Frank Chen

Frank Chen

create a compelling personal summary to incite curiosity

Every so often, I come across some kind of recruitment platform, LinkedIn, or just some sort of "summary bio" section that I'm asked to fill out.

It might not seem important, but I see it as an elevator pitch about yourself. It should convey just the right amount of information, and perhaps more importantly, it should keep you interesting. I think of it as if you were talking to someone, and you only have about 10-15 seconds of their attention. Here's my latest one:

Frank works on marketplaces that help software developers find and fund freelance work. He's currently at Gitcoin, which serves the intersection of open source, remote work, and blockchain technology. In his spare time, he is a chef and jiujitsu competitor.

Some might go a different route and add "achievements", but really, I don't care that much. The statement is not there to stroke my ego or aggressively wave my accomplishments in your face. It's there to inform and pique your curiosity.

In the first sentence, notice that I don't use any technical jargon or hard to understand words. Nobody really cares that you are a "product manager" or "analytics lead", work on a particular technology stack, or run certain obscure financial transactions through a verification service. What they do know, is plain English. The actual business of helping developers find and fund freelance work is probably much more complex than just those 10 words, but it gets 90% of the point across. Any subsequent questions regarding your work can be engaging conversation. I would recommend that you also be able to explain the finer details in the same manner (English, please).

Because Gitcoin is arguably a well-known brand in the Ethereum space, mentioning what market you run circles in won't hurt. If they relate to you, they do. If not, it's cool. Second sentence, done.

Last sentence is just a quick recap of your rich and vibrant life outside of work. People want to know that you're not just a work robot. They want to see your colors. Chef? What the hell do you cook? Jiujitsu competitor? What's that like? Is it fight club?

I'll make the last note that relationships and conversations are obviously, two-way streets. Just because people don't ask you about your compelling summary doesn't mean you're uninteresting. Not all two-way streets work as intended (they're called one-way streets … ba-dum-ching).

Compelling story or not, always be curious and interested in the other person. This will take you quite far.

Back to map of content (scripts)