The experience section of your LinkedIn Profile is SO NOT a copy/paste from your CV. This message does seem to slowly sink in, but there is a lot more to it than you might think at first. Read on to find out 5 things to pay attention to, and fix IMMEDIATELY in most cases.
THE FIVE BIG BOO-BOOS IN LINKEDIN EXPERIENCE
- Describing what you did, yawn.
- Lack of clear future focus, it’s not that hard.
- Ugly looks, you CAN format to an extent.
- The Grey Square, fix it, fix it, fix it (please).
- Stuffing too much under one heading, breakups are good!
DESCRIBING WHAT YOU DID
When reading those descriptions I yawn. I mean I YAWN BIG TIME. Your job title gives me a general idea of what you did. Now translate the juicy bits (innovation, results, deep end dives) into descriptions that focus on the HERE AND NOW and the immediate future. In other words: make me feel that you are the right person for what I’m looking for in a service provider or employee.
LACK OF CLEAR FUTURE FOCUS
LinkedIn is not about the past. Period. No but… When describing your previous roles, education and courses, have a clear FUTURE focus. What do your clients (or next employer) need to know and BELIEVE about you? Use the right words to hit a nerve with them.
LinkedIn is quite a uniform platform. The there is no text editor with formatting options to prettify your profile. That doesn’t mean it has to look UGLY. You can copy and paste bullets into your profile. When using a bulleted list, the second line doesn’t get indented, so keep it short enough to stay on one line. When adding media to job roles (YES PLEASE) ideally go for TWO. Two items get stretched a bit and line up neatly with the left and right margin. Or be stubborn like me and add more. Just don’t add ONE item per section, it looks UGLY AS.
THE GREY SQUARE
This means work experience for a company without a logo. It screams at your reader: THIS WAS NOT A PROFESSIONAL ROLE. Fancy having your profile scream that at each potential client if you are an entrepreneur? Or how about you worked for Shell, HP and Google, but your profile looks crap as none of the logos are there.
BREAKUPS ARE GOOD
I once worked with a client who had one entry on her profile. She had been with Shell for 17 years. Once we broke it up in 6 roles, you saw an amazing journey from front desk receptionist at a local office to EMEA Real Estate Portfolio Manager. BAM. Show the journey in your career. Breakups are even more important if you are self-employed! Add your 2-3 main services as separate entries on your profile. They stand out like a sore thumb IN A GOOD WAY.
>>> Tell me: what are your going to fix TODAY <<<
LinkedIn outdid themselves again! Now when you check who viewed your profile, you can go straight to the INTERESTING views. With a free LinkedIn account you only see your last 5 visitors, which is quite manageable. On a paid account you get to see all profile views 90 days back. How convenient to now only have to look at 40 people instead of 1,191 (still upset with those 9, you know who you are, who didn’t view).
WHAT MAKES PROFILE VIEWS INTERESTING?
Only the algorithm gods know for sure, but this is what I noticed. LinkedIn shows us senior industry leaders (now I need to figure out what makes one an industry leader) and people who work at companies you follow.
- Senior Leader in your industry
- Senior Leader in another industry
- Works at a company you are following
LinkedIn got quite carried away. Each viewer now also has “other highlights” where you can see how many connections you have in common and what groups you have in common. Sure was the highlight of my LinkedIn experience today!
WHY I LIKE IT
I like any insights I can get my hands on. LinkedIn stuff I mean, can’t remember the last time I checked the analytics on my website. Might give me better business insights, but people watching is much more fun! Even though I haven’t got the foggiest yet what makes someone a ‘senior leader’ in this respect, I DO KNOW that according to the info LinkedIn has they do SOMETHING better than others.
In an earlier post on this topic, you can read how to treat the “Who viewed your profile” information. Who cares who viewed your profile. As far as I am concerned, any additional information is a good thing. To be honest, I also like the idea that if I view your profile I’ll be considered a “senior leader in my industry”. I hope I am.
>>> How will you use these new insights? <<<
Have you seen the talking LinkedIn Profile? Recently I noticed people replacing the logo on their company page for a gif which resulted in moving logos on personal profiles. I was not impressed. How about this though… have your profile picture talk to your visitor! How do you like that?
LINKEDIN PROFILE TALKING HEAD
IS IT REAL?
This is a little video I recorded with a free tool called Loom. It is actually two recordings in one. You know, like instruction videos where people record a PowerPoint and record themselves talking. I recorded my computer screen which shows my LinkedIn Profile and recorded myself talking. Funny thing about Loom is that recording yourself takes place in a circle. By placing that circle over my profile headshot I created the ILLUSION of a LinkedIn Profile with a talking head.
IS IT ALL TRICKERY?
If it is trickery, depends on your intention. If you pretend that a talking LinkedIn Profile picture exists it is all trickery. It is brilliant though to record video messages that are LinkedIn related. You can talk about an area of your profile you want people to pay attention to. You can record a video introducing yourself. You can even have a special message with a pumpkin or Santa hat for the holiday season.
MORE LINKEDIN VIDEO TIPS
You may also like to read this handy article: 4 Things you need to know re video on LinkedIn
- Directly upload video on LinkedIn.
- Places where you can add video to LinkedIn.
- Fun ideas for video on your profile.
- Always add value.
>>> Has your LinkedIn Profile video? Tell me what it is and add a link to your profile! <<<
I never bothered with LinkedIn 2 Step Verification. Are you kidding me? I had a great password, not to be guessed by humans or artificial intelligence. So why go through such an annoying process of having to wait for a text message to input when logging on? YIKES.
I CAN’T BELIEVE I WAS SO IGNORANT
Yup, I needed to have it spelt out to me. I had a full backup of my profile in Word. I downloaded my connections once a month. It is not Facebook, no pictures of my daughter here. So hey, what is the big deal?
SCARY SHIT (AND SO OBVIOUS)
If someone logs on to your account, they can act like YOU. Now once you read this, it is so blatantly obvious. Yet it took me FOUR years to set up LinkedIn 2 Step Verification (yup, it was introduced back in 2014).
- Post pretending to be you.
- Comment (even nasty) pretending to be you.
- Message (spam, annoy) all your connections.
- Download your connections.
- Disconnect you from your connections.
- Delete recommendations you received.
You get my drift. They will have TOTAL CONTROL over your LinkedIn Account. Profile, Articles, Posts, Network, Engagement … EVERYTHING. I know it is not 100% foul proof, but what is? And people going through the trouble of hacking your phone or convincing your provider they are you … they usually don’t target ordinary people, not even the extraordinary like YOU and me.
You can fix things under “settings & privacy”. Might also want to check the “Ads” tap while you are there. If you want to find out more about the settings, here is something I wrote before: LinkedIn Settings & Privacy.
>>> So tell me (honestly) when did you set up LinkedIn 2 Step Verification? Oh and please add to the list of things you don’t want to happen! <<<
Skills and endorsement must be the topic I wrote about most often. Back in 2014, to let you know how to receive genuine LinkedIn Endorsements. Back then people still received suggestions that could be a bit off the mark. A year later you were able to read all about the importance of LinkedIn Skills and Endorsements. Last year (May 2017) LinkedIn gave the Skills and Endorsement section a new look. It actually added more backbone to the endorsements, as they first showed us endorsements by peers with the same skill and endorsements by people you (the viewer) have in common. This was also the time LinkedIn started showing just 3 skills instead of a bingo card full.
EVERYTHING (NEARLY) LOOKS DIFFERENT
Early 2018 we saw a massive change to the LinkedIn Profile roll out. Most noticeably your pretty face now lives on the left when viewed from desktop and is still centred when viewed on mobile. Lots of fun creating a banner that works on both devices. You can find out about the other changes in this article.
LINKEDIN SKILLS AND ENDORSEMENTS CHANGES
LinkedIn now orders your skills in categories. There are 5 categories and you have no say in what skill goes where or the order of the categories. Here they are listed in the order they display on your profile You need to click “show more” to see them, otherwise you will just see the top three skills.
- Industry Knowledge
- Tools and Technologies
- Interpersonal Skills
- Other Skills
YOU DO HAVE SOME CONTROL
LinkedIn shows 3 skills and endorsements to your profile visitors. This always used to be the 3 with most endorsements. Presumably, this is still the case. What I KNOW is still the case, you can control this. They each have a blue pin in front of them. Any skill you do not want to be featured, click the blue pin to deselect. Now click the pin in front of a skill you do want to show off.
All other skills are sorted into the above categories. You have no control over that. In my case that means all LinkedIn related skills live in the bottom bucket “Other skills”. Had I left Facebook and Twitter on my profile, they would have been listed under “Tools and Technologies”. You CAN still reorder your skills, only this is now limited to within the category. Just grab the hamburger (three lines) to the right of a skill and click and drag.
ADDITIONAL FUNCTIONALITY ON MOBILE
When endorsing someone on your mobile device, like I did for my friend Jo Saunders, you get asked for a rating. LinkedIn explains that the recipients do not get to see this. What exactly they do with this rating we don’t know yet, but most likely it has to do with some algoritmethingemebob so sooner or later it will be important. See images below for an explanation.
>>> Skills and Endorsements are not going anywhere. How do you feel about them? Please share your thoughts, feelings, questions in the comments. <<<
On the first day of spring, 21 March 2018, my friend Angus Grady told me something was up. The way he viewed LinkedIn Profiles had gone all topsy-turvy. Two weeks later I understood what he meant. By now this new LinkedIn Profile Look is visible to most people; time to have a closer look.
CRAZY THING ABOUT NEW LINKEDIN PROFILE LOOK
It is all about who’s LOOKING. So when you didn’t have it yet, all looked unchanged, yet when someone else looked at your profile, they might see the new LinkedIn Profile Look. The reason this matters most is your background image (LinkedIn Banner). It used to be obscured by your profile picture in the centre, but now it covers the left. To make matter worse: at time of writing, there is a discrepancy between mobile and desktop. The image is this post is a desktop view, on mobile your headshot still covers the centre of your banner.
9 CHANGES TO BE AWARE OFF
You’ve just read all about change #1, your pretty face has been shoved to the left. Below the list of 9 changes, you can read all about numbers 2 through 9.
- Headshot moved, implications for banner image.
- Your headline moved to the left.
- The blue button has new meaning.
- More is more or less the same.
- Your current position is also easier to spot.
- You have the option to NOT show education on the top card.
- Contact info is no longer hidden.
- Slightly longer preview of your summary.
- Up to 5 media visible with summary; without clicking “Show more”.
YOUR HEADLINE MOVED TO THE LEFT.
Why does this matter? Depending on the length of your headline it might look funny. On desktop mine now has one word all by itself on a 3rd line. It used to be two lines and centered instead of left aligned. Not much you can do about it. It will look different on various devices people view on.
THE BLUE BUTTON HAS NEW MEANING.
When on your own profile, this now holds the options to add sections to your profile! I like how that now all lives in one easy to find spot. When visiting someone’s profile it still holds the option to message or connect (depending on your relationship).
MORE IS MORE OR LESS THE SAME.
On your own profile more lets you save your profile as PDF or share your profile. When visiting someone else’s profile more gives these options as well as options to recommend, ask to be recommended, disconnect, block or un-follow.
YOUR CURRENT POSITION IS EASIER TO SPOT.
In the old LinkedIn Profile Look your current job title, company, educational institute, location and number of connections were all more or less one long sentence directly under your headline. In the new LinkedIn Profile Look there is a neat, organised clear list of the most important parts of your profile.
YOU HAVE THE OPTION TO NOT SHOW EDUCATION ON THE TOP.
Generally, I advise listing all your experience and education. They show your professional development and by writing clever descriptions you can use keywords all through your profile. At the same time, I am all for personal choice and options, so YAY for the ability not to show education in the top section of your LinkedIn Profile.
CONTACT INFO NO LONGER HIDDEN.
This one I LOVE. It used to be hard to find. Now it is in clear view. Make sure you utilise this piece of LinkedIn Profile real estate to the max. Read all about the hidden gems of your contact details on LinkedIn right here.
SLIGHTLY LONGER PREVIEW OF YOUR SUMMARY.
This is a great improvement! Your summary is where you present yourself to the reader who made it past your pretty picture and great headline. Beware that people checking you out via the mobile app will still see less than those using the desktop version. If you need some help structuring your summary, you might like to read this post.
UP TO 5 MEDIA VISIBLE WITH SUMMARY.
YAY media with the summary is no longer hidden behind the “Show more” link. Not only is it directly visible with the new look LinkedIn Profile, there are also MORE media items visible without scrolling. I’m sure you’ve heard that thing about a picture vs 1000 words. You can also upload video, presentations, PDFs or links to websites. Mind you, not all displays pretty.
>>> Tell me in the comments: have you updated your banner? What other changes have you made?<<<