Have you noticed that, when you describe your major accomplishments for each job (as you must!) in the Experience section of your LinkedIn Profile, your resume is too long to fit?
Or that it's difficult to explain your achievements in the tight space allotted?
Despite the ease in which you can upload resume content into LinkedIn, there's no way around the character limitations (2,000 characters - including spaces!) available for each job.
However, if you get smart about keyword strategy and learn to condense your career story, you can effectively describe your accomplishments, fit them all in, AND get rewarded with more traffic on the site.
Here's how to effectively describe your achievements, focus your content, add keywords, and attract more interest from employers:
Your resume might currently state: "Closed 43% of all company sales in 2011." However, this doesn't tell the real story in context:
I saw an opportunity to expand business to existing customers, proposed and developed new offerings for clients, and brought my close rate up 13%. I was able to generate 43% of all company sales in 2011.
Great! So far, we have 203 characters and 36 words for this single accomplishment. Hopefully, you have a few more to include, too.
Let's say your goal is technology sales for education clients, so you'll want to ensure that SAP, Cloud-Enabled, School District, and Data Security are used as keywords throughout your Profile.
This turns your win into:
SAP & Cloud-Enabled Sales – I saw an opportunity to expand business to existing school district and university customers, proposed and developed new data security offerings for clients, and brought my close rate up 13%. I was able to deliver 43% of all company sales in 2011.
Now, you're up to 275 characters and 46 words – which can take up a big chunk of your job description unless you take the time to trim it.
In first-person writing style, "I" is implied (so you can remove it). You can also use a thesaurus or brainstorm shorter words as replacements.
Here, we've swapped out "K-12 and college" for "school and university," removed "new," and took out a few other words to cut down the sentence.
SAP & Cloud-Enabled Sales – Identified data security offerings for K-12 and college market. Increased close rate 13%; delivered 43% of 2011 company sales.
You're down to 154 characters and just 23 words – a 24% reduction from your original sentence and a 44% savings from the keyword-loaded version!
As you can see, success stories can add much more power to your LinkedIn Profile by showing employers what you have accomplished rather than using empty adjectives (e.g. hard-worker, detail-oriented, etc.). When possible, quantify those accomplishments, typically expenses reduced, sales or profitability increased, and efficiency improved.
Then, your content can be shortened considerably, while retaining the meaning and showing the context of your work. Best of all, your newly added keywords will attract employers looking for a candidate with these skills.
You'll need to repeat these steps for each of your major success stories, but the process will get easier as you become more accustomed to injecting keywords and removing excess words.
The key is to tell your sucess stories while ruthlessly chopping off excess descriptors that don't add keyword content, while making your sentences brief and power-packed. Yes, it's a few more steps, but your Profile MUST be written concisely, with keyword-dense content and personal flair.
Otherwise, recruiters either won't find you or will quickly lose interest and click away to your competition.
Job-Hunt's LinkedIn for Job Search Expert Laura Smith-Proulx, Executive Director of An Expert Resume, is an award-winning executive resume writer, national columnist, author, LinkedIn and SEO enthusiast, and past recruiter. Laura is author of How to Get Hired Faster: 60+ Proven Tips and Strategies to Access the Hidden Job Market. Connect with Laura on Twitter at @ResumeExpert, on LinkedIn at LinkedIn.com/in/laurasmithproulx.