3 Essential Tips For A Killer LinkedIn Summary

April 19, 2014

It’s inconceivable to us that so many people continue to ignore that ‘free space’ on LinkedIn called ‘Summary’. When our founder Alex Pirouz was interviewed by Sydney Morning Herald a few weeks back, he claimed that 75% of the profiles he came across are NOT using their LinkedIn summary effectively. People tend to publish their resume and then they’re done…much more, just create a skeleton and think that’s good enough.

There are now over 270 million LinkedIn users, just a year ago it was only 180 million…hmm, it may not be as sexy as Facebook, Twitter or Google +, but it sure packs a punch. Leaving your summary blank means that the first thing someone sees is your Experience section. Your profile will then be like a résumé without a Summary statement at the top, or like a term paper without an introduction.

No one is going to scroll down and scrutinize every position you have ever had or taken their time to deduce what skills you possess by looking at your groups and associations. You see, when someone looks at your LinkedIn profile — that could be your next client, board advisor, partner, associate — you’ve just revealed everything about your ‘professional’ self on one page.

It’s a snapshot of your life and your personality. If it’s not complete, what does that say about you? And, get this – last year, 2 billion people searches were performed on that LinkedIn search box – that’s doubled by now, we have no doubt.

LinkedIn has a very high search engine ranking, so a search for your first and last name can easily show your LinkedIn profile in the top 1-5 search results. So, make sure you make that count! Here are 3 key essential tips that when properly implemented will help you create a more compelling and engaging summary:

1. Tell your story

Generally, once someone has looked at your photo and the number of connections you have, this is the first main section they read to find out more about you. Now, unless it’s someone you know, chances are that person does not know you from a bar of soap so they will want to get a quick snapshot of who you are, what you do, why you do it and how you solve a particular challenge they are facing through your product or service.

No matter why you are using LinkedIn, your summary should expand on your headline by telling the reader which problems you solve. In other words, discuss who you help and how you help them.

There are many different theories but in our opinion and from a personal branding perspective, we believe that on social media, people buy into people they trust and like. Unless you establish this right from the start then no one is going to care about your business, let alone your product or service.

And the best way to establish this trust is to share your business journey to date. Let’s face it; everyone likes a good story. Now there are 3 main stages to this:

– Past: Start off by sharing how you got into business
– Present: What has led you to where you are now
– Future: And finally what you are working on going forward

Within each of these sections be sure to weave in any key achievements, awards, career milestones, endorsements and even your failures. As you will notice in Alex’s profile he actually starts off by listing his failures, it adds the human element to his profile and shows he is down to earth.

2. Keywords

In last week’s blog, our founder shared with you the importance of having a complete profile and inserting the right keywords in order to get ranked highly in search rankings both on and off LinkedIn. Although the MOST important spots for keywords are your Headline, Skills and Expertise and Job Titles, your Summary section counts too.

Load it up with keywords that your target market is searching for! You are allowed up to 2,000 characters for your summary so make every word count. If you do not take advantage of this opportunity, you are missing out on essential keyword optimization.

Whilst doing so, please be careful how you implement so you still come across professionally. The last thing you want to look at is a bunch of keywords if they haven’t been professionally inserted within your story to make sense.

And please do ‘NOT’ just keyword stuff them into your summary in one big run-on sentence of nothingness. Use them in the correct context so that the terms are meaningful and won’t turn off your audience once they arrive at your profile. A spammy profile, even if it turns up at the top of search results, is never good for your personal or professional brand.

3. Written In 3rd Person

There was a comic Alex read in his childhood wherein one character said that great people refer to themselves in the third person. Using the third person does have a certain appeal to it, and it does make you feel as if you are praising someone else and not building a shrine to yourself.

Summaries written in the first person sound very pretentious, especially when you are discussing your achievements. Whilst using the third person does not create that personal feel to your profile, overall we believe the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. In the end, it would really be up to you and how you feel about it.

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Say goodbye to spreadsheets, poor performing campaigns and hours of wasted time manually handling your leads on LinkedIn. Jayla will help you develop your overall strategy, manage your opportunities, set automated reminders to follow up prospects you’re in conversation with and track your ROI.

Still early days, but I've done just over

Stephen Brookes

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