Posted by: waynebreitbarth | November 11, 2012

LinkedIn Experience Section: Use Your Past Experience to Ensure Future Success

Webster’s definition of “experience” is the fact or state of having been affected by or gained knowledge through direct observation or participation.

 

Did you consider this when you wrote the Experience section on your profile? 

 

You may be wondering where the heck is the Experience section on your profile; all you remember seeing is a Jobs section. They are one and the same. 

 

This is prime real estate. LinkedIn gives you 2,000 characters for every job you’ve had. This is a great place to tell your unique branding story and include your most important keywords. 

 

I plan to practice what I preach and beef up the descriptions of my older jobs, too!

 

Here are ten simple ways to spruce up your Experience section.

 

1.   It’s more than a list.  Describe job duties in a way that will explain and add interest and credibility to your story. Don’t simply list what you did.

 

2.   What are your strengths?  Be sure to include accomplishments that show your diverse experience and your ability to get important stuff done. If you can be specific with statistics and/or results, all the better. 

 

3.   Did you get promoted?  Don’t forget to timeline any promotions you received at each job. 

 

4.   Tie the past to the present.  Highlight the traits, characteristics, responsibilities, and results from your past jobs that most closely align with your current situation. Help the reader understand how your past experience makes you a better fit today. 

 

5.   Describe the type of customers you serve/served.  You could even include a killer quote from one of your clients that you extracted from either a LinkedIn recommendation or a letter of recommendation. 

 

6.   Include descriptive titles.  Take advantage of all the characters available (100 max) in your Experience title. This is fertile keyword soil. For example, one of my job titles, CEO | Social Media Trainer and Strategy Consultant (specializing in LinkedIn),I could have simply said “CEO,” but this is a much better description of what I do, plus the extra keywords (social media, strategy, consultant, LinkedIn) will help people find me.  

 

7.   Keywords are key.  Keywords, keywords, keywords. Oh yeah — did I mention keywords? If you need help with identifying your keywords and understanding where to put them, download my free resource “LinkedIn Keyword Worksheet.” 

 

8.   Order is important.  If you want to emphasize certain experiences, simply reorder the entries in your Experience section. 

 

9.   Grammar matters.  Write this section in Word, check out the character count, run spelling and grammar checks, and then save and paste into your profile.

 

10.  Would I hire me?  Let some time pass; then review your entries and ask yourself:  Does reading this inspire me to want to hire this person as an employee or as a vendor of choice?

 

Is there a difference between the words “experience” and “jobs”? You bet there is, and I hope you now understand how to use the Experience section of your profile as a strategic weapon. 

 

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