LinkedIn is a social media platform, which means that it’s meant to showcase your authentic professional self! When using LinkedIn, you want to write in your own voice, so others can understand what it’s like to do business with you, and ideally, get a little insight into the "why" behind your career choices. Here are a few style tips for crafting an effective profile:
1. Write in first person. On Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and any other social media platform, you're posting as yourself, so why should LinkedIn be any different? It’s best to use complete sentences to describe yourself and your experience on LinkedIn and write in first person. This will allow you to write as if you were speaking to someone directly and sounds the most natural and authentic. Remember, you want to come across as friendly and easy to do business with.
2. Avoid sounding too sales-y. Even though you might use your LinkedIn profile to generate business or catch a recruiter's attention, it’s not meant to be the voice of your business or replicate your resume. Help readers understand why you are passionate about your work and what your main strengths are, and they’ll want to work with you. Don't fill up your profile with marketing copy – save that for your website.
3. Expand beyond what’s on your resume. LinkedIn is the place to dig into your passions and interests and share anecdotes about what you enjoyed about your previous projects. Because you have more space than a one or two line bullet point, you can actually share interesting stories and achievements that wouldn’t make sense on a resume. These can give context to what’s on your resume if you are actively searching for jobs, so you want to make sure this personal branding tool is supplemental to your other documents – not a copy-paste of your resume.
4. Consider your target audience. Who do you hope is clicking on your profile? Write to those people! If you’re applying for jobs, include what the hiring manager wants to hear. If you are seeking new clients or business partners, who do you think they want to work with? Make sure you are covering the appropriate topics and writing in a tone that appeals to those people.
Keep in mind that the amount of detail you go into on LinkedIn is specific to you. Write whatever feels natural to your personality, and you’ll be on the right track!
-- Angela Silak and Cindy Kaplan