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  • Jaspal Kahlon

How to write your Linkedin profile that makes you happy

It is more than a decade since I have been journaling my life experiences in this blog (jaspalslife.com). I can write 250-300 words in 30-45 minutes using my handphone. My blog is my space, and I worry least about grammatical errors. The write-up is my first and final draft as words come to my mind. Backed by the confidence that I can write effortlessly, I tried rewriting my Linkedin profile, which looks naive. My profile has facts alone and offers scratchy insights into my professional skills. I tried rewriting my profile in the past but with superfluous results. Unlike when I write a blog, the outcome is unassembled and sketchy. I recollect my past work experiences but fail to structure them into an inspiring story. I find profile summaries of other professionals on Linkedin to be intense and steamed-up. I try emulating sentences from some profiles with displeasing results. Pondering over possible reasons, I could think of giving little time to the task as the most plausible reason. But that does not seem to be the real reason. I have ample time at hand during the lockdown. I have yet failed to draft an inspiring and, however, humble professional summary for myself. With a little more sincere effort, I could unearth the real reasons. First, I was trying to be too formal in writing my summary. In real life, I have a humorous and less formal style of speaking. Second, I was unaware that I was limiting myself to my achievements alone. Instead, if I focused on my learnings from the work experience I was writing about, I would do a better job. Third, I have a life outside of work and pursue hobbies that make me happy. I did not think deeply before their linkage and impact on my professional life. They have a profound effect, though. Fourth, I should not have followed a timeline in my draft, starting from the first year of work. Instead, the draft should be a story where events are knit together. And lastly, I should talk about my goals. Below is the current profile summary on Linkedin: "Previously, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Financial Officer with manufacturing and e-commerce startups. Experience in managing the Company's finances, defining systems, and scaling operations at Startups. Transitioned into operations role and Currently working as Chief Operating Officer with an Education startup. An all-round experience in finance, management, digital marketing, decision-making, innovation, and implementation of business plans." A revised draft of profile summary on Linkedin post factoring the real reasons for past failure:

"Today, I am close to being an expert in scaling startups to profitability. This is unlike in 2001 when, after completing my MBA, I choose an academic career for myself. My two-year stint as an Academic Associate with IIM Indore, expanded my visions of a job that required working solo, contributing in the form of meaningful research work and instructing the C suite aspirants (Students) with finance and accounting subjects. My first corporate job in 2005 (while pursuing a Ph.D. in Finance) was an accidental one. I had created my profile on Naukri portal to assess my employability in the corporate world. Since my first job with a print media, I have worked with startups in existence within the first 10 years. I gained a top-down experience across the job roles starting from Strategy function, where I was assigned the task to quantify the business plans and build financial models. I learned both the criticality of iterations to a business plan and yet how futile it looked when implemented. I transitioned into the role of CFO with a manufacturing company managing cash flows, optimizing working capital, and raising debt in line with annual sales projections. In the process, I gained experience in implementing control measures in a non-ERP set-up to reduce material waste at the manufacturing unit, production scheduling, defining the Bill of materials, and using checklist method to assign and track tasks. I developed a hands-on working style finding a balance between tasks delegated versus self-controlled. I handled tasks and projects outside of my job profile across functions. I have evolved an execution-focused mindset over the years. I love to lead teams to implement business plans and scale operations to profitability. My grooming from the Strategy formulation to execution at the ground over the last 15 years makes me a fit for a CEO's role, which I aim to assume in a few years. I get bored with routine life and prefer to take breaks every 4-5 months for a week and drive to hills. During weekends, I pursue street photography cycling as a sport to remain fit. I also journal daily. My colleagues find me convincing, open, and logical while discussing work."

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