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Does your LinkedIn profile feel more like a resume (backward focused) or a business plan (forward focused)?

If you answered “resume,” consider this linkedin profile directionquestion:

If you had only a few minutes with a person with whom you may want to build a future business relationship, would you spend more time on your past or where you are trying to go?  And this applies to job seekers as well.

With these thoughts in mind, I want you to consider the following exercise:

1. Print out your LinkedIn profile
2. Carefully read through it
3. Cut out the following three sections and put them in front of you:

  • Headline
  • Summary
  • Your most current job experience

With these three sections in front of you, reconsider the two questions I asked.

Here is what I'm getting at. Your resume is your resume. Your LinkedIn profile, although it has some similarities to your resume, should be more of a forward launching, here is where I am going, I have a plan and you can join me type of document.

For example, here is an excerpt from my LinkedIn Summary section:

“I am a social media consultant, speaker, and trainer specializing in LinkedIn use and strategy. I have trained over 50,000 businesspeople–from entry level to CEO–on how to effectively use LinkedIn. I help companies develop a comprehensive strategy for using LinkedIn to grow their business and build their brand. I then train their team on how to use LinkedIn to meet their objectives.”

The first two sentences are historical facts (I am a social media consulant…I have trained…), and the third sentence (I help companies develop…) is the forward-thinking idea I want readers to understand, consider, and possibly take action on. And, of course, that action is to contact me right away because they need this type of training for their company.

I suggest you consider changing some of the content in these three sections (Headline, Summary, and your current job experience) so much of it includes concepts, words, and visions of what it is you want to get done in the future and less about what you have done.

Isn’t this really what you want to accomplish not only with your LinkedIn profile but your entire LinkedIn experience?