Are You Taking Your LinkedIn Profile Too Seriously?
I’m teaching a class next month about how people can improve their LinkedIn profiles. I want to help students spruce up their profiles, nix the jargon and share ideas on how to get connected to others.
When I told my friend, Adam Boostrom, about the class, he showed me his profile. He wanted to know what I thought.
I laughed a lot. You might, too.
Just a few highlights from his profile:
- His profile image is Sean Connery, smoking a cigarette.
- He was the sports team captain at his trading company for 100 years.
- The organization he supports is “Last Week Tonight.”
- He received degrees from Oxford University (PhD, Genetics, B+), Stanford Graduate School of Business (Master in Business, Finance, A++++) and Princeton University (Leisure Studies, Island Travel, C-). During his time in these schools, he participated in: “coxswain, inflated the dot com bubble and chamber chorale.”
- He’s also interested in phrenology.
Boostrom’s profile is full of @$#!, but guess what? It’s working for him.
“I’ve had several people contact me about my LinkedIn profile,” Boostrom says. “Three people were trying to recruit me for jobs — and a few other recruiters messaged me just to say thanks for making them laugh.”
Whether you like his profile or not, there's something we can all learn from it: People want to be entertained.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an advocate of “faking” degrees, activities or jobs on LinkedIn. But I am an advocate of creating a fun, engaging profile that people will read all the way through.
To do that, we need to stop seeing LinkedIn as a way to list our accomplishments, awards or show how we've “utilized existing technologies to create a more cohesive ecosystem.”
Instead, we need to see LinkedIn as the way to tell the stories of our careers. Why not make it a story worth reading?