LinkedIn is the most reputable social media network for professionals nowadays. Anybody looking for a job with major worldwide players (or even small-sized companies) should have a profile there. The thing is that their profile formatting can seem quite daunting for some people, despite the fact it has been inspired in a traditional curriculum or resume template.
And, when checking your LinkedIn profile, the first text that your potential employer will probably read is the summary. That is to say that you should give special attention to this part as it will ultimately decide if they will scroll down and read the other sections. So, you should make sure that your LinkedIn summary is as perfect as possible, and these tips below will show how to do it:
What is a LinkedIn summary
The LinkedIn summary is the equivalent of your CV’s personal profile. It’s there that you will show a bit of your personality, strengths, and professional goals. You can also add something about your values and interests if they have something to do with your line of work. Just keep in mind that you only have 2000 characters at your disposal.
Here you need to make sure that you will mention things that will make you stand out from your competitors, so that HR recruiter who is going through all those social media profiles will think that is worthy to contact you for their interview process.
Prepare what you are going to say
If you want to ensure that HR recruiter or potential employer that you are the right person for the job, first thing you will have to do is to try and think as they do. Imagine that you are one of them, and find out which kind of professional they wish to contract for starters.
A good way to do it is checking the company’s website. Have a look at their values, mission, and goals. Read about their staff’s profiles, and take your time on their “Careers” or “Working with us” section, if they have one. When this information isn’t available, you should try to search online for any job they might have posted, especially those related to your line of work. It should give you plenty of insights about which kind of professional they are more likely to contract.
Now, you should start making a list of your strengths, past experiences, academic background, anything that differs you from other candidates. Check your CV and talk to ex-employers or colleagues so that they can jog your memory. In a nutshell, here is what you should write down, as suggested by William Arruda:
- Accomplishments, especially when they are followed by numbers, and you are working on sales;
- Strengths, plus soft and hard skills, related to what is mandatory to your desired job position;
- Values, that can make them see you as a good fit for their company;
- Which kind of job you are looking for, so they know if you are interested in that specific position.
It becomes clear here that you might need to give some thought to which kind of professional you are, and about your professional goals. If you manage to make everything clear in your mind before you start writing, you will see that your task will be much easier.
Show a bit of your personality and tell a story, for example, if it fits your industry. But, as LinkedIn’s career expert Nicole Williams explained, never get too personal. And certainly never leave your summary blank.
Write your LinkedIn Summary
Now that you know what you are going to say, you just have to write it. At this stage, you should be ready to make your text engaging and exciting. You should also ensure that the vocabulary and style match what is expected from your job position.
Remember that your target audience might be reading thousands of profiles, therefore, they want clear and easy-to-scan information. They need to be able to decide within a few seconds if you are worthy of going to the next step, so you need to impress them quickly.
So try to keep it short, but don’t leave behind any topic that might make a difference. Use enticing words and also let them know how to contact you.
Add some extras
This isn’t mandatory, but, depending on your line of work and your desired industry, you should take advantage of what LinkedIn has to offer in their summary feature as extra resources: besides their 2,000 characters, you can add a video, an image or a document to your profile.
A video, for instance, will help you to become more “real” and will help you to say something else that sounds better spoken out loud than written. Designers, illustrators or architects will find the image feature very useful as they can display a small sample of their work. And a document can be an opportunity to share any writing expertise, or your traditional CV if you think it would be useful.
Still, be careful when using these extra options. Don’t feel pressure if you don’t think they aren’t relevant to your desired job position, and don’t try to become a Vlogger if you already know that cameras make you shy. Better to focus on what you do best instead.
In a nutshell
The secret of a perfect LinkedIn Summary is to know what you have to say to convince someone that you are the best for the position within a few seconds. And to accomplish it, you need to spend some time considering your strengths, and finding the best way to show them off in 2,000 characters.
So leave any fear or prejudice you might have about social media profiles, and start writing your best LinkedIn summary right now. This is just the beginning of your profile, but it certainly needs to be engaging, so you can drive those potential employers’ attention to you and get that dream job.