Your LinkedIn profile is perhaps the most powerful branding tool you have. Long before people read your resume or shake your hand, they hop onto Google to learn as much about you as possible. And, chances are, your LinkedIn profile will be among the first results they’ll see.
How can you ensure that your profile gets the attention of employers and makes them consider you for the job?
It’s a combination of different things really, but in this post I will focus on the often overlooked summary.
The Importance of a Well-Written LinkedIn Profile Summary
We’re going to assume that you already have a professional photo and attention grabbing headline, but most people ignore the summary section on their LinkedIn profile. It’s similar to building a website, adding the logo and name, but neglecting to create an impactful About Page.
Think about it this way: the summary section has a prominent location at the top of your profile, hinting at its importance. It’s your chance to tell your story the way you want and build a stellar personal brand. It’s a space where you can showcase your track record, skills, and passion. And not only that, by using the available 2000 characters in this section, and naturally including your keywords, you will increase your chances of showing up in the recruiter’s search results.
So, why do so many people leave the summary section blank?
The reason is simple: they don’t know what to write.
So here’s how to Write a Compelling LinkedIn Profile Summary
Establish Your Goals
Before writing a word, determine what you want to communicate. What do you want visitors to learn about you, how do you want to make them feel, and what do you want them to do after reading your story?
Start With the Present
The recruiter or hiring manager doesn’t really care so much about what you did 10 or even 20 years ago. What he wants to know is if you’re competent for the job he has to offer now. So don’t start talking about all the things you did in the past first, start with the present. Start with your current or most recent role.
Tell Your Career Story
You don’t have to present your entire career path, but try to think about your most important accomplishments and mention them in your summary. If you’ve managed to help your old company save hundreds of thousands of dollars, then you should talk about that. Don’t forget to mention your values and the things that electrify you. Give your summary a positive and energetic vibe.
Use the 1st Person
When you use the first person, it makes you sound like a real human being, and it gives your profile a personal touch that will help you stand out. Address your viewers as if they were in front of you and you were telling them about your jobs and your goals and dreams.
Acknowledge the small strange things that make you who you are. Maybe you have a passion for quantum physics and love to read about it in your spare time. Or maybe you are a talented DIY-er with a rather successful blog or Pinterest profile. Don’t be afraid to mention all that too.
Close with Your Contact Details
Tell your visitors what you want them to do now – contact you. It may seem unnecessary, but people are more likely to take action when they are told explicitly what to do.
Your LinkedIn profile is one of the most valuable branding tools you have. It allows you to build and tell your story and create a unique persona. Use it to its fullest.
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