Are you wondering how to write your LinkedIn Summary and what to include? If so, you’re not alone. LinkedIn’s Summary should be a brief statement of the main points in your career and it should also give the reader a quick overview of who you are and what you are looking for. Besides that, it should be interesting, show personality and focus more on your achievements than tasks. Easy right? No? Well here are 8 tips to help you attract some attention with your summary today.
1. What’s your story?
Take a moment to consider why you have a LinkedIn profile. Are you looking for a new role? Are you hoping to stay in touch with colleagues, classmates or other professionals you’ve done business with? Whatever the reason, once you’ve decided who your audience is, that will determine how you tell your story.
Your summary should be about who you are today, highlight your successes and achievements and utilize keyword optimization (see tip #5).
2. Keep it above the fold
Back when people read actual newspapers, the upper half of the front page – above the fold – was considered prime real estate where the most important news story was often located. Online “above the fold” is the portion of a web page that is visible without scrolling. LinkedIn allows you to drag to rearrange sections of your profile but when you only have 6 – 13 seconds looking at your profile1 to grab the reader’s attention you need to with a summary right away so keep it above the fold.
3. Write in first person
I said it in the Saturate Your LinkedIn Profile: Experience blog but it bears repeating. YOU want your profile to speak directly to recruiters/hiring managers and there is going to be a disconnect with third person narrative. Also, to many people third person narrative can come off as pompous and obnoxious. I’ll admit it, Kelly doesn’t like it.
4. Showcase your soft skills
Hard skills are easily quantifiable, measurable and are always listed on a resume. They include things like software knowledge, accounting, audit, etc. Soft skills are increasingly sought out by employers. They include things like consistency, adaptability, positivity, etc. and they are – in my opinion – too often left off a resume. The summary is a great place on your profile to highlight these personal attributes.
Not sure what yours are? Uncover your talent with StrengthsFinder 2.0.
5. Optimize your summary with keywords.
Do some research of job postings in your industry to get a feel for what the desired qualifications are for the role you want. (Click here to see our Current Opportunities) This research will help you determine what keywords you should use on your profile. Use words that are relevant to your area of expertise and highlight your professional experience. Your goal with keywords should not be to string a bunch of nonsensical terms together to manipulate LinkedIn’s search results, this is known as keyword stuffing.
Example of keyword stuffing: Accounting Audit Payroll Check Runs Financial Analysis General Ledger MS Excel Quickbooks Reconciliation Tax Reporting Year End Reporting Invoices GAAP Month-End Financial Reporting
Example of keyword optimization: Expedited month-end financial reporting processing time from 3 days to 1 day by building reporting templates in Microsoft Excel.
6. Click to add a video, image, document, presentation…
LinkedIn allows you to display samples of your work on your profile. Like what you ask? If you are looking for a new role, attach your resume. If you write an industry related blog, include a link to your best pieces. These extras really make your profile stand out amongst your colleagues so take advantage of this feature.
7. Make yourself available
Whether you are interested in professional networking or are ready for your next career opportunity it’s going to be really difficult for people to get in contact with you if you don’t have any contact info listed. (You can’t argue with that logic.) There are several areas your profile where you can include your contact info but only certain areas where everyone can see them. For example only your first connections can see your contact info in the Contact Info box (located just below your profile photo) and the “advice for contacting” sections, but all LinkedIn users can see your summary. If this information is missing or difficult to find, you could be missing out on endless business, career and networking opportunities. So in closing include your phone number, Twitter handle, email address etc. My advice, at a minimum you should include your email address.
8. Make it count
The summary section has a maximum of 2,000 characters. Make them count!
Read the next blog in this H2Oggi Series: Saturate Your LinkedIn Profile: Profile Photo
If you have questions about saturating your LinkedIn profile tweet them to me at @OggiProwith the hashtag #AskOggi.
For more information on how to edit these fields check out the LinkedIn Help Center.
More about LinkedIn Summaries
For even more information about LinkedIn Summaries check out these great resources.