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THE INC. LIFE

How to Write About Yourself on LinkedIn Without Boasting

It’s about telling your career story in an objective and memorable way and not sounding like a braggart.

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BY Amy George - 08 Oct 2018

How to Write About Yourself on LinkedIn Without Boasting

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

If you have a hard time writing your summary story on LinkedIn, here's a piece of advice: Try writing your story in third person. Yes, your story in third person. My own profile opens with "Amy is an accomplished writer..."

When I do LinkedIn makeovers for clients, I tell them I'm going to write their life and career story -- which appears below their name and headline -- in the third person. I'll explain why.

It feels less boastful.

Often people doing their own LinkedIn profiles have trouble writing their stories, because it feels a whole lot like bragging. "I'm this," and "I've accomplished that." I... I... I... And I'm with you -- hate it. The third person sounds more objective, and that objectivity can help you detach a bit and tell your story in a way that resonates and reflects all the cool stuff you've done.

Third person is more memorable and makes it easier to tell a story.

Think of magazine or newspaper profiles, which are written about other people and pull you in with compelling anecdotes. Rather than saying "I'm unique," show how you are unique with a story.

By repeating your name you help the reader connect story with you.

And hopefully it's a story they can repeat. "Oh, you need a writer and PR pro? That's what Amy George does." With lots of people saying "I this" and "I that" on LinkedIn, you'll set yourself apart by choosing not to. And, hey, fact is with half a billion users on LinkedIn, you have to stand out.

Here's an added bonus to a LinkedIn story told in third person: It's also your professional bio. So when you're speaking at a conference or attending an event in which you must submit a bio -- voila, done. In fact, when I'm writing for clients, I picture that I'm introducing them to a crowd; it gets me in the right frame of mind.

Side note: Rest assured there is a place for first person on your LinkedIn. Save it for the experience section, which should sound like a resume. Think first person without all the "I this" and "I that." In other words, cut first-person subject and go straight to verbs to describe what you do or have done. Managed, led, oversaw and so forth.

I know for some what I'm advocating with third person LinkedIn stories is a controversial choice. To that I say, I think there's one thing we all and agree on: What's worse is no story at all.

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