Executive Resumes, Personal Branding & Executive Job Search

The LinkedIn Summary Dilemma: Use "I" or Not?

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Jun 16, 2015 10:34:23 AM


LinkedIn profile writing is a challenge. And there are ways in which the LinkedIn profile summary section is still the Wild West. The LI summary is a blank page only restricted by the 2000 character limit. There are no requirements for anything in particular, such as listing your jobs and dates. So why is it important to worry about this? And what should you do?

People know that LI is the premier business networking site. It also happens to be an almost-mandatory place for recruiters to check before exploring possible job candidates further. In addition, it provides a fairly comprehensive database of potential candidates that recruiters can search by specifying desired keywords.

Because, for professionals and executives, LI is now so critical to getting their next job, they are naturally very sensitive to how they present themselves in the summary section. And when they do a Google search on how to write the summary they may find advice and examples that run counter to how they want to present themselves.

This link will show you the typical recommendations and examples career-minded individuals will see when they look to the Web for advice on writing the summary:


LinkedIn best practice for writing the summary is to use the first person singular, that is, use "I" throughout as opposed to "Ms Jones" or using the hidden 3rd person voice such as we use in resumes ("Worked for 20+ years...") So what's the problem?

Some people are just plain uncomfortable with the more personal tone of the first person voice. They may also feel that use of the first person "I" places too much focus on the self and is not modest enough in tone. Does the fact that best practice is to use "I mean that they should bite the bullet and go out there in public with an expression that feels unnatural, uncomfortable, or even inappropriate to them? No, of course not.

That being said, there are good reasons for using the personal "I" voice. It can invite the reader in to get to know you. It can convey personality, character, and other elements of your personal brand much more easily and naturally than the more impersonal, distancing voice of the 3rd person "he/she" or the more formal resume voice.

Summaries using "I" are more apt to be interesting and engaging. That is good! As in every other type of communication including ads, articles, movies, and TV shows, the personal and the emotional "sells." Even if you inject just a little more engaging direct and self-revelatory content into your LinkedIn profile, the recruiter who finds you on LI may become more interested in you and more motivated to read on.

Done sloppily, the first person LI summary can of course turn off the recruiter who may view the tone too informal or too personal.

Tricky, huh?

So, on the horns of the dilemma, this is what I recommend. Use the first person "I" in your LI summary if:

a) You can do it skillfully, professionally, and engagingly. If not, revert to one of the other options.

b) You feel comfortable doing it. If not, revert to one of the other options.

If you choose the more formal approach for writing a LinkedIn profile, you may be giving up some competitive advantage. But probably not so much that it’s worth being ill at ease with how you present yourself. Good luck with this!

If you have trouble, contact me at jc@get-job-offers.com or another professional LinkedIn profile writer for help.





Topics: LinkedIn Profiles, LinkedIn Profile Writing

The Biggest 2015 Job Search Trend in One Word

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Jan 30, 2015 9:42:36 AM


Here's where I see resumes and job search going:


O: Over 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn to source and vet candidates | Over 80% use social media sites like Facebook or Twitter to rule applicants OUT

N: Neglect building your online footprint at your peril | Unless you have a robust online footprint, you will be disadvantaged in the job search over candidates who do

L: Love your job and want to keep it? Stay abreast of the trends in your industry, keep learning to keep up, and watch the career moves and ongoing training of your peers online

I: Innovate on the job so you can write about it in your LIP (LinkedIn profile), on your website, in tweets, on Facebook, or display it on Youtube and Pinterest | Bring something distinctive to the table

N: Never give up the job search - there is always something you haven't tried in the world of online job search | There's also a world of potential contacts and ways to connect with hiring managers and employees online

E: Engage with people in your function or industry space online by responding to their online activity and getting the word about on your professional interestss

Want to get started? Go beyond your executive resume and build your LIP to 100% complete and go to about.me and build your profile there. After that, you can be endlessly creative in building your brand through words, pictures, slides, videos, and infographics.

Want to also try something new? Explore SwitchApp.com by Apple - very cool. And keep an eye on LinkedIn's new acquisition: Bright. Wisewords. RaiseYourFlag. CareerSushi. Good luck!








Topics: job search, executive resume, online identity, LinkedIn Profile Writing

5 Tips for Writing a Killer LinkedIn Profile from Your Branded Resume

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Jul 13, 2012 12:03:00 PM

writing a LinkedIn profile 

The LinkedIn Profile is now the cornerstone of your career communications. It is gradually, along with other social media sites and Google results, supplanting the resume as an introduction to you as a job candidate. For those of you who are writing your own profiles from your branded resume, I have put together 5 critical tips:

1. Your Professional Headline

- Make sure you have the title you are seeking in your Professional Headline. You can usually find the title at the top of your resume.

- If you can fit it into your allotted 120 characters, include a “reason to hire.” Your “reason to hire” is your value proposition, the value your bring to the table ($$ in revenue enabled, $$ costs cut, functionality improved, etc.)

2. Summary

- The summary is different from the profile on your resume. Keep it to no more that 3-4 short paragraphs.

- Make it less formal than your resume. Use your own “voice” to express your career brand* and your personal brand**.

- Present a quick overview of your career, particularly the last 8 years. Avoid going into detail.

- Include the top accomplishments – if possible, in terms of dollars or percentages.

- Let your personal brand shine through.

3. Skills & Expertise

- Populate your “Skills & Expertise” section with the keywords appropriate to your job target. These are often the same as the skills list that is part of your resume profile.

- Build these keywords into the Summary in a natural way as much as you are able.

4. Experience

- You want the information under the workplaces to be shorter than in your resume.

- Select your most standout contributions. You will find them standing out in your resume. Write them up using bullets.

- Include a brief snapshot of “Scope” – Number of reports, budgets managed, chief areas of accountability, etc.

5. Recommendations

- Get recommendations from people you work with or have worked with: bosses, reports, colleagues, vendors etc.

- Give them some ideas about what to write. Get these from your resume. Anything they can say that will reinforce your brand or one/many of your accomplishments will make your profile even stronger.


* Your Career Brand & **Personal Brand

- Your career brand has to do with your position (title, function, industry) and what you uniquely bring to the table (value proposition).

- Your personal brand has to do with the qualities of your personality, character, and style that are part of what make you successful.



Character Limits

Headline: 120 Chars

Company name: 100 Chars

Summary: 2000 Chars

Skills: 25 skills up to 61 Chars each

Position Title: 100 Chars

Position Description 200 Chars minimum, 2000 max

Interests: 1000 Chars


Topics: job search, personal branding, career brand, branded executive resume, resume writing, LinkedIn Profile Writing

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Tyrone Norwood