Summer time! You've earned a break for some fun, but soon it will be time to start thinking about your career and how you're going to attack the job market. Did you know that 94% of recruiters and hiring managers are active on LinkedIn, but only 36% of job seekers are? (Jobvite Survey)
For some reason, LinkedIn seems to attract the 30 and older crowd but this needs to change. LinkedIn is a great way to learn more about a company by hearing what its employees have to say, to find and apply to job openings from your ideal company (without having to fill out hundreds of fields of data), and to spread the word about your skills and abilities with minimum time spent.
This brief series outlines the best LinkedIn profile tips for recent graduates. For this third chapter, we'd like to share our secrets for creating a job-winning Career Summary.
How To Write A LinkedIn Career Summary
Your Career Summary should be the first thing an employer or recruiter reads on your profile, not your Experience section. This is such an important piece of your LinkedIn profile, and it is too often forgotten! This is your chance to tell your story, sell yourself and your skills, and introduce yourself as the human behind the headshot.
There are a few strategies to writing an effective Career Summary on LinkedIn. Here are a few key pieces to consider including.
Tell Your Story In Your Career Summary
If your experience is lacking or you're leaving college to join the workforce for the first time, you may not have a ton of accomplishments or career highlights to show off. You do, however, have a story. You have solved problems, made positive changes, and been recognized for strengths that can easily be translated into a Branding Statement and Career Summary.
Need help telling your story? Try answering these questions:
- What events, both personal or professional, have inspired your career goals?
- What problems have you solved and what were the results of your efforts?
- How have you applied career-related strengths and skills to situations?
Describe Your Passions and Values
This is a great angle to discuss if you have identified who your ideal employer is. Are you passionate about helping people? You'd likely be happier working for a customer-centric employer rather than an employer who's more concerned about sales.
Answer these questions to help identify and describe your passions and values:
- What drives you to do what you want to do?
- Why did you pick your major?
- What are the things you don't want in an employer or career?
Verve - What Differentiates You From Others
Do not say "experience" or "education." Here's a hard lesson to learn, so you best learn it quick: Almost every other eligible candidate will have the same skills and very similar experiences. Think outside of the box!
Use your Career Summary on LinkedIn to describe what differentiates you from other candidates with similar skills and experiences. It's more important to focus on your personal traits rather than your professional strengths.
Here are 15 personal traits you could focus on:
Describing your personal traits and how they relate to your career goals will help employers see the value you offer compared to another candidate.
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Once you have identified your career goals, your ideal employer, your most valuable personal traits, and your passions and values, you have a lot of great information to write a great Career Summary for your LinkedIn profile!
Introduce yourself, and start with your story...
Hello, I'm Steph!
I never thought having little direction for my own career would lead me into securing careers for others. I'm a Certified Professional Resume Writer and LinkedIn Profile Specialist with success in helping hundreds of clients accelerate their job searches. Like so many of my clients, I struggled to find that fulfilling role in the workforce. I've worked for horrible bosses, companies that just don't care about their employees, and startups that were doomed to fail from the start.
I discovered that my problem wasn't in landing the job but in landing the job that leveraged my strengths and gave me purpose.
Then briefly describe your passions, values, and what differentiates you from others.
Nothing drives me more than hearing a client has received a new and better job. As the job market and recruiting trends evolve, so must resume writing. When I started resume writing, I noticed how many resume services are behind in service offerings that meet the needs of today's job seekers. I knew Off The Clock Resumes needed to represent the next generation of resume writing by offering innovative personal branding services beyond traditional resume writing and cover letter writing services.
If you have highlights from your existing career or key strengths to highlight, now is the time to do so. Make this section an easy to scan list that captures the attention of readers.
** Conceptualizing and developing content for targeted resumes for all career levels
** Designing graphic resumes to attract and engage employers and recruiters
** Writing job-specific cover letters and effective cover letter templates
** Extending a consistent personal brand across LinkedIn and the major social networks
Most importantly, give your call to action. This is how you invite LinkedIn users to connect with you, email you job opportunities that you may be interested in, download your portfolio, or call you for more details about your background and career goals.
If you are struggling through a never-ending job search, connect with me on LinkedIn! I'd love to review your resume and give a free critique.
Before wrapping up your LinkedIn Career Summary, remember that LinkedIn has AMAZING search engine optimization perks. You'll want to make sure your Career Summary has major keywords that employers are looking for. If you can't add them naturally and seamlessly in the above paragraphs, add a Specialties section.
SPECIALTIES: resume writing strategy, targeted resume writing, applicant tracking software, cover letter writing, graphic resume design, LinkedIn profile editing, personal brand development, online personal branding, Facebook job search strategy, Twitter job search strategy, LinkedIn job search strategy, social media marketing
Another thing to consider is whether your name could be easily misspelled in a Google search. If you have another name, such as a maiden name or nickname, you should list these in a short section as well.
AKA/COMMON MISSPELLINGS: Stephanie Kruger, Stephanie Krueger, Steph Krueger
Now that you have written a phenomenal Career Summary for your LinkedIn profile, you are well on your way to getting hired for your ideal job using LinkedIn.