LinkedIn profiles: first or third person?

I vote for both and here’s why.

Online marketing professionals typically have an opinion on how to write LinkedIn profiles. Many of them promote the use of first person. They argue that first person is more friendly and inviting. I don’t disagree with that notion, however, there are intervening variables. Like search engine results, for example. It’s kind of a big deal since for the time being, Google is likely to pick up your LinkedIn profile on page one of a search for your name, or your company name.

LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn profile summaries are more search friendly in third person

Will Google easily recognize and display your information when it says, “I am a blah, blah, blah?” Who is “I?” Well, “I” is everyone on the planet. It’s more beneficial to write something like, “Mary Johnson is the founder of XYZ accounting and consulting firm and responsible for the day-to-day performance of more than fifty dedicated employees. Mary Johnson leads the company’s management team and is responsible for planning, operations and the company’s overall financial success.”

Why the third person and full name? According to Copyblogger, Google zeroes in on your LinkedIn profile summary. Using your first name in your summary allows Google to pick up “Mary Johnson is…” as not “I am the…” Makes sense doesn’t it!

The summary is the first big block of copy about you after your name, photo and job title. Then comes the listing of your past positions and education. Here’s the place to change it to first person. It reads more friendly and personal, and we’re not so concerned with Google displaying statements from these sections. And frankly, it feels more natural to write about ourselves in first person.

Bottom line? Write your summary in third person, and everything else in first person. You’ll get better Google search results while still conveying a more personal tone in the rest of your LinkedIn profile.

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