7 Ingredients You Need For an Amazing LinkedIn Summary
On 27.03.2017, by Contributing Guest
In virtually every field, the job market has become more competitive. Having the right connections matters more now than ever. Since LinkedIn has emerged as the premier place to network with other professionals, you’ll want to begin by creating an impressive, professional summary there.
Your summary should be easy to read. It should clearly describe your experience and qualifications. Finally and most importantly, it should be written in a way that motivates people to connect with you.
Now the good news! You can totally do this. All you have to do is follow the tips below, and you’ll have a fabulous LinkedIn summary in no time.
Know The Questions That You Want to Answer
Remember that the people checking out your profile are looking for answers to some very specific questions. These include:
What do you value?
This should communicate the things that are important to you. It’s okay to write about your personal and professional passions here. Check out these examples:
- My parents instilled a passion for serving others in me from a very young age. I also love to travel and meet new people. Thankfully, I’ve been lucky to combine these two loves by participating in a volunteer organization that travels the world to work on various charitable projects.
- Ten years ago, I walked into the gym fifty pounds overweight with no idea what I was doing. Thanks to a great guy who took the time to mentor and train me for free, I was ready to participate in my first fitness competition six months later. The experience taught me that I wanted to dedicate my life to helping others get healthy and fit.
What are your stats?
Pull together some interesting, relevant, quantifiable facts about yourself to share in your summary. For example:
- I was the head of the Mullins County Library Board for five years.
- While I was in college, I helped to manage the school’s radio station.
- I am fluent in Spanish, Mandarin, and Hindi.
What do others think of you?
Write about the rewards and acknowledgments that you have received, for example, named top small business owner of the year in 2015 by the Regional Commerce And Growth Association.
How do you stand out from your peers?
The people who read your profile are looking for something that differentiates you from the sea of others who do whatever it is that you do. Help them out by sharing something that makes you unique. For example:
- I’m an amateur musician and write a new song for every child born into my extended family.
- I think it’s important to thank people who buy my products. This is why I spend an hour each day writing short thank you notes to be included in each package we ship.
- Five years ago, I decided that I would dedicate twenty hours per month to my personal growth and education. I haven’t fallen short of that goal once.
What do you do better than anyone else?
Fill in the blanks. I would be the world champion if __________ were a sport. Name the things that you do like nobody else. Here are a few examples:
- I can make the most complex, technical information understandable for laypersons.
- I can take a failing project and turn it around faster than anyone else.
- I don’t simply make kids learn. I make them love it.
Keep it Short And Readable
The rules of internet writing apply here just as they do everywhere else. A long ‘wall of text’ will make people click away before they even begin to read. Remember that many will be reading your summary on mobile as well.
Use bullet points, plenty of white space, and short paragraphs to make your profile easy on the eyes. Then, use short, powerful sentences to get your point across. Use the Hemingway app. It will tell you where your text is too long, pretentious, or too complex.
Finally, write to your audience. Your summary should be an easy read. The Readable website will give you information on the grade level and readability of your profile. Aim for a middle school reading level for best results.
Show Your Personality
Yes, LinkedIn is a professional networking site. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t share your personality or have a bit of fun. Your profile shouldn’t be a regurgitation of the stuff on your resume. Remember that people on LinkedIn want to connect with people that they can relate to, not just people who have certain skills or experience.
Optimize it For Search
Think about the keyword phrases that you would like associated with your profile. Work them into your summary. When people search for those keywords on LinkedIn, it will increase the likelihood of your profile coming up.
You can mine job listings, professional articles, other LinkedIn profiles, top sites related to your industry, even your own resume or website for the right keywords. Just be sure to write carefully so that everything looks and ‘reads’ naturally.
Write a Great Opening
You have about six seconds to make an impression. Your opening needs to be catchy enough to hook your reader within a couple of sentences. Here are a few things to try:
- Use an inspiring quote to lead things off.
- Start with an amazing fact about you.
- Ask a question.
- Write a passionate, opinionated statement.
- Begin with a list of characteristics that you think make you a worthy contact.
Make Visuals Work For You
Start with your profile picture. It should be recent, flattering, and professionally done if possible. Don’t forget to smile. Add a background image as well.
Remember that LinkedIn gives you the ability to add images and videos to your profile as well. Take advantage of this, and make your profile as visually appealing and interesting as you can. Some possibilities include slideshows depicting projects you have completed, pictures of your work, videos taken of presentations that you’ve given, and simply pictures that show you participating in your passions.
End With a Call to Action
If someone takes the time to read your profile through to the end, you can be sure they’re interested in you. This is the perfect time and place for a powerful call to action. Now that they know more about you, what should the reader do next? Where should they go to learn more?
The last paragraph is a great place to invite people to connect with you. Share your social media handles. Link your company website. Let people know how to take your relationship to the next level.
Wrapping It Up
An effective LinkedIn summary contains all of the right ingredients. It should showcase your passions, talents, and personality. It should be formatted and written in a way that makes it as easy to read as possible. It must be searchable and reflect a personality that makes people want to form a connection with you. Write a great hook to start your intro paragraph, and use plenty of visuals to keep interest piqued. Finally, tell readers what you want them to do at the end.
About the Author
Janet Anthony is a skilled blogger and content writer at mastergrades.com. She’s writing professionally for over 5 years, inspired by the motto “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows”.