Under your name is your Headline area. It is the first thing someone reads about you.
There is a difference of opinion regarding how the content of this section should be presented. Some advocate that it is an opportunity for you to write in the first person and show personality. Others contend that it should be written in the third-person narrative. The choice is yours; however, make your decision based on how it will be best perceived by a potential hiring executive for your level of position.
Your Summary section has a significant impact on optimizing your LinkedIn profile and will be discussed at length in the pages that follow.
What the Pros Say:
How do you approach or what strategy do you use when writing the Summary section to a LinkedIn profile? And, how does it differ from the Summary section of a resume?
I tell clients to think of their summary section as an open cover letter. You need to address what your target audience is looking for and have a call to action. You should never dump your resume summary into the summary section of LinkedIn. First off, your resume summary is likely pretty short. Second it’s not written in normal conversational language. Your summary on LinkedIn should be written in first person unless you are in a pretty traditional field like finance or are a high-level executive.
We have the ability to do so much more with a LinkedIn profile summary than we ever can with a resume summary! Resume summaries need to be quick snapshots of your career history written specifically for a particular position, industry, and company. LinkedIn summaries can be in a narrative format where you make a connection with your audience, share your story, and target your specific audience.
This is reasonably straightforward. Think resume. Use relevant keywords. Remember that your LinkedIn profile and your resume must match in general content. According to LinkedIn, “add[ing] your two most recent work positions . . . can increase your profile views by twelve times.” Strategic use of the Experience section will be discussed with optimization.
What the Pros Say:
What is your strategy and approach when drafting the Job Experience section?
I try to complement the resume when writing the experience section on LinkedIn. You usually have more room in LinkedIn so it’s easy to expand on your accomplishments to add more context. I also use first person in the description of the job to tell the story of the person’s career.
Specific advice for those in between jobs is to have what I call a “transition position.” This is a current position that lists the type of role you desire (see Robin Green sample resume in my resume portfolio section). The reason to do this is LinkedIn surfaces people that have a current job higher in the search results. It also gives you an additional opportunity to sell yourself and add information you didn’t put in your summary.
In the experience section, I believe that the most overlooked component is the job title. There is no rule that says your job title must be written exactly as it is on your resume. For example, if you are a teacher, you can create this job title: Science Teacher – Mentor – Team Leader. By including relevant descriptive keywords and providing more detail, the job title field becomes a great marketing tool for the job seeker.
Your education should align directly with your resume. Start with your highest degree and work backward in reverse chronological order. If you are a tenured job seeker, determine whether you want to include dates. Review the Education section of the Impactful Resumes portion of this book. LinkedIn users “who have an education on their profile receive an average of ten times more profile views than those who don’t.”
Additional sections of your profile. LinkedIn has additional sections to further customize your profile. Depending on the HR recruiter or hiring executive, these areas may have an impact on their impression of you. To find these additional sections on your profile, look for a large blue box titled “Add a new profile section” that appears along the right side of your profile.
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