(From the series “Do Just One Thing” dedicated to helping you complete and utilize your LinkedIn profile in just 5 minutes a day)
Your most recent job listing is very important. It shows prominently near the top of your profile. (*update 2022) Just two lines are visible before you have to click on “see more”. A little attention to the wording will pay off handsomely. It’s where people seeking your expertise will look first. LinkedIn’s algorithm looks for keywords here. Most importantly, you probably have a recent success story to tell.
Let’s get this update done now!
Keep it fairly short to convey your expertise quickly. Make sure your keywords are in the title, if possible, and definitely in the first sentence of your job description (one of the key areas in LinkedIn’s search algorithm)
You do not have to use the exact job title – you want people to know what you did there. My “payroll title” at the University was something like “Program Promotions Manager III”, but I used several titles over the years, including “Corporate Training Director,” which contained one of my keywords – training – as well as being descriptive of my job.
A client of mine is President and CTO of a successful company. We just added her area of expertise to describe what her company has expertise in, as well as including keywords: “President and CTO | Agile Strategies”
First person, please
Write two to three sentences in the first person – if you’ve followed my other advice and written your summary in the first person, adding your jobs is just the continuation of your story. So be consistent and write in the first person throughout.
2-3 bullet points
Your two to three sentences should be followed by two or three bullet points. LinkedIn doesn’t make it easy to type in special characters/symbols directly, but you can cut-and-paste (see my Do Just One Thing – Your Summary blog for examples of characters/symbols to use).
Show specific successes
This is your place to highlight a couple of deliverables to your previous (or current) employer – make the story compelling. Note: Sometimes you can’t use a company name or include some details due to confidentiality.
Here are examples from two of my clients:
1) Contributed to building the first firm, focusing on large-scale, enterprise lean/agile advisory transformation, and outsourcing to rework the entire end-to-end profit chain.
►Example engagement: Started agile transformation in the 1,400+ person IT group of a highly traditional, 17,000+ employee financial services company. Broke through “we’ve always done it this way” barriers to bring one of two inaugural teams to stand-alone capability in less than three months. Adapted agile beyond normal boundaries to vendor enterprise software implementation.
2) I led a team of five business analysts to elicit, document, architect, and manage the requirements. My team also taught UML communication diagrams and their use in software development to the project architect, designers, programmers, system analysts, and business stakeholders.
►I guided the client in dividing my program into multiple concurrent independent projects, thus enabling them to finish in a much shorter time period.
► I produced papers and research notes to support the work of the business requirements architect of the overall program.
Recommendations are quite different from endorsements. You should make a practice of asking for recommendations at each job you have over the years. The format of LinkedIn moves all recommendations to the bottom of your profile and you can only identify which job each belongs to by looking at the date. It will be noticeable if your last recommendation was 10 years ago so it’s still worth getting updated recommendations on a regular basis.
Putting it all together
- Title with keywords
- Brief description, including deliverables/success story
- Call to action and contact information, if appropriate
Note what works in the following examples:
Example 1 (currently employed at a company)
Oversee the account management team for one of company’s top three Global Partners. Serve as trusted advisor to the Corporate Account GM in developing and executing strategies for multi-billion $ account, and have added 2 other Global OEM partners to the portfolio. Establish and maintain relationships with OEM accounts, supervise account management team, and drive execution of PMO, NPI, business, and operations account initiatives as well as build internal, cross-functional relationships and collaborate with peers on process improvements. My recent successes include:
❖ Optimized relationships with major OEM accounts that generated *$300 million-plus in annual revenues for company. Took on 2 major OEM accounts in 2016 with zero additional staff during turmoil in the industry.
❖ Facilitated launch of 9 new products in 2016 including 3 first-to-market rollouts, representing hundreds of millions in revenue.
❖ Drove conversion of major account from hardware focus to launch of multiple leading-edge, standalone software networking products worldwide. Facilitated GTM plans to benefit both the account and company.
❖ Steered Account Management through large company split.
Example 2 (your own business)
I work with companies and individuals to create and use LinkedIn profiles that produce results. I have extensive experience facilitating and presenting to groups as well as working 1:1 with individuals.
YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE
► Create an authentic online presence
► Represent yourself and/or your company effectively to get the results you want
► Optimize your LinkedIn profile
► Use LinkedIn with confidence
► Create a strategy to use LinkedIn
♦ grow your online presence ♦ build your professional network ♦ show your thought leadership
★ LinkedIn coaching
★ LinkedIn profile makeover packages
★ LinkedIn profile optimization training for groups
★ Presentations to groups on using LinkedIn to represent their own or their company’s brand
★ Presentations to managers on the use of LinkedIn to position their company as an employer of choice and themselves as managers of choice
If you didn’t bother to write much in your current job description because it was the same as the previous job, go ahead and make sure all that information is in your current position as well. One of my clients had changed company names and, since the description was written already, she just had a reference to it in her current business description which was a wasted opportunity to showcase her business.
Same great firm…new name and look
I’ve seen the same thing with job seekers’ profiles and, once again, it’s a wasted opportunity to showcase your talents
Special circumstances (e.g. no job or a temporary job not at the level you will be applying for)
If you’re a student working as a server while in school and about to apply for internships or full-time employment, you might want to consider adding in your education as your current “job” to better represent yourself. If you’re unemployed, you could add in a “job” that describes what you can do.
Next, look at your previous positions
The same rules apply, but the descriptions should be shorter as you go back in time (10-15 years is usually the maximum recommended.) Note that the full descriptions don’t show unless you click on the “view more” statement. The key words in those descriptions will still play into the LinkedIn algorithm search and potential recruiters and hiring managers may look so don’t neglect those descriptions as unimportant.
*Note: The example includes a specific $ amount in the success story. It’s usually not considered appropriate to include specific $ amounts in your list of accomplishments on LinkedIn though it may be fine on your resume. There are many reasons for this. The example doesn’t reference a specific company so we did include the $ amount.
I would love to talk with you about the benefits to you of more effectively showcasing your professional expertise on LinkedIn and how I could help you with your professional goals. Please schedule a free 20-minute strategy consultation to see how I might be able to assist you.