When I'm advising professionals on sharpening their personal brand -- particularly when it comes to their resume, bio and LinkedIn profile -- my number one tip is to move eye-catching, results-based achievements to the top.
For all the many wonderful attributes of LinkedIn, it insists on complete chronology with work experience, so whatever job you're in right now sits up top. Then the last job you held, and so on. It doesn't matter if you were the President of the United States and now you're a professional apple picker ... CEO will be listed second, with your picking profession center stage.
Which is dandy if you're putting politics aside for greener orchards (no one could blame you, really), but if you're looking for a more professional image as you charge back into the working world (or change industries, de-emphasize a short-term job, or after a downsizing) there's a simple way to place your top accomplishments front-and-center.
6 Simple Steps to Reorder Work Experience on LinkedIn
1. Log into your LinkedIn, click "Profile," then "Edit Profile."
2. Scroll to "Experience," and click "Add a Position."
3. On the "Company Name" tab, type a broad category you want to emphasize. For example:
~Human Resources Professional
~You could even go with something like "Career Highlights" or "Industry Experience."
4. On the "Title" tab, type in a little descriptive. Think of it as a subheading instead of a job title. For example:
~ Company Name: Healthcare Marketing
~ Job Title: Key Career Achievements
5. On the "Time Period" tab, input a start time that best describes whatever you've categorized. So if you've been in your current field for 10 years, input "2004" for start time. The most important factor is that you input the end time after the next position that comes up! So if you resigned from your last position in May 2014, the end time for this position should be June 2014 or after. Yes, there will be crossover with other jobs, and that's okay. You're not claiming this is an official job you held ... you're listing work experience.
6. On the "Description" tab, include whatever you need to highlight. For example:
~Heartstrong Medical Company: created brand strategy resulting in new product sales of $40 billion.
It doesn't matter if that particular achievement was back in 2002, and you've held 2 different jobs since then. If it's something that needs to be said first, put it right up top.
One point upon which I want to be completely clear: I'm not encouraging you to fudge details on your LinkedIn (or anywhere.) In fact, I strongly encourage you to fact-check all your information for honesty and accuracy throughout LinkedIn and on your resume.
From a personal branding perspective, you must position your career results and achievements in a way that will intrigue a future employer. When you look at the scope of your entire career, success isn't necessarily sequential. So don't let a little technical obstacle on one of the top professional resources on the internet keep you from putting your best foot forward, right at the top of the page.
For a few more tips about pumping up your personal brand on LinkedIn, visit here and here. And if you need a little professional assistance getting that LinkedIn profile in order, send me a note at amyATamymacwritesDOTcom.
Have a great week!
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