LinkedIn Profile: First Person Or Third Person?

October 6, 2016

There’s long been a debate on whether you should write your LinkedIn profile in 1st or 3rd person. There are benefits to writing in 1st person, which include being able to showcase your personality through your own writing, they can be more personable and they allow you to build up rapport with the reader… Despite these benefits, we have found that there is a clear winner out of 1st and 3rd person written LinkedIn profiles.

After educating over 20,000 people, in 35 countries, in 60 industries and helping implement over 100 LinkedIn campaigns for our clients, we have discovered that writing in 3rd person converts prospects into leads at a much higher rate. And here are the main reasons why:

1. Builds Your Personal Brand

When you write in 1st person and you have to write things like “I’ve been featured in 50 media publications” or “I single handedly took the business to $50 million in revenue” it comes across a bit, well, arrogant. If written in 3rd person these great accolades are coming from ‘someone else’ in the reader’s mind.

Often when you write in 1st person like this, you are subconsciously turning people away due to them thinking you’re a bit of a ‘big head’ (for lack there of a better word). In 3rd person, you can say whatever you want without coming across like a ‘know it all’ and this builds your personal brand faster than writing in 1st person.

2. Credibility

When you read something about someone else in 3rd person it sounds much more credible. Firstly, because if you write it yourself you look like you’ve had to do it yourself due to lack of resources.

Secondly, having a 3rd person written profile builds authority and credibility because if you have one, it’s more than likely you have had someone else write it for you which then makes you look like you are invested in your professional career. So basically, a 1st person written profile makes you look like an amateur, a 3rd person is for the professional.

Which one do you want to be? If you want to read about how to write a compelling LinkedIn profile, check out our blog post here on creating a compelling profile as well as read our other post here on our tips for writing a perfect summary.

3. Gives Recommendations More Power

Our final reason why to write in 3rd person comes down to how your recommendations add clout to the 3rd person written profile. When someone reads the profile and it’s in 3rd person they can still be a little skeptical…

Until they read the recommendations which will build on the profile. Here’s a screenshot of what we mean from our founder Alex Pirouz’ profile:

It’s one thing for your profile to say great things about you, but once you add recommendations from other people this then becomes much more powerful. Yes, this still applies if you have written in 1st person, however, you have a bigger hill to climb as you have lost credibility when writing in 1st person from the start.

A well-positioned profile written in 3rd person, with the addition of quality recommendations from other professionals is much more powerful. Obviously this is your own decision to write in 1st in 3rd person, however, we are practitioners as much as we are teachers in this space, so if you value experience and results we highly recommend writing in 3rd person.

Lead Management Simplified

Say goodbye to spreadsheets, poor performing campaigns and hours of wasted time manually handling your leads on LinkedIn. Jayla will help you develop your overall strategy, manage your opportunities, set automated reminders to follow up prospects you’re in conversation with and track your ROI.

Still early days, but I've done just over

Stephen Brookes

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