Underneath your about section on LinkedIn, you can list your professional experience. In the offline world, this might be called your employment history. However, on LinkedIn, you can use it for much more than that.
If you set up your experience section properly, you can come across as an experienced professional with a number of relevant skills viewers might be interested in. So this as an opportunity to share valuable content.
Filling out your experience section can also be an opportunity for you to promote yourself beyond filling out a CV.
Therefore, in this article, we will look at how to add an experience listing on LinkedIn and how to plan and lay out your entire professional background. In the end, there will be a few action items to help you get started.
Let’s get into it:
How to add an experience listing on LinkedIn
Creating an experience listing on your LinkedIn profile is fairly straightforward. Log into your profile on LinkedIn, click on your name, scroll down to experience and click the “+” icon
You are then given options for adding content to each section:
Here you can select your title, employment type, company and location as well as the starting date, and the possible ending date, of the position.
Under company, it is very important that if you pick a company, there is a relevant logo icon to go with it because that icon will appear on your profile to the left of your listing. If you are an independent business owner, you will have to create a company page. To do that, follow these instructions.
If you scroll down even further, you will see options for updating your industry and headline, a section where you can write a description and a section where you can upload documents or link to website pages.
Adding files to your employment history is important because it helps you to come across as an experienced professional. For each listing you add, make sure you add a description and a few lines describing what you are putting up. That way your profile is more filled out and you might get ranked better on LinkedIn.
If you want to tweak an existing listing, simply click the pen icon next to each of your listings in your experience section.
Then you can simply tweak any of the sections you see above.
How to lay out your experience section
Before we lay out your experience section, keep in mind that the further down in your profile you go, the less important it gets. That is because viewers will start tuning out the further down your profile they get.
For this reason, your current position, which tends to be on top, will be more important than your past positions. However, your previous positions can still be relevant if they have given you relevant experience in your current role.
Therefore, you might like to write your current position differently than your past roles. For your current roles, imagine that your ideal prospective client is reading your description. Write your description to them. Then underneath the description, provide evidence of the work you are doing or have done.
This is how Laurel Kashinn has done it for one of her current roles:
For past roles, you can start with a descriptive paragraph. This can be more than four lines, but viewers will have to click “see more” to see the rest of the listing:
If you click “see more”, you will see the rest of the description. In particular, notice how key areas of responsibility are capitalised. She has also done a good job of hinting at her achievements before she gets into the achievements section underneath.
You might have trouble highlighting every past role like Laurel did, but don’t sweat it. Just use what you have and put your effort into improving your current roles over time.
Now that you know how to add an experience section and how to lay out your current and past positions, it’s time to get to work:
- Clarify why you want to tweak your profile. This will provide you with a guiding principle for how you want to edit your profile. For instance, if you want to use your profile to attract clients, you might want to keep that in mind when you present your experience.
- Brainstorm all the experience you have. Include any and all roles you have ever had, no matter how minor. How many hours you might have spent in each role is not a relevant consideration. How relevant it is to where you want to move your career is.
- Consider if there are any roles you want to exclude. If you are a corporate accountant with 30 years of experience, the barista experience you had while attending college might not be that relevant.
- Tweak, add or remove experience sections. Make sure you put the role you ideally want to be known for on top and put other relevant supporting roles underneath. Keep in mind relevance can depend on what you got out of it. So you might be able to use that barista role anyways!
- Upload supporting files. Any files that showcase your experience should be considered. Make sure you add a headline and a comment section for each. If you have a blog, make sure you provide multiple links to multiple posts not just a link to the overall blog.
- Get some external eyes to review it. Ideally, try to get someone from your target audience to do this since they are the best outsiders to review it. If that is not an option, share it with a person you know who will not sugarcoat their reactions.
Put most of your focus on your current role(s). With your past roles, highlight your experience and achievements.
If you have a relatively light CV, take it as an opportunity to elaborate on what you are currently doing. If you are more experienced, document it so your experience is obvious to someone who doesn’t know you. Ideally, your profile should provide a lot of valuable information to a target reader so that they are motivated to reach out to you.