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online profile WRITING

  • 09 Feb 2021 2:58 PM | Deleted user

    By Brenda Bernstein
    The Essay Expert

    Many people are flummoxed when it comes to choosing a LinkedIn profile headline.  What keywords should they include?  How do you get that up and down symbol ( | )?  (Hit shift and the backslash key.) Is it more important to have keywords or a Tagline / Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?

    This article will mainly address the last question:  Keywords or USP?  The answer to the question depends on your main goal with your LinkedIn profile.

    Below you will find several situations you might be in.  Find yourself as closely as possible and handle your headline in the most appropriate way for your situation.  If you don’t find yourself exactly, find the nearest match and adjust from there.

    1.  You are a job seeker and you want to be found in searches.*

    If you are a job seeker, your main goal is probably to be found and contacted by recruiters and hiring managers.  If so, you need to focus on keywords in your headline.  Keywords are the terms a recruiter would be searching for if looking for someone like you.

    The prevailing wisdom is to choose 4-5 words as keywords and leave it at that.  Adding extra words or extra characters like your email address may serve to dilute the effectiveness of your headline.

    Examples of good headlines are:

    Manufacturing & Supply Chain Executive | Asia

    Procurement & Contract Specialist | Treasury Manager

    Account Executive | OEM Sales | Field Sales | Territory Manager

    Director Communications | Branding | Online Marketing | Social Media

    Note these headlines zero in on the most essential keywords and do not add any fluff to dilute their impact.

    Some job seekers write “Open to New Opportunities” in their headline.  Some recruiters actually search on the term “opportunities” and might find you that way.  Other recruiters will skip over you if you put that phrase in your headline.  My advice is to try it one way, and if you’re not getting the attention you want, try it another way.  That’s the beauty of social media… nothing is ever engraved in stone.

    2.  You are a job seeker and your main goal is to look good when people find you.

    Perhaps you are currently employed and doing a very selective and confidential job search.  Or perhaps you want people to look for you primarily after you have contacted them.  If so, you may not particularly be looking to be found in searches.  In this situation, you have more flexibility when crafting your headline.  I recommend that you write your job title and a catchy phrase, tagline, or Unique Selling Proposition.


    High-Powered Financial and Analytical Trainer | Propelling International Business Teams to the Top

    Program, Process and Project Manager | Creating and Implementing Innovative Technological Solutions

    Managed Care Professional | Building relationships with attention and integrity

    3.  You are a business owner or professional and you want people to find you.*

    If you are a business owner or professional wanting to attract clients, stack your headline with the keywords your clients would be searching on.  My headline says:

    Essay & Resume Writer | Executive Resumes | Personal Statements | LinkedIn Profiles | Web Copy

    The result of having these keywords in my headline (and also in my summary, specialties and job titles) is that many people find me when they are seeking the services I provide.

    During admission season I change my keywords to emphasize college essays and MBA Admissions consulting.

    Change your keywords as much as you want until you get the number of visitors to your site each day that you’re looking for.

    4.  You are a business owner or professional and you just want to build a close network of solid business connections.

    If you are laying low on LinkedIn and selectively building a network, really all you need is your job title and organization.  LinkedIn will take care of that for you.

    *NOTE TO THOSE IN CATEGORIES 1 & 3:  Remember that the number of hits you get on your LinkedIn profile will always increase when you increase your number of connections.

    BEWARE of the LinkedIn Default! 

    If you update your current job position, LinkedIn automatically changes your headline unless you catch the box that lets you opt out.  If this happens, take control and change your headline if you want it to say something different! Like so many things, there is no “one size fits all” answer to the LinkedIn Headline question.
  • 09 Feb 2021 2:55 PM | Deleted user

    By Brenda Bernstein
    The Essay Expert

    Many people on LinkedIn make the mistake of copying their resume summary statements into their LinkedIn Summary section. There are three major problems with this strategy:

    Problem #1: Trite Phrases

    Often your resume summary is laden with overused phrases like “Results-oriented team player with a proven track record…” or “Dynamic, motivated self-starter with extensive experience…”

    If your resume summary looks anything like the above examples, please rewrite it and hire a professional resume writer if necessary! This type of language belongs neither on your resume nor in your LinkedIn profile.

    Problem #2: LinkedIn Summary Real Estate

    You have 2000 characters at your disposal for a LinkedIn Summary, vs. three to four lines maximum for your resume summary. Why would you choose not to use all that real estate to say something – really say something – about yourself?

    Problem #3: Keywords

    Your LinkedIn Summary is an essential place for you to insert keywords if you want to be found on LinkedIn. By inserting a 3-line summary, you lose out on your chance to build keywords into your profile.

    Resume Summary Example – For Resumes Only

    Here’s an example of a very strong resume summary statement that does NOT belong in a LinkedIn Summary (note I DO like this statement as a resume summary statement):

    Jane Doe – Producer – Writer – Editor

    Award-winning television producer and groundbreaking investigative reporter —  experience covering issues ranging from pre-election to international news, with special emphasis on East Africa. Creator and writer of highly acclaimed documentaries and promotional videos for non-profit organizations. Eight years as producer for CNN.

    LinkedIn Summary Example – Great Model!

    What would a LinkedIn Summary look like for Jane?  Here is the statement we could write for her:

    • Award-winning investigative and documentary television producer

      Video production and broadcast journalism have been my passions for over 20 years, ever since receiving my MS in Journalism from Columbia University. I have produced everything from groundbreaking news stories for CNN to promotional videos for non-profit organizations, and I am currently hosting a blog radio show for parents relaunching their careers.

      My journalism background gave me the ability to distill a large amount of material and hone in on what’s true and important. I can pinpoint the real message that needs to be conveyed, creating a human story that moves and inspires an audience.
    • Promotional Videos for Non-Profit Organizations

      As a freelance video producer, I specialize in creating high caliber, professional and creative promotional videos for non-profit and educational organizations. I understand the budgetary constraints of non-profit organizations and will work within a range of budgets and scope of work.

      Funders respond to high quality video presentations that effectively convey your organization’s message. I will take your message, target it, and transform it into a concise and meaningful array of pictures, words, and sounds. You will then have the power of an impactful video to present your organization’s activities at fundraising events and through the web.

    • [Blog]

      In addition to being a video producer, I was a stay-at-home mom for 13 years, and I am committed to providing resources to women who are returning to the workforce. The [blog] chronicles my journey and shares information about the return-to-work process.

      Blog topics include emotional roadblocks to relaunching, preparing your resume, updating your wardrobe, and preparing your family for re-entry.

      Check out my weekly radio show on relaunching your career, with guests including authors, career counselors, therapists, and employers. (…)

    What works about this LinkedIn Summary Example?

    1. Conveys Jane’s story and her passion (the resume summary does not).

    2. Contains multiple keywords that will get Jane found on LinkedIn.

    3. Covers the different facets of what Jane has to offer.

    4. Draws the eye to sub-headings so that readers can easily see what Jane is about. The text is broken into bite-sized pieces, not so blocky that no one will read it.

    5. Has a call to action.

    Note that the resume summary does NONE of these five things, even though it is perfectly great as a resume summary. Use your LinkedIn Summary section to its full potential!

  • 09 Feb 2021 2:53 PM | Deleted user

    By Brenda Bernstein
    The Essay Expert

    One of the biggest mistakes I see people make in their LinkedIn profiles is that they do not distinguish who they are from who their company is. I call this “conflating” yourself with your company.

    “Conflating” is a completely natural thing to do, especially if you, like so many of us, identify yourself very strongly with your company.

    It just doesn’t work for your readers and potential customers.

    When I read a Summary on LinkedIn, I want it to tell me who that person is beyond the great professional photo up top. If I wanted to hear all about a company, I would go to the company website or LinkedIn page. I’m looking at your personal profile to learn more about you!

    Here’s an example from a profile I reviewed, along with my commentary:


    Over 17 years of expertise providing social networking strategy consulting and implementation in organizations such as Motorola, BF Goodrich, AT&T, American Express, Medtronic, CNA, UBS and hundreds of emerging companies looking to build key account relationships with large organizations, innovate new products or build their brands through social networking.

    Did you make it through that one? It was difficult, wasn’t it? Not only is this otherwise impressive list of credentials a run-on sentence, but it leaves us confused: Is this person talking about herself or her company? Does she have 17 years of experience or does her company? After reading this entire paragraph, I’m still wondering… who is she?

    Her next paragraph goes on as follows:

    We offer a unique, exclusive and cost-effective process to build leadership, sales and customer networks to grow revenue exponentially. Recently Crains named me the best networker in Chicago. I am also the author of eleven books (just working on book twelve)….

    Do you see where in the middle of a paragraph she switches from the subject “we” to the subject “I”? Again, who is she vs. who is her company?

    The above networking expert has stellar credentials and recommendations and is up to big things – but we might not ever get around to reading past the first two lines of her Summary.

    Now, here’s an example of someone who does a great job of distinguishing himself from his company, and who succeeds in selling both:

    I am a research professional and LinkedIn trainer with more than eight years of combined market intelligence, competitive intelligence and Internet recruiting experience. My focus has been on deep web sourcing, executive interviews and online social networking. I enjoy networking with professionals from any industry on a global scale and encourage you to contact me at any time…. Thanks!

    See how this entire paragraph is about the person himself? It works! We’re right there with him!

    His second section reads as follows:

    Current Phelps Research Services Initiatives:

    • Networking with business professionals in the greater Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago areas
    • Selling and conducting targeted LinkedIn training to corporations.

    Here he clearly makes a switch from talking about himself to talking about his company. We get that he is the principal in the company and we know who’s behind these initiatives. We stay engaged and wanting to read more.

    I encourage you to look at your LinkedIn profile Summary. Have you conflated yourself with your company? If so, it’s time to re-write that Summary and distinguish yourself and who you are. That’s what we go there to discover.

  • 09 Feb 2021 1:36 PM | Deleted user

    Remember the prediction that computers would create a paperless society? While this clearly hasn’t happened, it is evident that computers have changed the way we work and communicate.

    Similarly, the repeated threat that “the resume is dead” has not materialized, but resumes continue to evolve in new directions to meet the needs of an evolving workforce.


    • Previously a want ad in the newspaper might draw a few dozen responses. Today, an online posting attracts hundreds, perhaps thousands of resumes.

    • At one time a name-brand education and top-drawer MBA were enough to capture attention even up through senior executive levels. Now, more workers than ever have college educations, and MBAs are increasingly commonplace.

    • It used to be that workers joined a company and stayed till retirement. Lifelong career management was not the imperative it is today.

    • A traditional paper resume was the only kind that was available. Now we have various electronic resumes, online portfolios, online job applications, and numerous other ways of making career information available to potential employers.

    As resume professionals, we need to stay on top of evolving trends. And while the traditional resume is alive and well, in today’s competitive and active employment market it’s often appropriate to recommend and prepare additional documents that go beyond the resume to make an even stronger case for our clients.

    Here are a few recent scenarios in which I have created documents other than (usually in addition to) a resume to help my clients succeed.

    Household Name

    My client had spent ten years in high-profile positions with one of the best-known companies in America. When he left the company, within days he was receiving phone calls from recruiters, competitors, and other network contacts. They all wanted to talk to him about what he could do for them, and he set up half a dozen meetings for the next couple of weeks.

    What a great position for my client to be in! He wanted a resume to bring to his meetings or send in advance. Yet, when we spoke, it didn’t seem that he would need his resume to provide details of his background – it was already well known, and he was meeting with people who knew him or knew of him. So rather than create a typical two- or three-page executive resume, I recommended and prepared a one-page “snapshot” that captured just the highlights of his career chronology, accomplishments, and education.

    To supplement the one-page resume, we created a two-page leadership addendum that provided a more in-depth look into his top four or five career achievements. He planned to use these as a leave-behind following the meetings, to give his contacts deep and memorable insights into the kinds of challenges he had faced and the results he had delivered.

    Custom Proposal

    For another client, the first document we prepared was a two-page executive resume. As she executed her search campaign, I wrote custom cover letters and follow-up letters for her. After one series of meetings, she called to discuss an approach for her scheduled next meeting, and we decided to prepare a job proposal that spelled out precisely the challenges/opportunities facing the company and her value and ability to realize them.

    Armed with this custom job proposal, she impressed the top executives with her vision and landed the job.

    High-Tech, High-Touch

    As a third example, consider my client who was a senior executive of a high-tech consumer products company. He knew his target audience of high-tech executives (and recruiters) would look online to learn about him before and during the interview process. So after creating his traditional executive resume, I wrote a one-page narrative bio and a leadership addendum and then referred him to a colleague who helped him create a complete web portfolio.

    The portfolio included all of the documents I had created, shown in their entirety or pulled apart and presented in separate sections. Yet the portfolio format also allowed room for more, different, and creative additions that together created a comprehensive picture of this particular executive – his strengths and accomplishments, leadership style, and vision for the future.

    To Infinity… and Beyond

    There is no end to the variety of documents we can create for our clients! Taking a consultative approach, we can listen, analyze, and then recommend solutions that help our clients stand out from the crowd, convey just the right information, and create the right perception for each audience.

    After all, we’ve evolved from typed CVs to powerful resume presentations. Why stop there?


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