Maybe it’s because we grew up with all those sci-fi movies where robots took over the world, that we feel compelled to write like robots. How else to explain the stilted, dull text on so many LinkedIn profiles that are devoid of any personality at all? I know, I know. What about the Google search bots?! You have to write so they can read it! Since when does search friendly mean boring? When writing your profile, you need to keep two points in mind: One – you can still write compellingly and include key search words. Two – your connections, HR directors, and potential hiring managers are all human, not search bots. And they want to read something that will not put them to sleep faster than Lunesta.
It doesn’t matter how great your skills are if no one is reading about them
(BTW – writing well is often a required skill)
Look, I’m glad you figured out how to create a LinkedIn profile without too much digital anguish. Now it’s time to create something people want to actually read. And nothing matters more than getting people to read beyond the first sentence. What about skills? My degrees?! Pipe down. I am assuming you have skills beyond quoting Seinfield (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But even if you have mad expert programming experience in C++/Java, created 57 phone apps, and have an MBA from Harvard, no one is going to read it if your summary is a chore to slog through and you come off sounding like a Klingon.
6 ways to avoid people falling asleep when reading your profile
1. Write so your mom, an HR intern, and a company CEO can all understand it. Stay away from industry jargon, acronyms, and marketing-ese.
2. Write conversationally and inject your personality. This is not a formal printed resume.
3. Write in first person. Say “I” not “Jimmy has great people skills”.
4. Edit. Edit. Edit.
5. No cliches. Don’t claim you’re really creative and then say you think outside the box.
6. Read everything you’ve written out loud. Does it flow? Revise until it does.
- Log into your LinkedIn profile right now. (No profile yet? Create one)
- Make sure you are not making any rookie mistakes in your profile
- Read your summary profile to a friend. Then ask them to explain what you do
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