How to List Job Experience on LinkedIn

When it comes to listing your work experience on LinkedIn its important to think of who will be viewing it from potential employers, recruiters, people that you’ve worked with in the past and people looking to network with you.  I’ve seen people showcase their experience many ways on LinkedIn from simply updating their title when they get promoted keeping in mind that their role may have changed entirely with their company, stating every position change they’ve had with the start and end dates for each role as they get promoted.  To understand how you might want to go about adding your work experience on LinkedIn, lets review some examples…

Updating Your LinkedIn Profile with your Latest Title

In my opinion this is one misleading way to pad your experience on LinkedIn.  Let’s say that you’ve worked for a company for the past 6 years and you started as a Sales Representative then after that you became a Sales Manager and you are now a Regional Manager.  The issue with doing simply updating your title to “Regional Manager” is that it is assumed that you have been a Regional Manager for the past 6 years when in actuality it looks more like this…

  • Sales Representative - 2006 to 2009
  • Sales Manager - 2009 to 2011
  • Regional Manager - 2011 to Current
As opposed to this…
  • Regional Manager – 2006 to Current
Their are a number of issues with this, despite the fact of ethics being called into question, the biggest issue is that if a potential employer approaches you and assumes that you’ve been a Regional Manager for the past 6 years needless to say that you’re actual experience doesn’t match up.  Honestly is usually the best policy in matters where you are marketing yourself and your skills to the world.
Updating Your LinkedIn Profile with using Job Descriptions
If people viewing your profile on LinkedIn want to know more about you there are a few schools of thoughts on how to showcase your professional experience.
  • Using Job Description from a Job Ad – This is sometimes a great way to showcase what you were hired for however sometimes the job ad doesn’t accurately reflect what you actually do on a daily basis
  • Using a Brief Write-up to Explain Your Job – If you choose to create a write-up about your current position keep it to a few concise points that nail exactly what it is that you do.  No one wants to read a novel about your current role and the idea of adding a job description on LinkedIn is to get people interested in you (your skills, abilities and experiences).
  • Using No Job Descriptions – If you aren’t looking to disclose too much information about what you do then sometimes not having a job description related to a position is a great idea.  If recruiters and companies are interested in you then they will contact you regardless for your resume
Using Yearly or Monthly Dates on Your LinkedIn Profile
If people are looking at your profile its important for them to get an understanding of how long you’ve been with some companies because it helps to tell the story of your employment experience.
One common mistake is to try to pad your LinkedIn profile by matching the end date of a previous position with the start date of a new position if that isn’t the actual case.  If you finish a job in December of the previous year and you don’t start to February of the following year as a rule of thumb don’t state that you finished in January.  Ultimately this will come out in the interview or the background check and it could call your ethics into play and cause a trust issue with your potential employer and may also result in you not getting the job.
If you are considering yearly dates try to limit them to positions you’ve held for multiple years.  To some recruiters the month and year will still be important to validate your employment with the company but if you’ve been at a company for a while, years is sometimes easier to use as a way to outline your career experience.
Finally I wanted to leave you with my 3 tips for successfully using LinkedIn as an effective marketing and self promotion tool and they are…
  1. Be Honest – This sounds like simply advice but the truth is that we should all be honest as opposed to the adage of “fake it till you make it”.  Act with integrity and represent yourself accurately so that your character is never called into question.
  2. Decide on how LinkedIn can best serve you – LinkedIn is a tool so its up to you as to how to best use it to serve your needs whether you are looking for a job or just as a way to build your network.
  3. Keep it Simple Stupid – There are a lot of people that try to include everything they’ve ever done on their LinkedIn Profile and I suspect their resume as well but the truth is that this is highly ineffective.

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