job ad in order of priority. Reading the job ad you notice the following skills required for a marketing manager:

Strategic Sales

Branding

Media Relations

Promotions

Client Relations

Strategic Partnership

Market Planning

Event Coordination

Project Management

Your greatness is proven by knowing which skills to include in this section. If you list skills that aren’t relevant, you’re missing the mark. You will further backup your skills in the Experience section.

Experience

The Experience section is king when it comes to your resume. It’s where you must demonstrate your greatness. Again, avoid lofty platitudes that carry no weight. If you want to come across as a great sales person, prove it.

  • Increased company revenue 65%—in a turbulent economyby following up on sales made 2 years prior. Earned “Employee of the Year” for 2020

Prove you’re an outstanding IT specialist who can increase productivity and were acknowledged for your efforts.

  • Increased productivity of Sales Team 50% by initiating and implementing Infusionsoft software 2 weeks before 3-month deadline. Received accolades from CEO

Wondering if you should use metrics in your accomplishment statements, read Should You Have Metrics on Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile?.

Education

Even your Education section can demonstrate your greatness. Don’t be hesitant to let employers know what you accomplished 20 years ago; if you earned it, tout it.

Bachelor of Science, Software Engineering
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Summa Cum Laude, in the top 5% of graduating class

You’re a smart cookie, so show it.

Hint: one strong suggestion is to make your resume easy to read. Here’s an article that explains how. 7 Ways to Make Your Resume Easier for Hiring Authorities to Read.

LinkedIn profile

There are six areas where you should express your greatness. They are your background image/banner; Headline; and About, Experience, Education, and Recommendation sections.

Background image

Promoting your greatness with your LinkedIn profile is a bit different; there are more ways in which to do it. It’s not bragging, for instance, to post a background image/banner. Make it relevant to the work you do or industry you’re in. Even make it about what you enjoy doing.

To learn more about the importance of a background image, read 4 Reasons Why Your LinkedIn Background Image Shouldn’t Be Ignored.

Headline

Tons of articles have been written about the Headline. Instead of getting into all of that, check out the list of LinkedIn voices job seekers should follow. There are about 100 plus people on it. Ergo the title, The Ultimate List of 100+ LinkedIn Voices Job Seekers Should Follow.

Check out their Headlines to see which ones draw your attention. These are LinkedIn members who are definitely worth following for the content they deliver on LinkedIn..

About

Again, much has been written about this section of the profile. In an article called 16 LinkedIn Pros Talk about Creating a Powerful About Section, the common theme is telling your story and starting with a hook.

The secret behind the success of these pros is their lack of reluctance to promote their greatness. I tell my clients to let loose some accomplishments to whet the appetite of hiring authorities who visit their profile. They don’t need to be saved for the Experience section.

Experience

This is a section where you should show your greatness with quantified results. Similar to your resume, the accomplishment statements should include actions and positive results, but not necessarily in this order. I’m a fan of leading with quantified results followed by actions.

Their are two points I make with your About and Experience sections. First, write it in first-person point of view. Second, only include the outstanding accomplishments. Let hiring authorities look at your resume to learn about the other stuff.

How would writing about your greatness in first-person point of view look? Take the aforementioned accomplishment statement above.

  • I Increased productivity of Sales Team 50% by initiating and implementing Infusionsoft software 2 weeks before 3-month deadline. As a result, I received accolades from CEO

This makes the Experience section of your profile more conversational, gives it a personal tone.

Read why the LinkedIn Experience section shouldn’t be ignored. The Majority of Hiring Authorities Read the LinkedIn Profile Experience Section First, so Make It Shine.

Education

Similar to the outline of your resume, the next profile section is Education. You guessed it; this section must also tell a story. Also similar to your resume, it includes the same information, degree you earned, academic institution, and year of graduation if you choose to list.

You can take it further than you would on your resume. In addition to the above information, LinkedIn encourages you to tell a story that includes any designation you earned, as well as what you did while at university. Here’s an example.

University of Massachusetts Amherst
Master’s Degree, English/Technical Writing
Grade: Magna Cum Laude

(You can provide a description of your time at university) This was one of the most exciting times of my life, as my wife and I were beginning our family. During this time, I interned at Mount. Holyoke College as a career advisor. This is where I learned I wanted to be in career development.

Recommendations

Let’s skip to the next section where you can demonstrate your greatness. This is Recommendations which is, unfortunately, anchored in the basement of your profile. This said, you can direct visitors of your profile from the About section to your recommendations.

A statement at the bottom of About like, “If you want to see my recommendations, scroll to the bottom of my profile.”

Your recommendations will do the speaking for you. You aren’t required to display every recommendation written for you, so only display the ones that speak highly of your greatness.


There you have it. Your resume and LinkedIn profile provide you with plenty of opportunities to promote your greatness. Don’t give up these opportunities. Grab hold of them like a python, because if you don’t you’ll be like the other job seekers, normal.

64% of voters say they will pay someone to write their job-search documents

There are times when having a professional do a job for you—like replacing the brakes on your car, installing a water heater, or roofing your house—is the right way to go. Let’s add one of my recent failures, installing a screen and glass door to the list.

Some of you might be thinking about the aforementioned projects, “I can do that. I’d rather do it myself than waste the money.” And perhaps you can at the expense of your valuable time and doing a shoddy job. Not good.

Smart consumers understand the value of their time and getting the job done right. Another project you think you can DIY is writing your job-search documents (resume and LinkedIn profile). But will you write documents that will truly show your value to employers? Or will you do a shoddy job?

As I’m wont to do, I polled LinkedIn members asking them if they would pay for someone to write their job-search documents. Sixty-four percent (64%) of them said they would, 29% voted no, and 7% stated they write job-search documents for a living. Eliminating the third option, leaves us with a strong affirmative for the first option.

Hiring someone to write your job-search documents

I should have prefaced this article by saying that I’m not promoting resume and LinkedIn profile writers. What I’m saying is that if you decide to outsource your job-search documents, make sure your writer can accomplish the following:

Won’t put you in debt

For many people who find themselves unemployed, the cost of hiring someone to write their job-search documents is a concern. Massachusetts offers the highest unemployment benefits at $823 a week. Mississippi, on the other hand, offers $235 a week. Someone from Mississippi will have a more difficult time paying to have their documents written.

Even if you live in a state like Massachusetts, there are other bills to pay. You need to determine if hiring a writer to do the job for $500-$1,500 is within your budget. Perhaps you received a generous severance or you accumulated a substantial savings. This might provide you with enough resources.

One solution might be asking loved ones for money to pay a writer to produce your job-search documents. Your brother in California isn’t aware of your industry and occupation, but he can send you $200 to help you in your job search. This will lessen the impact.

Saves you time

Creating strong job-search documents is time consuming. For some it’s a matter of producing a resume they’ve been updating over the course of their career, or just beginning to write their LinkedIn profile; but for others it could be creating the documents from scratch.

I’ve had high-level job seekers who’ve never written a resume or profile. They’ve been at their previous job for more than 30 years, and in between gigs they didn’t require these job-search documents. Rare, but it’s possible.

Do you have the resources to do the job right? Hiring someone to write your documents can save you hours and allow you to focus on your job–if you’re currently working–and conduct other aspects of your job search, such as researching companies on your target list.

Has a great reputation

I was hired a few years ago to review resume writing services that revised a poorly written resume I sent them. The results varied but, for the most part, out of seven resume writing services two returned acceptable products. I refer to them as resume mills because they pump out resumes by the hundreds per week.

None of the resume writing services achieved what I’m talking about here, getting a sense of who the “candidate” was and what he had accomplished. Many of the products these resume mills produced focused on keywords that they said would make the resume ATS-friendly.

It’s important that you do your research and find the best resume and LinkedIn profile writer to fit your budget, while also producing products that will land you interviews. (Also keep in mind that no writer in their right mind will guarantee the documents they write will land you tons of interviews.) How you distribute your resume is a key factor.

Is in sync with your occupation/industry

If you’re going to hire someone to write your job-search documents, it would probably be best that said person is familiar with your occupation and industry. I’m not implying that if you’re an engineer or marketer that the writer must be a former engineer or marketer. I am saying that your writer is qualified to produce a product that will be relevant to the position for which you’re applying.

Let’s say you have consistently increased processes which saved your team time, but your writer believes that increasing revenue is what should be highlighted. Because they don’t understand the nature of your occupation, they fail to hit the mark. You’ll get the sense that you’ve wasted a great deal of time and money.

A good writer will refer you to someone who’s more qualified to write your job-search documents. In the past, I’ve referred people to writers who are more aligned with job seekers. Why waste the job seeker’s and my time?

Can tell your story

A great writer will effectively tell your story. They will interview you to produce a product that will give the employer a strong sense of your career trajectory and your accomplishments that include metrics. Your job-search documents will sell you from the beginning of the documents to the very end.

Most important is the Experience section that tells a story through accomplishment statements that read like a S.T.A.R. formula. Here is a story followed by the two-line accomplishment statement:

What
ŸŸŸŸImplemented new CRM software to help Sales.

How
Approached and received approval from upper management.
Implemented Infusionsoft software for sales; originally using Excel on Intranet.
Trained Sales on how to use Infusionsoft.

Results
Increased productivity of Sales team 50%.
Completed 2 weeks ahead of schedule: projected 3 months.
CEO announced my achievement in front of staff at building meeting.

The one-line accomplishment statement

  • Increased productivity of Sales Team 50% by initiating and implementing Infusionsoft software 2 weeks before 3-month deadline. Received accolades from CEO

Ideally your writer can create a story for every accomplishment on your document, but this isn’t always possible. Good writers will “drag” your stories out of the recesses of your memory.


As I mentioned earlier, this is not an advertisement for job-search document writers. On my journey through LinkedIn I have come across great resume writers who will meet most of your objectives—cost, time saving, great reputation, in sync with your industry, and tell your story.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

The Majority of Hiring Authorities Read the LinkedIn Profile Experience Section First, so Make It Shine

Most hiring authorities (recruiters, hiring managers, and HR) who read many LinkedIn profiles at a sitting will tell you that the Experience section is where they will go first when reading a LinkedIn profile. Not the About or Education sections.

Amazon recruiter Amy Miller states this in her recent YouTube video, How Do Recruiters Look at LinkedIn Profiles? Amy’s not the only recruiter who’s made the claim that hiring authorities prefer reading Experience first. Eighty-two percent (82%)* of hiring authorities I asked also agreed that they go to Experience first.

Bernadette Pawlik explains how she reads a LinkedIn profile: “Titles all the way down, Experience, then About. With LinkedIn profiles and with resumes, I quickly scan down the left hand side. A recruiter isn’t going to excavate your profile for your qualifications.

So, think of the LinkedIn profile as the menu and your resume as the entree. Titles should reflect your roles, Experience should very briefly outline context, responsibilities, and one or two accomplishments.

Marie Zimenoff, of CareerThoughLeaders.com, adds: “Although the About section may be first in a profile, there are a few reasons a recruiter or hiring manager will likely start with the Experience section when reading a profile.

First, hiring managers want to see if a candidate is qualified for the role before they take time to read an introduction like a cover letter or About section. Second, the Experience section titles are big, bold, and easy to skim – especially on mobile.

Invest more in your Experience section: 5 ways to do it

Given that Experience is preferred over About, it makes sense that you put your all into making it stronger. It’s been my experience that most job seekers don’t put as much effort into creating a strong Experience section as they do their About.

Is this because they’re encouraged by career coaches to beef up their About? I advise my clients to write a strong About section, telling their “story.” However, I also tell them they can also tell their story in Experience; that they can use first-person point of view even. Here is how Experience should be written.

1. Experience needs to tell a better story. Don’t have verbiage for your Experience section? A quick fix of copying the content of your resume to your profile is the first step; however, you’re not done yet.

You still have to modify Experience to make it more personal, more of a networking piece of your document. This means your point of view should be first-person and, of course, include quantified results.

Start with a job scope to craft your story. For example: “As the Director of Marketing Communications, ABC Company, I planned, developed, and executed multi-channel marketing programs and performance-driven campaigns, using digital marketing principles and techniques to meet project and organization goals.”

Use first person point of view for your accomplishments to tell a story. Take, for example, an accomplishment statement from a resume might read: “Volunteered to train Sales Team on Salesforce, increasing the team’s output by 75%.

Better: I extended my training expertise by volunteering to train Sales Team on Salesforce. All members of the team were more productive as a result of my patient training style, increasing the team’s output by 75%.

2. Utilize SEO by expanding your title. Did you know that the titles of your positions are weighed heavily in terms of keywords?

Ed Han is a recruiter who talks about the importance of titles in Experience: “There are several places where keywords are weighted more heavily than other parts of your profile. One area where they are weighted pretty heavily is in the Experience section.”

According to Ed, this would be wrong: CEO at ABC Company.

This would be better: CEO at ABC Company ~ New Business Development | Global Strategic Relationships | Increasing Market Share 74% 2020-2021

3. Expand the description of your role, no matter who you are.  You’re a VP, director, or CEO; so you think that says it all. Wrong! 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. Your overall responsibilities and highlights will catch the eyes of hiring authorities. Here’s an example from one of my former clients of his job scope followed by a few accomplishment statements:

In this position, I was one of only four executives/staff retained in acquisition of Company ABC to remotely direct global sales, marketing, and product management. I created competitive analysis, technology roadmap, and product marketing for business unit success.

Highlights
Increased gross profit 9% year-over-year through BU cost reduction, improving product procurement process, negotiating vendor contracts, and owning product pricing structure.
Generated revenue growth of 76% by improving forecast accuracy, lead generation, engaging with key marketing influencers, and conducting technical workshops,
Expanded global sales by 20% through improved lead and opportunity management, technical training, identifying new markets, and improving channel partner experience.

Note: In this case, my client didn’t write his accomplishments in first-person point of view.

4. Stick with the accomplishments, ditch the mundane duties. There are two ways you can look at your position descriptions; you can stick with only the accomplishments, or you can mimic your resume.

I’m in the opinion that your accomplishments alone would impress hiring authorities 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.

After reading your flashy, personal LinkedIn profile Experience section, hiring authorities can turn to your resume to get the whole picture. Don’t disappoint them by presenting duplicate versions of the two documents.

Add some zing to your Experience. Few people know that you can bold text on the LinkedIn profile. I’m going to let you in on how to do it. Go to: LingoJam.

Copy what you want to bold and paste it into the field on the left. Your bolded text will appear in the box on the left. Here’s an example from my profile:

❍ 𝗜 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝟮𝟬𝟭𝟵 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗛𝗶𝗿𝗲 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗻𝘂𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗮𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗱 for my part in delivering webinars on various job-search topics for MassHire Lowell Career Center. 🏆

What this? There’s an award trophy at the end of the sentence. Yes, you can also use emojis on your profile. One of my favorite sites for emojis is Susan Joyce‘s article on Job-Hunt.org. Susan makes it easy to copy and paste the emojis, which she calls eye candy. There are other sites that provide “eye candy.”


What do LinkedIn’s new changes to About and Experience sections tell us? Kevin Turner, Jeff Young, and Gillian Whitney collaborated on a project that boiled down to some minor changes to About and Experience. About displays four lines opposed to three, and Experience displays only two lines.

LinkedIn’s efforts to emphasize About and de-emphasize Experience won’t change hiring authorities’ opinion on which section they’ll go to first. For the majority of them it will be Experience.

*A current poll reveals recruiters and others prefer Experience by only 61%.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

The Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Guide: a Look at 16 Major Sections

In this article, I revisit the LinkedIn profile to discuss what was and what is. Creating a profile that brands you is the ultimate purpose of your LinkedIn profile. However, your profile alone won’t effectively accomplish this goal; you also need to create a focused network and engage with your connections.

linkedin-alone

Although not a lot has changed since August 2018 when I wrote the original article, there are changes worth mentioning.

Brand or Message

This is more important than many people realize. If you don’t create your profile with a clear brand or message in mind, you’ll have an unfocused profile. Delivering a message that expresses your value consistently is key to keeping your brand alive.

What is: The goal remains the same and is more important than ever considering COVID-19 has sidelined us from in-person networking. Online branding spills over to in-person branding when if you reach out to people after you’ve connecting with them. Case in point, when I meet someone in person, I’m often told they’ve seen my profile, posts, and articles.

Major profile sections

1. Background image

Your background image is your first chance to brand yourself on your profile. It is important to use a photo that is relevant to your work or what you enjoy doing. Your image should be sized at 1,584 by 396 pixels for the best results.

What is: More job seekers are getting the message that their background image, also called background banner, is a necessity, lest they want the bland image LinkedIn provides (see below). My valued colleague, Kevin Turner, would call this #blanding.

2. Profile photo

If you think a photo is unnecessary, you are sadly mistaken. A profile sans photo gives the impression you can’t be trusted. In addition, people won’t recognize and remember you. LinkedIn says profiles with photos are 21 times more likely to be viewed than those without.

What is: Your photo is a huge part of your brand. You don’t have to necessarily dress to the nines for it. Just look professional and presentable. This is one area of the profile where I haven’t seen a huge difference. However, LinkedIn users are pushing the limit, as illustrated by Recruiter Amy Miller‘s photo. I think this works for her.

3. Headline

Perhaps the most critical component of your branding, your headline tells readers your title and areas of expertise. Don’t scrimp on this one — it carries a lot of weight when optimizing your profile. You have 120 characters to use — make them count.

What is: LinkedIn increased the character count to 220 for all, which allows you to tell a longer story. I’m a huge fan of the extended Headline, as it contributes to your story and keywords. My Headline (below) is about 180 characters long. This allows me to include four titles, a tagline, an accomplishment, and my hashtag.

In this article, 15 LinkedIn pros talk about creating a powerful LinkedIn profile Headline.

4. About (formerly Summary)

Much has been written about the About section, so I’m going to spare you the verbiage and simply say your summary must tell your story. It needs to articulate your passion for what you do, how well you do it, and a call to action (how you can be reached).

What is: There’s been a significant change here in terms of character count. At this initial writing the count was 2,000. Now it’s 2,600. What is one to do with the additional 600 characters? I personally didn’t add much to my About, other than excerpts from Recommendations.

Think the About section isn’t important? Recruiter Bernadette Pawlik reads About before going onto the Experience section.

5. Dashboard

In the past, your dashboard area contained a lot of handy information: views of your profile, views of your latest post, and the number of searches you appeared in. In addition, you could ask for career advice, turn on “career interests,” and check out the salary range for your position.

What is: Now the area is divided in two with Analytics above Resources.

Creator Mode was introduced which has been a deal maker for me. I created a newsletter, which you’re reading now, and can start a LinkedIn Live — I’ll pass.

Career Advice and Career Interests used to be included in Your Dashboard. It still shows the number of your followers, as well as the number of views for your recent posts. Two nice touches are having access to your network and easy access to your saved items.

Career Interests has morphed into Providing Services. You can also indicate that you’re open to work by selecting Open to in the Snapshot area. As well, you can choose to don the #OpenToWorkBanner, which leaves me with mixed feelings.

6. Articles and activities

This area below your dashboard is visible to everyone who visits your profile. Visitors will see how many articles you’ve written and the number of posts you’ve shared. When I see very little info in the activities section, that means the person hasn’t made an effort to engage with their network.

What is: This section hasn’t changed and it’s still an area I look at to see how much my clients are engaging on LinkedIn. I’m adamant about my clients not only reacting (Liking) to posts, but also commenting on them. Better yet, they should write their own posts.

7. Experience

Too often, people skimp on the details in their Experience section. This is particularly the case with C-level job seekers. You don’t need to include everything, but your major accomplishments are required. Note: Your job titles carry significant weight in terms of keywords.

What is: If you are in the job hunt, you need to give hiring authorities a greater picture of what you did. Focus on the accomplishments. Read this compilation of LinkedIn Experts who offer their opinions of the Experience section: 13 LinkedIn pros talk about creating a powerful LinkedIn Experience section.

8. Education

Don’t be afraid to add a little more character here than you would on your resume. Were you a D1 athlete? Mention that under “Activities and Societies.” Did you complete your degree while working full-time? Mention that in the “Description” area.

What is: Nothing has changed here, but I still tell my clients that this is a section where they can continue to brand themselves by adding more description of what occurred when they attended school.

Plus: One of the best ways to brand yourself as a hard worker and possess time-management skills is to write that you earned your degree while working full-time. That’s if you did, of course.

9. Volunteer experience

Don’t neglect this area. Employers appreciate people who give to their communities. This is also a section where you can showcase your personality. Your volunteerism doesn’t have to be job-related. But if it is and is extensive, list it in your experience section.

What is: I’ll continue to promote this area on a LinkedIn profile. Sadly, too many people don’t list their volunteerism, thinking it’s not pertinent. Well, it is.

10. Skills and endorsements and Recommendations

You can list a total of 50 skills, and others can endorse you for those skills. Take advantage of this section, as recruiters pay attention to the number and types of skills you have. When you apply for a job through LinkedIn’s “Easy Apply” feature, the number of skills you have for the job are counted.

11. Recommendations

Once considered one of the top features, Recommendations (seen above) have been relegated to the basement of your profile. Should you continue to ask for and write recommendations in light of this change? In my opinion, yes. Recruiters will continue to read them.

What is: I would like to report that Recommendations can be moved toward the top of your profile, but this hasn’t been the case for many years. The best you can do is direct people to your recommendations from the About section, as I have done at the bottom of my About .

12. Additional, previously Accomplishments

One of the major blunders LinkedIn has committed was anchoring Accomplishments in the basement of the profile. I say this because important information lay within, including lists of projects, organizations, publications, and patents.

What is: LinkedIn recently made a slight improvement by breaking out important sections within Additional. To add important sections, you need to select Add additional sections from the dropdown (you must hover over the top of your profile to activate the dropdown).

Note: like Volunteer experience, Skills, and Recommendations, you’ll have to direct reader to this section from your About section.

13. Interests

What is: This section shows visitors your interests in influencers, companies, groups, and schools. Recruiters might glean some information about you, based on the groups you’ve joined and the companies and schools you follow.

Profile Extras

When this article was first written, this section was called Rich media and resided in your Summary (now called About), Experience, and Education sections. Here you can post videos, audio files, documents, and PowerPoint presentations. See this as your online portfolio.

What is: This section is much approved. One click and you are taken to the media of your choice. I call this an extra because this feature isn’t used as much as LinkedIn would like. This is too bad, as it is your online portfolio.

15. LinkedIn Publishing and Newsletter

LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to blog on topics of interest and share the posts with your connections. If you’re consistent in blogging, you’ll develop a following. Promoting your blog is entirely up to you. In the past, whenever you published, your connections would receive notification of your posts. Not so anymore.

What is: Not a great deal to report here in regard to changes. LinkedIn still doesn’t push out the articles published on their platform. Approximately 1MM of its users utilize Write an Article. Some members have been granted a newsletter license, and it’s not clear why only a handful are.

Correction: as mentioned above, if you turn on Creator mode, you will have access to your own newsletter and LinkedIn Live. LinkedIn will push out your newsletter and notice of publication will appear in your email, if you choose email notification. Click here to subscribe to my newsletter.

16. Video

Video is becoming more important to stand out on social media. A good video must contain content that is relevant to your network. Small technical things like smiling, proper lighting and sound, and a steady camera are important.


To bold or not bold text on your resume and LinkedIn profile: 63% of voters opt for bold text

I’ve been a proponent for a long time of writing some of the text on job-search documents (resume and LinkedIn profile) in bold. I stress some of your text, not all of it. Because to bold all the text would diminish the impact of your sentences. It would be like having too much frosting on a cake.

I’m not alone in my preference for bold text. A poll I recently conducted says that 63% of voters favor using bold text on their resume. This poll garnered 4,564 votes, so we could say this is a valid case study. Some of the comments are listed below.

To be clear, I’m not talking about just the documents headings or your titles. I’m talking about select text to which you want to draw the reader’s attention. Text you want their eyes to settle on like:

𝗦𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗻𝘆 $𝟭𝟬𝟬,𝟬𝟬𝟬 over the course of 2 years by bringing social media campaign in house; revamped the campaign while 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗼𝗻 𝗮 𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝘂𝗱𝗴𝗲𝘁.

This is important for one obvious reason. It’s said that hiring authorities take six to 10 seconds to glance at your resume after it has been stored and accessed from the applicant tracking system.

This will help hiring authorities to capture important text on your resume within the six to 10 seconds and decide whether it goes in the “must read pile” or the “don’t read pile.”

Do you think recruiters and HR will take minutes reviewing your resume when they first receive it? No, the lives of these people who hold your future in their hands is hectic to say the least. Some recruiters say they spend most of their days reading resumes to determine if people like you will advance to the next round.

When it comes to your LinkedIn profile, bold text also draws readers’ attention to important points you want to make. I use bold text in my Headline and About section.

Example: 👊 I’m on the front-line fighting 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗚𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗙𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 for job seekers. For a little emphasis, I use the fist emoji; something you wouldn’t do on your resume. If you’re wondering how to employ bold text on your LinkedIn profile, here’s a site I use: https://lingojam.com/BoldTextGenerator.

This brings us to another reason to use bold text on your documents; it helps to highlight important information, particularly information relevant to the job ad. It reminds the reader of the major requirements, if you will.

The naysayers to bold text on their resume and LinkedIn profile think it’s nontraditional, just like using sans-serif font in nontraditional. Here’s some news for those people; if you’re using Times New Roman, you’re dating yourself. Perhaps there will be a time when not using bold text will be nontraditional.

Let’s read what others feel about using bold text.


Kevin D. Turner: If 𝗯𝗼𝗹𝗱 is used, IMO it must be sparingly, perhaps to highlight a few of the really big achievements, Bob, otherwise it can get a bit messy and if almost everything is 𝗯𝗼𝗹𝗱, there is then no emphasis.

Tejal Wagadia (She/Her): I don’t particularly like bolding. It takes my eyes away from what I am looking for. If I have downloaded resume that has bolding I will remove that formatting.

I have seen it done well a few times but most of the times it’s random bolding with no rhyme or reason!

Bernadette Pawlik: If a client who comes to me as a #CareerSTrategist wants to know how to use bolding, my advice is based upon 25 years of evaluating resumes as a career recruiter. Having evaluated thousands of resumes, what makes it resume instantly easier to consider first is being able to find what I needed: Name, Experience, Education. Bold those in all caps.

Then, after that I look for chronology, so employers, bold those but not in all caps. Then, I read the rest. I see resumes that are bolded in mid-sentence to accentuate an accomplishment.

Accomplishments should go in bullet points. Donna Svei, Executive Resume Writer who also has extensive recruiting experience has some great samples of resumes on her website which show how to use bolding, color, and italics…and I’ve spoken to Donna and we have no affiliate relationship..but her resumes make finding what recruiters/employers need to find wonderfully clear.

Erica Reckamp: Strategic bold, bullets, and shading allow key elements to pop off the page for stronger reader response and retention.

Stand out as a top candidate by highlighting your headline (demonstrate clear target and alignment), keyword bank and job titles (establish candidacy), and key phrases in accomplishments (preferably results: # s, $s, %s).

LAURA SMITH-PROULX: Bold text in a resume works very well, but only IF you limit it to notable career stories and IF you avoid drawing attention to items you’d rather not emphasize.

I see resumes all the time that apply bold text to “unfortunate” facts in a work history, such as dates that make you look like a job hopper. Go ahead and apply bold, but think carefully about the message you’re sending when doing so.

Sarah Johnston: The goal of the resume is to make it easy for the end user to consume your story. Design elements such as bolding, shading, and call out boxes (used sparingly) make the resume easier to read. Resume writers are also trained to use design to “trick the eyes” to read what we want the target audience to read.

Ed Han (He/Him): Absolutely yes on my own and I counsel the same to draw emphasis to proper nouns, names, brands, technologies (in IT), or anything else salient.

I also use them to call out hyperlinks, which I use incessantly for schools, former employers, trade associations, certifying bodies, etc.

The vast majority of resume reading takes place on a screen: optimize for this reality.

Adrienne Tom: Bolded text can help key content pop off the page. The important thing to remember is to only highlight top/best/relevant information and details. Be strategic with what you bold in a resume. Too much bolded text will cause key points to blend together again.

Angela Watts: As a screener, I’m drawn to read bolded text, even when doing an initial skim. If used well, it can encourage a reader to digest compelling content they may otherwise have missed.

Donna Svei: Bold narrative text jerks the reader’s attention around the resume in a graceless fashion, says “this is the only information in this document that matters,” and begs the reader to look at it. Thus, it signals desperation and lack of confidence in your story and story telling ability.

Story telling is a key leadership skill. If you want a leadership role, don’t use this awkward device on your resume.

10 Reasons Why Hiring Authorities Dread Reading Your LinkedIn Profile

There’s no debate when it comes to which document hiring authorities turn to first when evaluating you on “paper.” The resume wins this debate. For the time being. But with 78% or more recruiters looking for talent on LinkedIn, the profile comes in at a strong runner up.

Like the resume, hiring authorities (recruiters, hiring managers, and HR) want to see accomplishments on your profile. Additionally, if you don’t have a LinkedIn presence, you might not be considered for the role.

One stat claims that nearly 40% of employers won’t consider a candidate if they aren’t on LinkedIn.

You’ll notice that your profile sections are arranged similarly to your resume sections. This is because recruiters prefer to read your profile in the same order they read a resume. Still, your LinkedIn profile is different; it’s more dynamic than your resume. This is not lost on hiring authorities.

Following are 10 reason why hiring authorities dread reading your profile

1. They can’t find you

This is the most obvious reason why hiring authorities dread reading your LinkedIn profile. After reading your resume, they can’t find you on LinkedIn. You are lost in a sea of other job seekers. The most likely reason, you don’t have the keywords by which hiring authorities are searching to fill a role.

Many hiring authorities use the Search field to find talent because they don’t have access to LinkedIn Recruiter, which allows them to search for possible job candidates based on skills and other criteria. Without the expensive Recruiter package, they are left with entering your title and areas of expertise in Search.

2. It’s your resume

This is my number one gripe when it comes to LinkedIn profiles, and I’m sure hiring authorities feel the same. I’m 100% on the mark when I see a profile that is a copy and paste of a client’s resume. The give away is that there’s no subject in the sentences, e.g., “I,” “My,” “We,” etc.

It’s fine when you’re crafting your profile to copy your resume to your new profile, but from there you need to take it further and personalize it. A personalized resume, if you will. Hiring authorities want to see something different from your resume. After all, your resume most likely led them to you.

Erica Reckamp says it nicely: Oh, the drudgery of reading something you already read. Mix it up! the phrasing should be completely different. Shift to a friendly voice and convert those accs from months to years or $ to %s to keep it fresh!

3. Your photo is of poor quality

I know some of you are concerned about ageism and are hesitant to post your photo on your profile for fear that you’ll be passed on. Here’s the thing: if you are passed on by a hiring authority, you’ll never be the wiser. Whereas, if you are contacted by them, this means your age is not an issue.

Therefore, your photo is a must. Without one you are not memorable, trusted, or liked. What’s important is that your profile photo is of high quality and recent. Have someone who has a good camera—today’s phone cameras will suffice—take your photo.

Hint: Don’t post a photo with you and other people in it. Also, don’t use a selfie.

4. Your Headline is your job title and company

I wrote an article on writing a powerful Headline in which 15 LinkedIn pros participated. To a person, they all agree that simply leaving only your title and company name in your Headline is bad taste. The only thing worse than just listing your title and company is writing, “Seeking next opportunity,” or “Open to next opportunity.”

Hint: Hiring authorities aren’t typing in Search: “seeking next opportunity.”

You should include in your Headline a desired title, areas of expertise, and if you like a tagline. The idea is to demonstrate value that you’ll deliver to an employer. Listing only your title and company does not accomplish this.

However, don’t confuse creativity with clarity. Calling yourself “Chief People Person” isn’t as clear as “Human Resources Specialist, Employee Relations, DEI” which is what hiring authorities will be searching for.

Another hint: If you were unfortunate to be named that by your company, make sure you have a common title in your headline.

5. You’re hiding your email address

This might not be your fault if you’re unaware that the default setting in your Contact Info is that only 1st degrees. But if you know you can change it to “Anyone on LinkedIn” but don’t, shame on you.

You must have your email available for hiring authorities to reach you. They won’t take the time to search for you by other means if they have to fill a position, trust me. You should also have your email listed in your About section. Read this article for more ways to be visible to hiring authorities.

6. There’s no bling in Featured

The Featured area is improved from days of old; it’s now a one-click process for links to websites, YouTube, documents, PowerPoint presentations, and audio. Before it was clunkier. Take advantage of your online portfolio.

Leaving this section barren fails to demonstrate the work you’ve accomplished. Display what’s most important to hiring authorities. If you’re a Business Developer, present a document on your biggest project to date. Have you been featured on a podcast as a Sales Leader? Lead with the podcast in which you were interviewed.

7. Your About section doesn’t tell your story

Hiring authorities don’t want a tomb describing the passion you developed for landscape architecture as a young child, but they want to see what drives you in your occupation, why you enjoy your trade.

Don’t forget to list some accomplishments in bullet format so their easier to read. Here’s an opportunity to show the value you’ll deliver to potential employers. For example:

  • Improved supply chain operation 90% over the course of 2 years by implementing Lean Six Sigma methodology, earning accolades the CEO.

Also don’t disregard the keywords by which you’ll be found. In an article, 16 pros talk bout creating a powerful About section, recruiter Ed Han writes:

As a recruiter, when I am finding talent via LinkedIn profiles, I conduct a search based on keywords. Keywords can appear anywhere in a LinkedIn profile, but it’s easiest and most natural for them to appear in either the member’s 220 character headline or the 3,000 character About section.

Another recruiter values a strong About section and wants to know where you’re going in your career:

Kristen Fife (she/her/hers:) You know what I care about? What you are looking for (About section), and what your career trajectory looks like – who do you work for, what is your title, and WHAT DO YOU ACTUALLY DO? I could care less about your photo or headline.

8. You don’t emphasize your accomplishments in Experience

Hiring authorities dread reading an Experience section that precludes a clear idea of what you did at your past positions. I get this. All to often I see job entries with the company name, title, and tenure at said position. That’s it. Tejal Wagadia writes in an article on how to write a powerful Experience section:

The experience section is the most important part of your LinkedIn profile. You can have the best Headline, About and Education sections, and recommendation; but if a recruiter or hiring manager can’t tell what you have done as work experience there is no point.

This is an area on your resume where you can’t be shy with the accomplishment statements. As I tell my clients, “Hit them over the head with the accomplishment. Ideally the job summary explains your overall responsibilities and the bullet statements are all accomplishments.

Here’s an example of a job summary followed by a bulleted accomplishment:

As the Director, Marketing Communications at ABC Company, I planned, developed and executed multi-channel marketing programs and performance-driven campaigns, using digital marketing principles and techniques to meet project and organization goals.

  • Grew marketing department to achieve an average of 34% growth two years running by developing and nurturing a digital marketing campaign from inception.

9. You don’t utilize description in Education

Oh what a waste. I see too many LinkedIn users who don’t utilize the space in their Education section. This area is an ideal place to talk about what you did while at university of high school. Did you start a Outward Bound club? Were you the editor of the school newspaper? Did work full time while earning a degree?

Hiring authorities don’t want to see what’s on your resume: Degree, Institution, Location, Year of Graduation (please don’t list the date you graduated.) Again, they probably saw this on your resume or will. Throw in some narrative to make your profile more exciting.

10. You leave your Volunteer section blank

Rarely do people list their volunteer experience on their resume. There’s usually no room and it’s not considered vital information. But if you think about your volunteer work, you either gave of your time to help a community of organization or to enhance your skills.

Both are great reasons to list your volunteer work. I tell my clients that employers love to know that you were/are a giver. Consider this scenario: you read before an interview that the hiring manager volunteers at the local soup kitchen. You also volunteer at your soup kitchen. If you can work this into the conversation during the interview, you’re golden.


One more, your Activities section is a wasteland

You have not shared a post, commented on what others have written, shared an article and written a synopsis. Essentially you joined LinkedIn to create a profile and connect with as many people as you could, which wasn’t many. “I’m not serious about being on LinkedIn,” is what you’re telling hiring authorities.


What others have to say on this topic

Wendy Schoen: Every recruiter and/or hiring manager reads your resume. That is still the name of the game. But increasingly, they want to turn to the LinkedIn profile in the hopes that it will shed more light into who and what the person behind the resume really is. But at the moment, they dread doing that because what they find is a bare, unattended profile.

Bernadette Pawlik: Some things people don’t like to think about they should, and this is going to sound very blunt–we are always in transition. We may not be fired or downsized, but we might outgrow our jobs, our wonderful boss might leave, our spouse moves the whole family to a new state. There is “job search” and there is “career management”..we all want to put the “job search” behind us…but if we are active career managers we are taking control of our careers, instead of letting life happen to us and derailing them.

Karen Tisdell: I have a story for you. I ran two LinkedIn webinars early 2020. Of all the people who attended one of them saw the massive potential I was advocating for to build relationships with partnering businesses and clients and became an avid user, hugely growing her network with the right people and producing 1-2 pieces of meaningful content a week consistently. (Many others did the same but tapered off after a month or so.) Fast forward nine months and the business sadly wasn’t doing well because of covid, supply issues and market sentiment. Many people were made redundant. The LinkedIn superuser was explicitly told her job was safe because her network and links with industry had become a valuable asset to the company.

We’d like to think people are employed and retained for their skills, but a closer look at many job adverts will reveal that it’s the relationships we bring to the organisation, and the relationships we have internally that can make a huge difference. In an environment where, here in Australia, travel is restricted and there are few face-to-face meetings, LinkedIn is an amazing tool to find and deepen relationships!

Hannah Morgan: I’ve known people who use LinkedIn to learn!
– Courses (learning and networking)
– Asking for recommendations for new software or service providers
– Problem solving (asking for help solving a problem)
– Giving a shout-out or congrats to people in your network
– Meet people in your profession
There is some overlap with what you’ve listed but wanted to be more specific. Great reasons to make LinkedIn a lifetime career habit!

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels.com

Don’t hide from hiring authorities: 4 areas to list your email address on your LinkedIn profile

This article is based on a poll I conducted yesterday. Some of the excellent comments are at the end of the article.

Many of my clients don’t give enough thought to helping hiring authorities find them on LinkedIn. What I mean by this is that they don’t list their contact info on their profile. Essentially, they’re hiding from the very people who could be instrumental in them landing a job.

Hiding

Perhaps the word “hiding” is too strong. Hiring authorities (recruiters, hiring managers, HR) could use Inmail to contact them through LinkedIn, but that takes additional time. Further, some candidates don’t check their LinkedIn account on a regular basis.

If you’re in the hunt for employment, at the very least list your email address on your profile. Even better would be to include your phone number, as it would speed up the process. List your cell, not your landline. This is because hiring authorities frequently text job candidates.

The bottom line is that hiring authorities don’t have time to look around for your contact information.

Picture this: a recruiter needs to fill a software engineer position and she comes across your profile. You’re a slam dunk, but she can’t find any contact info. No email address. No phone number. Nothing. She’s on to the next candidate.

Reasons why job seekers don’t list their contact info

Here are some reasons my clients have given me for not including their contact information on their profile.

It never occurred to them

I understand LinkedIn is new to you. You’re trying to craft the best profile you can. Every ounce of your energy has gone into writing the content of your profile. But you didn’t considered how important it is to let hiring authorities find you easily. Now you know.

They don’t want spam

One of my clients told me he’s tired of getting emails for insurance sales positions. To this, I told him I felt sorry that he was receiving unwanted emails. I followed by telling him it was better than not getting any emails at all. It only takes the right contact.

Further, I told him that if he doesn’t want emails for sales position, remove any hint of sales he has on his profile. Hiring authorities looking for candidates for insurance sales positions will search for “sales” when doing their search. My client saw it my way.

They don’t know where and how to list your contact info

In my LinkedIn Unleashed webinar, the majority of my attendees don’t know where and how they should list their contact info. This leads me to the next part of this article.

Where to list your contact info on your profile

The answer to where you list your contact info is anywhere you can. There are four obvious places to list your contact info in order of least to most important.

4. Experience

You may be wondering where you could insert your contact info in the Experience section of your profile. One obvious reason for doing this is if you have a side hustle while your looking for work—or even while you’re working—and you want people to contact you.

Serious entrepreneurs will also include their telephone number. If you’re not squeamish about receiving phone calls from strangers at all times of the day, include your phone number. However, I respect people who want to communicate by email alone.

3. Headline

This is my third choice of where to list your contact info, because I prefer to see people sell themselves with keywords or a sharp branding statement. Remember that you only have 220 characters with which to work. However, this will certainly grab the attention of a recruiter.

2. Contact Info section

You might think this would be the best place to list your contact info, but I’ve found that few people even know about this gem of a place to list their contact and other info. It goes to reason that some hiring authorities don’t know about it, as well.

Below is where your Contact info resides on your profile.

LinkedIn provides fields for your phone number and email address. Smart job seekers will fill in both. It also provides a field for your address. Take this to mean an additional email address, not your home address.

Bellow is my expanded Contact Info. You should fill out the boxed-out fields.

See contact info

Note: You can show your email address to 1) Only visible to me, 2) 1st degree connections, 3) 1st and 2nd degree connections, and 4) everyone on LinkedIn (highly suggested). You set this up in Settings and Privacy under Who can see your email address.

1. About

This is the the best place to list your contact info. My connection, Sarah Johnston—a former recruiter and now a successful job coach—advises job seekers to include their contact info in the About of their profile. She also says job seekers should include their telephone number.

Watch Sarah’s excellent video on the topic of listing contact info on your profile.

To make the ultimate impact, list your info on the first line of your About. Keep in mind that LinkedIn only shows the first three lines of this section. When placed there, your contact info won’t go missed.

A former client of mine and now a salesperson, follows this rule of thought with her About. She really wants to be found and writes:

To reach me: (email address) and (phone numbers). As a lifelong athlete I have learned to be competitive within myself. This is the reason I have succeeded in my sales career. Like my fitness training I persist and never give up. Relentless and persistent until I land the sale.


What other LinkedIn authorities have to say about listing your email address on your profile (in order of commenting)

Wendy Schoen: As a recruiter I find it very difficult to reach candidates sometimes. You MUST have either a personal email or cell phone number in your contact information at all times.

AND this is not just for #jobsearch. EVEN for #businessdevelopment purposes, you need to do this. REMEMBER, people use TEXT messaging ALL the time and you need to know someone’s personal phone number to do that!!!

HOWEVER< I do not think that your email address belongs in your headline. You have too much other information that you want to include there. Of course, I am not one to talk as my contact information is in my banner!

Angela Watts: I must concur with Ed Han and Erica Reckamp about spam concerns. Those stinkers find my contact details even though I only list them in my Contact Info section.

As a recruiter, I tend to reach out to candidates via LinkedIn messages first (if I’ve found them on the platform). I’ve found that my emails often land in spam/junk mail so it tends to be safer to go through messaging. Once we’ve connected and I’m continuing the conversation, however, I do search for their email address on their LI profile. I’ve also looked for this info here when reaching out to colleagues.

Kevin D. Turner: I’m all in on 1, 2, & 4 Bob plus in my Custom [Background photo].
To keep my contact out of the hands of automation scrappers I parse my email as Kevin @ TNTBrandStregist.com (allows a person to copy it, paste it, and remove the spaces) and I set my phone number uniquely as +1-214-724-9111 (which is a math equation not a phone number formatting).

A data scrapping SPAMBot will not see either email or phone number, nor collect it for SPAMMING purposes, and yet a person visiting my profile knows immediately how to get in touch with me. Of course in a graphic you don’t have to takes these precautions because an image is not scrapable anyway.

It’s great to be contactable and SPAM Scrape proof too.
BONUS: Since I require an email address for someone to send me an invite, this tactical technique filters out those who don’t even read my profile..
#KeepRockingLinkedIn!
Kevin D. Turner @ TNT Brand Strategist LLC

Loren Greiff concurs, the price for characters in the headlines is too precious to give up for me BUT have contact area covered, business page and added call to action with email in the FEATURED SECTION!! This could be some fertile ground!

Sonal Bahl states that [Experience] and [Headline] are a bit much, especially the Headline, as it’s precious real estate. About and Contact, for sure. ALSO: the setting should be on which allows ANYONE to see your email address, not just first degree connections.

Ed Han:Technically, you could also include it in posts and articles, making it possible for the highly-motivated/very lucky. This is something that I have done when posting about a position for which I am hiring.

I realize that I erred in my response: I do have mine in the Contact Info. But I don’t make it visible in the other profile elements, as I get quite enough email and there’s a lot of web scraping off LinkedIn.

Adrienne Tom It’s amazing how many profiles I visit that don’t have contact info listed anywhere! Perhaps people are wary of spam?

I see a profile as just a starting point. You want to encourage engagement and follow-up — keeping conversations and opportunities moving forward. Inmails may be limited for some, so email is a great alternative.

Susan P. Joyce: This is SO important! The email address MUST be public (About). My advice: set up and use a permanent NON-WORK email address, your “professional email address.”

Make the address one that will work for you regardless of who you work for, where you live, OR who provides your home internet service:

🔹 Buy your own name as a domain name (annual fee), and then set up the email account using that domain name. Most of the domain registrars, like GoDaddy, provide email service for a low monthly fee. You do not need to build a website, but you can build one if you want to, someday.

🔹 If you attended a college (often, even if you didn’t graduate), the school probably offers an email service like you@alumni.school.edu. This can be great personal marketing, too.

🔹 Set up a Gmail account (NOT Yahoo or AOL).

❌ DO NOT ADD YOUR BIRTH YEAR TO YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS! ❌
If you must add a number, use your area code or other number that doesn’t look like your birth year.

You can usually forward all messages from the above email accounts to your personal (not work!) email account. Remember, your employer will not be thrilled to learn that a recruiter has emailed you.
Respond from the professional account or the message might not be seen or read.

Karen Tisdell: I think it insane that people don’t list their contact details, hugely missed opportunity because in a time-poor world we want, and are accustomed to, immediacy. To not have contact details in a few places to put up a massive barrier because we are all so distractable. It is like having lots of products on display in your shop window, but no online purchase facility. We may want to do business with you, but not want to connect or book in for a chat via Calendly… An email address opens opportunities!

Brad W. Minton: I think it boils down to context. If I’m a job seeker, I’m putting it everywhere because I don’t want to miss a chance to be contacted. I think for recruiters or coaches the contact or about sections are adequate simply because they do run into the spam issue more often!

Loribeth Pierson: I would say no to the headline Bob McIntosh. I know a lot of people miss out on opportunities when they omit the email address. If you’re looking for a job, make it easy to reach you. You can even get a free google number and list that instead of your personal cell number.

Shelley Piedmont: I have it in #4, #2, and #1. The headline seems a bit much for me, but I can see how it makes people so easy to contact. I once was on a webinar where the topic was how to source candidates. Many recruiters do not have the paid sourcing products offered by LinkedIn. For them, having your contact information easily accessible on your profile is invaluable.

Virginia Franco: I’m all about one-stop shopping — which means making it as easy as possible for a decision-maker to get in touch with you when they visit your profile.

If someone owns their own business, I’ll include the info in About, Experience and Contact section. If they work for a company, usually just the About and Contact section. I’ve hesitated with including in the headline because I want to maximize keyword searchability.

Laura Smith-Proulx: I’m so glad you brought this up, Bob. It’s amazing to see people who would otherwise welcome a new connection or job inquiry – but who never list ANY contact information on their Profiles. I insert email addresses into my clients’ LinkedIn Profiles and recommend adding it in the Contact section. Why not make it easier for a recruiter to reach out or stay in touch?



15 LinkedIn pros talk about creating a powerful LinkedIn Headline

This is the final article of a three-part series that looks at the most important sections of the LinkedIn profile, the About, Experienced, and now the Headline. It’s debatable as to which is the most important of the three profile sections, but according to a poll taken on LinkedIn, the Headline is the most important.

Now that you know the Headline is (theoretically) the most important section, you’re probably wondering how you can write a LinkedIn profile Headline that makes people take a second look and want to read the rest of your profile. Fifteen (15) LinkedIn pros go into detail on how to accomplish this.

One important element of a strong Headline is search optimization (SEO). One of the 15 pros goes into detail on how to optimize your Headline.

A common theme among the pros is not settling on your title as the Headline. Why should you? You’re more than what you do and where you work.

There’s the Good, Better, and Best kinds of Headline sections. Read how you can accomplish the “Best.”

Use emojis in your Headline? Heck yes; they add color and make it stand out.

And of course one of our pros comes up with an acronym. Find out what it is and what it stands for.

But don’t take my word for it. Read what all the pros have to say about writing a powerful Headline.


SEO for Effective LinkedIn Professional Headlines

Susan Joyce, Netability.com

Your LinkedIn professional Headline defines and brands you across the Internet. You are much more than a job title at your employer, the default.

FACT: The words you use in your Headline greatly impact your visibility when someone searches both LinkedIn and Google.

Know your most important keywords, and use those terms in your professional Headline:

  • Your job title is usually a very important keyword term.
    If your job title isn’t commonly used, add the more frequently used term (in the Experience section, too). So, a marketing manager who has the “Marketing Warrior” job title should include both terms in the Headline.
  • Add key terms that are important to people who might hire you or want to connect with you.
    Everyone who wants to work from home should terms like “Experienced Remote Worker” to their Headline, as appropriate. For example, an admin assistant working from home could use “Admin Assistant/Virtual Assistant.”
  • Include your most important skills and/or accomplishments.
    Check the job descriptions of the job you want next (with your target employers) and the profiles of your most successful competitors to see which terms are the most important.
  • Make the most important terms visible in the beginning of your Headline to have the best SEO impact.

Three key tips to remember about your Headline when someone is searching LinkedIn (not using LinkedIn Recruiter):

  1. Focus on keywords that will bring you the professional attention you want.
  2. Make the most important keywords visible near the beginning of your Headline.
  3. The keywords in shorter Headlines seem to rank higher in searches than those with the keywords near the end, so choose the words and the length of your Headline carefully for the most powerful SEO.

Do not make your Headline a list of keywords. Humans must find it interesting and appealing too.


Your Headline is like buying a house

Sonal Bahl, SuperChargeYourself.com

Imagine looking for a house.
You go to your favourite website.

Your specifications are:

House, 3 bedrooms, 120 m2 habitable area, 2 baths, near park and shops. Central location.

🏡

And you see the results.
How lovely.
Those pictures look inviting.

Some houses pop up, right on top of the list.
They match your requirements.
Your heart skips a beat.
Yippee.

Do you ever click on links without a picture?
Rarely.

Do you ever click on links without a description?
Nope.

It just says: House available. That’s it.

Nope, they don’t get clicked.

So, Dear Job Seekers,
Recruiters are looking for you.
You are the HOUSE.

I beg you. I BEG YOU.
PLEASE.

Stop writing ‘Actively seeking new roles’ in your LinkedIn Headline.
STOP!
🛑

Your Headline needs to help you to be FOUND.

Do this instead:
TSA.

TSA?
Going somewhere?
Ha, you wish.

TSA is
Titles Skills Accomplishment

Titles: What are they looking for? (Is it a house/apartment/studio?)

Skills: key skills/attributes you see repeatedly in job descriptions. (no. of bedrooms)

Accomplishment: I help you to find the house of your dreams

Example:
Project Manager | Agile & Scrum Methodology | B2B | 10 years experience managing complex, multi-stakeholder projects & saving organisations $300,000 annually.


Make every word count

Sarah Johnston, BriefcaseCoach.com

As many people probably know, the character limit for the Headline is 220.

I am personally a fan of making every (key)word count because your Headline is prime real estate. The words that you select for your profile should be exact words that a recruiter would use to search for someone with your skill set. 

When crafting LinkedIn Headlines for clients, I typically follow one of these formulas:

Formula: Role | Specific Industry Achievement | Fun Fact
Example: Senior Healthcare Executive | President & Chief Executive Officer | Turnaround and Multi-site Specialist  | Becker’s Healthcare CEO of the Year

Formula: Role | Industry/Expertise | Unique Value
Example: Chief Investment Officer | CIO | Legal Executive | Focused on strategic asset management of a $25B portfolio 

Formula: Role | Helping [type of company] do [result] | keyword 2 | keyword 3
Example: Chief Marketing Officer |  I increase revenue and product awareness through innovative brand and digital strategies | Retail and CPG 


You’re more than your title

Shelley Piedmont, ShelleyPiedmont.com

<Job Title> at <Employer>. That is what most people have as their Headline because LinkedIn makes it the default. But aren’t you more than a title? I hope so. Do you want your “personal brand” to be connected with one employer? Probably not. So, make sure you customize your Headline.

LinkedIn gives you 220 characters to tailor this most visible aspect of your profile to tell the reader about you. Think of all the places where your Headline is seen.

  • When you comment on a post
  • When you post content
  • In search results
  • In the People You May Know section
  • When you apply for a job on LinkedIn

That is a lot of places. Why should a person click on your profile or look at your content? Because you have hooked them in by having a compelling Headline.

So how do you get a reader’s attention? Tell the reader what they need to know about you. Interest the reader in you.

  • Tell them about your skill sets
  • Tell them your areas of expertise
  • Tell them what you have and can accomplish
  • Tell them how you help your target audience

Lastly, do not forget about keywords. Keywords will get the attention of your audience and help you come up in search results. To do this, make sure your Headline and other parts of your LinkedIn profile have the appropriate keywords that will be searched for by your intended audience.

If you are an Accountant whose practice focuses on tax issues, you should have “tax” somewhere in your Headline. If you are a Software Developer and have sought after programming languages, add them to your Headline.


Think branding, metrics, keywords

Nii Ato Bentsi-Enchill, AvenirCareers.com

Your Headline is often the first impression that people will have of you on LinkedIn. You can do better than just have it be a title and an employer.

You are not a default candidate, so don’t leave your LinkedIn profile Headline in the default setting, which is “Your Name at Current Employer.” This is the fastest way to blend into a page of search results. Instead, make yourself stand out by customizing your LinkedIn Headline. Not doing so is a missed opportunity to make a strong first impression

Forgoing customization means your Headline might currently read something like, “Sports Marketing Manager at Elevate Marketing.” This Headline barely makes a dent in the ~220-character allowance and fails to tell employers anything interesting and/or attractive about you to encourage them to engage.

I guide clients to include 3 key elements in their Headline to the extent it’s possible:

1) Branding

2) Metrics

3) Keywords.

Here’s an example:

Sports Marketing Manager curating creative touchpoints that inspire fans | Former Pr🏀  Athlete | Drove 30% revenue growth | Strategy | Digital Marketing | Business Development | Sponsorship | Experiential Events

This example is 210 characters long. When employers/recruiters are scrolling through search results for “Sports Marketing Manager,” the default Headline will not stand out, but this one will because it offers effective, attention-grabbing information.

This one also happens to feature an emoji, which can be helpful when used creatively. Your LinkedIn Headline is called a “Headline” for a reason. Just like a newspaper’s front page, make sure your headline sparks people to pick up this edition featuring your story.

“You are only as good as the good you do for others.”~Unknown


There’s Good, Better, and Best. Make your Headline “Best”

Loren Greiff, PortfolioRocket.com

You must take your LinkedIn Headline seriously. 

Because it’s crazy glued to everywhere you go on the platform. 

Anchoring your name. 

Appearing under all your comments on other’s posts

At the top of the DM strings. 

Headlines can be classified in three categories: 

Good: 

These are basic Headlines, reliant on your title, Creative Director

They’re uninspired but are good because your title (unless made up like Ninja) uses keywords that recruiters and other decision makers use to search for your function.  

Everyone and anyone can have a Headline like this. 

Better:  

Better Headlines combine  title with an ownable and benefit driven narrative

Precision Marketing & Media Lead, Nissan | Solving to Evolve Media & Marketing Organizations Prioritizing The 3Ps: People, Process, Product

Monetization mobilizer building, scaling & revitalizing revenue for everyday luxury brands | VP/GM, Global Data Strategy & Monetization at Condé Nast

Best: 

Does what better does AND adds in a little zinger: 

Founder + Creative Director | Sharpe Creative • I work with small and midsize companies who crave the impact of a big brand — together we are David, ready for Goliath 🤜💥🤛

🛵 Executive Creative Producer 🛵 Leading Large Scale Teams For Global Brands To Deliver Massive Impact.  🛵 On time. On Budget. No Ego.🛵

A few  final words on Headlines. 

They can take a little while to nail, and that’s normal. You’re going for right, not rushed. 

It should fit in tone and words to feel like you. 

Like other parts of your LinkedIn profile, your Headline should be refreshed from time to time in order to stay relevant and reflect your most current value. 

Don’t be afraid to get a little creative, even irreverent here. Every decision maker appreciates a candidate who has confidence and stands out. 

This is your first impression, make it the best one. 


5 steps to crafting the optimum Headline

Laura Smith-Proulx, AnExpertResume.com

A powerful branding element that describes who you are, what you deliver, and what you’re most proud of in your career, your Headline can entice other LinkedIn users to read further. Even better, it will attract traffic if you’ve added keywords that emphasize your most important skills.

Here are 5 steps to crafting the optimum Headline:

  1. Start with your career level or goal (SVP of Sales, Global Operations Executive, Contract Administrator, CIO, etc.). You can use more than one job title, but be sure it matches the positions you’d like to have.
  1. Next, add keywords matching what you WANT to do. In my case, Leadership Careers, Resume Writer, and Branding all help convey what I do for my target audience. Keywords should resemble your ideal job description. Important note: remove skills you’d rather not use in your next job. (I’m a former IT consultant, but you won’t find SQL or application development in my Headline.)
  1. Third, fold in a top career achievement. Maybe you’ve reached the #1 regional ranking in your industry, led digital transformations, or earned promotions at Fortune 500 companies. “Digital Payment Solutions Enabling 43% More Online Transactions” or “New Efficiencies From Robotics Process Automation” convey wins (and even include keywords).
  1. Then expand your Headline to use as many of your 220 available characters as possible. Longer Headlines have a better shot at incorporating a clear value proposition and the keywords integral to your findability as a candidate.
  1. Last of all, consider incorporating some bling with symbols in your Headline. A quick search on “symbols for LinkedIn Headlines” will return an array of interesting bullets you can use to separate key fields.

Set yourself a part from others, don’t commit #personalblanding

Kevin Turner, TNTBrandStrategist.com

Personal Blanding is the intentional or inadvertent act of demarketing or making oneself appear generic. Accepting any defaults on LinkedIn, especially the [Headline] of [Title] at [Company], are the most blatant forms of Personal Blanding. Personal Blanding won’t get you noticed while Personal Branding will!

Think of your [Headline] like a branding handshake. The up-to-240 spaces is like the time it takes to comfortably shake hands, introduce yourself, and maybe the deciding factor in your future.

Imagine you are on a two-story elevator with nine other people, just like you, going to an interview for the same opportunity. Right before the doors close, the CEO steps in. This decision-maker turns and says hello, introduces themself, and shakes each person’s hand, expecting the same.

This is not the time to falter, drone on, or try to regurgitate your resume. What can you say during this brief handshake time-frame that will set you apart from everyone else on that elevator? What can you say that is short, succinct, and will get you remembered?

That’s your Personal Branding [Headline].

#JustSayNoToPersonalBlanding!


💥 Make your Headline distinct with emojis 💥

Karen Tisdell, KarenTisdell.com

LinkedIn is highly visual, and it’s becoming harder and harder to cut through the
noise. If you want your LinkedIn profile Headline to capture attention you’ll need to do something many people still aren’t – use emojis.

You heard right. Emojis are a powerful tool on LinkedIn. They make your Headline
more visually memorable and can help you appear more friendly and approachable.

But don’t think that Emojis are all about conveying emotion, either. An emoji can be a bold shape, a conservative black dot, a brightly coloured symbol that stands out amongst the text and ensures your headline actually gets read.

Adding emojis to your LinkedIn profile and content is as easy as copying and
pasting. Depending on your operating platform, there are various keyboard
shortcuts you can use and emojipaedia.org will also enable you to find the right
emoji or symbol that suits your brand message.

The challenge being that often we don’t know what we want, until we see it…

My article HERE captures a wide spectrum of LinkedIn-friendly emojis, moving far
beyond a smiley emoji.


Don’t be invisible, stand out from the crowd

Ed Han, Job-Hunt.org

You know how sometimes you hear something and it gets stuck in your head. Like maybe the overture to Raiders of the Lost Ark? That’s pretty catchy: I don’t know anyone who couldn’t recognize it if they heard the first few notes.

Back on August 31, 1997, Fast Company published an article by  management consultant Tom Peters titled The Brand Called You. This article struck like a thunderbolt when published and remains just as powerful and relevant today, almost 24 years later. As Peters wrote:

Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.

Today we call it personal branding, a fairly common concept in career circles now but on the cusp of Q4 1997, it was revolutionary.

The 220 characters of your LinkedIn profile Headline are a stunning billboard to display your personal brand because everyplace your name goes on the platform, so go your profile photo and Headline. Everywhere, including search results.

And the best personal brands articulate a unique value proposition: what is it that someone brings to the table that they alone offer?

Unfortunately, when you create a LinkedIn profile, or when add a new job to your profile, LinkedIn “helpfully” suggests updating your Headline to match defaulting to [JOB TITLE] at [EMPLOYER].

Now imagine someone searching for what you do for a living. In the search results, they see literally hundreds or even thousands of search results, filled with firstname lastname [JOB TITLE] at [EMPLOYER].

So boring!

You have become invisible. My friend and fellow contributor Kevin D. Turner refers to this as personal blanding for good reason. There is a vast ocean of undifferentiated sameness in LinkedIn search results.

Stand out! The purpose of any branding statement is to make someone want to know more. That’s why it is essential that your Headline articulates your unique value proposition.

Give the reader a reason to want to know more. What motivates you to do what you do? Which of your traits would managers, reports, and colleagues consistently say were your top ones? And remember: it’s not bragging if it’s true.

You are more—far more—than the position you currently or last did. No job title can possibly contain the whole of what you bring to the table. So why constrain yourself?

You want to interest people. Craft your Headline accordingly. And when you do, front-load your highest impact content in the first 80ish characters, as over 50% of all LinkedIn traffic is via the app rather than desktop, and Headlines get truncated on the app.


Define your audience and write for them

Biron Clark, CareerSidekick.com

If you try to appeal to everyone with your LinkedIn Headlines, you’ll appeal to no one.

Take a moment to identify what type of person or employer you’re trying to connect with, and then think about which skills and qualifications you can put in your Headline to attract them.

For example, if 30% of your current role is sales-related and the rest is customer support, but you’re targeting phone sales jobs now, you could write this Headline:

Top-performing sales rep | 3 years of phone sales experience

(I have more Headline formulas/examples here.)

You shouldn’t go into your interviews and lie about the breakdown of your past job duties, but you should highlight what’s most relevant in your LinkedIn Headline to get that interview.

And there’s no rule that your LinkedIn Headline needs to be identical to your job title or even include it.

To gather ideas for keywords and skills to include in your Headline, look at a couple of job descriptions for the type of role you want. Notice the job titles and also the top skills listed.

The more you can demonstrate that you have some ability or overlap in those areas, the better, even if it’s from a different industry or slightly different type of job.


Use your Headline as the foundation of your About section

Bob McIntosh, ThingsCareerRelated.com

I tell my clients that their Headline can be the foundation of their About section and, for that matter, their Experience section. To stand by my word, I do this with my LinkedIn profile. This is how I started my profile, and this is how it stands now.

It makes sense if you think about it. If you want to brand yourself throughout your LinkedIn profile, you must be consistent. Every section of your profile should brand you, but there are no more obvious sections than your Headline and About.

There are a plethora of Headline and About section styles. Neither are better than the others; it’s a matter of preference, just as long as they fit your personal brand and deliver a strong message.

To illustrate what I’m talking about, I’ll show you my Headline which begins with a tagline and is followed by titles that I currently hold.

👊 I’m on the frontline fighting 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗚𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗙𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 for job seekers ◆ LinkedIn Trainer ◆ Career Coach ◆ Online Instructor ◆ Blogging Fanatic 🏆LinkedIn Top Voices 2019 #LinkedInUnleashed©

In my About section I should closely follow the title listed above with two-three lines describing how I live up to the areas of expertise.

I’m not entirely accurate in terms of order of placement, and instead of using nouns I use adjectives. My headers are: 𝗝𝗢𝗕-𝗦𝗘𝗔𝗥𝗖𝗛 𝗦𝗧𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗘𝗚𝗬, 𝗟𝗜𝗡𝗞𝗘𝗗𝗜𝗡 𝗧𝗥𝗔𝗜𝗡𝗜𝗡𝗚, and 𝗕𝗟𝗢𝗚𝗚𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗢𝗡: 𝗝𝗢𝗕 𝗦𝗘𝗔𝗥𝗖𝗛 | 𝗟𝗜𝗡𝗞𝗘𝗗𝗜𝗡.

Under 𝗝𝗢𝗕-𝗦𝗘𝗔𝗥𝗖𝗛 𝗦𝗧𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗘𝗚𝗬 I have the following two statements:

★ Recently I received an award for my part in delivering job-search webinars. 🏆

★ I consistently achieve “Excellent” ratings on webinar evaluations.

Why make writing your Headline and About complicated? Show your value by using a tagline and keywords by which to be found, and then structure your About section after your Headline. Value + Consistency = Strong Branding.


The “what,” “who,” and “why” of writing your Headline

Brad Minton, MintToBeCareer.com

The keys to a great Headline if you’re a job seeker center around how you define yourself professionally so that you can attract the right opportunities. This 220-character piece of real estate should help showcase your unique value and character to potential employers.

You want to say three things primarily. What you do, who you are and why you’re different.

1) What you do: Identify the roles that you want and incorporate the keywords and industry terms. Research job postings for positions of interest and use a Wordcloud to identify the most common words. This ensures that recruiters can find you through the power of search engine optimization.

Remember you can include several and separate them by vertical lines or bullets.  Ex: Career Development Specialist | Certified Coach | Resume Writer | Instructor | LGBTQIA+ & Career Consultant (Sandra Buatti-Ramos).  

2) Who you are: Showcase your authentic personality. This could be possibly incorporating your “why” or your personal mission. This is a great opportunity to get creative, use more subjective language and even emojis. Ex: I help executives (CXO), directors & managers level up, land a job faster & increase earning power! (Adrienne Tom).

3) Why you’re different. This component is critical to expand on how you’re more than just a job title. This is an opportunity to speak about your niche market, or perhaps a really high achievement that you’ve been able to accomplish. Ex:  “Acquiring 10,000 B2B Leads a Month” (Seun Oyediran).


Entice viewers with your Headline

Ana Lokotkova, CVLabs.ca

  1. Your profile Headline plays a crucial role when it comes to your visibility on LinkedIn for two reasons:
  2. It helps your profile pop up in relevant searches, meaning people can find you more easily, and

It has the power to grab attention and entice more profile views.

Imagine typing in a search on LinkedIn and seeing hundreds of profiles appear in the results. How would you differentiate among them? Which profile would you click on first, increasing the chance of engaging in a conversation with that person before you reach the rest?

Your Headline needs to set your profile apart from your direct competition. Instead of resorting to the default “Job Title at Company Name’, consider this an opportunity to make a first impression and tell a story in 220 characters or less.

A great way to do that is to turn your Headline into a short slogan that summarizes your core value proposition while also hitting some of the most relevant keywords used to describe your profession and level of expertise.

Compared to a plain job title, a slogan is so much more engaging and gets the message across instantly. You don’t need to be in sales or run your own business to write up your own branding slogan.

Here are a few examples for inspiration:

Digital Marketer | Merging social media and recruitment to connect people to the right role

Helping sales teams become more successful through social selling


Use S. O. A. P. to write your Headline

Adrienne Tom, CareerImpressions.ca

I like to say that strong LinkedIn Headlines apply the S.O.A.P formula:

Specific

Optimized

Authentic

Professional and personalized

Your Headline introduces you on LinkedIn. It follows you everywhere on the site. Often it is the only thing people see about you until your full profile is accessed.

Maximize Headline real estate to create a positive impression and help people better understand who you are and what you have to offer. 

Write your Headline with purpose and intent to get found for that next-level position or awesome job opening. Clean it up with a little S.O.A.P, working within the designated character limit, as demonstrated in these examples:

Sales Executive / VP, Entertainment. Evolved the customer experience in media advertising from transactional to collaborative, propelling sales and revenue growth >>> 500%+ revenue expansion in 4 Years

VP of Product Strategy: I delivered millions in new revenue for technology companies through customer experience and product initiatives. B2C | SaaS | Global Enterprise Software Solutions | Digital Marketing 

Oil & Gas Sales Manager | 110% YOY Sales Growth | $150M Territory | National Sales Teams of 40+ | Upstream and Midstream Oil & Gas

Controller: I influence decision-making and raise business profitability through the delivery of trusted financial intelligence. Accounting & Financial Leadership | Global & Fortune 500

The above Headlines are:

Specific. We know what type of role each professional holds or aspires to hold and the value they bring to business. Specific metrics and numbers help add scale, scope, and impact.

Optimized with industry keywords and terminology that recruiters could be searching for.

Authentic to each person and their offerings. Some even use first-person.

Professional and personalized, instilling confidence in the reader.

I share 3 additional ways to write your Headline for different audiences in this accompanying article.

 

 

 

 

 



13 LinkedIn pros talk about creating a powerful LinkedIn Experience section

The previous installment of the three most notable LinkedIn profile sections addressed the About section. This installment looks at what some, particularly recruiters, consider to be the most important section, Experience. If some of you protest Experience being the most important, don’t worry. The next installment will look at the Headline.

The ultimate theme of this compilation of sage advice is to show value in your Experience section. This goes without saying, but how you show it varies in method. For example, one pro advises to use bullets when sharing metrics.

Another pro advises you to make your Experience section more visual rather than simply listing all your duties; in other words, make it interesting to read.

Two recruiters weigh in, one emphatically stating that keywords, keywords, keywords in your Experience section are required to be found. Another explains how to lay out how to format your positions.

We can’t forget that personal “blanding” must be avoided at all costs warns one pro, while another one says, “Celebrate all you’ve accomplished, encountered and undergone with memorable high notes to keep readers glued.”

There’s much more, including thinking about your ABCs when writing your Experience section. More than one pro mentions keeping search engine optimization (SEO) in mind.

But I won’t sway your opinion as to which section is more important. Read what the pros have to say about Experience.

Make bulleted statements impactful

Biron Clark, CareerSidekick.com

Use bullets

Recruiters and hiring managers tend to skim through your LinkedIn Experience section before reading closely. They’re viewing many profiles each day and may not read each one fully.

So you’ll get more of your information seen and read if you present it in bullet format since bullets are a format designed to grab attention and make information readable quickly.

Use either a combination of short paragraphs and bullets, or just bullets, and your Experience section will stand out from the many job seekers using only large paragraphs.

Share results and metrics

When writing bullets in your Experience section, don’t just repeat the phrase, “Responsible for…” and share your basic duties. It’s much more interesting to employers if you can talk about what you achieved in past roles.

If you can show how you helped a past employer, they’ll be thinking, “Great, imagine what they can do for us if we hire them.”

Here’s an example:

Rather than saying, “Responsible for training and team development,” you’d say, “Led 3-5 training exercises per week, helping the team ___.”

Now, if this next employer needs that type of work done for them, you’ve painted a clear picture of exactly how you can step in and help. That type of writing will win you more interviews.

As a side note, it’s okay to break some grammatical rules in your bullets. When writing an essay, you’d spell out the numbers “3” and “5” above, but it’s okay to type them as numbers in your work experience bullets. Numbers stand out visually and are another powerful way to get the reader to stop and pay attention, and to set your LinkedIn Experience section apart from everyone else’s.

Show me the beef and personalize your Experience section

Bob McIntosh, ThingsCareerRelated.com

Stick with only the accomplishments and chuck the mundane duties is what I advise my clients to do. This is how you nail the Experience section.

Many recruiters will skip the LinkedIn profile About section and leap to Experience. This is similar to how they treat your resume; they go directly to Experience because—quite honestly—the resume Summary is often filled with fluff, whereas the content in Experience is more factual.

Speaking of being factual, I see too many C-level job seekers make the assumption that their visitors know what they did/do at their positions. They simply list the company name, their title, and months/years of experience. By doing this, they’re robbing readers, namely recruiters, of valuable information.

Here’s how it should be done from one of my former client’s job summary:

“As the Director, Marketing Communications at ABC Compnay, I planned, developed and executed multi-channel marketing programs and performance-driven campaigns, using digital marketing principles and techniques to meet project and organization goals.”

Notice how he used first-person point of view? Use first person point of view for your accomplishments, as well. Take, for example, an accomplishment statement from a resume

Volunteered to training  5 office staff on new database software. All team members were more productive, increasing the team’s output by 75%.”

The same statement on the LinkedIn profile sounds more personal:

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%.”

Recruiters are specific when they search for talent

Ed Han, Job-Hunt.org

Your LinkedIn profile certainly looks like a resume, doesn’t it? Both have Summary and Experience sections. But your LinkedIn profile is supposed to explain why someone might want to network with you. Industry, people in common, alma mater, and of course current or former employers.

These are all fertile ground in which to sow the seeds of your future network. Incidentally, if you are currently employed and interested in exploring alternative employment, you can tell the world, or just recruiters. 

What LinkedIn means by the “just recruiters” is recruiters using their premium LinkedIn Recruiter service, which truthfully, the majority of recruiters do not use. LinkedIn protects your privacy by not telling the recruiters who work for your current employer that you are open to work

Note: LinkedIn only knows to protect you if your profile links to the correct company page.

Speaking of which..recruiters are occasionally tasked with finding talent that does not exist within the organization. When that happens, we might be seeking someone with prior experience in a given industry. The pharmaceutical industry specifically is well-known for this.

Keywords, keywords, keywords

There are several places where keywords are weighted more heavily than other parts of your profile. One area where they are weighted pretty heavily is in the Experience section. When recruiters like me look for talent, we aren’t just looking for [JOB TITLE]: that produces way too many results. You need to get more specific–a lot more specific.

Let’s say I am seeking a PMP-certified project manager with experience with data center migrations. I will almost certainly look for the term PMP as well as “data center” and migration. Why bother with the job title? With a PMP the title is redundant.

If I am seeking a full-stack developer that’s nowhere near enough: I need to be searching on all four elements of the specific tech stack.

So get specific with the entries in your LinkedIn profile Experience: talk about the value you added, the things you accomplished. You don’t need to–and really shouldn’t–go into full-scale STAR story detail, but at least give the reader a sense of the things you achieved, processes used, and relevant technologies if appropriate.

Skip the mundane duties and grab their attention with visuals

Erin Kennedy, ProfessionalResumeServices.com

The Experience section on your LinkedIn profile, like your resume, is a blueprint of what you’ve done beginning with the most recent.  As with your resume, you need company names, job titles, and dates.

*It can easily be one of the most boring areas of your profile.*

The difference is, your LinkedIn profile, unlike your resume, isn’t geared for just one specific job. It is a more general overview of what you’ve done.

You don’t have to add everything from your resume. You don’t need to include the more mundane parts of your job.  Be strategic with your Experience section. Add what you enjoy the most about your role.

I am not a fan of adding every single task. I like to read/skim/read/skim through the profiles. If the experience section is content heavy, I lose interest. Use emoji bullets and arrows for visual appeal and to create focus areas within the role.

Keep in mind that LinkedIn’s algorithms are perusing through your profile targeting certain keywords. Make sure your experience section is keyword heavy.

It’s OK to add pronouns like “I, we, our, they” and, like the rest of your profile, should be written in a conversational and engaging first person tone.

A cool feature with the Experience section is you can add visuals—graphics, documents, videos, recommendation letters, PDFs, PowerPoints, and anything else that supports your role and experience at that job. So, you’re not only talking about it but you have visuals to back up your work.

Don’t ignore your Experience section! A well-written look into what you did at each role can mean the difference between gaining someone’s interest and not.

Make every word count

Karen Tisdell, KarenTisdell.com

The hard part: writing. Let’s break it down.

Title

In a few words, a title gives your profile visitors an idea of what you do, your expertise, and your career level. Business owners can get creative if they want, but job seekers should stick to the script. Use common or standard titles by, again, typing slowly and picking the default option. Your titles inform LinkedIn’s search function.

Body

Don’t copy and paste from your resume. Job seekers, I’m talking to you. You don’t want to give everything away. Give your profile visitors a taste of your value, tease your expertise. Use your Experience to highlight key points only, and not the key points that matter to you, but the key points that matter to your target audience.

You have 2,000 characters in total and it is best to use strong, active verbs. Keep sentences short and punchy. Conquer your reader’s attention. If you’ve written ‘key responsibilities,’ you’re not on the right track. Some active words to get you thinking include drove, collaborated, initiated, aligned, negotiated, established, and secured.

Don’t make sweeping heroic statements, but don’t undersell your awesomeness, especially if you’re a job seeker. You really don’t want to come across apologetic, indecisive, or unsure of your skills.

Use visual elements like emojis and Yaytext.com to break up big chunks of text – but use them sparingly. Less is more. Also, keep in mind that emojis and Yaytext (or Lingojam) can’t be read by people using reading options or by LinkedIn’s search function. If you’re a job seeker, don’t put emojis in your titles.

And one last note, especially for job seekers: Don’t disclose dollar amounts or sensitive information if it’s confidential or not widely known. 

Read Karen’s expanded article on the LinkedIn profile Experience section.

Avoid personal blanding by following these 6 tips

Kevin Turner, TNTBrandStrategist.com

The [Experience] section of your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t be a chronological dump of everything you have ever done, including everything that wouldn’t fit on a two-page resume. Leaving the [Description] portion of your Work [Experience] is one of the worst forms of Personal Blanding possible. 

🔘 Avoiding the ‘Responsible for’s and focus on a handful of bulleted, succinct accomplishments with proof metrics that solve business needs and moves you forward

🔘 Entering Title, Company, and Location slowly and accept the market value options in the dropdown box so that you ensure you are within LinkedIn dB Filters

🔘 Leaving the Employment type [-] blank or selecting anything less than [Full-time] will lower your profile rankings in search results

🔘 Unchecking the box [Update my headline] will keep you safe from accepting the Personal Blanding default [Title at Company] as you [Headline]

🔘 Adding Media by [Upload] or [Link] to external documents, photos, sites, videos, and presentations, is a Visual Reward in a sea of bland text (we process images 60K Faster than text)

🔘 Being aware of the [Share with network] toggle; [On] may share your updates, like a Press Release, with your network & [Off] makes your updates a little more noticeable

Don’t neglect your Experience section

Laura Smith-Proulx, AnExpertResume.com

Many users have neglected their LinkedIn Experience sections, filling in job titles and dates, but little else. If this sounds familiar, you’re wasting a HUGE opportunity to differentiate yourself and attract employer attention.

I recommend simple, yet powerful changes for your LinkedIn Experience section:

  • Add a bold opening statement to each of your job entries. This should be a short summary of your successes (such as “22% Profit Increase From New Sales Methods” or “Digital Strategies Enabling COVID-19 Remote Work”). You can further entice the reader with symbols or emojis in this line.
  • Describe what you enjoyed about this job, with a description of the projects, roles, and results you produced. These sentences don’t have to take up the entire 2,000 characters, but… (see the next point).
  • Make sure this text is keyword-packed and RELEVANT. Looking for a job in sales? Boost the sales-related content for each job. If you hated the job and there is little tie-in to your career goal, tone down the jargon and conserve your words.
  • Use plenty of white space to help readers navigate the great description and achievements you’ve written.
  • Add media for more color in your Experience section, clicking where it says you can link to documents, photos, sites, videos, or presentations. Maybe your employer published that big project on their News page, or you spoke at a conference. Feature these wins prominently.

If you’re unsure what to add, just start with your best shot at these steps. LinkedIn content isn’t carved in stone; you can change it tomorrow.

Keep them hooked

Loren Greiff, PortfolioRocket.com

Before you start taking the content from your resume and adding it directly into your Experience section. Step back, relax and recognize that the idea isn’t to cram it all in, you’re going to have to cherry pick the best of the best to portray the highlight your greatest hits.  

One way to do this is to get past the “ ✅ check the box” notion that your EXPERIENCE section is your resume online, and limited to nouns vs.verbs. 

Experience (n) practical contact with and observation of facts or events.

Experience (v) encounter or undergo (an event or occurrence).

Experience can be experiential. mitigating away from reporting  facts, metrics and responsibilities that risk putting those interested in you (and awake from your rocking Headline and About section) back to sleep. 

Keep them hooked with all eyes moving down your profile by: 

  • Choosing wisely which experiences to highlights and include ideally three to five tight ones making them easy to digest. 
  • Front load your biggest win within each role first, and with second biggest and so on. 
  • Mix up taking credit for what you’ve changed with what you’ve done. 
  • Embrace white space and formatting liberties with tasteful emojis and/or bullets. 
  • Include relevant attachments to make it easy for decision makers to find out more. 
  • Triple check your dates and explain any gaps unapologetically, sparing the TMI.

Celebrate all you’ve accomplished, encountered and undergone with memorable high notes to keep readers glued. 

Think ABC when you write your Experience section

Marie Zimenoff, CareerThoughLeaders.com

Although the About section may be first in a profile, there are a few reasons a recruiter or hiring manager will likely start with the Experience section when reading a profile.

First, hiring managers want to see if a candidate is qualified for the role before they take time to read an introduction like a cover letter or About section. Second, the Experience section titles are big, bold, and easy to skim – especially on mobile.

To maximize the LinkedIn Experience section to better connect with hiring managers, recruiters, potential customers, and beyond, follow the ABCs:

ATTRACT readers immediately with a strategic Title for each Experience entry. The Title field allows 100 characters – which most LinkedIn users seriously underutilize.

In addition to including an official title, add synonym titles recruiters might search and other targeted keywords. If there is space, consider adding a standout statement.

Example:

VP, Technology & Innovation ➡ Opened New Verticals & Grew Customer Businesses While Reviving $650M Operation

BEWITCH readers with a story that has an immediate hook. Make it clear right away that they are getting the same stories from the resume, with more detail, backstory, and intrigue.

This might be a challenge you faced at the company when you started, the details of your most relevant project.

Example:

Bringing disruptive technology to market isn’t easy. Businesses may not understand the value and want data that doesn’t exist before they’ll take a risk.

When I saw what the technical mastermind behind XYZ was doing, I knew it was valuable … and there was an opportunity for me to improve the value proposition so companies could see the value, too.

When you engage the reader in a story, it builds credibility and likeability while keeping their eyes on the profile longer.

CONVERT readers into connections or interviews by targeting stories – and especially the pains and challenges addressed – to align with the main concerns of the target audience.

When stories illustrate past experiences of delivering desired results, it creates an emotional connection – the feeling that they are understood and will get immediate value from taking the next step.

(Continued from Bewitch):

Together, we brought the first augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) content publishing solution (PaaS) to market.

My Role …

⤷ Creating the growth strategy with a competitive bid model to raise VC/private equity funds and scale market adoption.

⤷ Calling on my trusted relationships with business leaders to understand market need, improve positioning, and garner interest.

My Results …

➡ Secured proof of concept commitments from 5 Fortune 500 companies.

Putting time into writing an engaging LinkedIn Experience section will attract the reader, keep them reading the profile longer, and go beyond keywords to create an emotional connection that leads to action!

Have strong SEO and differentiate yourself from the rest

Shelley Piedmont, ShelleyPiedmont.com

Of all the sections of your LinkedIn profile, the Experience area is the most important one for recruiters and hiring managers. When I was a recruiter, I went straight to the Experience section to get a sense of the type of roles and employers. If I found that information of interest, I then would look at other areas of the profile.

Yet, this section is a lost opportunity for many LinkedIn users. Why? People only put a title, employer, and dates of employment.  Nothing else is there to explain the role or any accomplishments. Don’t be that person.

Two areas of focus should be Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and differentiating yourself from the competition.

SEO

People do searches based on specific criteria. Don’t you want your profile to show up high in the search results for those terms that showcase your expertise or interests? You need to have these search terms or keywords appear in your profile.

In the Experience section, you can add these terms both as part of your title or in the text. Here is a hint: Feel free to change your title from something uncommon, like Director of People Development to Director of Talent Management, if “Talent Management” is a common search term. Also, add important keywords to explain your responsibilities and accomplishments.

Differentiate Yourself

People want to see more than just a list of job duties in this section. Provide additional information about your job title or the work that you do/did. Don’t forget that you can also add media, so if you have work that you want to showcase, take advantage of the opportunity. Remember, always add information about how you have provided value to your employer. This will interest potential employers.

Think about the employers for whom you worked

Susan Joyce, Netability.com

LinkedIn gives you 2,000 characters to describe each job in the Experience section. Done well, this section will increase your visibility inside LinkedIn, strengthening your personal brand and making your best keywords visible while highlighting your professional accomplishments and demonstrating your ability to communicate effectively.

Be sure to include your accomplishments that are relevant, and research appropriate job descriptions to identify the best keywords.

Going back as far as 15 years, describe each employer (keywords!) and each job (keywords!):

  • As you type in the employer’s name, LinkedIn will offer you the names of employers who have LinkedIn Company pages. If available, choose the appropriate employer’s Company page inside LinkedIn, for your current and also your former employers.

    The Company page link makes it easy for people to learn more about your employer to gain insight into your skills and experience. Many recruiters search through a company’s list of employees looking for potential job candidates.
  • Briefly describe the employer as positively as possible, especially if not a well-known name or one which has disappeared. Describe the industry (keywords!), location (keywords!), and well-known products and services (keywords!).
  • Provide your job title(s) for that employer (keywords!). If your employer uses a unique or non-descriptive job titles, become a “slash person” to make the job clear (and to include relevant and appropriate keywords).

    For example, if your employer uses “Admin Wizard” as the job title for admin assistant jobs, become an “Admin Wizard/Admin Assistant” in LinkedIn.
  • If you worked remotely in a job, include that term plus the remote tools you used (keywords!)
  • If you had more than one job with the employer, describe each job separately, focused on the accomplishments relevant to your personal brand and future (keywords!).

Obviously, the Experience section offers members a wonderful opportunity to include appropriate keywords, making your profile more visible in LinkedIn and highlighting your relevant experience.

How recruiters read your Experience section

Tejal Wagadia

The experience section is the most important part of your LinkedIn profile. You can have the best Headline, About and Education sections, and recommendation; but if a recruiter or hiring manager can’t tell what you have done as work experience there is no point.

As a recruiter, here is what I look for:

1.     Your work history, company name, dates, title.

2.     Beyond it being chronological, you need to write down what you do and what you have accomplished. This is the perfect place to utilize “I” statements. It can be in whatever format you want. Paragraph or bullets but make sure to list it.

a.     Pro-tip: If you want to make it easier for the reader, I’d suggest starting with a summary under each company as a paragraph and then add your accomplishments and duties as bullets.

3.     If you have any publications or media links, you should absolutely list it here as it relates to specific jobs. Especially for creative people, your work specific examples on your portfolio will go here.

Whether you are looking for a job or not, your experience section should always be updated because you never know which recruiter or employer might look at it and reach out to you with a potential role that might be your dream job.

If you’ve held multiple jobs at the same organization and/or been promoted, you should update your LinkedIn accordingly to highlight that. LinkedIn has a great feature where they update your profile with the same company but highlight the different positions you’ve held. 

Pay attention to job titles and think before describing current projects

Virginia Franco, VirginiaFrancoResumes

When writing your LinkedIn Experience section, I advise job seekers to pay careful attention to:

Job Titles

The platform’s algorithm weighs the keywords it finds here. LinkedIn gives you 100 characters to play with – I say take advantage of them!

Here’s how:

If you are targeting a role in Medical Device Sales but your job title is “Account Executive,” consider expanding upon your title by using this as your job title to capitalize on keyword searchability:

Account Executive | Cardiology Medical Device Sales

Current Role

If currently employed, I don’t recommend sharing info about how you turned a team around or fixed a hot mess within your organization – as this can paint your current company (and your manager!) in a negative light.

It’s important to remember that you might still need to attract and maintain relationships with customers/vendors, etc. Your best bet at not burning bridges while job searching is to include some info about the company’s products/services/mission. In addition, include a paragraph about what you’ve been brought on to do.

Public/Private Information

Not every company is comfortable sharing revenue or market share figures – particularly if the company is private. If this is your situation, it’s OK to share your accomplishments, but take care not to share exact figures. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com