Was it the same for you?
Did you join LinkedIn in the early years and post an electronic version of your paper resume and felt great about completing a profile? Today it’s a different story. LinkedIn has morphed from a job board into a business exchange of ideas among peers, business partners and of course, job recruiting. And your LinkedIn profile should have an eye-popping summary.
Your LinkedIn Summary = Your Elevator Speech?!
Your summary creates interest about you, from 35,000 feet. You’re about to start a conversation, very much like you might at a business reception. Answering the unspoken, “What do you do?” means tell me why I should care about what you have to say.
Think of your LinkedIn summary as your written elevator speech.
Your summary shouldn’t be a restatement of your career experience. There’s ample room for that in the work experience section – that’s where your career achievements are listed by employer and by title and by years in that position. Here in the summary section is where a reader decides to dig in deeper or not.
You need to write your elevator speech with pizzazz and make that your LinkedIn summary. If you’re one of those professionals with a vague description of what you do for whom – your LinkedIn reader will move on to the next profile, discarding the option of engaging with you.
You can write a terrific LinkedIn summary yourself and here’s how to do it.
Three Killer Steps for your LinkedIn summary
WOW. Write something intriguing (even puzzling) that will make the other person want to read more. You can share an anecdote, offer an interesting statistic or inject humor into your summary. Ideally, the reader’s curiosity is sparked and stimulated to know more about you. Here is a client sample from Steve Klinetobe at The Cartoon Agency
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HOW. Next, quantify or qualify your successful career. Answer the unspoken question and explain exactly what you do for whom and what results you get. Add an emotional benefit which addresses the intersection of demand & supply – how you deliver an outcome that no one can or does as well as you. Validation from the client Kamal Gregory at Lexis Nexis
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NOW. Shift into showing proof. Maybe use storytelling or giving a concrete example of a recent experience that demonstrates your ability. Most of all, make it relevant. Show how you solve the market demand for what you do. Here’s a client example from James Pemberton’s summary:
We get retained for information security candidate searches for several reasons:
- You’ve tried on your own but aren’t finding the right people for your team.
- You can’t spare the time due to your already heavy work load.
- You need a third party to approach competitors confidentially.
- You’re not sure how to pitch the opportunity and orchestrate the interviewing process.
Your takeaway: Schedule time to polish your summary section. Make this section a priority this week. If you’re stumped, consider looking at other profiles within your vertical to get some pointers.