The 2000 characters given to you for your LinkedIn summary are your first shot at delivering a short pitch about yourself. Whatever you do, do NOT waste that clear white space. Use it to make your foremost, formidable impression.
If an employer has clicked on your profile maybe because of your title, picture, or subheading, he obviously wants to know more about you. Instinctively, he will start reading your summary to see how “authentic” or a “fit for the job” you appear.
The summary is your only shot at laying down a remarkable first impression that will let decision makers decide whether or not they are interested in you. Consequently, the summary is one of the most important pieces of your profile since it is the key contributing element in decision-making using a LinkedIn profile. In other words, if the recruiter, client, or whoever’s interested in you, like’s your summary, you’re in! If not, he’ll move on to the next person’s profile, or worse — rely on another social network or methods to find out more about you.
Here are a few tips on how to write a killer LinkedIn summary and make a positive impact in the first go.
Figure out the “right” audience:
Before you start typing away, you need to ask yourself what you want your potential employers to know. What type of image do you want to put forth? Who is your ideal target audience reading your summary (i.e.: an ad agency recruiter, a client with a writing job)? What do you want them to know about you?
Answering these questions first will help you decide on the focus of your summary.
Collect Relevant Data:
Always consider relevant experiences, information, and data that your recruiter would want to know. Try to include as many numbers as you can (percentages, cash amount, number of years, etc). For example, “I saved my organization $200k by ensuring customer satisfaction before the products were returned”.
Relevant information will include qualifications, experiences, accomplishments, testimonials/awards, interests, and hobbies that are related to the impression you have decided you want to put forth to the right audience (step 1). For example, if your potential recruiters are clients with writing jobs, you’d want to list “reading” as a relevant hobby.
Exert the Influence!
Once you have your facts, figures, type of information, details aligned with your target audience, you can start typing away your draft summaries. Some people write from a 3rd person point of view. However, I personally prefer the first person narratives. They sound more realistic and original.
Make sure you have a catchy start! You want that hook to ensure your audience goes on to read more. A clever way to deliver your story is by presenting something unexpected and unusual. You could ask a question or point out a fact that you wouldn’t often see in a profile. Starting out with the typical “I am X who loves to do X” won’t hook your reader and if you have a block of text with boring 2000 characters, the reader will lose interest before he even reads half of the paragraph.
Start piling up the data, facts, and figures you decided on including. Make it sound like you’re talking about a “brand” that is you. This is also known as personal branding and allows you to “sell yourself” to your target audience. Using creative words and language is advisable as long as it can be well understood and doesn’t use “Buzz words” (i.e. “zealot” “passionate” “driven” “hero” ”extensive experience” “geek”, etc). Go for something unique, not overused.
Finally, you can also add plenty of pictures, links, and videos to bring your text to life. Allow those other features to reinforce your summary and substantiate your claims.
Stevens Stone is an experienced ghost writer and a skilled social media specialist. Currently he’s providing his services to a well-established, online firm, Assignment Geek, maintaining their social presence.