Putting Together My LinkedIn Profile

screenshot of my top linkedin profile skills

I don’t know exactly what my area of expertise is, but people often ask me what it is. I suppose I should probably have a good idea of what that is, though. Most people do, I guess? Do you? What is it? For me to find out mine, I’d probably have to look at an organized account of all my past jobs and experiences that I currently find relevant to what I want to be doing. I think there’s something for that. LinkedIn? Well, I have been getting my LinkedIn profile together more recently. Everyone else was, so I figured why not? I can be professionally interesting. I can be Mr. Business. I can network.

What My LinkedIn Profile Says I Am

I did some things to my LinkedIn profile since I last brought it up on my blog. I updated my headline with titles that I consider myself to have. Those things include “author” because I self-published a book a few years ago. I’ve also thrown in “creative professional” because I’m in a creative writing program and also blog and do other creative things. And finally, I added “coordinator”, because that’s my day job.

If nothing else, I hope these things help with people who are searching for authors and coordinators to network with. I don’t know if anyone is searching for creative professional – I thought about putting “writer” in my headline but I already have author in there, so I’m not sure writer would be that helpful. Maybe I should add it in, though.

Prior to having these things in my headline, my headline just read as whatever my job title was, which was a weird job title that people would never search for on LinkedIn.

My LinkedIn Experience and Skills

My experience section has been kind of okay since I had to build up my LinkedIn profile for one my classes in the MBA program. However, I knew that I needed to overhaul my skills section. I was listing skills that I really needed to have for my current roles, but hadn’t really fully developed into skills.

What I did to solve this problem was use a newer feature of LinkedIn – I added some context to my skills by telling LinkedIn which experiences and activities my skills were applied to. You just open up the skills and check boxes. If I couldn’t find an experience that I still had on my profile for that skill, I deleted the skill.

I was able to apply the work I did as founder of a student organization to leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills, for example. The literary magazine I used to edit? Marketing. Publishing. Editing.

My day job? Administration. Communication. Organization skills. Mentoring. Technical support. Diversity and inclusion.

What was once an attempt to show management skills that I wished were fully developed is now an attempt at showing what has developed, including some mentoring and teaching skills.

Now, my LinkedIn experience and skills are much more connected and understandable to me. I now have a fairly decent idea of what I’m good at and what experiences helped shape my expertise.

So what is my expertise? Well, I said that I figured out what my relevant skills were and what experiences they applied to. I haven’t said that I know exactly what my area of expertise is yet. It’s like an abstract painting. It’s not just the viewer that has to think about it; the artist does to.

Now that my profile is built up and my skills and experience make sense to me, I’m looking at the abstract painting.

What Does My Experience Say About Me?

Let’s see.

I love writing, and am pretty good at writing fiction. At least, I think I am. I tell people when I go to creative writing events that my concentration is fiction. I’m in an MFA program, so I could say creative writing is my main gig. However, I haven’t exactly mastered any of it and probably won’t for a long time.

I have experience as a literary editor. I founded and edited a small press for a few years. But, I wouldn’t say it was the MOST successful thing I’ve ever done because I definitely made mistakes, otherwise it would probably still be running. I could say I know what I would do differently next time.

I have an MBA. In the program, I studied management and leadership pretty extensively, plus got enough exposure to communication, marketing, finance, and data analysis to be able to manage if needed. I don’t think I’m very close at all to being an expert in those specific subjects: communication, marketing, finance, or data analysis – but I can tell you how they fit into the structure of an organization as a whole and I could oversee them if I was in a position to do so. I could teach a class on leadership theory or some aspect of management.

My current day job is a coordinator. Technically, I work in an IT department. My position is a little weird though because I get to sort of come into contact with all levels of organization and work with many different departments. I can really “see” my MBA sometimes.

Like, “Oh, that’s what Human Resources does?” Or, “Wow, that’s how marketing is embedded into the strategic plan of the organization.”

So, my expertise?

I imagine that my expertise is somewhere along the lines of business administration and creative writing. Maybe administering a creative writing program or something? But, as you may know, I don’t work in administration in a creative writing department. I work at a private firm. So, I don’t know. I coordinate stuff I guess.

What’s your area of expertise? Have you done a LinkedIn profile overhaul recently?

You can comment below, and add me on LinkedIn if you want. I’m trying to post more on the platform. Maybe I’ll share this blog post. I don’t typically share my blog on there, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder why I don’t.

By Eric Shay Howard

Eric Shay Howard lives in Louisville, Kentucky. He's the author of the fiction collection, Crushes, and is a literary editor. He also works at a law firm and is writing his second book. He's a graduate student in the Bluegrass Writers Studio MFA in Creative Writing program at Eastern Kentucky University.

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