LinkedIn Ninjas, Gurus and Rock Stars, Oh My!

by Bryan Bennett linkedin-911794_960_720-960x675


Does your LinkedIn profile say you’re a Ninja?

Well, sorry to break it to you, but you’re not. I guess I could be wrong, maybe you are a Ninja. Do you dress like this guy for work?


If you do, maybe the problem with your job search isn’t your LinkedIn profile - but the fact that you are looking for work on LinkedIn and not at Soldier of Fortune.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, descriptions like Ninja, Rock Star and Guru have crept into profiles and somehow left the rest of us feeling a little sorry for these self-described holders of mythical titles. If you are married to your title, be prepared to support the claim.

A recent article on the topic included this gem, “It’s one of the things about startup culture that I dislike the most,” said Aron Solomon, a senior advisor at MaRS’ EdTech department in Toronto. “I love startups and love working with them, but these names have to stop. It’s just getting more and more bizarre.”

The Job You Want

So, how do you market yourself online without being set up for mockery by the people you are trying to impress? Once upon a time, the adage was to dress for the job you want - not the job you have. The same holds true online.

Look at your boss’s profile. You may want to switch your setting to anonymous first though - and then find the people who once held your job and got promoted to the job you want. How do they describe their talents? How did they describe their progression up the ladder? What kinds of things are you not seeing from them? For instance, they probably long ago dumped that time they were promoted to Assistant Shift Manager at McDonald's.

Acronyms, Abbreviations and Alienation

Within any industry or organization there are acceptable industry terms but make sure you are using the ones that have traction and are well know. Consider if everyone knows CMO translates to Chief Marketing Officer, unless, that is, they are talking about the Collateralized Mortgage Obligations which make up the Chief Medical Officer’s investment portfolio. For the record, lists 50 other accepted answers for CMO.

When in doubt, make your language more accessible to the reader. Twenty-five cent thesaurus jargon can cost you in at least two departments. First, you lose possible search ability when leaving out commonly known industry terms. Second, if you are a “retail manager” and you list yourself as a “fabric fanatic” - the hiring manager - or more likely the HR minion making the first pass - doesn't consider you due to miscommunication. This attempt at creativity may have lost you a job opportunity.



If you are targeting a new field or industry, this is especially true. Consider that this is the first step in making them see that you can transfer your knowledge of your previous position to a different industry. I have a friend who moved from hotel management to running sleep studies for pharmaceutical companies with a resume that everyone could access. He is still constantly being headhunted.

If you still have concerns that maybe your profile is one that invites scorn and not praise then contact us. Don’t go unnoticed - we’d love to help optimize your profile and other social media platforms!

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