Tag Archives: resume experience

Why Your LinkedIn Profile Resembles a Combination Résumé

You probably know what chronological and functional résumés are. Now imagine the two documents joined together as one. What you have is a résumé that demonstrates your areas of expertise as well as your accomplishment-rich work experience.

Reading a Resume

A while ago I wrote an article on how your LinkedIn About section can be similar to a functional résumé. Now I’ll take the concept a little further by explaining how your About and Experience sections can resemble a combination résumé if done properly.

The About section as the résumé Summary and  functional area

You might have been told that the About section needs to tell a story, which it should. However, if you want to highlight your areas of expertise (the functional résumé), you need to make them blatantly clear.

Following is partial example of one of my client’s About section which closely resembles the functional piece of a combination résumé beginning with ► BUILDING TALENTED TEAMS.

New technologies have the power to transform a business, especially when brought to market in the form of new products and services. That is what I enjoy doing.

Advanced materials and processes can form the basis for a product portfolio that will generate repeat revenues for years to come – if a company is able to leverage those innovations. I have been fortunate to participate in several technology firms where we did exactly that. Here are a few keys to our success:

► BUILDING TALENTED TEAMS – of professionals who are leaders in their respective areas. Then, encouraging and rewarding them for their collective success.

► ENGINEERING CREATIVE SOLUTIONS – that solve the customer’s problem, but also create manufacturing differentiators that will lead to follow-on production.

► OPERATIONAL SKILL – to simplify designs, improve on-time delivery, reduce rework and enhance efficiency.

► BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCE – with more than 15 years of experience in technical sales and marketing of engineered solutions.

Differences between the About section and functional résumé area

1. Your LinkedIn About section is more than a Summary. There’s probably a good reason why LinkedIn went from calling this section Summary to About and most likely it’s because your About section can/should include elements of a typical résumé Summary and functional area.

2. No introductory paragraphs. Your résumé should not include the opening two paragraphs of your LinkedIn’s About section. There’s no need, or space, to explain the challenges of your industry, your passion, or a mission statement, etc.

Golden rules: résumé Summary is three or four lines at most, must grab the reader’s attention, and should include an accomplishment or two in order to show value.

3. Your résumé’s functional area won’t be as long.  The example above nearly reaches the 2,000 character limit. But the idea is the same. Under each area of expertise, you explain why they’re your strength in three or four lines.

The main reason why the About section is long is because your profile is a static document and therefore must cover more ground containing more information.

4. Tailor your resume’s functional area. Another difference is that your résumé will be tailored to each employer’s needs. Perhaps the employer is most interested in Team Building, Customer Relations, and Business Development. You simply highlight these areas on your résumé.


The Experience section as the chronological résumé

Now let’s see how my client’s Experience section clearly shows what he’s accomplished. (Again, this is a partial sample.)

A nice touch is how he breaks down his accomplishments by types, e.g., SALES GROWTH, PROFITABILITY, ON-TIME DELIVERY…

Led the transformation of this start-up, engineering research firm into a mature, product-based manufacturing business; sold the company; then helped to integrate it with a new parent company.

► SALES GROWTH – Increased product sales by 800%; now 87% of MSI’s total business.

► PROFITABILITY – Improved key production lines 30% by investing in Lean / Six Sigma / Kaizen initiatives.

► ON-TIME DELIVERY – Consistently achieved delivery commitments through tight-knit production teams, centralized reporting, targeted cross-training, and earned-value project tracking.

► HARVEST & DIVESTMENT – Marketed and sold the business. Leadership role in all stages of the sale process: selecting investment banker, identifying potential acquirers, preparing marketing materials, and communicating with prospective buyers.

► BUSINESS INTEGRATION – Successfully integrated MSI with new parent company. Retained customers while relocating and re-starting core manufacturing operations on the west coast.

Differences between the LinkedIn About section and Résumé Experience section

1. The value is clear. This position’s highlights clearly show value, as it is broken down into accomplishment types, e.g., SALES GROWTH, PROFITABILITY, ON-TIME DELIVERY…More so, the all-caps format makes it easy for the reader to see the accomplishment types my client delivers.

There really isn’t a distinguishable difference between the LinkedIn About section and résumé Experience section. Both should highlight accomplishments.

2. The length of my client’s Experience section for this job alone brings his combination résumé to two pages. He has two other roles as director of business development and principal engineer. In all, his combination résumé could be three-pages long, which is acceptable within a 10-15 work history.

3. The résumé Experience section must be tailored. It must be a reflection of what each individual employer requires. Your LinkedIn profile Experience section is static, like most other sections, so it has to cover a large swatch of value statements. Choose the ones that are of most importance to the employer.

If you need to revert from a chronological to a combination résumé, it would be a good move. Think about how your LinkedIn profile’s About and Experience sections are an example of how the combination résumé should be crafted.

Don’t neglect this part of your LinkedIn profile; the Experience section

Previously I wrote about the LinkedIn Summary section and how it should contribute to your branding. Today we’ll look at the experience section of the LinkedIn profile.

When asked which section of your résumé is most important, most people will say the work history. This section should clearly describe your duties in a brief job summary (paragraph format), followed by bullets that highlight your quantified accomplishments—how much you were able to increase profits, reduce costs, save time, enhance procedures, etc.

Your work history is the meat of your résumé. Some attest that the same holds true for your LinkedIn profile. I recently saw a poll that asked what people thought was the most important part of the LinkedIn profile, the title, summary, work history, or applications feature. A resounding number of people considered the work history section to be one of the most important sections. (The title was also favored highly.)

Let’s step back and consider the major differences between the résumé and the LinkedIn profile. The résumé must be tailored for a particular position. The LinkedIn profile is not.  (It is, however, inaccurate to call your LinkedIn profile a stagnant document because you will update it regularly with the update feature; however, the work history will generally remain the same.)

You have two options when creating your LinkedIn work history.

The first option is to keep it brief and list three or four accomplishments. Choose what you consider to be your top accomplishments at each position, and describe them with quantifiable results. Remember, numbers, dollars, and percentages speak loud and clear. This approach is similar to an accomplishment-based résumé.

Benefit: Your résumé will describe the duties you performed and, most importantly, the accomplishments you had at each company. You will not be repeating the same information that’s on your résumé. Think of the facts, just the facts. It will make the employers ask for more if they haven’t seen your résumé.

The second option is to pour your soul into your LinkedIn work history and present it as a complete profile of your work history. This means you will describe as many duties and accomplishments as possible.

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

The question you must ask yourself, “Will I better brand myself by only mentioning my most outstanding accomplishments in my LinkedIn work history, or should I dump the whole unadulterated story into it?” Further, at this point in your short career, can you substantiate a long work history that reveals all, or would a more poignant story draw an employer’s attention?

From an expert: Chris Perry, founder of CareerRocketeer.com and MBAHighway.com, summarizes the work history in his book, Linked up: The Ultimate LinkedIn Job Search Guide: “Include as much of your current and past work history as appropriate for your desired career path. Highlight your key accomplishments from each position and quantify as many as possible to enhance your value proposition. Also, optimize your descriptions with keywords and phrases.”

Note Chris’ mention of keywords and phrases. No matter which way you decide to present your work history, make certain there occupational-related words. The expert says you can use Indeed.com or other job boards to identify the keywords.

My opinion is to keep the work history brief and tell your story in the summary section. Does this mean the summary holds more weight, or is more important than the work history? Certainly not. It simply means that you are presenting a fine three-course meal, rather than an endless buffet.

I’m thinking of résumés I see which are comprised only of accomplishments—I call them accomplishment-based résumés. They effectively bait the employer to invite the jobseeker in for an interview, where questions about their duties can be asked. It’s up to you as to which way to go with your work history. No matter what you decide, make sure you have strong accomplishments to brand yourself.