Beyond your picture and job title, your LinkedIn Summary is the first impression that potential employers will get of you. Your summary is the best place to make the most of the LinkedIn experience, so take the time to really make it shine. The most obvious thing about LinkedIn profiles is to impressive potential employers. If yours is making them stifle a yawn then you are not making the most of the opportunity that you have. The following tips just may prove to be valuable enough to get your phone to ringing and your email to pinging!
1: The Summary
When you come to the summary section, it may be tempting to skip it but this is a colossal mistake. NEVER leave your LinkedIn summary blank! If you do, the very first thing that a potential employer will see is your work experience. This turns your profile into more of a resume and does not point employers in the right area of focus. It is your job to put them on the right trail.
When doing your summary, do not skimp on the information. You are given the opportunity to use 2000 characters so use them all! If you do not than you are throwing away the perfect chance at keyword optimizing your summary. Even though the most vital areas for keywords are in the headline, your job titles, and specialties, the entire summary can be used for this purpose. A summary that is keyword rich will point managers and recruiters right your way, making your chances of being noticed much greater.
3: Share Your Stories
Use your summary as a platform for your stories and accomplishments. There is nobody that does not adore a good story! Go off the beaten path and tell people something about yourself that is not already pointed out in your resume. The best type of story to tell is one of a PAR. PAR stands for problem, action and resolution. This type of story can really get employers excited about you are a worker. Also add at least three bullets that highlight your top three accomplishments to enhance your summary even further. If you can grab the potential employer during your initial summary they will want to learn more about you which means they will continue on through your profile. The summary is their first stop and your best chance at enticement.
4: Break Things Up
Do not write your summary as you would a letter full of paragraphs. This looks unprofessional and will make people skirt right past your entire profile. Instead you should be breaking specific points down with bullets, headings, subheadings, etc. Examples of headers include:
- IT Specialist
- Out of the box, strategic and creative marketer
- Business savvy Legal Support Specialist
Examples of sub headers may include:
- Highlights of career
- Team leader
Breaking things up like this keeps your readers engaged with the easy to follow information.
5: Ease of Contact
Always make sure that you are easy to contact. Leave every way that you can be contacted, including your home phone, cell phone, mailing address, email address, Skype account, etc. Having all of your contact information shows greater initiative and employers like this. Make sure that you check your messages and accounts provided in your summary regularly (daily) so as not to miss any messages. Getting back to people who have contacted you immediately shows that you are ready and willing to do the job at hand.
Finally, at the end of your summary you should make a statement that will further entice employers, hiring managers and recruiters to contact you. For example, “If you are seeking someone willing to go above and beyond the call of duty, contact me!”