How to Write an Awesome LinkedIn Work Experience Section

Did you know that 45% people on LinkedIn have outdated information on their profiles? Some only have job titles and company names with dates of employment listed. Missing industry keywords and your accomplishments. Big mistake. It seems there are hundreds of articles written about LinkedIn titles, About section, photo tips and skills, but it seems no one has insisted on how to create a description section of impactful work.

Keep in mind that your CV is much more detailed than what is shown in the description section of your LinkedIn profile.

Start by defining your personal brand and make sure it shows up on your resume and reflects on your LinkedIn profile. These must be reflected. Have more detail on the resume but be more concise, using fewer LinkedIn statements that only touched on your most important achievements.

Above all, avoid using long, generic job descriptions. If you are a job seeker, this is a crucial section for announcing the results you have achieved in past positions. A common mistake is to describe what the company does and not what you did in your role there. The same goes for anyone who wants to polish their profile. You could be a freelancer, executive, sales manager, business owner, someone interested in attracting talented workers, or a consultant promoting your services. Readers want to know quickly about the results and the results you got.

Here are some writing tips to make your profile complete and impress everyone who views it.

Relevance matters. Expand this section keeping in mind the types of jobs you are applying for. Make sure your experience supports it. You shorten old job descriptions and make newer ones longer. Unfortunately, LinkedIn doesn’t allow you to bundle three different job types together, but works more effectively to support a specific role. Edit carefully to emphasize the most relevant experience and accomplishments that target the next role you seek.

Start with a strong opening sentence. The first sentences are highlighted on your profile. After that, the reader should click on the “see more” button to read the rest of this section. Next, write a great two- or three-sentence summary to give the reader a great overview of your experience, key accomplishments, and relevant industry expertise. Be sure that you use the past tense as you write throughout this section. It means you did it, which is the right message to promote.

Focus on your recent roles. Don’t put everything on your resume in the job description. Instead, offer a few highlights to grab the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager. Write down major accomplishments where you implemented strategic initiatives or made money, saved time, or achieved significant savings. Maybe you created something new or improved productivity. These are the kinds of penalties that employers and others want to know about. As you progress through time, write smaller descriptions. If you have a long history, you don’t need to include every position you’ve held. And you should shorten the descriptions because these older jobs are probably at a lower level than what you are looking for and have now. Going back 15 years is enough because your recent experience is aligned to prepare you for the next role.

Use action words. Start each sentence with an action verb like directed, created, conducted, directed, implemented, etc. A great formula to use when developing your sentences is: ACTIONS = RESULTS. Specify what your ACTIONS were and conclude with the RESULT obtained.

Add keywords. Research the keywords you should include for each job. I highly recommend that you take a look at some actual job descriptions for the positions you want to fill or review the profiles of a few people in similar roles. Write down the essential and desirable skills required for the position and sprinkle these keywords in your job descriptions and on sections.

Make sure this information is correct. The job title, company name, and dates of employment should match exactly what’s on your resume. This is essential so that there is no confusion about your employment history and an employer can easily see your career progression.

READ before posting. Check spelling and grammar and make sure you don’t make any mistakes. Recruiters hate typos and spelling mistakes, and any reader notices them. So make sure you don’t have one. Always get someone else to prove it before it goes live.

Update regularly. Many people go for years without updating their profile. Don’t make this mistake. Polish it once a year and a few months after starting a new role.

Maria D. Ervin