I have a story.
You have a story.
We ALL have a story.
If our personal brand is all about what kind of experience people have with us online and in-person, that experience has a past and we need to embrace it.
During a personal branding workshop I delivered last week, we talked about our professional past: what was our educational experience? How did we get into our niche? What were our professional passions? What did we find hard? Where did we want to be in 3 years time from a career perspective?
In just 5 minutes talking about themselves (not any easy or comfortable thing for many to do) the participants had started to cultivate a story about their career that had structure – a beginning, a middle and a desired end.
When I wrote about how to write a personal branding statement a couple of weeks ago, I talked about how important it was to set out your professional stall in a compelling way. What I find many people have an issue with is writing down what, of all the experience they have in their career to date, is actually interesting or matters.
It all matters.
While embracing your experience and tell your story succinctly at a networking event or job interview is a goal, so is getting that information down in writing on LinkedIn.
When you’re writing down your experience under present and past roles within your profile, it’s our understanding that it’s necessary to include as much detail as you can. This means not just your job role, but expounding that experience with things like > responsibilities, successes, awards, client names (if not confidential), and what value you brought to the gig.
Detail, detail, detail.
It’s crucial to think about how people might be searching for you or your expertise. It doesn’t have to be an essay but enough for people reading your profile or looking for your skillset to have a much more robust understanding of your past than a thin, buzzword-riddled 2 sentence rush job.
As I was talking through each of the fields on LinkedIn during the workshop I had to stop people furiously editing their profile in real-time. I suggest you take time away from the workplace and jot experience down in a word doc before committing it to be published.
These things take time!
Hiding your light underneath bushel does you no favors. You’re not doing your professional self justice by not remembering and figuring out the highlights (and lowlights) from your past experience.
It does your target audience no favors either. They’re looking for you and you’re not providing them with sufficient detail to discover or figure out if you’re the right person for whatever it is they want you to do or learn from you.
If you’re a procrastinator like me, take one job role at a time and write everything down you can remember. Then return to edit it down to salient points that help tell your story. This isn’t something you can do in an hour or even a day.
You have a great story.
Start telling it more completely!
Remember to check back in a fortnight for the last installment in our series: Personal Branding: 10 Steps to Your Perfect Strategy
And don’t forget to:
@MelCarson – Founder of Delightful