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Should I include all my work experience in my LinkedIn Profile?

When completing your LinkedIn profile, it can be hard to know what experience to include and what to leave out, especially if the section is getting rather large.

As a rule of thumb, you want to continually be asking yourself whether the entry will add to or distract from your core message.

Your core message is based on the outcome you want to achieve with your profile and who you are writing it for. By identifying your audience and understanding what they need in order to be interested in what you have to offer, you’ll start to recognise what information to leave out, what to include, and how to present it.

You’ll want to leave out anything that raises a question mark and has your prospect doubt your credibility or commitment to your career, such as a temporary career break or part time job in a pub.

However, you’ll want to include anything that sets you apart as an expert or uniquely positions you for the role at hand. For your outcome, it could be that part time bar job provided you the experience and industry insight needed to set you apart from other candidates. Never be afraid to publish your previous career either.

Last year, I was working with one of my clients on his profile and I advised him to add his previous career from 20 years ago to his profile, something he considered to be irrelevant to his role as an Executive Business coach to top organisations.

A week later he called to tell me he won a new contract.

It turned out that he was one of the last three candidates in a tendering process. Having procrastinated for three months, unable to decide whom to pick, the organisation finally resolved that they would make their decision based on the LinkedIn profile of each coach.

The organisation he was tending for is a restaurant chain working towards a Michelin Star. The first career that we added? His achievement as a Michelin Star chef in his early career. This positioned David as the first choice provider for the organisation and the decision was made.

You never know how something you think is out of date will position you as a top expert/provider for your prospect.

Here is a summary of what to include and not include. If you have questions or would like to discuss your situation, please feel free to leave a comment.

Include:

  • Full or part time roles where you stayed a significant amount of time and colleagues will remember you
  • Roles that provided you with valuable experience and demonstrate your knowledge of industry
  • Your previous career path – you never know how your 1st/2nd career will position you as a top candidate today
  • All roles undertaken, especially in the same sector, as it shows your depth of experience and knowledge

Don’t include:

  • Career breaks that detract from your overall personal brand and message
    Part time jobs during education if you are now established in your career (include if you’re a young person starting out)
  • Unrelated part-time jobs used to support you developing your career, e.g., waiting on tables while seeking a new role
  • Temping assignments that lasted less than a month. If you have many of these, mention the agency name and list experience in the same entry
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