We recently went live on Facebook with one of our favorite seminars - Where Are All The Jobs? [You can watch the replay of that by clicking here!]
And one of the biggest parts of our seminar was focusing on LinkedIn and how useful it really is to helping you land that dream job and navigate your career path faster. Even though LinkedIn often gets lumped in with other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter - it should not be treated the same. This is truly a professional platform where MILLIONS of people are connecting and succeeding in leveraging their skills and talents to find stronger networking connections, better jobs, and more fulfilling careers.
There’s a whole lot we could go into regarding LinkedIn, but today we’re going to focus on your Summary.
Maybe you haven’t given this area too much thought [or any thought at all because it’s blank] but this is a crucial area that should not be overlooked. Oftentimes, blanket objective statements are placed in the Summary sections of LinkedIn, and someone who falls across is starts snoozing after 2 sentences.
Your summary should be treated similarly to a Highlights section on your resume - a synopsis of the best of your skills, qualities, experience, and attributes, all neatly packaged into a few brief statements to keep people hooked and reading more on your profile.
So how exactly can you craft a better Summary statement in order to get recruiters, hiring managers, and interested companies looking at your profile?
Before you start - Figure out who you’re talking to
Who exactly are you looking to target when someone stumbles upon your LinkedIn Summary? Sure, there are a lot of people who are going to find your profile [if optimized correctly], but ideally you’re trying to speak to a certain type of person who is going to find you so interesting that they have to learn more! What do these people need to know about you? What do you want them to learn? How do you want them to feel? Ask yourself all these questions before even putting your fingers to the keyboard.
What Goes in the Summary
To help you organize your Summary section, we’ve broken down the key areas that should be addressed:
What do you do? Explain your expertise and how exactly you’ve brought that talent to a role, within a company, and showcased that talent.
What have you accomplished? You don’t need to get overly verbose in this area, but your biggest professional accomplishment should definitely be listed. This is even stronger if you can quantify the accomplishment.
What are your principles? These are your values and passions. Tell your audience the emotional rationale behind what you do.
What are you best at? These are your superpowers when it comes to your skillset. For example, if you’re in digital marketing, exactly what part of digital marketing are you best at?
What makes you different? Now that they know what you’re best way, tell them what makes you stand out in this area from your competitors.
What validates your expertise? A nice ending to your Summary is good to end with a standard educational or professional trait that helps validate your expertise.
Write your Summary in First Person
When someone looks at your LinkedIn profile, they’re looking at a snapshot of you. Unlike resumes where we don’t suggest writing in First Person, your Summary profile on your LinkedIn should read as if you’re saying it yourself. At the very least, this helps the reader feel like they’re already in conversation mode with you, and won’t feel odd reaching out for more information.
Draft, re-write, and draft again
Your Summary statement should be adjusted and scrutinized with every job or career move. After all, your accomplishments, skills, and talents are constantly evolving - so should your Summary! It’s not easy to just jump into a Summary writing session in the first try, so give yourself some time to sit on what you’ve written, adjust, edit, and repeat whenever you’re making that next leap in your career.