Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Splitting the career firehose

I always enjoy working with “multis.”

You know, those with more than one business interest, yearning to tell about both (or more) but needing a central theme to demonstrate the source of their energy. I should know I am one.

Like a fire hose, with so much to gush forth.

A bit different this time–for me an infrequent situation–coaching a multi-careerist professional whose first career was so rich, so broadly experienced, and whose expertise so well-earned that I urged her to split the career narrative in her Experience section into two:

  • describing the past positions in her second career area, as I do with everyone,
  • but to also add an entire single subsection to explain her pre-2000 work in her first career.

That first career subsection reads like a functional resume. Yes, I said resume.

The effect is amalgamating her first career it into a single functional historical “job” in her Experience section to help the reader understand that all those early skills she earned are in use every day in her second career, right now, in everything she does.

She would not be so successful in her second career without the skills from her first.

So what she chooses to say there, and how she is endorsed in her Skills section, are that much more important together.

Why?

Too often we tell “what” we accomplished, but holding those golden right-place, right-time, right “experience cards,” as I call them, are forever in your back pocket, ready to be brought out and used to play your hand for the deal you are dealt. Then placed back in the pocket when next needed. Different than a Wild West poker game, this is not cheating. It is smart story-telling and even smarter to demonstrate via tightly worded threads her varied reason(s) to be hired, from both careers.

Yes, the casual reader needs to be reminded, in different ways in different sections, that the entire professional is on display here, more than the sum of the parts of her careers. But this one is a special case.

She did just that, and really well, in her renovated LinkedIn profile.

Ah, the appreciative glow she is showing for giving herself permission to talk about herself in such ways, as rarely before.

Ah again, the mental glow of the profile reader who is compelled to contact her!

You just have to tell us “why”, all the whys, or we will never know. Give yourself that permission.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Splitting the career firehose”

  1. Marc – I love this concept, and struggle with the language and structure to communicate muliple layers of a rich career journey. It would help especially in this post to offer some examples. Who is doing this well? Said another way, point your audience to some stellar profiles. I understand why you can’t point to bad ones, but it would be inspiring to me and to see ( I’m a visual learner!) what great looks like. Thanks!

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