LinkedIn is a great website and a necessary tool for getting yourself noticed with candidates and clients. A lot of key people take time to get their profiles updated, including the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.
This shows that LinkedIn is not only used by recruiters but also managers and executives who may be looking for potential candidates to “take under their wing” and train. Therefore, ensuring you have a complete LinkedIn profile to push your career forward has never been more important!
No Concrete Steps to Building a Profile:
The only difficult thing about LinkedIn is that there is no prescribed way to get your profile done. There are so many bits of information required, including an area that requires you to write a summary of your life in 2000 characters or less. This stumps most people, and even turns some away from creating a profile on the website. Here are some tips that you could use to make the exercise much easier:
Be yourself – the summary is to give people an idea as to who you are, not what you have done in the past five years (that’s what the bio-data is for). Call on your creative juices and try to make a personal connection with your readers within the first two or so sentences of your summary.
Be concise – you are given two thousand characters to use when creating your summary, and that translates to roughly 500 words, give or take a few. Do remember though that the people viewing your profile are not doing so to kill time. They would be businessmen, and would have a limited amount of time to check LinkedIn. Shorten your summary, but don’t leave anything important out of it!
Avoid overkill – in 2012, the most overused buzzwords were identified. Among these were: creative, effective, motivated, innovative and analytical. All employees are expected to have these traits, and announcing them would be a waste of space. Thinking out of the box and demonstrating this while creating your LinkedIn profile would be a better way of proving that you are innovative and analytical.
Close the deal – whenever you get into a sales situation, you try to close the deal as many times as you can. A LinkedIn view is a potential sale, and your profile is the sales pitch. Be sure to offer a close at the end of your summary, and that would be in the form of a recommended action such as “Do reach out to me should you want to talk about baseball, football, or improving your sales program.”
First Person or Third?
What most people ask (and what this article was first set out to do) is whether the summary should be written in the first person or third person point of view. There is a comic I read in my childhood wherein one character said that great people refer to themselves in the third person. Using the third person does have a certain appeal to it, and it does make you feel as if you are praising someone else and not building a shrine to yourself. However, using the third person does not create that personal feel.
In the end, it would really be up to you and how you feel about it. It would be best though if you do take ownership for all the things that you have done to make yourself a cut above the rest. Yes, it will give you a bit more difficulty in the terms of trying to sound humble and proud at the same time, but once again, they are your actions. Own up to them, especially if they are good things. That would get people to read your profile even more, and you might get more offers that you would even expect.