Episode 190: The Importance of Your Experience in Your LinkedIn Profile
Did you know that by putting relevant keywords and changing how you describe your role in your current and past job positions in your experience section can significantly benefit your social selling efforts? It’s a very underutilized sales tool/feature on LinkedIn, and only a few salespeople know its power. With the right tweak, your experience section can help put your name in front of your target audience on LinkedIn and Google too!
Join the LinkedIn Whisperer Brynne Tillman and LinkedIn Sherpa Bob Woods on this episode as they share tips on how to update your experience section to make it not just pleasing to the eyes but also as a tool to reach more people, attract your target audience, and trigger sales conversations. So listen now and give your experience section the attention it truly deserves.
Bob Woods 00:00
Welcome, everyone, to Making Sales Social Live brought to you by Social Sales Link. I’m Bob Woods, and I’m joined by fellow LinkedIn and social selling professional, who’s also known as LinkedIn whisperer, Brynne Tillman. Hey, Brynne.
Brynne Tillman 00:47
Hey, Bob! I’m looking forward to this conversation today.
Bob Woods 00:51
Same here, same here. So in our last episode, we took a deep dive into the summary section of your LinkedIn profile and how to use it effectively in sales. If you missed it, you might want to give it a listen, of course, after this. This week, though, it’s all about the experience section, another important part of your LinkedIn profile.
Now, I think that the experience section is one of the if not the most underutilized sections in the LinkedIn profile. And today, we’re going to get you on the right path to using it effectively. Overall thoughts about the experience section? Do you agree that it’s the most underutilized Brynne?
Brynne Tillman 01:32
Well, so you know, I have about a top 10 out of 100 movies. They’re all my top 10. So I tend to say, yes, this is the most underutilized – and then I got, “O!, But the about section.” “Ooh! But the featured section.” However, the way that we’re about to talk about this allows folks to really utilize this more effectively.
Bob Woods 01:56
Yeah, that’s a very good way to put that. I like. I like that a lot, a lot. So again, like we said last week, we’re going to say it again this week. Before you change anything in your profile, you need to download your current profile as a PDF.
So you can save what you already have there. To do this, you’ll click the “more” button next to the “Add profile” section button at your profile in the above-the-fold area, and then click Save PDF. It downloads, and you’re ready to go, and you don’t have to worry about losing any of your old stuff.
Brynne Tillman 02:31
Because there’s no undo.
Bob Woods 02:33
There’s no undo. Well, I was gonna say there’s no one doing life. Well, yeah, I don’t know if you say anyhow. So let’s get specifically to some of the elements that make up a really, really effective experience section.
So actually, before we get into the content, specifically about the experience section, there’s one thing that you’re going to want to do that has to do with the experience section, but it makes your profile just look so much better in general and that is to connect your current job, your current experience to the company, LinkedIn page, that’s really important.
Because if you don’t do that, you’re going to get that ugly looking icon, not only in the very top in the top of the fold area but in the experience section to it just you know, you may work for a totally and 100% completely legitimate company. But if those little gray squares show up, there are a few people who don’t know you who are actually going to know that it’s legitimate.
Brynne Tillman 03:39
Yeah, and if you’re a solopreneur, or a small business that you don’t have a company page yet, it’s really simple and free. You don’t need a premium to do this. You can create your own company page by clicking on “Me”. Is it me or is it the nine dots on me?
Bob Woods 04:06
Ohh, It’s “Me”
Brynne Tillman 03:39
The “Me” you know, I about 10 years ago was the nine dots and I can’t.
Bob Woods 04:06
Yeah, there was once upon a time. Yep.
Brynne Tillman 04:08
No, I think it’s the nine dots. Oh, it’s nine dots. So it was me and now it’s this, Okay. Because it’s a switch stuff all the time anyway. So if you click on the nine dots, and you scroll down, you’ll see create a company page, just walk through and add your logo.
And then if for any reason the logo is not attached to the experience, you just go in edit, retype the name of the company and pull it from the drop-down with the logo. Big. Hold off a minute and make sure your toggle at the top to share with your network is off if you don’t want them to know or on if you do and we’ll talk about the pros and cons of that a little bit.
Bob Woods 04:58
Yep, exactly. So from here, it’s all going to be about the content in the experience section. So with your current title, you’re actually going to want to have SEO or Search Optimized Terms or phrases in there so that people can find you easily.
So instead of just saying, managing partner or sales representative, or whatever, don’t, don’t necessarily not include those, but after that, maybe put in a pipe, and then some of those phrases that will help people will help your profile show up in searches.
Brynne Tillman 05:38
Yeah, like I have LinkedIn sales trainer and Sales Navigator trainer in my title, even though that’s not actually my title. So that does help for sure.
Bob Woods 05:50
Yep, Absolutely. Absolutely. So and then also, obviously, use those search engine optimized words and phrases throughout your profile as well in other areas, but in the actual title of your most current profession, are your most current, your most current employer, yeah, title employer, it’s especially important to have there because that gets hit a little more in terms of search engines than other sections do.
Brynne Tillman 06:19
And actually, so we’re gonna get into a little what we call a hack or a trick or whatever, in a moment. But before we get into that, what Bob just said, I just want to emphasize, because LinkedIn, and Google first of all talk, Right? Like Google, indexes all pages, including LinkedIn. And it’s also really important that we’re leveraging this because most of LinkedIn is used for job seeking and recruiting.
So this section of the job title is one of the most important when it comes to search engine optimization. A lot of people think it’s the headline, but it’s actually the most important that we have learned is your current experiences. And I say that because we’ll explain that in a minute. But also your past experiences. So if it lines up, go ahead and just edit some of those titles to just for the search engine optimization piece.
Bob Woods 07:28
Yep, really good, really good. So the next one, we’re actually going to stay with your current position and your main title, where I’m going to be talking about, probably the biggest thing to put into your description box there, which actually isn’t a description, more than it is about you telling your story about why you chose your company.
Like those types of things really give people insight into who you are, what you do, why you like doing what you’re doing, expose it, and that expose, just, you know, let people see yourself more as the person that you know, we all are essentially, so put it out there.
Brynne Tillman 08:09
Yeah, so I love this. And you know, we talk a lot about earning the right to get the conversation. If they’ve scrolled down to your experience section, they’d like you, you have gotten to the point where you’ve provided enough value that they want to learn more about you. And that’s where that experience comes in.
So Bob mentioned, tell your story. I love to talk about “How did I get here?” Why did I choose or start this company? What is the value that I’m thrilled to be bringing, instead of your job description. And, you know, if you go in and read my story I talk about, in my current experience, how I started my career, my sales career in 1990. Right? And that’s my current experience, because this is my pathway, my story, and I talk about how that led to teaching LinkedIn for sales.
Bob Woods 09:06
Yeah, and then I’m gonna give two quick examples. One is actually in mind really quick. I talked about how I was literally one of the first people on LinkedIn compared to the 750 or whatever.
Brynne Tillman 09:21
What number are you?
Bob Woods 09:22
Here 74,899th person to join.
Brynne Tillman 09:27
Bob Woods 09:22
Brynne Tillman 09:27
I praise you.
Bob Woods 09:32
So then the other thing that I was gonna bring up, so when you think about your story, it doesn’t it doesn’t have to be business related all the way through. I was actually doing a makeover for a financial professional and this individual story actually dealt with how his family when he was growing up, their house burned up in a fire.
They had all kinds of problems with finances afterwards, because they didn’t have a plan in place and insurance plays and things like that cover that his main motivator to get in was to help people so that they didn’t face what he faced when he was growing up.
How much more of a perfect and true story can you get? So if you really have a really strong, impactful story, it’s going to have an impact on anyone who reads that because it had an impact on me and I did this months ago, and it still sticks with me like I did it yesterday.
Brynne Tillman 10:32
That’s huge, Right? That’s his why, you know, and I think if you have a y and everyone has a why, but if you can, if you can walk out just if you can bridge your why into this company, this industry, the way you’re serving people, you are going to emotionally connect with the with your profile visitors in your network. So, Bob, that’s very powerful.
Bob Woods 11:01
Yeah, and obviously not everyone’s going to have that type of story there. But if you do, you know, you can soften up you can, you know, you may not want to get like, personal, personal, personal, but something like that, I think definitely works.
So now we’re going to talk about what we call the experience hack. And yes, we put the word hack in, in many, many, many air quotes. Because this is not a hack, we’re not actually breaking anything on LinkedIn. So you know how you can chart and maybe you don’t know this, but you can chart within one particular company, your progression within a company.
So let’s say you started in the proverbial mailroom, and then as assistant salesperson, salesperson sales manager Bumble, you can chart all of that in LinkedIn, what we have done is that we actually use this so that you could describe products or services or product ties, whatever it is you do into separate categories.
That’s really important, especially going back to the SEO part. Because remember, those titles get searched even more than the headlines. So if you have your product titles, and maybe some key words, even after that, within those titles, you’ll be even better. And plus, you can also describe exactly what it is that you do. And then you can add media, whether it’s a PDF and what it does, or a link to your website. And it’s just, it’s chef’s kiss.
Brynne Tillman 12:30
Oh, so yummy. So, yeah, let’s talk about this a little bit. So you can also do personas. So take a look at how you represent yourself on your website isn’t broken down to our services, or the industries we serve. Right? And then when you go in, and you add a plus sign for the company, you’re gonna go ahead and type in your company again, and pull up from the drop down.
And then instead of adding your title in the Title, that’s where you add your product or service. Now, I love the fact that you can link to a page on your website. And you can also copy and paste the verbiage on your website as well. Because you know, having that aligned is really fabulous.
Once you say that, it may not always but it may change the order. So your position is pushed down there up and down carats when you go into Edit your career. You can move these sections around, so they appear in the order in which you wish them to appear. So take a look at Bob’s profile, my profile and look how we’ve identified. I don’t know what you have.
I have products. So I have LinkedIn makeovers, which you do not me, but anyway, I still have it listed. Because we do them as a company, Right?
Bob Woods 13:59
Brynne Tillman 14:00
So LinkedIn profile makeovers, our membership, our corporate training, each of these are listed and I change around the order a little bit. Based on well, really honestly, based on I did a training and I moved the order Oh, yeah. But, sometimes I’m like, You know what, I’m really highlighting a new corporate training product.
So I might bring that to the top. And also side note, update your banner to promote that a little bit. You can even see, you can say in a banner, learn more from my experience below. Or that’s my featured section below. But we’re on experience, so I need to pull back.
Bob Woods 14:45
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, no, I like that. And then sometimes I run into people who say, I offer services. How do I list these and it’s just like, you almost have to, you almost have to productize and I do use that kind of loosely.
Brynne Tillman 15:00
I love that word.
Bob Woods 15:02
So that, you know, so that you can list them separately. And if you have just one product or service but, and Brynne alluded to this a little bit already, but you serve several different industries with that one product or service, list the industries that you serve instead.
Brynne Tillman 15:22
Yeah, I love that. So if you sell to manufacturing and logistics, and yeah, those personas are a great way. And most likely, your website has broken this out. And if I’m going to say whether you’re live now, or you’re listening in replay, if you’re not sure, come to one of our open house coachings at socialsaleslink.com/events.
Bring those questions there, we’re happy to talk through how to position that experience. So go to socialsaleslink.com/events, scroll down to be our guest coaching, and we can walk you through it.
Bob Woods 16:03
Cool. So the next one is, is previous experiences. So I can’t tell you how many questions we get about what I should do with all these previous experiences. So a couple of things, the big thing that I like to tell people is that all of these previous jobs make up who you are now.
So if there’s a way that some of the things that you did, and the past are helping you now, or something that you did, is helping you now, and it should be you know, like, either with helping customers or you know, developing product or you know, whatever it is spin up those previous experiences, so that you can show how these previous jobs are helping you now, rather than just focusing on what you did for them, make those previous experiences work for you now.
Brynne Tillman 16:58
I love that. And you know, let’s hook back to SEO, yes. And make sure those titles are search engine optimized. The key here is you can talk about your successes in the company, but especially if this is a competitor, make sure you’re not bragging about that company, like how great it was or whatever, right? Like we want to make sure that you’re highlighted, but not necessarily the company. And then yeah, and those SEO, words work great here.
Bob Woods 17:33
Yep. And then the last thing that we’re going to talk about unless Brynnw wants to bring up something that I might have.
Brynne Tillman 17:38
Yeah, Could sometimes they just have pop up thoughts.
Bob Woods 17:41
Yeah, pop-up thoughts well, on pop-up thoughts, you can now add skills, like yesterday hour, I’m sorry, last week, rather, we talked about that people are getting the ability to add skills to their about section, you can also add skills to each of your current position or positions and previous positions in the experience section as well. And I think that that’s really, really, that’s a really, really good offering by LinkedIn.
Brynne Tillman 18:08
I do too. And these are 50 skills total, you can reuse the skill. So if in three jobs, you know, your major skill was bookkeeping, you can use that skill three times it doesn’t take from your 50. So you have 50 skills in your skill section, and you can connect five of them to all your positions, including those, the hack, Right?
So you could have five on your main title company. And then we have the first hack, Right? So we go, you know, manufacturing, you can have five skills under that one, and then your next one logistics, you can have five skills under that one, you can double them up, or you can have five or three different ones and two doubled up from what we understand.
And the LinkedIn algorithm is a funny thing. But from what we understand, the more a specific skill is mentioned throughout the higher you’re going to rank in SEO. So if you have one or two keywords that people are using when they’re looking for you, use them in as many places as your about section, your skill section. And now your experience section.
Bob Woods 19:38
Yes, that’s one of the really nice things about the LinkedIn just profile overall is that there are certain there are separate sections and things like that. But sometimes the way things work together is just really cool, especially when it comes to SEO and what Brynne brought up. I think it is just a perfect example of that.
Brynne Tillman 19:57
Whoo hoo hoo.
Bob Woods 19:38
Whoo hoo hoo. So Okay, so yeah, so the experience section is underutilized. Now you know how to make it much more effective for you not only when people look at your profile, but to even attract people to your profile. I didn’t even write that down ahead of time. I just came up with that on the fly.
Brynne Tillman 20:18
It’s almost like you do this every day.
Bob Woods 20:21
Almost not quite, but almost. So thanks again, everyone for joining us on Making Sales Social Live. If you’re with us live on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter right now, we do this every week. So join us every week. If you’re listening to our podcast, which means you’re listening to the recorded version and you haven’t subscribed already, go ahead and hit that subscribe or follow button.
If you’d like more information, our podcast go to socialsaleslink.com/podcast. We do this show every week. And we also do our Making Sales Social interview series, where we talk with leaders and experts in sales, marketing business, and a lot more areas than that. So when you’re out and about, make sure that your sales are.
Brynne Tillman 21:06
Social. Bye, Guys.
Bob Woods 20:21
Everybody. Bye bye.