You’re smart, talented, and a hard worker, so you’ve been rewarded with stretch assignments that helped you build new management-level skills. But despite that growth, no one has yet tapped you for that first management role. Now you’ve got a conundrum–you want to update your LinkedIn profile to show your management ability, but you don’t have the title to go with it.
That’s okay, says LinkedIn expert Viveka von Rosen, author of LinkedIn Marketing in an Hour a Day. The social media platform still offers a number of ways for you to point out why you’re management material and catch the eye of your supervisor, prospective new boss, or recruiter.
“Don’t worry right now about what your past job description said. Get in the mind-set of, ‘How did I get to where I am now?’ Never lie, but you can rewrite those sections of your profile to reflect the strengths that brought you to where you are right now,” she says.
So pull up your profile and make these tweaks and additions to help you get to the next level in your career.
What To Say In Your Summary
The summary section gives you 2,000 characters of prime LinkedIn real estate to tell people about yourself and what you can do, says LinkedIn consultant Dan Sherman, author of Maximum Success with LinkedIn. Within that space, create a heading that highlights your accomplishments and create a list of bullet points that summarize key skills and successes.
“People hate to read blocks of text. Under ‘accomplishments,’ you might put something like, ‘Led a cross-functional team that increased productivity in our company’,” he says. If you managed a vendor or an intern, be sure to include that as well.
Hiring managers are looking for people who are effective in what they do, so the more you can quantify your impact with numbers, the better. It’s okay to blend accomplishments from different employers in this section. List your top successes across your career so far.
Add Some Media
Here is where you can show off your industry knowledge, creativity, writing ability, and thought leadership, von Rosen says. Create content that shows prospective hiring managers or your own boss that you understand your industry and are thinking about its future. Perhaps you did a successful presentation that you can share publicly. Upload it here. Wrote an article? Post it. Spoke at an event? Share the video.
“Any kind of media is proof of your management and leadership skills and proof of your knowledge,” she says.
If you don’t have much media yet, curate what’s out there. Look for thoughtful pieces by other professionals and post them with your thoughts on the piece. Make your profile a small information hub while you begin to develop your own media to share, von Rosen says.
Highlight Your Experience
Under each job you have listed, you can post a brief description of your duties and accomplishments. Again, use this space carefully to showcase your wins in brief, bulleted points, von Rosen says. If you’ve worked closely with a manager on a high-impact or high-profile project, that may be worth calling out, too.
Add In Nontraditional Education
While most people include their college and graduate school work in the education section, this can also be a great way to showcase additional seminars or workshops you’ve taken to improve your skills, Sherman says. Don’t list every half-day workshop you’ve attended, but if you have completed a certificate or well-known training in leadership, or which was related to your industry, list it to show you’re motivated to keep learning.
Ask For Some Recommendations That Highlight The Right Things
The people who appreciate your work are also in a position to help you showcase your leadership skills, von Rosen says. When asking for an endorsement or recommendation, she usually gives her colleague some tips on which skills she would like them to highlight.
“Give them bullet points, and speak to things that as a manager are important. ‘Could you speak to my team-building skills? Could you speak to my timeliness and ability to keep things on track? Can you speak to how my team helped you generate this much revenue? Can you speak to my success when I came in and worked with your company in a leadership position?’ You ask for those specifics,” she says.
Edit Your Interests
Look over the interests section of your profile and make sure it looks professional, von Rosen suggests. If there are leadership-focused industry groups or particularly active groups in your industry, be sure to join them and read what people are sharing. This can also help you make connections and gain greater exposure in your field.
Of course, read over your profile carefully and ensure that it’s clean and free of typos and grammatical errors. And set it to “public” so prospective hiring managers can see your content when they click on it, von Rosen says.