Does your LinkedIn tell a story?
Last month, I talked about small changes that make a big difference to your LinkedIn profile: Your headline, profile photo and cover photo. Now we can get to crafting your summary story and experience section.
This is your chance to show people what you're about, so you'll want to make these sections engaging, informational and all about you.
It's OK to brag a little. I recently heard a speaker put it like this: "Nobody cares about your career but you."
Here are three things to keep in mind as you write your summary story and experience section:
1. Tell a story. Your summary story must be a story — that narrative arc of your career. Think about the common themes that tie your jobs together, which are listed in the experience section, to make you and your career stand out. While your experience section is meant to sound like your resume, the summary sets you apart, and should be told in the third person. (Amy George is...)
As you write it, imagine someone using it to introduce you at a public event. Share tidbits someone else wouldn’t know. For example, I tell of getting my first typewriter (my first and only, BTW; I'm not that old) in kindergarten because it ties into my story as a writer. Weave in your career and education for a clear, engaging self-portrait.
2. Be clear and concise. The experience section — the resume portion — is where you tout your accomplishments and skills. Ditch the jargon. Ditch the corporate adjectives. Think of it this way: Who isn’t strategic? Who isn’t thoughtful? These are throw-away words that bog you down.
People aren't going to remember me as strategic and results driven. They're going to remember I got a client on CNBC, used to be a reporter and provide PR and communications services. They'll remember I have earned credentials and awards and I've served on boards. No embellishments required.
Style-wise, bullet your content so it's scannable and use parallel construction (which I'm using in this list). Use action words up front, and if one action starts in past tense, they’re all in past tense.
3. Be prolific. Stay active on LinkedIn by liking, sharing and commenting on people’s posts. Write your own articles and post status updates. Write recommendations for people. Request your own by asking your clients or colleagues, “Would you mind giving me a LinkedIn recommendation? I’d be happy to do one for you."
Hopefully, these tips will help you and your story shine on LinkedIn.