The problem with public proclamations is that when you make them you have to practice what you preach, lest you be labeled a hypocrite. Case in point, I’ve stated that one should only share three to four posts a week. This means that if I’ve reached four posts by Wednesday, I’m shut off for the week. At least in my mind I am.
But, like a diet, this is probably a good thing—making public proclamations, that is. Otherwise I would be flooding my connections’ feeds with content that is forced and without merit. I mean, how does one think of content on a daily basis? Or twice a day, as I’ve seen?
I could be wrong. There are some LinkedIn members who hit the gridiron everyday and seem to be doing fine in terms of the impressions, reactions, and comments they receive for their posts. They believe that by posting everyday they’ll be seen more often and build their brand.
But here’s the question: how long can they maintain the routine? The old fable of the tortoise and the hare is apropos. Eventually you run out of steam and lose the ground you’ve gained. Following are some suggestions for posting.*
Don’t post too often
Seeing an overabundance of posting in my LinkedIn feed gave me the provocation to write this article. It appears that either LinkedIn is encouraging its members to post more often to attain more impressions, reactions, and comments; or people are hearing whispers in their ears to this effect.
I conducted a poll that asked “How many times should one post on LinkedIn?” the results were surprising. My suggestion of posting three to four times a week (26%) came in a long second to posting only one to two times a week (59%). Posting more than five times a week earned 16%, thus supporting my assertion.
Surely posting only once or twice a week isn’t serving your network who rely on your content. As well, you won’t appear on the platform often enough to be remembered and get those numbers of reactions, impressions, and comments you yearn for.
On the other hand, posting every day and more is definitely too much. It says to me that you don’t take at least one day the whole week. I worry for your health and sanity if you think you need to post this often. And, quite honestly, you come across as desperate if you’re posting this often.
Don’t share content that adds no value
Related to posting too often on LinkedIn is failing to provide value to your network. Value is defined as the monetary worth of something. In this sense, value refers to providing worth to your network. This is vague, but think of it this way: you provide an aha moment for everyone who reads, views, or hears your content.
Returning to posting too often, I strongly believe that if you’re sharing original posts more than four days a week, your content will start to lose the value you hope to deliver to your network. There is a water-down effect where your content is diluted and lacks impact.
On the flip-side to not posting enough is losing inertia for posting at least three or four times a week. This happens to the best of us. We ask the muse to speak to us but, alas, she doesn’t. In this case, it’s advised to take a breather rather than posting shite.
I’ve found that including my connections in the articles I post is one way to add value to my network. I call it letting them do the heavy lifting, and my network appreciates it. Doing this also gives my contributors visibility. There are those who don’t share the wealth—perhaps they feel it will affect their brand.
Don’t post and ghost
This is the definition of conceit; you share a post and don’t respond to LinkedIn members’ comments. Often I’ve seen people leave great comments to a long post, but the poster doesn’t respond to their thoughtful comments.
When you don’t respond to others comments, you kill the conversation immediately. Reciprocity is one of the pillars of proper networking. It’s akin to telling someone at a networking event about yourself and then walking away. Is this a way to have a conversation? Of course not.
I’m particularly intolerant of this behavior. When I see a post from someone who does this, I scroll on down my feed. And if someone like this tags me in a post, I don’t engage. I know that if I do, said person will not respond to my comments.
The solution to over-posting
My valued connection, Karen Tisdell, said it nicely; she will comment nine times to every post she shares. This means if she shares a post every day, she will have to comment 63 times. I would never hold Karen to this, but I can tell you that she writes many more comments than posts.
Writing daily comments is really the solution to being top of mind on LinkedIn. It tells LinkedIn members that you’re more interested in continuing a conversation than posting for the sake of posting, or you value their comments and won’t ghost them.
*These suggestions are my humble opinions.
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It’s estimated that at least 60% of #LinkedIn members use the mobile app. Further, a poll I conducted on LinkedIn showed that 65% of the participants use the the app more than their computer (desktop or laptop).
Those who chose the the computer platform enjoy the ease of use; whereas those who chose the app cite convenience as their reason. Case in point: if I’m writing a long post, I’ll be at my computer. If I’m waiting for my daughter to get out of soccer practice, I’ll be on my LinkedIn app.
I’m going to dive into eight major LinkedIn features on both platforms and discuss how some of features differ between the mobile app and computer platform, so you can understand the advantages and disadvantages of using both.
There’s no better place to start than the home page. It isn’t very sexy on the app, but what do you expect from a device that’s approximately 6″x3″?
This is where you’ll usually land if you’re opening the app for the first time in the day. Otherwise you’ll land on whichever page was opened last. This is also where your (ideally) relevant conversation is streaming.
There are many features located on the home page that aren’t obvious to the average user. The features that are easy to find are: Home, My Network, Post, Notifications, and Jobs. In the past they were in a different order than the computer.
Rest assured that the mobile app contains many of the features the computer provides. It’s just a matter of finding said features. One thing that is hard to get used to, at least for me, is locating the Messaging icon on the App. It’s at the top right-hand corner.
The computer platform lays out the features like a landscape canvas (image below). The icons (Home, My Network, Jobs, Messaging, and Notifications) are listed at the top of every page. Groups is conveniently hidden in the Work drop-down. Note how they’re listed in different order on the computer.
Some nice information at your fingertips on the computer platform on the left-hand side are your photo, complete Headline, Who Viewed Your Profile (within the past 90 days if you have premium) Views of your posts, and Your Groups, Recent Hashtags, and others. To access this information on the App, tap on your photo.
This feature is extremely powerful. With it you can search for—in this order—People, Posts, Jobs, Companies, Groups, Schools, Events, Courses, and Services. You’ll have to swipe left to find Schools, Courses, Events, and Services.
Every feature you find on the computer (image below) is available on the App, save for All Filters, which we’ll get to shortly.
Doing a search. If you’re searching on the App for people, simply type in an occupation like “program manager” and you’ll have the option to continue your search for the occupation in People, Services, Jobs, Posts, Courses, Schools, Events, Groups, and Companies. Why LinkedIn lists the items in a different order beats me.
Note: Services is a new feature for people who are offering services in various categories. If you select it, you’ll get a drop-down that shows categories like: Consulting, Coaching & Mentoring, Marketing, Operations, Business Consulting. You can also select Add a Service and you’ll get a drop-down of a plethora of services like Financial Analysis, Accounting, Advertising….
Using Search on the App is not as easy to navigate as it is using the computer, but you can find almost all you need with Search.
Filter people by or All filters
This is a powerful feature within Search. If you select People as your search preference, you’ll see a symbol you’ve probably never seen before. It resembles three nob and tubing wires (boxed out on top left of screenshot above).
Not as powerful as the desktop version, it still allows you to narrow your search by: Connections degree, Connections of, Locations, Current company, Past company,School, Industry, Profile language, and Open to.
The computer version provides more features than the app, and Filter people by is way more friendly on your computer than your phone. There are a couple of more options to find people with the computer platform, which include Service categories, and Keywords.
3. Share a post
To start a post, you might have to look hard to find it. In image at the very top, the icon resembles a white cross in a grey box. Clicking on the icon gives you the option to Write a long post of about 1,200 characters but as I said above, writing it with the app can be difficult.
Other features that come with starting a post are: Add a photo, Take a video, Celebrate an occasion, Add a document, Share that you’re hiring, Find an expert, and Create a poll. The app separates itself from the computer with the Take a video feature. It’s not possible to do on the computer but easily done with the app.
Somewhat related to Start a post is a new feature that hasn’t rolled out for everyone. It’s called Cover Storyand allows you to record a 30-second elevator pitch. At this writing I haven’t recorded my elevator pitch, but I’ve seen some very good ones.
The computer platform doesn’t allow you to take a video, rather you have to upload it to your hard drive. With your app, you can create a video straight from it.
However, the computer platform allows you to write and revise a Newsletter and create a LinkedIn Live video. It’s a bummer if you only have your phone and want to do any of the aforementioned.
The most noticeable difference between the mobile app and the desktop for Messaging is that the app’s version is truncated (to left). Only by clicking on your connection’s message can you read the stream of conversation.
On the desktop you can see the most recent messages you’ve had with a connection or someone with whom you’ve shared InMail. But this is expected, as the desktop has a larger surface.
Both the mobile app and the desktop allow you to search by Unread, My Connections, InMail, Archived, and Spam, albeit in a different order. (Are you getting the sense that the desktop platform is becoming more like the mobile app?)
With both mobile app and the desktop, you can respond to InMails by choosing some buttons, such as Interested, Maybe later, No thanks and other intuitive short responses. Obviously LinkedIn considers this lazy way of responding to be intuitive and clever. I will admit that that I’ve taken the shortcut.
If you’re looking for the My Network icon, it’s migrated from the top to the bottom of the screen. Clicking on the icon brings you to a the ability to Manage my network, which shows your number of connections. It’s interesting that my number of connections is different from my computer (4,705) and the app (4,046). I wonder which is correct?
Other tidbits of information are: People you follow, #Hashtags you follow, Companies you follow, and other minor details. You can also check out how many Invitations and Sent invites that are pending.
Note: If you want to locate someone by occupation and other demographics, you can use All filters.
Also important to keep in mind is that LinkedIn will suggest people you know (to right). Don’t simply hit Connect, as the invite will be sent without giving you the opportunity to personalize it. Contrary to what many people believe, you can send a personal invite from the App. I’ve made the mistake of sending an invite sans personal invite. The secret, go to the recipient’s full profile on the App.
This feature allows you to see what your connections have been doing:
Who’s mentioned you in a post
Liked your post, liked a post that mentions you
Is starting a new position
Commented on (someone’s ) post
The differences between this feature on the app and desktop are negligible and hardly worth mentioning. However, there is one major difference: the desktop seems to lag behind the mobile app. In other words, the streaming is slower on the desktop than the app.
Like the desktop, you have to use the Search to access your desired companies. The most important reason to use Companies is to locate people who work for your target companies, which is a bit more cumbersome with the mobile app than the desktop.
To do this you must type the company name into Search and choose People, and then use the Filter tool (boxed out on the image to the right). You can filter by:
Past companies (not shown)
Industries (not shown)
Schools (not shown)
The only benefit the desktop version offers is the ability to search by Keyword. The other filters are superfluous. Such as Profile language and Nonprofit interests.
In my opinion, this is the most important feature LinkedIn provides, whether on the desktop or mobile app. This is where real online networking happens. In fact, I written an article on the Companies feature.
You can search for jobs using Search just as easy as clicking on the icon. You avoid a step by using Search.
The Search feature allows you to find jobs, say in Accounting, and then narrowing them down to Location (allow your device to identify your location, if you like), and if you want to take it further, filter by:
Determine how many miles you are willing to travel
Only show jobs with which you can apply Easy Apply
When you’ve chosen a job to investigate, you’ll notice—because of the limited surface—the mobile app is not as robust as the desktop version. Some similarities are:
Number of first degree connections
Number of alumni
The person who posted the job
Jobs people also viewed
When you open the LinkedIn app on your smart phone, you’ll see the power, albeit limited, it has to offer. You’ll also see that the desktop version closely resembles the mobile app. If I were to choose between the two, it would be a difficult choice. However, the prospect of opening up the laptop 10 times a day isn’t very appealing.
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You have valuable content to share—be it long posts, articles, videos, or audios—but it’s not being seen and appreciated by your audience. You conclude that your efforts are being wasted. They are if all you’re doing is flooding your connections’ feeds with your content.
One viable form of content not listed in the paragraph above is comments written in response to other LinkedIn members’ posts. While you might be posting like a bandit, you’re losing half the battle if you’re not commenting on what other’s post.
First of all, what not to do
As mentioned above, don’t flood the platform with your content. This is intrusive and, quite honestly, comes across as desperate for attention. I was asked by Orlando Hanyes during an interview on Career Talks how often a person should share content on LinkedIn.
I thought for a moment and responded with, “Enough to not come across as obnoxious.” I continued to say that what’s more important is commenting on the content that members in your network post, because when it comes down to it, you’re really communicating with the LinkedIn community.
You’ve read and heard it said that simply reacting to what others post is not enough, and it’s not. I’m guilty of doing this on occasion, but it’s usually because I’ve received the same treatment from the people who are quick to hit “like” and move on to other posts. I need to be better than those who simply react.
How to properly comment
If you’re someone who needs to know the quantified length of words for a comment, I won’t provide it. The reason is because a one-word comment might be as effective as a 200-word comment. But this is very rarely the case. It’s been stated that a five-word comment is the minimum.
There’s nothing more annoying than someone writing, “Great post” and leaving it at that. This is a great opportunity to continue the conversation started by the poster. Also consider ending your comments with a question. I’ve seen a post take on a life of its own because of the comments it generated.
Let me give you an example, in its entirety, of a comment that shows effort on the commenter’s part. My valued connection, Wendy Schoen, wrote the following 200-word comment to one of my articles:
“Bob McIntosh This is, by far, the most complete and well thought out set of interview advice, including video interview advice, I have ever seen in my 30 years of recruiting. I will be sure that all of my candidates see it from this point forward...
“I would like to add an additional point to it however. Please remember that an interview is a two way conversation and that you want to make sure that at the conclusion of the interview the interviewers leave knowing all of the things about you that you wanted them to know.
“I suggest that you choose the 3-5 most important things and make sure that you work those things into an answer you give somewhere during the interview. If, however, you get to the end and there is one point you have yet to bring up, when the interviewer asks if you have any questions, you ask a question that starts a conversation that allow you to bring up your last point!”
Note: did you notice that Wendy tagged me? By doing this, I saw in my Notifications that she commented on my article. Make sure when you comment on someone’s content that you give them a heads-up. They’ll appreciate this.
Reciprocation is key to success
It might seem counterintuitive but in order to receive, you need to give. This is the essence of networking. It’s also good manners.
Here’s how it works: in the course of your search for content to consume, you happen upon three posts, two articles, and one video that are written by your connections. For each one, you write a substantial comment of anywhere between 20 to 30 words (again, an arbitrary number).
Comment within reason. Of course you can’t comment on everyone’s posts. That would require you to spend the majority of your day on LinkedIn. I have two rules when it comes to reciprocation.
Put a healthy limit on how much commenting you’ll do. Another one of my valued connections, Karen Tisdell, uses a 9:1 ration. In other words, she attempts to write nine comments to every post she produces. Karen also states that you can “suck the air” out of previous content by posting too often.
Write more in your comments than your connections do. I mentioned above that if someone only reacts to what I produce, I’ll do the same; but this is only if it’s a recurring theme.
Helping the poster helps you
There’s power in alignment with LinkedIn members who have sway; dare I say, are influencers. While this doesn’t help you immediately, eventually you will become known by the LinkedIn community.
If you want people to engage with your posts, you need to engage with them first. Remember reciprocation? I asked Kevin Turner, whom I consider to be extremely knowledgeable in all things LinkedIn, what he considers to be the benefits of commenting on LinkedIn:
“Commenting is definitely part of the overall platform math. Value add commenting (not drive-bys) on others’ posts is showing engagement within the community and [In] values that as part of your predictive [nature].
“If the Author is highly followed and respected, one of the biggest values for a commenter is alignment, basically riding their coat tails. If the Author, as described above, is outside of your 1st or 2nd level connections the biggest benefit may be reach. The other biggest value is in building a support reputation and perhaps some return reciprocity.
“Is Commenting as valued by [In] as Posting and Nurturing that conversation, absolutely not. I do believe many Creators push it because in its own sense, it is self serving. The more the Author convinces others that commenting is a big deal, the better their posts do.“
Although LinkedIn doesn’t count your comments in their algorithm (a four-step process including: creating content, user flagging, universal filtering, and finally human editing, any content that passes with flying colors will reach your feed), it reasons that the more you comment on “quality posts,” the more you’ll be noticed by top contributors.
Another valued connection of mine, Erica Reckamp, made it her mission to comment on as many posts as she could. I reached out to her one day and asked when she would start posting her own content, because what she wrote in form of comments was truly outstanding. Her response was something akin to, “In good time.” Now she is posting on a regular basis.
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Metrics in the form of numbers, percentages, and dollars give your resume’s and LinkedIn profile’s accomplish statements power and separate you from the fold. They cause readers to take note. They complete the story. They show proof.
Based on a poll I conducted on LinkedIn, 65% of voters said metrics on your job-search documents are important to have, 25% voted “No,” and 10% stated, “It depends.” The poll is still active with 1,334 people who have voted.
An accomplishment statement consists of an action (what you did) and a result (hopefully quantified with #s, $s, and %s). Simply providing a statement is devoid of a positive impact on the company, or an accomplishment.
Conversely, listing only the quantified positive result fails to explain to the reader how you were able to achieve the result. Some job candidates do half the job of writing an accomplishment statement by doing this.
Following is an example of a project manager who led a team of 6 software engineers to complete four major projects in one year. They were able to complete the projects before estimated time, thus saving the company cost on salary.
Duty Championed a team of 6 software engineers completing 4 projects in 2020.
Quantified result Saved the company $493,020 in projected salary.
You see that to only list the quantified result robs the reader of learning how the person achieved it. Following is the full accomplishment statement.
Saved the company $493,020 in projected salary by championing a team of 6 software engineers to complete 4 projects in 2020. The projected number of projects was 3.
An 18-wheel truck driver traverses the country on an annual basis. On their resume or LinkedIn profile, the candidate simply writes a duty: “Drove 18-wheel truck across the US.“
Not nearly as impressive as: “Traversed the US 200,000+ miles annually, accomplishing a perfect safety record and earning Top Driver out of 30 employees for fastest hauler.”
Better: “Earned top driver out of 30 employees for fasted hauler by traveling the US 200,000+ miles annually; achieved perfect safety record.“
We can assume this truck driver saved money for their employer based on being the fastest hauler, and saving money equals increasing revenue. Alas, these figures aren’t available to the driver.
Laura Smith-Proulx provides an accomplishment statement that contributed to her latest TORI win (Best Classic High Tech resume):
“Growth Imprint: Elevated Advantech to #2 market ranking by developing and deploying Demand Response product at global customers (now running 38%+ of all US electricity). Promoted offering at World AI IoT Congress.“
Biron Clark offers an accomplish statement for a customer service rep who improved a process in their role.
Saved business $29,000 in 2019 by implementing new customer service process that reduced customer refund requests by 9%
Saving costs and increasing revenue ain’t all that matters
What you’ve accomplished in your most recent experience isn’t only about saving costs or increasing revenue; although, that’s great. Companies and organizations appreciate these two accomplishments. But what if you don’t have the numbers for metrics?
“Coaching younger employees – can you quantify that? Maybe there’s less turnover or better performance, but the fact that you stick in their mind as the best boss ever, even 30 years later, and the one that inspired them to have a great career?
“So there’s other things you can’t put numbers around that really, really matter.”
I agree that it isn’t always possible to provide metrics in your accomplishment statements. One solution might be using a quote, as such:
“Shannon has brought innovative supply chain strategies to (company) which made us more efficient and save cost. Our customers were extremely pleased with Shannon’s attention to their needs.” Bob Jones, VP Operations, ABC Company
Or simply state your value to the company/organization.
Frequently acknowledge by manager for providing the best service to our patients; earned “Employee of the Year, 2020.
Nii Ato Bentsi-Enchill provides a great example of an accomplishment statement which doesn’t contain a quantified result:
“Designed ‘New Product Validation Program’ from scratch, enabling for the first time onsite initial quality verification to improve non-conforming parts prior to new vehicle launch, vastly reducing reliance on external labs.”
One person who wrote a comment for the poll I conducted said it nicely when it comes to quantifying results, or not:
Matt Warzel: Yes all resumes should have some focus on KPIs and bottom-line accomplishments. If you have sales, metrics, etc. use them! If not (or they have to remain confidential), turn your sentences in accomplishments still focused on operational impact, but without the figures. Streamlined efficiency, drove revenue gains, reduced waste, optimized workflow, saved money, etc…
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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 totrain 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%.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 lifelongathlete 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.
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 email@example.com. 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?
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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.
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):
Focus on keywords that will bring you the professional attention you want.
Make the most important keywords visible near the beginning of your Headline.
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.
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
<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.
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:
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”
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:
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.
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.)
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).
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.
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
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?
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.
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].
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.
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.
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
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).
Your profile Headline plays a crucial role when it comes to your visibility on LinkedIn for two reasons:
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
I like to say that strong LinkedIn Headlines apply the S.O.A.P formula:
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
When writing your LinkedIn Experience section, I advise job seekers to pay careful attention to:
The platform’s algorithm weighs the keywords it finds here. LinkedIn gives you 100 characters to play with – I say take advantage of them!
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
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.
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.
Spending as much time on LinkedIn as I do, I notice how often my network contributes. Some are consistent and strike an even balance, others do not. In this post, I’m going to address the six types of Linked contributors.
I’ve always asserted that there are three components of your LinkedIn success:
It’s the third component that can be as important as the other two, if not more. By engaging with your connections, it keeps you top of mind. I use the familiar cliche when I explain the importance of engagement by saying, “Out of sight, out of mind.”
Let’s take a look at the six types of LinkedIn contributors
Some of you might relate to this. You were an accountant until recently laid off. While you were working, one of your colleagues—maybe your colleague—said, “Hey, you should join LinkedIn. I hear it’s important to be on it.”
So you joined, not quite sure why, and let your profile sit. You accumulated 10 connections, because these were the 10 people you knew at work. You would get invitations, which sat in your My Network queue.
Now that you’re looking for work, you have no activity to speak of. In other words you’re nonexistent. You’re not getting any hits from recruiters, have no endorsements, not getting invites, don’t know how to share an update.
There’s a lot of work ahead for you.
2. Enough to be dangerous
If this is you, I want to say it’s almost worse than not contributing. You’re trying to do what you’ve been told by someone who was kind enough to give you advice. Perhaps your heart just isn’t into it.
Your profile is strong. There’s no problem here. In fact, you hired someone to write it for you. You were pumped when it was done. The person who wrote your profile mentioned numerous times that you have to 1) connect with ten quality connections a week and 2) engage with them.
The problem is that you are forgetting the last piece. You’re hoping that optimizing your profile with keywords will draw recruiters to you. However, optimizing your profile with keywords only works if you’re active and well connected.
You have potential, though.
3. Contribute too much
Someone managed to get it through your head that being a contributor on LinkedIn is crucial to being found. Your profile is strong and your network in good shape.
You’ve been contributing, which includes: sharing articles, mentioning industry trends, giving sage advice, asking questions, sharing news about your colleagues. All good stuff, but it’s gonna take awhile before your getting noticed like you want. So you overdue it.
I see you on LinkedIn contributing like a fiend. I see you six times a day. I won’t say your engagement reeks of desperation, but…. Here’s the thing, there is such thing as contributing too much.
It will take time to establish yourself, so be patient.
4. Addicted to LinkedIn
This is a bad thing, but you can’t help yourself. The worst thing you did was install the LinkedIn app on your phone. Just like people who are constantly checking their Instagram or Facebook accounts, you’re opening your LinkedIn app.
In fact, you’re posting updates and answering questions while you’re waiting for your son to get out of school, your wife to get off the train, during family gatherings. Yes, you’re concealing your phone underneath the table. You’re on LinkedIn every day, four hours a day.
I tell my LinkedIn workshop that at minimum they should be on LinkedIn four days a week. Their jaws drop. After pausing, I tell them that the optimum amount should be every day; yes, this includes Sunday. And I finish by telling them not to be like me.
Perhaps you should seek professional help.
5. Take too much or give too much
There are some people who just take and others who only give. Both attributes can be detrimental to your engagement. There are three major areas in which LinkedIn members take too much or give to much.
Recommendations: Takers will ask for recommendations but don’t think of returning the favor. When you look at the numbers of Received and Given, the numbers are extremely lopsided. It’s almost as bad to only give recommendations and not ask for them, as it looks like people don’t think highly enough about you.
Endorsements: Takers receive endorsements but don’t return the favor, whereas Givers will endorse their connections as soon as they connect. They’ll continue to click on others’ skills until the cows come home. But they won’t expect to be endorsed in return.
Long posts: Takers think that only their content matters in the eyes of their connections. They write multiple posts a week but don’t comment on what others write. Givers only comment on others’ content but don’t write their own. They are hesitant to write, thinking their expertise won’t be appreciated.
Not every LinkedIn user strikes an even balance. The next section talks about the takers, givers and the ones who share the wealth when it comes to engaging with the LinkedIn community.
6. Strike an equal balance
When I think about the people who strike an equal balance, I admire the humility my connections demonstrate when I’ve sent recommendations out of the blue to them. As well, my connections have sent me recommendations without my asking.
This is the way it should be. Will giving and graciously taking recommendations be 50/50? No, but the ones who strike an equal balance show a more balanced Received and Given ratio.
The same formula applies to endorsements. A golden rule of mine is that when someone endorses me, I send a quick personalized note thanking them for the endorsement/s and ask which skills they’d like to be endorsed for. This might shock the endorsers, but it only seems right to return the favor.
Another golden rule of mine applies to long posts. I believe in sharing long posts two or three times a week. When people comment on my posts, I do my best to interact with them. If they only react with a Like, Insightful, or Celebrate, that’s fine.
There are LinkedIn members who receive many comments on their posts because they comment on others’ posts. Their comments are sincere and fairly lengthy. Certain people come to mind because this is their policy.
Is striking an equal balance easy? No, it takes work. But the work you put in to strike an equal balance will be remembered by the people who truly matter.
The LinkedIn algorithm wants to see you participate in both manners. Comment on others’ posts and write your own.
Now that you’ve learned about the six types of LinkedIn contributors, which one are you? Are you barely on LinkedIn to the point where you shouldn’t bother or are you a LinkedIn addict like me. Or, do you strike a nice balance? I would love to hear your story, and I promise not to judge.
How could I judge?
If you want to learn more about LinkedIn, visit this compilation of LinkedIn posts.
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