suznee
Member

First Person or Third on Profile?

I have been looking through profiles, and have noticed some using the third person in their profile. I find third person somewhat irritating and arrogant, although I suppose there is a time and place for third person.


Which do you find more professional or perhaps that you prefer for reading a profile? First person or third?

 

What are your thoughts on third person profiles.

11 REPLIES 11
colettelewis
Member

I agree with you. Why third person? It looks as if the freelancer is totally disassociating him/herself from the sordid business of online work!

 

I am not a client, but if I were, I would never hire a"'third-person" freelancer - even if his/her profile glowed with top ratings and thousands of hours!

 

I have an off-site client - a writer - who can only discuss painful subjects in the third person, so I suppose it has its place - a bit like the very polite forms of 'you' in some languages.

ld be nice to invite one of them to a job, and say

 

"Could you ask MaryJane if she would be interested in doing this job for me. I think she has a good profile. Please tell her to get back to me...."

jessicasimko
Member

First person all the way -I think a profile that looks like someone else wrote it is a turn off.  Clients appreciate the personal touch to profiles. The summary section here is similar to LinkedIn where 3rd person is acceptable (as is first person) but I don't even like 3rd person summaries there either. On a personal level, 3rd person summaries read like an ego trip to me. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

kankennon
Member

Jason thinks that third person is off-putting and counterintuitive when it comes to personal profiles. He much prefers reading and writing in first person whenever applicable. He also enjoys employing satire when trying to make a serious point, sometimes to the consternation and chagrin of others.

suznee
Member

Thanks all. I had a good laugh at a couple of comments.

 

I have even seen a couple profiles which belong to a writers writing in both first and third and really wondered about the freelancers and if they had a disassociative disorder ๐Ÿ˜›

 

I find it very weird reading a profile written in third person. It makes me want to ask them if they person they are referring to would like to come out and speak with me now...

Garnor thinks you're right Suzanne.

d_lidwell
Member

My profile here is in first-person though my LinkedIn profile is in third. I did it more as a test than anything, but also for other reasons. I'm trying to market myself more as a PR writer than the other services that I offer. That type of writing requires being able to write in third-person (although it sometimes seems even clients don't realize that lol)

 

I figure I'll test that approach out for a bit on LinkedIn, then I'll change things later and see what works best for me.

 

On Upwork, though, my profile will always be in first person. It just seems to work better for me.

In my opinion, third person is appropriate for the Queen and the Pope.  Everyone else, not so much.

I don't think it is appropriate in terms of self-promotion which is what UW, LinkedIn, resume, etc., are.  People expect to "hear" from you not you masquerading as a PR firm.  Where the third person is okay is when it actually isn't the third person.  That is, for example, on a business web site in the "About" section when the leaders are being described.  Maybe you did write it yourself, but its feasible to think that someone else is providing a short bio for leadership.  However, again if it is singular self-promotion, in my view it should be written in the first person. 


@Scott B wrote:

I don't think it is appropriate in terms of self-promotion which is what UW, LinkedIn, resume, etc., are.  People expect to "hear" from you not you masquerading as a PR firm.  Where the third person is okay is when it actually isn't the third person.  That is, for example, on a business web site in the "About" section when the leaders are being described.  Maybe you did write it yourself, but its feasible to think that someone else is providing a short bio for leadership.  However, again if it is singular self-promotion, in my view it should be written in the first person. 


 I do agree with everyone here regarding this. As I said, I mostly did it on my LinkedIn profile as a test of sorts. I've seen loads of "successful" professionals on that site having third-person summary sections, so I thought I'd test it out for myself. Oddly enough, a few short days after I made that change, a potential client did get in touch with me about a job. It didn't work out, but the fact that that's the first time I had ever been approached by a client through LinkedIn about a job (other than direct sales type stuff) should at least account for something.

 

I'll more than likely eventually change it to be honest, as I'm not crazy about that approach either. I just wanted to test it out to see how results went.

 

As far as a website's "About" page... the same could be said in certain cases - third person has it's place here as well. For instance, my website's About page is in first person. Why? Although at one point I did have it written differently, someone had pointed out to me "your a freelancer, not a large business." I don't outsource my work, I don't hire other contractors for any reason (currently), I don't have a team under me. Therefore, like this person who mentioned it to me said, I feel that even my About page should be in first person so people don't confuse things and think that I outsource or have a team of writers. Make sense?

@Dawn, Not everyone is going to respond the same when they read a 3rd person or 1st person description so all of this is just personal and subjective.  Whether your experience on LinkedIn had anything to do with the 1st vs 3rd person thing is really unknown.  It could have been a coincidence or it could have struck the right chord with the client.  Additionally, since you had just updated your profile, it could have popped to the top based on activity and thus this person became aware of it.  Don't know of course.  My comment about the web page was not a blanket comment but rather an example of where I think the 3rd person could plausible work for the majority of people who otherwise find the 3rd person to be pretentious.  It is common to see it here as part of a bio but of course it depends on the business and sometimes it is better there in first person.  In fact there are some larger businesses who write it in the first person to give a more personal touch.  Again this was just an example.  In summary, when it is something dealing with you and only you and where most would think it is written by you, in my view it should be in the first person.  Otherwise it becomes jarring which is generally not what one is after.  Still subjective, however.