It’s hard to see yourself clearly sometimes. No one likes to brag, or I should say, no one I like likes to brag. When my fellow Peaker Andy sent us this article about creating the best LinkedIn profiles and suggested we all do it and critique each other’s, my initial reaction was ‘Ugh. Yuck, that sounds awful.’ This might surprise those of you who know me, it is rare that I can’t muster up excitement about most things, but I was not excited about the idea of spending so much time thinking about myself, and how I should represent who I am to the larger professional world online. But our ultimate goal in improving our own profiles was to become experts for the employees that we work with as Peak Partners. Because that helps us reach our team’s goal and theme for 2020, which is growing the careers of our customers.
So I tried to lean in to the task and give it my best shot. It was just as painful as I thought it was going to be. I struggled to translate my resume to something that makes sense in a digital space. But I did it. Then each of my teammates looked at my profile (and I looked at each of theirs), and it completely transformed the experience for me.
To see myself through their eyes was like a warm and cozy hug in these virtual times. They each picked up on different things that they like/respect/think about when they think of me and made suggestions relating to those things. For example, Andy suggested that I use a photo of me at the Colorado Women Leading Government (CWLG) Conference that I helped create and plan last year as my background photo – what?! I never would have thought of that, but such a great idea.
Nate pointed out that I have much more volunteer experience than I was capturing, and Drew noticed my emergency communications skills were missing. Katie suggested that I highlight my work with CWLG in my About section since it’s such a big part of my fight for diversity in government leadership. Melissa and Jerraud gave some great tips and honest feedback about how to make my experience section more readable. And then everyone wrote me a review that made me want to cry, each person was so thoughtful. See what I mean by virtual hug?! It was overwhelming.
And it was really fun to give this virtual gift right back to all of my teammates. Not only was it interesting to see how they saw themselves, but to be able to articulate my favorite things about them deepened my appreciation for those characteristics. Letting the people around you know what you think are their greatest strengths should be a part of our daily lives anyway, but this was a great way to memorialize it so they can go back to it any time they want to.
I know I’m not the only one who ended up really loving this whole exercise. Here’s what some of the team had to say:
“It was great to hear from a group of people whose opinions I take very seriously! It also made me feel good to hear about the things everyone thinks are ‘resume-worthy’ and other accomplishments or skills that I wouldn’t have recognized myself.” – Drew Brown
“It’s insightful and reinforced how supportive and enjoyable it feels to receive feedback from your team.” – Jerraud Coleman
“I’m pretty uncomfortable talking up myself and my accomplishments, so it’s nice to get feedback from others regarding where and how I can do this better.” – Andy Rees
“When you’ve looked at something over and over it’s hard to really see it anymore. I think it was especially helpful to have teammates look at it because we all know each other well and so in addition to generic feedback, we were also able to provide input about how teammates’ profiles could be a better reflection of who they are.” – Katie McCune
If you’re looking for a way to build up your team during these virtual times, I can’t recommend the LinkedIn Profile Team Review Challenge enough. And if you don’t have a team that can provide this kind of support and feedback to each other, call us. We can help you with that too.