How to Write a LinkedIn Profile That Makes You Sound Like a Human Being

I did some work on my LinkedIn profile lately, as I'm seeking new career opportunities, and it was an interesting experience. It's part rethinking oneself, part rethinking how others see you, and part rethinking how you put yourself out there. I did some research while doing it, as well.

Here's what I learned.

Make it you

In the past, my LinkedIn profile hasn't felt much like me. It was robotic, or overly business-like, or cursory. I learned a lot about writing a LinkedIn profile that sounds as if it belongs to a human by reading Jenny Foss at The Muse. She has all kinds of really smart ideas about career strategy, and how to think of yourself as you move forward in the interviewing process, and how to brand yourself in a way that's both interesting and authentic. That laid the groundwork.

Keep it simple, stupid

This is the important acronym: Keep It Simple, Stupid -- or KISS. I had a conversation the other day with a scripted reality TV producer I've worked with, and he reminded me that the bottom line thing we're all doing here is telling stories. I've done a lot of different things: journalism, blogging, editing, digital outreach, copywriting, and producing scripted reality TV. What do all those things have in common? I'm a storyteller. So I led with that.

Grab their attention

Of course, you've got to stand out from the pack. So I started my summary with an interesting anecdote from my personal history: I was a human lab rat. From the time I was a toddler until I was in my thirties, I was a participant in a famous longitudinal study of human development. Not that many people can say that, so I began with that, and I tied it into my career. 

In any case, you can read my LinkedIn summary below, and you can connect with me on LinkedIn here. I'm actively looking for full-time or part-time work (particularly the former) in the word business, and if you have a lead, or if you know someone that I should talk to, I'd love to hear from you

Photo by Clayton Cubitt

Susannah Breslin

Award-winning journalist, blogger, and editor. | A "rare commodity online." | I tell stories.

 University of California, Berkeley

 

I'm a human lab rat. When I was a toddler, I became a participant in a legendary 30-year longitudinal study of human development that set out to answer one simple question: How do we become who we are? 

That experience played a part in why I've spent the last decade figuring out the answer to another question: Why do people do what they do online? I'm fascinated by what inspires people to click and engage digitally. 

I help companies tell stories. I've done it as a journalist, a blogger, an editor, a copywriter, and a scripted reality television producer. It all comes down to storytelling -- and understanding what truly moves people.

I work with the world's biggest brands to grow their digital properties. I wrote an article on Forbes.com that has nearly 2M views. I was the voice of Pepto-Bismol on Facebook, increasing that brand's social engagement by 500% as market share rose 11%. I helped Time Warner build a digital vertical for millennial women, using my network of digital influencers to turn a startup into a destination site with 4M unique visitors and 22M page views a month. 

What's your story? If your brand needs a hand, you can contact me at susannahbreslin@gmail.com.

The Return of Christy Mack

War Machine was convicted today in the trial of his assault of Christy Mack. 

Maybe you're old enough to remember the "Twinkie defense"? 

This guy offered up the "Raging Bull" defense:

"The defense attorney characterized Koppenhaver as a 'raging bull' with brain injuries from his fighting career and emotions inflamed by the use of steroids and non-prescription stimulant and antidepressant drugs that combined could have caused mood swings and violence that Leiderman termed 'roid rage.'"

Quitters Never Win

Dear Susannah, 

Thank you for sending us "[Redacted]." This is an interesting topic, but the piece is missing the connection to a bigger picture idea, the reflection or takeaway that would make it a [redacted] story. 

Best of luck with this, and I hope you’ll pitch us again in the future. To receive future calls for pitches, sign up here: [redacted].
Sincerely, 
[redacted]

If at First You Don't Succeed, Try Again, and Fail Again

The MacDowell Colony

Dear Susannah,    

We regret that we are not able to offer you a residency during this coming Summer 2017 period.  Your work was appreciated by the admissions panel members, but the number of excellent applications has grown as has the competition for residencies.

We hope that this news will not discourage you from applying to the Colony again after two years’ time.

In the meantime, we send you our best wishes.

Sincerely,

[redacted]

Executive Director

Personal Essay Seeks Home With Non-Rejecting Publication

Image via Drawception

Image via Drawception

Know anyone who wants a nonfiction essay?

This one is up for adoption and needs a home.

Declined by Brevity.
Email:
Dear Susannah Breslin,

Thank you for sending us your brief essay 'It Was Hard'.

Although we do not have a place for your work in the issues for which we are currently reading, we wanted you to know that our readers read your essay closely.

We have been blessed with a large number of excellent submissions lately, and we hope that you understand that we can only publish a small fraction of the material we receive.

We wish you the best of luck with your writing,

Sincerely,

The Editors
Brevity
1/10/2017 (1 month, 13 days ago)