Because social media and LinkedIn are so new, we’re still developing some basic standards on how to write our profiles.
One question that has come up frequently in my years as a LinkedIn trainer is about the perspective that should be used when writing the profile. Should you use the first-person or the third-person when crafting your message? Should you use “I, me, and my” or should you use your name?
This is especially important in the Summary and Experiences sections, which are open fields where you can communicate directly with your reader.
Use First Person Language
In the beginning, I would have said that either direction is fine. These days, however, I suggest you always use the first-person.
More and more, we’re using LinkedIn as a source of information about the people we interact with in our business lives. When we do that, we’re assuming that you are writing your profile .
When you write in the third-person, two negative thoughts pop up. First, we start to doubt whether you wrote it, and therefore doubt the credibility of the message. Secondly, it makes you sound like a pompous ass. (Would you ever speak of yourself in the third-person when talking to someone in the offline world?)
Not everyone is comfortable writing about themselves; we’ve often been trained to not put the focus on ourselves. But when developing your Linked Summary and Experience sections, it completely OK to use the first-person. Imagine that you are speaking to your visitor at a professional event when you’re writing these sections. You can even start each paragraph with the word “I”.
Your visitor wants to read about your career and professional life from your perspective. So use your perspective, and create a message that speaks to your reader’s needs.