Branding Your Resume on LinkedIn

Earlier this week I gave a talk at a @WITI networking event on the Art of LinkedIn and Twitter. The attendees had a vast range of social media experience and came from a variety of different industries which made it challenging and fun. One of the big topics that came up was how to brand yourself on LinkedIn with your resume.

We talked about customizing your profile links and claiming your name URL, but some questions came up on how far back should you go with listing your experience? How can you make yourself stand out? And how do you handle a gap in employment history?

  1. First and foremost you need to update your title to reflect who you want to attract. For example, my title says “Social Media Strategist” because I want to attract people who are searching for social media strategists. This is a text field and you can type in whatever you want, but if you don’t edit it, it will default to your most current job title.
    Use a catchy title for your LinkedIn profile
  2. Second, you don’t need to list jobs from 20 years ago. Why? Because a) chances are it’s not relevant to what you are doing now, b) the technology or process you used is old and out of date and c) it just tells the recruiter approximately how old you are.
  3. Third, if you have a significant break in your employment history from a lay-off, having children, medical reason or sabbatical you can explain this in your summary if you want to, but only explain it if you think it’s going to prohibit you from getting that initial phone screen interview. Chances are it won’t because everyone knows the economy has been in the toilet for several years now. You’ll more than likely have your chance to explain on the phone if you are asked, but remember – you don’t have to tell the truth because it’s none of their business.
  4. Have a photo, preferably a professional photo. Why? Because silhouettes are creepy. Worried about how you look? Take it from across the room – it doesn’t have to be a close-up. Worried if it is going to show your age? Well you’re gonna have to meet them some day if you get the job so you’re only making yourself not attractive to a recruiter. Don’t think you are photogenic – take it in black and white – everyone looks better in black and white photos!

For my next talk on the Art of LinkedIn and Twitter – follow @WITI or @tracysestili for the next event. (coming this fall/winter).

And join me later today (July 29) on Twitter for a Tweetchat on all of your Twitter questions answered LIVE by me from 1pm-2pm PT/4-5pm ET. Hashtag #tracychat

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.