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Your LinkedIn isn’t actually about you

There is this myth that resumes (yes, LinkedIn is just a really tech-oriented resume) are all about the person highlighted. But it'll take a lot of pressure off if you remember one of the core tenants of marketing:

Yep. It's true. They're never coming into it thinking about you.

From bosses looking for people to hire, to entrepreneurs looking for branding advice, to folks who need new shoes for their kids because dang they just keep growing...they're thinking about their problems. And they're looking for solutions.

So as you're positioning yourself out there via resume, think always about four things:

  1. Who you help

  2. The problems you solve for them

  3. Examples showing you've done it before

  4. Proof you're good at it

And here's what's cool—you can organize your paperwork to focus on those four things. LinkedIn has it all set up for you to do this: Headline: who you help About: the problems you solve for them Experience: examples showing you've done it before Recommendations: proof you're good at it

Experience and Recos are easy (relatively), because they're simply collecting and documenting the tasks you've performed and the way you're perceived while doing them. It's the Headline and About that are tricky, because it requires that we think about things a little differently.

My Headline says this: I use the power of creative to make the world a better brand at a time. 🔮 Vision 🧠 Idea 🎨 Design 🚀 Action

Which is a creative way of saying "I work with people who want to make the world better."

My About is long (by all means peep the whole thing here), but it's start with this: I help businesses stand out.

Which is a not-very-creative way of saying "if your problem is that you aren't standing out from the competition, I'm your person."

I could have used "Executive Creative Director & Storyteller" as my headline, and "I'm a 15-year agency vet with years of experience transforming brands" as my about. It's true stuff. But it's navel-gazing and does nothing to show how I can help anyone.

Let's do a few examples:

Profession example

What NOT to do

What TO do


Headline: Licensed Therapist, LISCW

About: Therapeutic professional living and working in South Minneapolis...

Headline: Proudly serving unhoused youth in South Minneapolis

About: With a combination of evidence- and research-based practices...

Personal Chef

Headline: Personal chef

About: Meal planner, event management and traveling food experiences...

Headline: Want the dining out experience but hate going out? I got you.

About: I create curated, one-of-a-kind dining experience, right in my customers' homes...


Headline: Teacher

About: I became a teacher because I am fascinated by developmental milestones, and have a deep commitment to my community....

Headline: Community leader and educator working to change the game for urban learners

About: It's gotten harder and harder for students to make the leap from High School to college. I find other paths that work better...

When in doubt, here's the key: stop worrying about what to put in the fields, and start wondering what your audience needs that only you can deliver.

You got this.

PS: if you're looking for that next big job and you're struggling to clarify your self-promotion message...I can help. Learn more about Branding Design for Bosses here.

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