What To Put In Your LinkedIn Summary | LinkedIn Lifeline, Episode #4 [VIDEO]
If your LinkedIn profile is missing a Summary/About section or it’s been copied directly from your resume’s summary or Branding Statement, then you’re doing it wrong!
Being overlooked and losing opportunities to others with similar skills and years of experience takes its toll on your positive outlook. It’s hard enough to master the modern job search and online job applications that your LinkedIn profile is likely an afterthought. Your LinkedIn profile is often the first stop for most employers recruiting and conducting a background check, so it’s time to rethink your job search.
Don’t be outperformed and dubbed the “runner up” for the jobs you want because your LinkedIn Summary doesn’t say anything new and interesting about you.
I’m here to tell you exactly what you should put in your LinkedIn Summary and share my LinkedIn Summary template with you.
The #1 LinkedIn Summary Mistake
Don’t make the mistake of simply summarizing your experience and skills in your LinkedIn Summary/About section. This is a common mistake made by most job seekers and not because it works. It doesn’t. Your LinkedIn profile is a living resume and a social profile. It should be more conversational than a targeted resume.
What To Put In Your LinkedIn Summary
Your LinkedIn Summary should say more about you than what’s already in your profile or on your resume. This is your chance to catch the attention of your profile viewers and interest them in getting to know you more.
Your Unique Career Story
Your LinkedIn Summary needs to start by summarizing your unique career story - This is different than summarizing your experience and skills! Your story is unique to you, subtly showcasing your soft skills and separating you from others with similar skills and years of experience.
Why are you pursuing the job target or staying in the career field that you are? What interests you most about the industry you’re pursuing or staying in? How have your past experiences driven you in this field or industry? These are a few questions you should consider when summarizing your unique career story in your LinkedIn Summary/About section.
Your Career Goals
Your LinkedIn Summary needs to describe your career goals or indicate who your ideal employer is in the first couple of statements as well. You don’t need to say, “I want to work for Amazon,” directly - although, that does get the message across! You can describe your ideal work environment and values that should be shared by a company.
Do you want to work for an innovative and collaborative company, or would you rather work independently? Are you eager to find a company with tons of opportunities for professional development, promotions, and advancement? Or would you rather work for a family-oriented small business that values your jack or jill-of-all-trades abilities?
What Problems You Solve
Your LinkedIn Summary needs to include what problems you solve for employers. This can look like a bullet list of career highlights or achievements. It can also look like several short paragraphs describing how you approach your work (ex. how you lead teams, work with customers, develop strategies and solutions, etc.).
This isn’t bragging. This is branding. If your profile viewers only learn one thing about you from your LinkedIn Summary, it should be what you’re known for. You can cherry-pick your best achievements or you can focus on which strengths you’ve leveraged to make a difference for your employers. These details demonstrate your unique value.
Finally, your LinkedIn Summary needs to include a call-to-action or invitation to connect with you. Tell your profile viewers what you want them to do. Working on growing your network? Ask them to send you a connection request. Actively looking for a new job? Ask them to message or email you for a copy of your resume.
Since your contact information isn’t the most visible on your LinkedIn profile, you should consider adding your phone number and email address at the end of your LinkedIn Summary to cover your bases if a recruiter or employer wants to reach out to you about a job opportunity.
My LinkedIn Summary Template
How do all of these pieces fit together? Here’s a snapshot of my LinkedIn Summary template. I use this template as a framework when I develop LinkedIn Summary/About sections for my LinkedIn Plus clients:
Opening Statement - This short statement should be attention-catching and reflect your personality. Ex. Start with your motto, career philosophy, or what you're known for.
Introduction - This short paragraph should summarize your unique career story and describe your career goals.
Supporting Statements Focusing On The Problems You Solve - Use a bullet list to showcase your career highlights or short paragraphs to describe how you approach your work.
Invitation - This short paragraph uses your drive, passions, or values to call the profile viewer to action and invites him or her to connect with you.
*** Bonus Sections ***
Specialties: (List your top 10-12 job-related skills here to further optimize this section with keywords that employers will be looking for)
AKA/Common Misspellings: (Add nicknames, your maiden name, and common misspellings of your name to make sure employers who search for your profile on Google can still find you!)
Ultimately, let your personality shine through in your LinkedIn Summary. This section should be more conversational than a technical resume summary or Branding Statement. It should share something new and interesting about you rather than repeating what’s already in your profile or on your resume.
I challenge you to revamp your LinkedIn Summary/About section using my LinkedIn Summary template. See how many more connections and messages you get from profile viewers!
Do you find it difficult to convey the problems that you solve for employers?