I have been on LinkedIn for well over 10 years and read my fair share of profiles—hundreds if not thousands of them.
Most of them have one thing in common, they’re one-dimensional. They all try to portray the poster as a dedicated worker bee that revels in endless toil and whose sole form of satisfaction lies in delivering the goods.
But are we sure this is what our prospective employer—or the current one, for that matter—is looking for?
Is this how we really see ourselves?
We go out of our way to describe ourselves as relentless, passionate, and dedicated until we’ve squeezed the Thesaurus dry thinking we have done a good job of boosting our employability with ten-dollar words. But have we really?
We “like” and repost highbrow articles in the hope of sharing in the reflected glory of the original post. (Some people even plagiarize entire articles that they pass off as their own seeking to pump up their personal brand. Ha, good luck with that!)
But is that enough?
Don’t we also have a more lighthearted, playful side of ourselves that we’d like to share? In other words, do we have a sense of humor, a streak of self-irony or eccentricity that will appeal to others—possibly even more than our reposting someone else’s erudite pieces?
This is the Big Lie that no one buys.
Are we truly one-dimensional robots who try too hard to get with the program and push the established narrative?
Are we nothing but unsmiling drones who memorize their lines and spout them off at the drop of a hat to secure a job interview or a promotion?
I interviewed well over a thousand people in a previous life and I remember clearly how desperately I was searching for a glimmer of humanity, a twinkle of wit in my candidates—most of the time, for naught.
I try to infuse a tiny bit of irony in my LinkedIn articles and reveal aspects of my personal life that will complete my profile without overshadowing, or interfering with, my professional achievements. For example, the fact that I’m an avid motorcycle rider, or that I enjoy tasting local wines wherever I travel.
The funny thing is, I do it out of habit. I’m emphatically not looking for a job—I haven’t been for the past ten years, since I started working for myself.