A little humor goes a long way says Brenda Bernstein
I received the following note on LinkedIn from CEO and Creative Director Steve Klinetobe:
“I just finished reading your eBook. Thank you, thank you. Tonight I’m going to read it to the kids. Never too young to start building your network! :)”
This was probably the first LinkedIn invitation I’ve ever received that made me laugh, and I was jumping up and down in my seat. How great when people can express themselves in their professional communications!
Humor is sorely missing from most people’s LinkedIn profiles, and to be honest, it’s not always appropriate. But inserting your personality into your profile sure is. One of my clients, sales superstar Anna Wang, wrote in her self-authored profile, “When I’m not bludgeoning quotas with a baseball bat, I can be found rocking out with my band, or parked at a poker table.”
That’s a woman I would want on my sales team!
And Jess Hornyak, Marketing Director at KEVA Sports Center, crafted this paragraph as part of her LinkedIn Summary:
“When I was little, I wanted to drive a garbage truck. Then, I moved to Wisconsin and declared I would be the next Green Bay Packers QB once Brett Favre retired. No one ever told me ‘No’ (or that girls don’t play in the NFL), but soon after I found art and writing, and hopes of being the next big name in football were passed along to Aaron Rodgers.
Jess’s creativity shines through and would persuade me to consider her seriously for a sports marketing position.
Of course humor is not the only way to express your humanity on LinkedIn. Take this example from one of The Essay Expert’s clients, a dedicated teacher with a background in HR, whose passion is teaching the “whole child”:
“When it comes down to it, children are our human resources, and it is imperative to support them to reach their full potential. To that end, educational policy and program development are intensely interesting to me. I believe strongly in differentiation in the classroom, and I believe that this is what we should offer to all of our children.”
If your career has taken an unconventional turn, revealing your personality might be particularly useful. Here’s an example from Nick D’Antonio, a law school graduate who decided to change paths (not that I would know anything about that…)
“My career path veered off course when I realized I didn’t want to become an attorney (please hold the ‘How many attorneys’ jokes). Of course, I graduated during one of the tougher periods for the employment of early careerists; many like me did what was required to remain independent and hopefully make in-roads into a career.
It wasn’t until recently when introspection led to the conclusion that what I’ve done all along has been to build a reputation for promoting customer satisfaction through exceptional service, and a steady flow of repeat business. Not multi-million dollar repeat business – yet – but garnering repeat business taught me the power of the personal business connection.
So… want to talk Sales and Marketing?”
If I were looking for someone with an upfront personality who has what it takes to make it through law school and take the risk of following his passion, I might want to talk sales and marketing with this guy. He does not apologize for his background and makes a good argument for himself.
What’s your personality and your compelling story? What’s the best way to tell it? I encourage you to put as much of yourself forward on LinkedIn as you are comfortable sharing, as appropriate for your background and industry. Perhaps you too can create a tale that’s worthy of reading to the kids at night?