If you had the opportunity to use an effective tool for free, would you pass it up? Well, if you have a LinkedIn profile and you’re not using it to tell your story, you’re doing exactly that. LinkedIn is more than a place to post your resume; it’s also a place to make connections, and one of the ways to do that is to tell people who you are, what you do, and what you’re all about.
Currently, LinkedIn has 756 million users. That’s a vast resource for networking, reaching new clientele, and expanding opportunities. Here at The Mentor Method, we also see it as a great way for mentors and mentees to learn more about each other when a company wants to start a mentoring program.
Don’t let this valuable resource go to waste. Here’s how to get the most out of it:
Get the Reader’s Attention
Have you ever put a book down because you just couldn’t get into it? That might have been because it didn’t grab your interest from the start.
Starting out by listing your qualifications and accomplishments isn’t the best way to get the reader interested. Those things are important, of course, but your About section isn’t the place for them.
Instead, make your summary about what drives you, what your passions are, and who you are. What makes you the unique person that you are?
A way to catch the reader’s interest is to begin with an anecdote, a question, or anything else that isn’t conventional. The last thing you want to do is start out with something tired and formulaic like “I’m _______________, and I have _____ years of experience in __________.”
You have 2000 characters for your LinkedIn About section. That’s around 300-500 words. It’s a lot to work with; take advantage of it.
Create an Interesting Narrative
Now it’s time to tell your story. Since your resumé is probably already on the site, avoid the temptation to just copy and paste bullet points from it. Resumés contain critical information about education and experience, but they aren’t exactly exciting to read.
Basically, you’re going to use this part to bring your resumé to life. How do you do that? Personalize it. Tell your story in first-person and use your own authentic voice. Infuse excitement, interest, and a sense of humor. Remember, this is a story you’re creating, not a list. Set the stage for people to ask questions, start discussions, or begin mutually beneficial relationships such as those between mentors at work.
The more the viewer keeps reading, the more interested in you and your story he or she is becoming. And that makes a real connection more likely.
End with a Compelling Call to Action
The end of a story is often the hardest part to write, but in this case, it might actually be the easiest.
You started out with a goal in mind: read your work, visit your website, collaborate with you, support your cause, start a mentorship program…
Whatever it was you wanted the reader to do, make a clear call to do exactly that as you wrap things up. Be specific, and provide your preferred means of contact so readers can establish those connections you want them to.
If you found this helpful, we’d love to know! Now get to work telling the world your unique professional story; the connections you want to make are all out there waiting for you to find them!