Why do people write their descriptions in 3rd person rather than 1st person?
On LinkedIn, InsideIIM, etc.? Doesn’t writing in 1st person relate better?
So the thing is, it appears odd when the descriptions are in 3rd person because, well honestly, it makes it look like the LinkedIn profile is not handled by the individual themselves but by some PR team. It reeks of self-importance and makes the person appear supercilious. Therefore, it definitely does not help the common LinkedIn explorer/stalker relate to the individual.
However, let’s not forget that LinkedIn is not for your average user’s relatability quotient. It is a “professional platform”, and in the corporate world, a LinkedIn profile is apparently viewed as a bio/Resume, which is usually in the 3rd person. A lot of business schools actually encourage their students to write their profiles in 3rd person so as to appear formal and professional. Another argument provided is that using ‘I’ and ‘Me’ comes off as arrogant to a potential employer, and may be a turnoff.
I personally disagree immensely with both these seemingly logical perceptions because:
– LinkedIn is the best possible platform to take ownership of your skills and achievements, and not using pronouns only detracts from that. I mean, if you’re talking to a person and he/she refers to themselves in the third person, it is absolutely cringe-worthy, and I suppose the same perception exists on LinkedIn. I call this the ‘Pooh Effect’.
– LinkedIn is not a “professional platform” but a platform for professionals, i.e., social media. Because of this misconception that LinkedIn is the ultimate CV that everyone’s got their eyes on, people are absolutely diplomatic and non-contentious in their posts and bios! So instead of calling out HR managers and interview candidates for their respective flaws, most posts on LinkedIn are about how “once I saw two squirrels working together to get a nut and it reminded me of my team at work and this is a management lesson” and other banal and absolutely useless content, simply because everyone is so afraid of appearing to be controversial! By that logic, what stops a recruiter from going through your Facebook profile and seeing posts they disagree with?
A recruiter is not going to reject you because you used ‘I’ too many times. If they do, you’re better off not working with them. Even Partners at BCG and McKinsey write their bios in first person! What makes the rest so special?
As far as InsideIIM is concerned, there are only a few who actually have written their descriptions in third person (most likely a CTRL C+CTRL V) but the rest have really well written and informal descriptions, especially the authors.
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