developing my brand (week 4) ~ LinkedIn & story telling

[This is fourth in a series I started three weeks ago on creating my personal brand. I missed my own publishing deadline for this past week and I apologize for that. I started a new job this week at Lookout and as any first week can do, shifted my learning priorities.]

Creating Your Personal Brand – Week 4

mrz-linkedinMy social media channels largely revolve around Twitter and Facebook. LinkedIn wasn’t something I spent too much time cultivating.

That is, until this past August when I started interviewing. I completely understand the importance of LinkedIn but since, for the past seven years, I wasn’t job searching, it didn’t feel important.

Week 4 came at a good time.

“One of the biggest reasons to have a great personal brand is that when it comes to getting a job, having a well-defined, well-known version of your awesome professional self is extremely helpful. So that’s why today is all about taking your personal brand and using it to whip your tired old LinkedIn profile into shape! ~ @popforms

Building a LinkedIn Profile

As a hiring manager myself, LinkedIn was where I’d go to read someone’s story before I interviewed them.

I looked at my LinkedIn profile page – my story – as three parts:

  1. About me
  2. Where I’ve worked
  3. What matters to me

About me

I happened to be refreshing and moving my blog at the same time as I was updating my résumé/CV. Updating my LinkedIn profile went hand-in-hand with this. I focused first on my “about” page and then rolled that into versions I felt went best with LinkedIn or on a CV.

You should know what makes me me and who mrz is after reading this.

Where I’ve worked

This has always felt like a very tactical, bullet point-ish section but also an essential part of my story. I think a bulleted list is important but why not start off with a story?

For my role at Mozilla, I told a very short story in two sentences:

As Mozilla’s first Network Engineer, it was my responsibility to build Mozilla’s initial data center presence in San Jose, including building a network from scratch. In 2008 I took over management of a seven person IT/Ops team, including Desktop Support and over saw the build out of two international data center locations and eventually grew IT/Operations to a team of over 65 distributed around the globe.

I followed this with a short bullet list of highlights that every hiring manager – myself included – likes to look at.

What matters to me

I have to give an overdue hat tip to my wife. Her CV focused nearly entirely on her volunteer work at the grade school and other local groups. That inspired me.

Outside of my family and work there are a number of other things I do that matter to me. Without these, I am not me.

Reflecting on this actually made me edit my about page to include Causes that are dear to me.

One last thought

In Jake Wood’s article, “5 Lessons On How to Build High Impact Teams“, he mentions that one of the key areas to building a team is to build a brand that inspires.

That shouldn’t be limited to just teams. My personal brand should tell my story. It should inspire.

You can judge for yourself how well I did.