Extreme LinkedIn Profile Makeover – Doug Hanna

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258105_pouring_paint.jpgWelcome to this week’s episode of Extreme LinkedIn Profile Makeover. This week we’ll be getting to know Doug Hanna. Doug has been the business channel editor here at b5media for a little over a year. Meanwhile, he’s been working on a stealth-mode internet startup which is now taking up the bulk of his time. He’ll still be blogging at Service Untitled and b5media will be announcing a new business channel editor some time in the next few days.

But today, we’re here to look at Doug’s LinkedIn profile. Here’s the PDF so you can follow along if you’re not within three degrees of Doug. Here are my thoughts for Doug — I invite you to share yours in the comments as well.

  • For starters, I’d strongly recommend using your full first name instead of just your initial. I’m also curious as to your reasoning for doing so in the first place. It doesn’t seem like it’s a privacy thing, as you’re participating in this. But I noticed your name isn’t mentioned anywhere in your blog. Again, though, it’s not like it’s a secret — Googling “doug hanna”+b5media turns up quite a few results. Anyway, the reason for using your full name is to make it easier for people to find you — primarily people who know you. See, when I first went to look you up, I didn’t go to my connection list — I just typed your name in the search. Even though we’re connected, you didn’t come up. In fact, I did it again tonight when writing this. So it ends up being basically an inconvenience to your present and potential connections. In fact, many simply won’t find you. One of my favorite quotes about networking online comes from Phil Agre’s article, “Networking on the Network”: “[T]he most fundamental way of finding people online is to help them find you.
  • I think your tagline and position titles are solid — simple and self-explanatory. Nothing to hange there. I wish LinkedIn didn’t list your current positions in order based on start date — I would like to be able to specify the display order, but so be it — not something you can control without fudging the dates.
  • Under your Websites, I would suggest changing it from the generic “My Blog” to “My Blog – Service Untitled”. Reinforce the brand. I’m not sure about putting the RSS feed on your LinkedIn profile — I think people are want to go read your blog first. And for people who don’t know what an RSS feed is (yes, really), it’s potentially confusing. Personally, I’d leave it off.
  • For your public profile URL, I’d suggest changing it to “dhanna” or “doughanna” (instructions here). Besides simple cosmetics, it also makes it much easier to give someone your LinkedIn profile in an email or a web posting, and as you grow your business and seek out connections to help with that, I think that’s something you’re going to want to do.
  • I appreciated your summary. The first line very clearly establishes your personal brand. Frome there you expand it, supporting it with an impressive list of interview subjects. And finally, you shift to your startup, which is clearly where your focus is now. My only suggestion is that you might want to find a more eloquent alternative to the cliché “to the next level”.
  • In all of your positions, I’d like to see more explanation. People will form their own conceptions… and misconceptions. Take a paragraph on each of them to explain more what you did, what you accomplished at each position.
  • 11 recommendations at your current position and 15 total is impressive, and they’re mostly of excellent quality. Of course, this can always be expanded.
  • I know you’re in stealth mode, but keep in mind that people can’t help you very well if they don’t know what you’re doing. You might consider opening the kimono just a little more.
  • Is your profile complete? Do you have all your work history in there? University? I’m not saying you have to put in every single job you’ve ever had — I certainly don’t have it in mine. But only going back to October 2003, it does beg the question. I would suggest either filling it out completely, if there’s more, or putting some kind of subtle explanatory note in your Summary.
  • Your Contact Settings are clear and simple — good to set the expectation in advance that you prefer email to phone.

Thanks for participating, Doug — I hope you found this helpful and wish you great success with your startup. Again, I invite everyone to leave your own comments for Doug below.

If you’d like to sign up to receive a free profile makeover, leave a comment on the main Extreme LinkedIn Profile Makeover post. If you can’t wait three months (that’s how long the current waiting list is), or if you’d like to have yours reviewed in private, I also offer LinkedIn coaching & training.

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  1. The first line of the summary is OK. The rest is dull and overuses the verb to be, “I am this I am that”. What have you done? Use some action verbs and give us some results. Ditto for the entries under experience.

    I have no idea what a business channel is and can’t figure it out from your profile because it’s all jargon. Not knowing what you do there’s no way to know if I know someone who might want to know or help you despite your profile’s focus on what you want. There’s also no way to know how you might help someone else, and your profile doesn’t make it look like you’re interested in anyone else. See previous sentence.

    There’s nothing in your profile that makes me think “here’s someone interesting” and I or so-and-so should get to know this person. As a result I’d never look at your external links.

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