Having a presence on LinkedIn is one thing, but creating a profile that is distinctive, interesting and demonstrates your unique promise of value is quite another.
Sure, LinkedIn is a professional site designed for networking purposes and has increasingly become the hunting ground of recruiters attempting to source hard-to-find candidates, but that doesn’t mean your profile needs to be boring.
In fact the reverse is true and your LinkedIn summary – that prime piece of real estate so often not utilised – is the perfect place to showcase your personality and create an incredible first impression in a way that isn’t always possible with your CV.
LinkedIn is usually the first place recruiters, decision makers and potential clients go when they want to know more about you. So not taking the time to create an impactful summary that’s going to grab their attention is a wasted opportunity. Here are our top tips for crafting the perfect LinkedIn summary.
Know your Target Audience
Before you start writing, ask yourself who are you writing for?
It’s so much easier to write something engaging, that demonstrates your professional strengths and accomplishments if you know who your specific audience is and more importantly, what they want to know about you. Don’t be tempted to start the writing process until you’re clear on who you’re talking to.
Use the First Person
LinkedIn is all about networking and making connections, so it can be more appealing if you write your profile in a way that enables conversation. Writing in the first person will make it much easier for people to envisage having a conversation with you, so make sure you leave in the ‘I’s”, ‘me’s” and “my’s” and ditch the third person corporate speak.
Use the Space
You have 2000 characters to use in your summary which is enough to write a good four or five paragraphs about yourself. Be sure to pepper the summary with the keywords someone would use to search for you. If you’re not sure what they are, do some research. Adding a list of specialties or areas of expertise at the end of the summary is a great place to capture some keywords too.
Be your own Brand Ambassador
Make it authentic and take the opportunity to tell people a little bit about who you are, what makes you interesting and what differentiates you from your peers. You’ll also want to highlight your experience, strengths and skills in a way that emphasises the value you will bring. If your target audience has specific challenges make sure you address these by letting them know how you can solve their problems.
Have a Call to Action
Be sure to end your summary by telling your reader what you want them to do next with a clear call to action. If you want them to contact you then make sure you invite them do so.
Remember your LinkedIn profile is a marketing document and like any marketing document, it needs to sell your benefits. Not just what you do, but how you do it, why you do it and what the impact of your efforts are.
Of course your summary should still be professional – absolutely it should. But don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through too. It’s perfectly okay to infuse your summary with a mix of both professional and personal to make you stand out from the crowd.