Six Ways To Write A Winning LinkedIn Summary
Let’s take this writing project step-by-step to make it easier for you to create a more effective Summary.
- Write in First Person
Contrary to what you may have done in the past, Summaries are no longer advertisements written like they came off a press release, a job description or a resume. That is the initial challenge as writing in the first person means you are writing about yourself. Displaying your personality. Talking about you using “I.” Many people treat this part of their profile as a biography, but that is a mistake. To be effective, you need to really write it more like a self-marketing pitch but keep it genuine.
- Target Your Reader
Think about this section as if you were having a conversation with a colleague, a recruiter or a prospective client. How would you talk to them and introduce yourself? What would you want them to know? What would be the important points they should be told about you, your skills, accomplishments or unique talents? You want to have your personality come out here too. Hiring managers and recruiters are looking at prospective fits and so you want to be authentic and as real as possible. You may have some special background or something a boss or client has said about you that you wish to emphasize. Focus the reader quickly because if you don’t capture their interest right away, they’ll go away. Here’s how to know the audience, for example:
Recruiters are looking for good-fit candidates prospective clients are looking at your background and expertise executives should be representing your company well and looking like an impressive leader in your field everyone else must look good to colleagues and whoever comes to check you out
- Opening three sentences
It must be immediately clear to any reader what value you offer. So that means it’s easily discernible to the recruiter, prospective client, another colleague or even your boss. They want to know who you are and what is unique about you and they want to know that quickly in a friendly voice. So your Summary needs to include mixing in your credentials with your accomplishments. It tells the world who you are and advertises your strengths. The first three Summary sentences follow you when you post on LinkedIn. It’s all someone sees when they read the Summary as they come to your profile page. That is unless they hit the “show more” tab on your profile. So these will need to be very strong, powerful sentences that really sell you and pull the reader in to want to learn more about you.
- WRITE, Edit, Rewrite
Start out breaking this assignment into a few pieces. First, write out what are the top three selling points that you want people to know about you on LinkedIn. These don’t have to be fancy marketing sentences just note what are your best attributes and the top things you are best at on the job. You are likely going to lead with these. You can polish them up later with an instant editing tool like Rephraser.ai, but this is likely a good way to get started. Outline your most significant professional accomplishments. What makes you stand out from others in your field? This can be one or two things. You have the Experience section to note the major aspects of your work, this Summary is to just highlight a few things. Now try to write down a couple of things about your personality. What is it about you that you want others to know? After you have taken the time to compile these pieces try crafting the first draft of your Summary. Then leave it alone for one day. Go back and read it when it’s cold. Edit it and rewrite it. Polish it up. And if English is your second language (and let’s face it, even if it’s not), put your Summary through Rephraser.ai, and it will polish it up instantly.
- Call to Action or Nice Conclusion
Now you need to write the ending. This needs to have the next action step you want the person to take.
Job hunter: If you have a great quote that a boss has said about you then you might want to use that at the end. After the quote, note this: I’m currently open to a new job opportunity, so if you have something that might fit email me at: put your email in the Summary.
Consultant or Business: You can use a client quote or testimonial and then say send me an email paste in your email or call me list # to discuss how I can help you with XXXXX whatever it is you do.
Professional/Everyone else: If there is a nice quote from a boss or colleague about you use it here as it’s a nice way to end. But if not, say something about why you like your work and end with that.
- Get Feedback before You Post it
Be sure to have at least two to three people read over your summary and give you feedback before you post it online. If you are a professional not looking for a job your boss might be ideal. If you are a job hunter, get a colleague who knows your industry to offer you their insight. A consultant needs another colleague to look it over. After you make tweaks based on their input and then rephrased in Rephraser.ai, post the summary.
Contrary to what you may have done in the past, Summaries are no longer advertisements written like they came off a press release, a job description or a resume. That is the initial challenge as writing in the first person means you are writing about yourself. Displaying your personality. Talking about you using “I.” Many people treat this part of their profile as a biography, but that is a mistake. To be effective, you need to really write it more like a self-marketing pitch, but keep it genuine.
By Robin Ryan, first published on forbes.com, March 12, 2019