One of the problems with upgrading your Linkedin profile is hitting the character limit before you've finished extolling your virtues. You don't want to sacrifice your experience and skills, so the best way to reduce the word count is with these big and small revisions:
These are based on information I've gotten from interviewing HR pros, hiring managers and recruiters for almost a decade of reporting for Monster.com:
- Focus your ideas: Focus on relevant experience and results. When we're looking for talent, we want to know what you know, of course, but also how successful you are at applying that expertise and experience. Including specific accomplishments in a bulleted format make it easy to see that you can get results. Similarly, don't just say you're good at problem-solving -- provide a relevant example or two.
- Maximize recommendations: Let others tell your story (and help you save space) by speaking to specific traits, skills and experience that you mention in your profile.
With the big stuff out of the way, take a look at the copy itself. There are a lot of ways to reduce word count without sucking the life out of your profile. Here's a handful of the most effective:
Avoid Complex Phrasing
It’s no news flash that short sentences are easier to understand than long ones. If you've got a long sentence, try to split it into two parts. Here are some examples:
I developed a wide-ranging financial planning model employing a proprietary modeling format for a new business model the executive team was preparing to enter into and they requested a comprehensive plan that showed the “lay of the land” including risks, potential ROI, potential rewards and to help inform decisions such as “buy versus build” and “hire versus sub”.
36-word, 2-sentence revision
I built a comprehensive financial planning model using a proprietary format to identify potential risks, rewards and ROI, and to inform “buy-or-build” and “hire-or-sub” decisions. Data was used by executive team to develop new business model.
30-word revision, tightened single-sentence approach
I built a proprietary financial planning model to help the executive team develop a new business model by identifying potential risks, rewards and ROI, and inform decisions to “buy-or-build” and “hire-or-sub”.
If you really need that long sentence, focus on your choice and placement of verbs to improve comprehension, like this:
If you spot a multi-part, 58-word statement, split it into smaller parts, rearrange words and required bits of grammar, and then read it over to make sure you’ve retained the logic and fluency of the original longer sentence.
We can easily can improve our concision without losing important content by cutting word count at 15 percent. I like to make my first pass orally--reading the text aloud to hear opportunities to delete unnecessary words or work with sentence structure and fluency. Then I move onto more technical revisions like using verbs more effectively:
- Replace weak verbs with strong verbs. These verbs convey actions and tell the reader how the actions are performed. Instead of “I lowered operating costs dramatically", how about “I slashed operating costs by 13 percent”? Of course, don't forget to explain how you did that.
- Replace multi-word verbs with single-word verbs. Consider this sentence: “I set up a program to train employees in how to use new imaging technology". Now this one: “I designed an employee training program for using new imaging technology".
These tips will help you tell your story effectively without running afoul of Linkedin's space limitations.
- Top 5 ways to get more from Linkedin
- Making connections on Linkedin
- How to write great Linkedin recommendations