LinkedIn, the professionals networking site, continues to connect professionals who are seeking to build a strong network. LinkedIn has come a long way from being just a job seekers platform and is now where connections and relationships are made and businesses are built. Your profile is no longer a copy-paste of your resume.
Your LinkedIn profile is your online voice as it describes your professional experience, tells why you are there and what you can offer to the community. This is the one platform where you as an individual are the focus and self promotion is expected. Two of the most important aspects of your profile are your photo as people want to see who they are connecting with and also your summary.
Writing a Killer Summary
Your summary is what is searched and also skimmed. Yes, skimmed. People take a quick once over and will continue on unless they find something in your summary that compels them to want to connect and learn more.
Tip: Write in the first person. It is you, your profile so avoid speaking in any other person than first.
1. Opening Paragraph. Your first is what is skimmed first. Make it powerful. Your first paragraph needs to tell why you are there. Are you seeking employment? Are you a consultant who can help small businesses or are you there just to network and learn from others? Say that.
Ex: I am seeking a full time position in Social Media, specifically as a Social Media Manager or Director of Community, with a small to mid-sized company who is looking to increase their online presence through a comprehensive social media marketing strategy.
There is no question as to why you are active on LinkedIn. Connections and Employers will have a clear understanding what you are looking for and how they can help you.
2. Middle Paragraph(s).The middle paragraphs are where you delve into what you currently are doing as well as your previous positions and how they relate to your current skills and what you are seeking now. Be sure to use keywords and core industry phrases as these will appear in search results. If you education is relevant to what you are seeking, add that (if not, skip it as it is prominently placed above the summary in the blue box).
If you are a consultant here is where you would discuss what type of work you do most (ie SM consultant broken down further to blog consultant, community builder, etc), what types of clients you would be looking for (ie small businesses) and be clear as to where you want to go. Be precise and to the point and avoid long paragraphs. Break them up into smaller more inviting paragraphs.
Ex: As (position – president, consultant, etc) for (company name), my role is to build and execute strategies for companies seeking to engage their community via the social web. I focus primarily on four core areas: listening, content marketing, community management, and outreach.
I have worked in both the advertising and marketing industry for the past 12 years. During this time I worked closely with clients in various industries which afforded me the opportunity to learn about management, fostering successful client relationships, professionalism and team work. Through my experience I have learned that I am especially skilled at creating a winning strategy that set forth goals, objectives, strategies, tactics and the proper measurement tools.
I understand that social media is about building relationships with people through offering a unique and valuable experience. I have built a network that of influential people which has provided an opportunity to contribute on highly authoritative blogs as a guest.
3. Closing Paragraph. This is the where you have to shine. Your 3rd paragraph is all about the self promotion. Answer why you. Why should a potential employer consider picking up the phone or sending an email to discuss a position with you? Why should a potential client do the same? What makes you better than me?
Ex:I want to make the Marketing Communications industry with emphasis on driving user interaction and education my career. As a fast learner, I can grow beyond my current entry level experience quickly, offering your company a great asset as an employee. I thrive in both independent and team-oriented work environments and can effectively represent the company in professional settings.
4. Specialities. Your specialities are the industry specific buzz words. Be honest of course and do research on terms. Be sure that you are in-line with the terminology that is being used within the industry. These also appear in search results. The closer you match to search terms, the more your profile will appear in search queries.
5. Contact. This is one place where we see people leaving blank. If you are a job seeker how do you think the potential employer will get in touch with you? Send you a request to connect so that they can send you an email? Seriously? Be sure to have at least a direct email and/or phone number so that it is easy to contact you.
The examples above show how you can create a killer LinkedIn Summary. Whether you are a job seeker, someone who is looking to grow your business or just there to network, the key is to let people know. After their IPO and going public, LinkedIn CEO’s executive contact information has become one of the most sought after.
Does your summary need a bit of work?