Take action: Craft your work experience
– Take a moment and close your eyes.
You’re sitting across the table from a 10-year-old kid and you have to explain what you do to them. What’s more, is you have to explain how what you do actually makes a difference. What would you say without all the buzzwords to break down what you really do in simple terms? If you’re struggling, don’t worry. You aren’t alone.
When it comes to talking about our work experience, accomplishments, results and impact, many of us find it difficult to articulate what we do and why what we do matters. Think this doesn’t have an impact? Think again. Adding or updating your current work experience can lead to up to eight times more profile views, up to five times more connection requests and up to 10 times more messages that create opportunity on LinkedIn. So how would you explain what you do and how you impact to someone else?
Let’s take Ari, for example. Ari is an executive chef at a small French restaurant. Check out his most recent work experience. Executive chef, Bistro Grill. Managing a restaurant specializing in French cuisine, controlling inventory weekly, overseeing food production and managing overall budget. Do you really get a sense for what Ari does? Maybe a little bit. But do you get a sense for the results he’s creating? The impact he’s having. Or why you’d want to work with Ari versus any other executive chef out there? Not so much.
Now let’s meet Tariq. Tariq is similar to Ari in that he owns and operates his own restaurant specializing in American Midwest cuisine. But his work experience is completely different. Let’s take a look. Executive chef and owner, Lakehouse Restaurant. “I create memorable dining experiences that connect people to classic American Midwest culture through food. I own and operate The Lakehouse Restaurant where our goal is to immerse you into elevated Midwestern cuisine one bite at a time. As the winner of two James Beard Awards for Outstanding Chef and Best New Restaurant, we’re just getting started. I’ve built this business from the ground up in less than four years and grown profits more than 40%. From designing sustainable menus to mentoring up-and-coming chefs, I’m challenging the status quo of what it means to offer American Midwest dining experiences.”
See how you can really get a feel for the impact Tariq is having? Immediately you see where he’s focused when his highlighted his passion around creating memorable dining experiences. You instantly see his accomplishments from his awards to the growth of his restaurant and how he’s built this business from the ground up. And finally, you see where he’s focused as he speaks to designing sustainable menus and mentoring up-and-coming chefs.
Here’s some final things to keep in mind when adding your most recent position. Always speak in the first-person narrative. Your results, accomplishments, impact and experience are more genuine when they come from you. Use short, concise paragraphs in a story format to bring your career journey to life. Don’t forget, you don’t have to craft this alone. Lean on the people in your professional community who know you best. Brainstorm with your teammates, managers and collaborators on the work you do. Ask them to note the accomplishments, results and impact they’ve observed in working with you. Or better yet, ask them to notice where they see you get excited and passionate when talking about what you do. Regardless of the work you do, and the industry you’re in, adding your current position within your work experience section of your profile helps you shine.