I recently set up a profile on the business-oriented networking site, LinkedIn. It asked for the usual basic information: Name, Birthday, Marital Status, Current Job and Position(s), Previous Job(s) and Position(s), plus Education – Current and Previous School(s). However, underneath each of the Job and Education sections, it is strongly suggested that, in addition to basic descriptions, you list any major accomplishments and achievements.

This is where I run into an issue. I have never really been comfortable listing, or bragging about, any personal achievement. It’s not really a self-confidence issue. I’m also not saying that it hasn’t happened; it’s just that I usually don’t do it. For example: I took over the Specialist position in the Entertainment Department (Movies, Music, Books, and Software) at a local Target, in November of 1999. By the end of Spring 2000, Entertainment had double-digit increases in Sales MTD and YTD within the store, plus had some of the highest sales % increases in the District. It wasn’t something that I beat my chest about in team meetings and huddles; I just kept trying to make sure that stock was in, assignments from my Electronics Team Lead were finished, and that the department looked better than “normal”.

So I sat and looked at these LinkedIn sections for a long time, trying to figure out what to write and how to write it, without coming off as conceited (which might be another thing causing my hesitation: I don’t want to sound exceedingly vain or conceited on these types of sections):
*Do I write about my High School GPA and Clubs I was in, even though I graduated from High School 19 years ago? (I ended up putting them in)
*Do I put down every achievement that I and the Entertainment Team received at Target, while I was Specialist and Co-Specialist? (I did not – partially because I couldn’t remember some, didn’t want to misrepresent others)
*How detailed of a description should I put under each job? (still working on that….)

I finally finished those sections and felt an unusually strong sense of relief. Some time down the road, I should probably learn to stick my chest out more, on occasion.
Maybe.