Once you've nailed down the summary section of your LinkedIn profile, it's time to populate the nitty-gritty details about the jobs you've had, the education you've earned, and the volunteering you do.
The meat of your LinkedIn profile, especially when you've been in the workforce for several years, is the work experience section.
This is where you list all of the companies you've worked for (full-time or part-time), the job titles you've had, and the accomplishments you're most proud of in each role. Your work experience is listed in reverse chronological order.
If brainstorming out and listing all of your work experiences sounds like deja vu, don't worry, you're not going crazy! This is exactly what you compiled when you designed your resume. And if you haven't created your resume, check out our Resume Guide. This is the best place to start when thinking through the experiences you want to highlight! We show exactly what you need to do to make recruiters swoon after seeing your resume.
The difference between the work experience on your resume and the work experience on your LinkedIn profile is that your LinkedIn profile can be more comprehensive. Resumes are meant to be about one page long, so you have to be reasonable about what's included. Your LinkedIn profile can consist of a longer timeline of your career, if applicable. Linkedin's algorithms prioritize showing people with lots of rich content and keywords. The more you add, the higher you'll rank in the search results of recruiters. That means you'll get more recruiters reaching out to you. 💥
Since your resume and LinkedIn are very similar, it's vital to double (maybe even triple!) check to make sure roles, titles, and timelines match up. It's a red flag 🚩 when a candidate's resume says one thing, and their LinkedIn says something else.
Again, it's OK to have LinkedIn experiences that aren't mentioned on your resume if they are relevant and additive. Just make sure that you are telling the same story.
Populating your LinkedIn profile is easy when your resume is complete because you can copy and paste the bullet points from your resume onto your Linkedin. To make your work experience section skimmable and easy to follow, be sure to copy and paste at the beginning of each bullet. It's OK to have more bullets on Linkedin than will fit on a resume. The more keyword-rich content you have on Linkedin, the more likely your profile will pop up when recruiters search for people with particular skills.
So, just like your resume, your 'Work Experience' section of your LinkedIn profile should have:
The name of the company you worked at
The job titles you had at that company
Descriptive bullet points for each job title
Timeline (month, year - month, year) for each job title
It should specify "Contract" as the job type for anything that was a contract
A quick note on listing the names of the companies you worked at: When entering the company's name, select from the drop-down the LinkedIn profile name, so the company logo automatically populates on your profile. Just about every single company has a corporate LinkedIn page. This also allows someone viewing your profile to click on the company name and learn more about what they do.
Now, if you're wondering, "what about all of the skills I listed out on my resume? Where do those go?" we've got you covered. Those actually go in the 'Skills' section of your LinkedIn profile. Don't list out your skills in the work experience section. Including a range of relevant skills improves your chances of getting found by recruiters by 27x. Yes, you read that number right!
With that being said, don't waste someone's attention span by having a long list of skills that don't apply to the roles you're interested in. It's great to have more skills on your Linkedin than you have space for on your resume, but all skills still need to be relevant.
Entering your education is one of the most straightforward steps to completing your LinkedIn profile. We like easy!
Always include your undergraduate university and any graduate schools you attended in this section. You'll also want to include the specific degrees you earned. Like adding the companies you've worked for, be sure to select the university's LinkedIn page when adding your school, so the logo automatically appears.
You really shouldn't include high school on your LinkedIn profile. The only exception is if you don't have a college degree.
Another thing you can leave off your LinkedIn is your GPA. As a general rule, unless your GPA is 3.8 or higher, don't include it. Also, if you've been out of school for more than about five years, you can take it off. Why? Because by that point, your work experience will speak more to your accomplishments and strengths than a GPA can.
If you participated in any extracurricular organizations during school, it's great to include those in your education description. These experiences give the reader some context for who you are and how you like to spend your time. A few examples of what you can include are:
Captain of the ultimate frisbee team
Recipient of full-ride scholarship through the Frances Silverman Grant
Membership coordinator for Phi Mu Sorority
Business school ambassador
Notice that these examples are relatively unique, and all are professional. There is no need to mention participating in a dance marathon for a year - that's just not important or unique.
There is a section of LinkedIn dedicated to the volunteer experience. This section is right below your 'Education' and just above your 'Skills.' Only populate this section if you have meaningful volunteer experience that is either long-term or you have a leadership role.
An example of a good volunteer experience to include is being on the executive committee of a non-profit, assuming that required at least 5-10 hours of work a week.
An example of a volunteer experience that doesn't warrant going on your LinkedIn is serving food at a homeless shelter once a year. As valued as this work is, it just isn't substantive enough to be highlighted on your professional profile.