I updated some of my social media accounts this weekend. My motivation was twofold. First, some of accounts badly needed an update to the design and content. I had not updated some of the information in the last couple years and it showed. The second reason was motivated by one of the blog readers. She pointed out that the writing style and sentence structure of my LinkedIn account wasn’t consistent. When I reviewed, I realized this was a generous assessment – my LinkedIn profile was awful.
I had setup my LinkedIn account a couple years ago and used my bio from my website. My bio is written in a 3rd person style and this is suitable to a corporate website. On LinkedIn, the style should be more personal, and written in the first person. The same goes for other social media sites. I’m still working on updating and improving – these are going to be a work in progress. That’s a lot better than what they were, though… stale and out-of-date.
So, what does this have to do with a job search? The sentence structure of a cover letter and resume need to be written professionally and in a suitable style.
A cover letter is a business letter from you to another individual. As a result, it should be written directly in the 1st person. Do not refer to yourself in the 3rd person. It makes a very poor impression.
The resume should have a different style. It should be written in an implied first person. This structure starts with the personal pronoun “I” but this word is omitted. For example, “Managed the production department” is a sentence that has an implied subject – the “I” is left off the beginning of the sentence. This style is appropriate for a resume.
Write your resume in the 1st person but avoid using “I” or your name in your resume.
I’m still working on improving my profiles online. On LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/garycapone), I accept all invitations to connect and have over 2,500 connections. You can invite me to connect at firstname.lastname@example.org. I setup a Twitter account this weekend (www.twitter.com/garycapone). The other account I updated was Facebook. This is the one account I don’t accept every invitation. I’m limiting it to people I know and have established personal relationship.