Start Me Up Founder and certified LinkedIn profile writer Clare Harrison, offers her top tips.  

LinkedIn, the business networking platform with an estimated 500 million users, is a way for many people to get discovered or hired. It can also be a way to find mentors, leads or collaborators. But how do you make your profile sound amazing when your work experience is a bit on the light side?

Obviously recruiters want evidence that potential hires are good workers.

And for many companies, that translates into commercial acumen, professionalism, communication, teamwork, organization, and staying calm under pressure.

But writing a profile on LinkedIn or on a CV that embodies those characteristics can be harder than it sounds.

Recruiters are looking for something special. But show don’t tell

Writers often repeat the adage ‘show, don’t tell’, what this essentially means is show the reader how much potential and ability you have, don’t tell them.

Saying “I’m a dynamic individual with entrepreneurial aspirations” isn’t as convincing as saying “I run two small businesses with an annual turnover of X thousand dollars, am captain of a debating team and play three instruments.”

What achievements can you write about?

What evidence do you have to give a recruiter?

Ask the mentor at the company you’ve been working with for help.

Give an impression of scale

Was it a global event with attendees from over 40 countries?

Was it a startup that was achieving double-digit growth month on month?

How many visitors were on the website?

What was the value of the transactions that you were logging?

How much money could your decisions and research potentially have saved your host company?

Did you save thousands of dollars by researching low cost alternatives?

Be specific. Use numbers. Give an impression of scale. If you can’t divulge the exact figures because they are sensitive, use percentages or approximations such as “worked for a seven-figure business”, to indicate your company had a turnover in excess of a million dollars.

Use examples, but explain what those examples mean by giving context.

 LinkedIn writingUnless it’s completely flipping obvious, explain the sector of the company that you worked for and the relevant business division.

Who were you taking orders from?

Was it a Fortune 500 company or a fledgling startup?

If the latter, then when did it or when will it launch?

Don’t spend endless paragraphs outlining this stuff, a few words will do.

Can you compare your performance to an average?

Can you demonstrate that you are above average?

Context is everything.

Write in the first person

A LinkedIn profile is not like a CV or resume. It is a chance to start a conversation. You can write in the first person. You can add color and detail. And you have many more characters/words to play with than a conventional resume. You have 2,000 characters to play with for each role.

Settle on a good description of what you’re looking for

Some people worry that they haven’t got enough experience to demonstrate their prowess in a given area but sometimes, a signal of interest is all you need.

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur?

Are you looking for an internship in fintech?

Are you a polymath?

An aspiring growth hacker?

Say it. And remember: it’s not forever.


About the Author

Clare Harrison

Clare Harrison

Founder of Start Me Up and LinkedIn Profile Expert

I am a certified LinkedIn profile writing expert and the founder of Start Me Up, a company that sources virtual and in-person internships across technology and social impact sectors.

Find out how to make your LinkedIn profile help you land your ideal job.