When Less Says More – The LinkedIn Story

When Less is More - the Linkedin Story

Perception isn’t just a form of reality. It’s the only one.

Case in point – LinkedIn. The ultimate professional’s go-to place, where most of us review, edit and polish our profiles ad nauseum. Get ‘viewed’ as articulate achievers and impress with credentials. It is, after all, the road to El Dorado – the next job, business opportunity, speaking engagement, or even that high profile connection.

When a chance misclick led me to Bill Gates’ profile instead of his article, I was struck by how little detail he (or his team) had shared. Yes, we all know who he is – being a Co-founder of Microsoft says it all. The man is his own bio. Clearly, Gates doesn’t need to use power adjectives to list what he’s done.

But was this a one-off or was there a pattern here?

Curious, I trolled to discover what the other industry A-listers had to share. Turned out to be the same story for so many.

Brief. Succinct. Understated

Michael Dell outlines bare bones details of his various jobs, but no details, awards or honors.  Mark Cuban who has 1.8 M followers on LinkedIn, lists only one job dating back to 2000. Arianna Huffington mentions only her current job and nothing before 2005. Marissa Mayer keeps it short and simple as does Sheryl Sandberg.

Satya Nadella who claims to use LinkedIn for sharing ideas and info about Microsoft says little about his work but does talk about his interests.

But the poster child of brevity is Richard Branson whose 48 year career is summarized in one sentence – Tie-loathing adventurer and thrill seeker, who believes in turning ideas into reality. Otherwise known as Dr Yes at Virgin!

And the only skill he lists – Entrepreneurship.

Period.

For sure, there are many exceptions. Oprah can broadcast all her skills and still have our respect. Jack Welch’s brand of oratory will always get the world’s ear. And Deepak Chopra has four million more reasons to share all that he does.

So the question then is – should we all emulate the example and abbreviate our own achievements? Probably not.Yet.

But the fact remains, that for the rest of us wannabes, the barometer of our success, of having ‘truly arrived in the world’ will be when we don’t need to talk about it anymore.

Enough said.

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6 Comments
  1. Shauna 1 month ago

    Interesting perspective. I definitely agree that when someone has reached peak success that they don’t need to explain or even boast about they achievements, they’re just known for them. I thought your post was concise and offered some food for thought in regards to how society views successful people.

  2. Priyadarshini Rajendran 1 month ago

    Very well said. Hope we all get to that day soon

  3. Ashish 1 month ago

    Reaching the point of not having to list your entire list of credentials or skills is when you know you’ve reached your goal. Name recognition in your field is hard to achieve but definitely worth it in the end.

  4. Christina 1 month ago

    Great post. I have my LinkedIn profile very detailed but that’s when I was looking for a job. I’m not sure if I should keep it understated now.

  5. Amy Blake 1 month ago

    Great insight into linked in!

  6. Mary-Ellen 1 month ago

    Very interesting! I have found that some people have success with very short resumes and others need more to them. I guess it depends on what kind of jobs you are looking for. Perhaps thought, being well known and not tooting your own horn is a sign of humility.

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