Of all the elements on a LinkedIn profile, the headline, profile photo and summary are the most important. Why? Not only do they make a profile more likely to be found, their position on the screen means first impressions – and we all know you don’t get a second chance at these.
Many people have uploaded a photo and added a headline, but get stuck when it comes to knowing what to write in the summary. Make sure your summary is doing what you need it to do – here’s what to avoid:
Leaving it blank
If you write nothing, you’re not going to appear in as many (if any) searches, and can convey the message that you don’t care enough to put in the effort required to write it. Not a good first impression. This is your chance to include a snapshot of who you are, what you’ve done and what you’re passionate about, so include succinct information about your work history and areas of education and experience.
Writing it in the third person
Imagine you’re in a job interview, and you’ve just been asked to tell them a little about yourself – this is what your summary should sound like. You wouldn’t speak about yourself in the third person if you were face-to-face, so why do it on a site created to facilitate networking with other professionals? As Clout co-founder Dan Fugardi says;
‘Do not write your profile summary in the third person like your publicist wrote it. And if your publicist did write it, don’t post it. Write something from you. That’s what people want to hear about you.’
Aside from being boring, buzzwords don’t actually tell the reader anything specific about you. Actions speak louder than words, so rather than saying you’re ‘motivated’ or ‘dynamic’, show it by sharing your achievements. You should also be thinking about the keywords that apply to your industry and skillset and including these in your summary – aside from providing more detail than clichés do, they’ll further maximise your chances of being found by someone who wants to employ you.
Image: LinkedIn Hong Kong office by minachan (CC0.1.0)