How to: A LinkedIn bio for the non-basic bitch

LinkedIn Bio

//Photo Courtesy: Pexels//

If you know me at all, you know my favorite social media platform is LinkedIn. I’m on it everyday, posting, commenting, and networking. Addicted is a strong word so I opt for “dedicated” or “social savvy”.

Real talk though. My LinkedIn network has opened up so many doors for me the last few years. But signing up for an account doesn’t automatically yield opportunities. In order to see results you must learn how to really leverage the tool.

Side note: If you haven’t read my LinkedIn Stalking 101 post yet, definitely check it out!  

So if I may, I thought I would divulge about a particularly under-used but highly effective feature of LinkedIn: Your bio.

Believe it or not your LinkedIn bio is often left blank, carelessly written, or just copied and pasted from your company’s team page. From my perspective, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to sell yourself and put your brand on display. The Summary section on your profile has dynamite real estate, so USE it.

Cool, now that that’s settled, let’s talk details. Here’s how to craft a killer LinkedIn bio.

Rule 1: Write in first person

Avoid referring to yourself and your work in the third person. In this case, it’s ok to use “I’s” and “My’s”. First person writing also gives you freedom to showcase your personality, which is actually a good thing on LinkedIn.

Rule 2: Have a theme

Your bio should be thematic in some way, shape, or form. DO NOT list every single thing you’ve done on top of everything you’re interested in or passionate about. You’re actually doing yourself a disservice and ultimately hiding all the good stuff underneath all the fluff. Think about what you really want to say and how you want your network to perceive you. For me it was important to call out my expertise on branding and career content, so you’ll notice my bio capitalizes on that theme. For some, you may want to highlight your leadership experience because you’re looking management level opportunity.  Other themes could be focusing on a career change, being a mentor, or entrepreneurship. Whatever your theme is, identify two to three career experiences that speak to it.

Rule 3: Start with “who you are” not “what you do”

It may seem natural to begin your summary with your official title and current place of employment, but I encourage you to dig a little deeper. So while you may be an Associate Program Coordinator for XYZ Events, your LinkedIn bio should read: “Experienced creative with a passion for conceptualizing, planning, and executing corporate events and programs people will remember. Currently you’ll find me at ________, working with the dynamic team behind events such as _____ for ____ client.”

Rule 4: List off your specialties, just make them specific 

What stable of skills do you possess that make you particularly qualified and trustworthy professional in your field? Start by listing a few that really stand out, and most importantly, stay true to your theme. That is, don’t feel like you have list off every single professional skill you have. Instead focus on the things that make you highly specialized in what you do. Then add some specificity. For example, I wrote: “I’m a seasoned writer and editor in the women’s lifestyle publishing space…and added detail with: “…with a special emphasis in career, professional development, and personal branding topics.”

Rule 5: Name drop

This is self explanatory – if you’ve worked with a big name or high profile company in your industry, work that in.

Rule 6: Highlight your rockstar moment 

Was your work published? Did your team win an industry award? Was there something AH-mazing you completed at work from start to finish? Don’t be afraid for the meat of this work accomplishment should take up the majority of your bio.

Rule 7: Lighten up

This is LinkedIn, but it’s still social media. You have a personality and a perspective, and people on social networks want to see it. At the end of my bio I wrote: “My motto to clients: Let’s make your content dreams come true.” Sure, it’s a little nerdy, but it’s also playful, and that’s who I am. A good trick for lightening up your profile bio is to avoid trying so hard to sound professional at first. Start by writing a draft the way you would talk about your career to a new girlfriend, and edit it down after. It’s way easier to edit professional rhetoric into your writing than it is to force yourself to write a certain way from the beginning.

Rule 8: Stop before they know your whole life story 

Like your online dating profile: less is more. Remember if they scroll a few inches down they’ll see the rest of your profile, so keep your bio short and sweet and full of only the good stuff. If you’re talking about a project you worked on during your month-long internship month sophomore year of college, you’ve probably gone too far.

 

Ready to go take LinkedIn in by storm??? Yea, that’s what I thought!

 

1 Comment

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