This “how to” tip won’t improve your chances of winning the office Super Bowl pool, but it can positively affect your chances to differentiate yourself from your competition. It’s a technique you’re already familiar with in the world of sports. Now you just have to adapt it to your own playing field: Your Career Game Plan.
We’re junkies for the steady flow of insights shared throughout a competition, thanks to “color commentary”. Retired Oakland Raiders coach John Madden is recognized as one of the first color commentators for the insights and graphics he shared during a game. In fact, “color commentary” is so critical to the viewer’s experience that the broadcasting industry created a separate career position for the role, right alongside the play-by-play commentator.
“Color commentary” may have started as a steady flow of broadcast banter, but it’s grown up a lot in recent years. Unlike the “play-by-play” announcer who’s reporting that it’s now the 4th down or that there’s a flag on the play, the color commentator’s on-site to provide perspective about trends in the game, competitive strategies, and interesting details about the players based on his own expertise.
As technology becomes more and more sophisticated, so does the color commentary. It’s expanded to include a host of rich visuals superimposed over the field of play to “enhance your experience”. Those visual elements provide a rich texture of stats, player backgrounds and comparative details so there’s never a dull moment, even in a game with a lop-sided score. Instead of jumping up for another beer or snacks during a time out, we’re glued to our seats, eager to gain even more insight about who will win this competition.
So how does color commentary apply to your LinkedIn profile?
It helps Opportunities Find You in 3 critical ways…
1: Bringing Out The Best in You.
People are searching LinkedIn 24/7 to find solutions to their pain points. And searches aren’t just limited to recruiting for open positions. People are constantly searching for potential collaborators, conference speakers, book authors, board members, and industry experts for a wide range of initiatives.
Let’s face it…uploading into your LinkedIn profile a bullet-laden resume that’s chopped up into dry (and often metrics-heavy) fragments is pretty impersonal. Strategically adding “color commentary” to your LinkedIn profile, however, creates a powerful shift and enhances the reader’s experience with insights about your background, expertise, and the trends in your career—as well as your vision and your core values—so they can quickly assess not only IF you can solve their problem[s] but also (and often equally important) what it’s like to work with you.
2: Adding Visuals to Distinguish Your Story.
In the same way that we’re interested in knowing more about the Super Bowl players’ accomplishments and history through visual presentations, LinkedIn users enjoy “seeing & hearing” more about what makes you unique when you include media.
SlideShare presentations, podcasts and videos can easily be added to the About section in your Profile and/or your Experience positions. Incorporating visual & aural “color commentary” is a powerful way to showcase your expertise and impact how & where your name appears on Google.
It also lets people visiting your LinkedIn profile hear and see what you can create, rather than just reading about you. Last but not least, our brains process visuals 60,000X faster than text. Make yourself memorable by making it faster and easier for talent seekers to appreciate you.
3: Lets You Bring Your A-Game.
People shop for talent like they do for everything else today, by doing extensive online research first. They’re researching your background well before you discover you’re under consideration. In other words, your LinkedIn Profile can’t just put your best foot forward. It needs to put your entire persona forward in what may be your only chance to impress. That requires the strategic use of color commentary that compels talent seekers to place you on the short list of people they have to meet.
So if you did a quick upload of your resume into your LinkedIn profile, it’s time to go back and assess it through different eyes. Is your profile just a play-by-play recap of how far you’ve advanced toward your career goalpost? Or does it give people insight about who you are, the value you can provide to their team, visuals that reflect your expertise, and the passion that drives you to success.
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