My LinkedIn profile is a disaster

How not to sell yourself on LinkedIn. A plea for help.

“To thine own self be true” — Shakespeare

“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” — May Sarton

“Keep it real or keep it moving” — Kanye


F you Shakespeare

F you May Sarton

And a huge f you to you Kanye.

I tried to follow all of your leads when I created my LinkedIn profile and it has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster.


I am a Business Analyst (don’t ask) at the “day job” and moonlight on the side as a garden writer and garden Instagrammer. I’d like to advance and explore opportunities on both fronts. In my dream mash-up, I’d be able to combine both skills into the same profession or project, whatever the hell that may be.

For months I struggled with my plan of attack for promoting myself on LinkedIn. I could easily split and/or merge my personality on Facebook, Twitter and even on Instagram, but LinkedIn was a tough nut to crack. Two separate profiles wasn’t an option.

I initially played it safe and built my profile around the day job. The side project would have to be just that, on the side. The focus would be on the “career”.

The profile I created was terribly standard and boring yet somewhat effective. If effective is defined as hearing from recruiters every now and then and potential jobs presented to me were in line with my experience.

This went on for years.

I would only casually check LinkedIn, explore jobs, connect with old colleagues, friends and randoms. I’d keep my profile updated based on changes in responsibility and would occasionally dole out skills referrals that no one deserved. Ho hum.

Then I turned 40.

I instantly became the cliche.

The end was visible.

I panicked.

One last chance to be “me”.

I started to fantasize of a world where I could combine my writing and mad business skills/experiences into the perfect cocktail of a job and I’d ride that new career into the sunset.

Time to go for it.

LinkedIn was the ideal spot to kick off “Operation time for a new professional direction”. I understood the power that it held. Potential employers would locate my profile and have to have me join them.

“Wow, what a unique skill set, when can you start?”

I spent hours on end amending the resume attempting to tailor it to how I wanted to project myself to the world. I consulted many of my colleagues and friends and they all said the same thing, “just be you”.

But what if “me” sucks?

What if “me” isn’t desirable or marketable?

I eventually talked myself into going for it and convinced myself that I was thrilled with the final product. It looked and sounded like me.

Midlife crisis temporarily on hold.

All I had to do from there was upload it to LinkedIn. Easy enough.

The job offers were now free to flow in.


Except they didn’t.

Not one.

Even the obnoxious recruiters knew to stay away.


You don’t have to look for very far to figure out where this strategy went wrong. Here was/is my “professional headline” on LinkedIn:

Project manager of IT projects by day and garden blogger by night at www.obsessiveneuroticgardener.com

How could any potential employer ignore that dynamic headline?

Cringe.

As I read it now it sounds like an awful super hero concept.

Cringe.


So I’m back to square one.

How to build my LinkedIn profile to accurately reflect who I am and more importantly, where I want to go?

Writing on Medium for the past few months has further complicated things. In a good way. I’m writing on a daily basis and feeling it. I feel the improvement and want to keep it going.

Time to dedicate the time to accurately defining me.

Time to focus on marketing me.

Help.


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