There is something about human curiosity that leads everyone to ask the same question when meeting someone for the first time: What do you do?
I hate being asked this question because I always feel self-conscious that my answer may not inspire the person asking the question to continue the conversation and may just be asking it like asking How are you? while jogging past me on a street.
LinkedIn comes to the rescue with three optional (yet usually filled-in) sections that people use to describe themselves:
1. The professional headline is a tagline that follows you around the site and is always underneath your name. It is auto-populated by default with your most recent job title, unless it is manually changed.
2. The summary is an explanation of who you are and how you want to be portrayed. It is also a preamble to the rest of your profile, such as your experience, education, and recommendations.
3. The specialties are keywords or other clauses that define your skills and why you are excellent.
There are many guides for writing LinkedIn content but you ultimately are in charge of your own unique attributes.
By way of example, I’d like to share with you nine people and how they describe themselves. Each person agreed to be represented in this blog post, and I include links to their profiles if you wish to network with them directly. Please peruse through their headlines, summaries, and specialties; and observe their differences.
Danny Brown: Connect on LinkedIn
Co-Founder and Partner at Bonsai Interactive
Co-founder and partner at Bonsai Interactive, offering smart marketing and social media business solutions, as well as mobile applications and social education.
Founder of the 12for12k Challenge, a community-driven social media charity initiative to connect globally and help locally.
Blog featured in the AdAge Power 150 list as well as Canada’s Top 50 Marketing Blogs, and won the Hive Award for Best Social Media Blog at the 2010 South by South West festival.
Worked with some of the biggest companies in tech and digital, including RIM, Microsoft Canada, IBM, British Telecom and LG Electronics.
Spoken at TEDx and regularly quoted in publications and news media, including Marketing Magazine, Canadian Marketing Association and City News Toronto.
Currently based in Burlington, Canada, offering creative solutions to marketing, digital and mobile programs.
Notable Mentions and Awards:
– Founder of the 12for12k charity initiative
– Speaker at TEDx Ottawa
– Featured in NetGen’s Commitment to Youth
– Featured in the AdAge Power 150 list
– Featured in Marketing in 2010 book
– Featured in Staggering Social Media Insights book
– Featured in Marketing Magazine
– Featured on City News Toronto
– Contributor to Canadian Marketing Association
– Young Entrepreneur Top 10 Marketing Blogs
– Canada’s Top 50 Marketing Blogs
– Top Marketing and Social Media Blog 2009
– Hive Award for Best Social Media Blog
– PR Reader’s Choice Award for Most Thought-Provoking Blog
– Cision’s Top 100 Social Media Blogs
Business consulting, social media, community building, business relationships, branding, marketing, mobile applications, digital marketing, social education, non-profits.
Dominic Campbell: Connect on LinkedIn
Founder of FutureGov
Digital government and social innovation entrepreneur with a strong background in policy, communications and engagement. Organisational change agent with senior management experience in implementing highly successful change initiatives within the local government sector, with a primary interest in emerging uses of social media to deliver business transformation and improved citizen engagement.
Formed FutureGov in early 2008 to focus on communications and engagement in government the use of technology and new media in driving improvement in local government.
Won first Social Innovation Camp resulting in co-founding www.enabledbydesign.org.
Other projects include www.tweetyhall.co.uk and www.safeguarding2point0.com
Local government, new media, project manager, strategy development
Tyson Goodridge: Connect on LinkedIn
Principal, D I A L O G U E Social Media Education and Advisory Services
I’m a Social Media evangelist who teaches and trains businesses about social media. I create social media strategies for consumer, lifestyle and healthcare clients.
I offer a range of services:
Social Media Consulting and Advisory Service
Keynote Address for public or privately held companies
Social Media workshops and training
Linkedin workshops- building your online brand
Twitter- “Where Social Media Means Business”
Social Media Consulting
Social Media Education
Social Media Training and Advisory Services
Public Speaking (Social Media/New Media)
Ed Han: Connect on LinkedIn
Wordsmith with proven ability to translate business objectives into communications strategies and tactics
I am a wordsmith. From the ore of words, I craft powerful yet clear communications and user documentation that are expertly shaped upon the forge of grammar. Whether I’m negotiating contracts or quickly building enduring relationships, gaining the knowledge of who needs to know what and ensuring they know it are my passions, realized through proficiencies in verbal and written communications as well as social media.
My successes in the publishing, financial services, and fashion industries are the interdisciplinary springboards from which I add value in the functional areas of public relations, strategic communications planning, content development, writing for diverse audiences, and client relationship management.
I wish to deploy the full range of my creative thought leadership abilities, relationship building expertise, and communication skills in overcoming an employer’s challenges while hewing to best practices.
Building and growing enduring relationships
Communication: any medium
Creative thought leadership
Rachel Happe: Connect on LinkedIn
Principal, The Community Roundtable
General manager with experience in social media, strategy, product management, product marketing, account management, business process design and implementation, team facilitation, and program management.
Product management, product marketing; product and market positioning, requirements gathering and definition, market research, cross-functional team management, facilitation of executive decision making, product design and prototypes, product launch, product collateral development, sales tool development, sales coaching, voice of the customer analysis, process design and implementation, and new product business plan development.
Doug Haslam: Connect on LinkedIn
Client Services Supervisor, Voce Connect at Voce Communications
My career arc began with public radio, producing news and thoughtful sports programs, moving into technology public relations. My love of media has come full circle, as in addition to successfully conducting traditional PR, I have become involved in producing blogs and podcasts for myself, my employer, and for clients.
Public Relations, Marketing, Communications, Media, Social Media, Blogging, Podcasting, Audio
Kat Jaibur: Connect on LinkedIn
Chief Happiness Officer, Tiny Changes
1. Tiny Changes
Scenario 1: Let’s say you’re at a point in your career where you’ve reached for some level of success that you thought would make you happy. It did. For a few minutes. Now you’re wondering:
“Is that all there is?” And it’s eating a hole in your stomach.
Scenario 2: You have your own business — or you’ve been scratching out an existence as a freelancer *until the economy picks up*. You’re at the point where you’re sick of just surviving. And you’d like to know what thriving feels like.
Scenario 3: You’re tired of working for or with a**holes. Sick of being paid less than you’re worth for your incredible talents and smarts. Sick of being yanked around, watching the wrong people get ahead, being asked to do more work in less time for less money. Ready to get out of the passenger seat and start driving.
Scenario 4: You’ve got it going on. Exciting work that energizes you. Great clients and colleagues. Good money. You know you’re just at the tip of the iceberg. And you’d like some practical support in breaking out to the next level.
I gotcha. All of it. I’ve been in every one of these situations.
Now I’m doing what I love. Working with people I love. Setting my own schedule. Making a good living. And having fun.
I can help you do that too.
Together, we’ll create big shifts through the power of tiny changes. And rock your world in the best possible way. Want to know more? Let’s talk.
2. KJ Creative
Branding. Brainstorming. Creating content (copy, blogs, offline & online). I’ve done it for 20+ years. Big accounts. Awards. Results.(See below.) I still do it from time to time — for the right projects and the right people. So ask me and we’ll find out if we’re a match.
“Does This Suck?” OPTION: If you just want some fresh eyeballs on your website, emails, ads, marketing materials — whether you’ve done it yourself or hired a professional — I can tell you what’s working and what’s not — and how to fix it.
Professionals in transition. Solopreneurs. Entrepreneurs. Freelancers. Career changers. Corporate escapees (and those working on an escape plan.) Evolved women and some men who are willing to take the shackles off their thinking. And yes, even a few chicken-hearted people who want more and are terrified, but not willing to give up.
Rachel Kay: Connect on LinkedIn
President at RKPR
Award-winning public relations guru with experience spanning a multitude of industries including consumer technology, food, beauty and fashion, Web 2.0 and more. Proven track record of success garnering extensive media placements for clients in top tier broadcast, consumer print, online media including the blogosphere and trade press. Rachel Kay Public Relations offers many facets of branding and public relations including media outreach, press conferences and events, social media strategy, trade shows, street teams, copy writing including case studies and bylined articles, and more.
Specializing in public relations for consumer products and services in all industries
Amber Naslund: Connect on LinkedIn
Director of Community at Radian6
Brands are built and developed by communities. Customers want to have conversations with companies in ways they never have before. Social media can and should be a common-sense, integrated part of your communication and outreach strategy, both online and off.
As Director of Community for Radian6, I work with marketing, communications and customer support professionals to monitor and engage in social media, and measure the results of their efforts. We help companies steward their brands across the social web, and have developed the definitive platform to help seamlessly integrate that process into their daily work.
I also blog at http://www.brasstackthinking.com, helping businesses make things happen through better communication, healthier culture, and harnessing the power of the social web. I discuss best practices in community and social media in real world terms, not just theory. You’ll also find me speaking frequently at industry and corporate events throughout the year on these topics.
Social media business strategy, online reputation management, community management and customer engagement, content marketing, blogging, brand development, client services, integrated marketing and communications
Does anyone stick out as explaining their background and skills better than anyone else? Do you think anyone should polish their sections? Is any of their content ambiguous? Are you confused and need to ask someone more about what they do?
Where does YOUR LinkedIn headline, summary, or specialties stack in comparison?