- cracking the code

LinkedIn Titles: Tell the Truth and Nothing but the Truth (Please)

When you study literature, you quickly hear about the term ‘poetic license’:

Definition: license or liberty taken by a poet, prose writer, or other artist in deviating from rule, conventional form, logic, or fact, in order to produce a desired effect

This is fine for the world of fiction, for where would great stories come from if authors did not have this form of artistic freedom? We readers would be a lot poorer for it, so bring on writers’ free license and liberty.

But the world of work is another matter. Consider the following title I just found when browsing my LinkedIn feed:
First I read: Member’s Name

And then right underneath it:

Transforming Mediocrity into Greatness via Reinventing Categories & Creating New-to-the-World experiences

Seriously? What does this even mean? Whose mediocrity? Whose greatness? What kind of categories? New-to-the- world: Does that just mean new? How does all of this business-speak silliness even add up to being a person’s job title?
It’s no wonder some of the people I’ve had in my LI classes are sceptical of joining this website, as they tell me that they’ve also run across, well, what should we call them? Linkers who are overdoing it when trying to ‘dress for success’ in their written profile but going over the top in their need to display their creativity? Scares potential new members off, and no wonder. They ask me, do I have to do this in order to make my profile stand out?
I tell them don’t worry, this is the exception and not the rule. Most LI members have the following ‘conventional form’ in mind when composing their titles:
Keep it short, keep it simple…which doesn’t mean you have to keep it boring. If you just want to write your job title plain and simple (for example, ‘Account Manager’ or ‘Senior Executive Officer’), then do it. Save your creative enthusiasm for your Summary and tell the reader your story there if you’d rather. Just do it using words we understand, and we’ll all be the wiser and happier for it.

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