There are several types of LinkedIn Profile Summaries: there are those that reveal your Personality, those focused on your Mission, there are Cut-to-the-chase Shorty summaries, Blended summaries, and Achievements-based summaries. (There are more, to be sure, but these are the biggies.) Choose the one that best reflects who you are – not just as an employee or entrepreneur, but as a person.
If your LinkedIn Profile Summary is perfectly tailored to a potential employer or a potential audience, you are bound to get that job or client. But will that job or client make you happy? When you ignore your own story in your profile, so too will your potential employer, thus increasing the chances of working in an environment you may come to deplore.
I’m not suggesting that if you are a polyamorous recreational drug user that your LinkedIn Profile Summary reflect such private activities, but that you portray yourself in the way your best friend might: with accuracy and great care. “To thine own self be true,” as Polonius told his son in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Tell your story accurately, but appropriately. A CPA might use a different LinkedIn Summary style than a chef or a motorcycle mechanic. Whether you choose a mission-based summary or one that underscores your personality or your accomplishments, make sure that the end result is the same. Tell your story.
I listened this morning to an NPR piece that underscored the importance of telling your story. The report was about Wonder Valley, the novel by Ivy Pochoda. I was struck by how incredibly important our personal stories can be. Especially in the midst of a job search.
“Your story is the only thing that belongs to you proper,” said one of the characters in the novel. “No matter what you have, you’ll always have your story. That is your sense of identity and that’s what keeps you true to yourself, and as long as you can remember your story and stick by your story… you can retain a sense of dignity, a sense of purpose, a sense of being and belonging.”
And ultimately a sense of dignity, purpose, and belonging are the best possible things you can find in the right job.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!