LinkedIn III – How, Where, And What To List As Experience, Etc.

be-preparedThe final installment of our LinkedIn profile pieces covers the rest of the profile, which seems to be the bulk of a profile. This is where the “resume” portion of the show takes place.  You can copy and paste your resume into this section, but many experts encourage LinkedIn members to “tell their story”: the experience that describes key accomplishments and the impact these actions had on the organization. (Good news: you can always attach a copy of your resume to your profile.)

Breakdown each stop in your career clearly and remember your audience may not be as familiar with companies, job titles, etc. Here’s a suggested breakdown:

  • Headline For The Position: this is the job title. As in the top quarter of your profile, use industry-recognized keywords to explain your role in the body. (ex: as a project coordinator, I recruited candidates by sourcing our existing pipelines and various social media platforms.)
  • Brief Description Of The Company: even if you worked for a worldwide recognized company, describe the company in the first sentence of the body. Check the company website for some “bragging rights” to include as well, but don’t plagiarize.  (ex: “Third-largest independent telecommunications company in the Midwest, specializing in corporate sales.”)
  • Promotions: List your current or most recent title for that company in the headline, but use the body to list other positions. Sometimes on a quick view of a LinkedIn profile, it will appear that you’ve jumped jobs and some hiring managers and recruiters may be worried about so many entries, even though you’ve been with the same company for six years and you’ve been promoted twice.
  • Work Samples:  Upload work samples (pdfs, jpgs, etc.) to your profile. Don’t add everything, but a selection that paints a picture of your skill set. Be sure that you have permission to share items if they contain “trade secrets” or intellectual property.

Note: once you’ve added some work experience, move some of these items to the other areas on a LinkedIn profile (Volunteer, Organizations, Honors & Awards).  You can also move your activity as a student-athlete to the Education area.

What if you don’t have any working experience outside of athletics?

Everyone starts somewhere, so don’t worry. You’ve made the effort to become a LinkedIn member, which illustrates your ambition to take the next step.

Unlike an athletic resume, hiring managers and recruiters won’t be interested in individual stats like a scout or coach. Mention awards, honors received due to academics and service, or those voted on by the media or conference members. If you were in a club (professional, service-based), list your membership and any honors or projects you were involved with.

Collegiate athletes, be sure to spell out your conference name the first time you mention it in your profile (ex: Mid-American Conference (MAC), then MAC each time after). The same formatting holds true for Olympic or professional athletes.  As a courtesy to your fellow Linkedin member, spell out the name of your leagues and the major league team if you are playing for an affiliate. For example:

  • Burlington Bees (Class A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels– MLB)
  • Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders— NHL)
  • Member of the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (USBSF)

Other items to share in your profile as an Olympian or professional athlete:

  • A regular participant in autograph signing sessions and personal appearances, but don’t list each one. Instead “Represented the Whitecaps at several team functions, including personal appearances and fan meet-and-greet events” or “Served as team chair and spokesperson for the organization’s annual Toys For Tots campaign.”
  • Participant in a teammate’s charity event, say “Supported the Cooley’s Golf Outing, hosted by  former college teammate Warren Coolidge.”
  • Serve as your team representative with the league union or any other advisory committee: “Served as team representative for the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA)”

As you gain more work experience, you can move the majority of the information you’ve listed in your profile underneath your athletic stints to these following areas of a LinkedIn profile as you gain professional experience.

The Bottom Quarter:

The final touches on the profile are designated for the bottom quarter. Here are a few suggestions for athlete-candidates struggling to fill these in and finalize their profile.

  • Volunteer Experiences & Causes: charity events and efforts
  • Organizations: SAAC, unions, alumni associations
  • Skills & Endorsements: you can list things like public speaking, and coaching here, but you can also include your biodata here as well (time management, organizational skills, etc.)
  • Education: list your college and your major. If you didn’t complete your degree, list it as “Majored in Accounting & Finance”
  • Additional Info: a field for “Interests” is here, as well as an opportunity to list “Advice For Contacting.” Take this opportunity to leave a comment like “Please contact me via e-mail at [email protected]” or “To get in touch, send me an LinkedIn invitation to connect”  or “You can reach my cell phone at 555-444-3331 and leave a message. I will be in touch as soon as I can.”


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