Just last week I was mentioning that quite a few LinkedIn Profiles don’t have a “Summary”. This week a reader has asked a question that goes one step further – how do they build a profile that sets them up for success?

Reader Zubalove asks:

I was fired from a previous position which was a horrible fit for me. Now I’m making a career change into non-profit fundraising. How can I handle things, like current position, headline, and summary to redirect attention away from being out of work and really spot light what I have to offer in my new profession? Linked In profiles have such an emphasis on what you have done, what is a method to redirect that forward?

What’s your message?

That’s really the whole answer, but it probably needs some explanation…

To move forward, you need to show that you’ve got a great grasp of a certain set of skills, right? The idea is to show that you’ve gained these skills while working over the past N years. You also need to establish your interest and knowledge in this non-profit and fund raising.

So when you talk about your previous positions, you’ll emphasize the skills that apply to your new career.

Unless this last position was very short, you’ll want to include it – and talk about the areas where you were able to show success or that grew your skill set.

If you’ve “worked” as a volunteer for a significant amount of time, I suggest you create a “position” out of it – and can then call attention to managing Little League for 5 years. (and all of the skills required)

Then in the “intersts” section, you’ll take the time to talk about your interest in supporting this and other not-for-profits and ways that you’ve contributed.

By the time the reader has finished, they should have a good idea of your skill sets, experiences, and passions – the things you’ll bring into this new career and set you up for success.

Take the essence of that message and create a unique “headline”. Explain it a little further in your summary – and note some of the places where you have a good deal of knowledge, skill, and contacts in the specialties section.

Taking the time to create your “message” (or platform) is the key – and in your hands.

BTW – you’ll need to have smoothed out your message by the time you get that interview anyway;-)

Make sense?