trainseatSitting next to me on the train is a large man whose arms are about as big as my legs. He has exceeded the mental and physical space allotment in the double seat I feel comfortable in. Yes, I chose the seat next to him, only because the rest of the train today was well more than full for my station stop. No other choice but to stand.

Let’s think a bit about how a certain amount of personal space is expected, to which we do not pay much attention, and when too little is provided, we gripe (like I was just doing). So it is in a LinkedIn profile, that we really do not complain about there being too little material, although I beg to differ, and with too much material, it seems like self-aggrandizement.

Some may say that too little profile material is fine in this world of overdone social media promotion. To the contrary: not saying something that we need to (or should) know about you is tantamount to your hiding a potential mental lifeline of me to you. Taken a step further, that equates to my not properly considering you for a gig, of my not hiring you, of me failing to remember you when I get a request from a colleague, “Hey do you know any one who {…}?”

And too much unnecessary noise is like crying wolf. I still have that connection who posts an update updating us of each of her breakfast, lunch and dinner networking activities. Really. Ugh. I tune her out and she is not to be referred, IMHO.

A happy medium is needed. The goal: tell your complete story, thematically, in different ways,  in each pertinent section of LinkedIn, so the casual attention-deprived reader can absorb all or as much as possible, of what you have to say.

Keep it memorable. Be real and admirable from the POV of your reader, not just in your mirror.

Look around-what are your admired colleagues saying and doing on LinkedIn, take style notes from them, convert to your way of expression and then you have the incentive to amend or add something important on your profile. Ask for an honest critique from a trusted colleague (ask him/her: “have I left anything out that you think is essential to really getting across my unique brand and value prop?”).

Don’t take up too much bandwidth or static in the reader’s attention span, and certainly don’t undercut yourself. Aim for the potential to be spatially and mentally acknowledged, shortlisted, or consulted. The rest will come with continually tweaking from good to better to the best that you have to offer. It’s a process. Start now.