Creating a standout LinkedIn Profile
Step 2 – Make Your Summary Shine
Ok so moving on to the next top tip – The Summary.
The Summary is perhaps one of the most important tools for marketing your skills and advancing your career.
Think about it – what’s the first thing you would do if you were going to have a meeting or conference call with someone you’d not met before?
I know I’d be straight on LinkedIn checking out their Headline and Summary and finding out who they are and what they do.
That’s the world we’re in now.
People are learning about you online before they even shake your hand.
Jeff Bezos the CEO and Founder of Amazon said it well…
“YOUR BRAND IS WHAT OTHER PEOPLE SAY ABOUT YOU WHEN YOU’RE NOT IN THE ROOM”
So, focusing your attention on creating a great summary is key to building your personal brand.
The ironic thing is many people leave it blank or merely list their experience.
You have 2000 characters to present an amazing picture of yourself and what makes you great, so make the most of it.
What’s more, in this section LinkedIn allows you to add videos, images and documents so you can really make it come alive with real evidence of your contribution to the industry.
Let us look at my profile as an example…
You may be thinking it is a little more straight-forward for me as I clearly work in the service sector and can target a very specific audience BUT this is exactly where I would tell you to start.
Forget the content just for a second and think;
Who do you want to read your profile? And what do you want them to know about you?
Unless you get this clear in your mind, you risk your Summary appearing disjointed and lacking focus.
Mine (example below) clearly states what I do, it answers a readers potential problem, it clearly shows how people can contact me.
It deliberately reads as I prefer to with my clients i.e. not too formal, an authentic voice, relaxed and personal, and lots of evidence of the work I do through my videos and articles.
Remember the summary is about telling people who you are and why they should care.
It is not about listing your full set of accomplishments and work track record.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who am I at work? This is your raison d’etre, your purpose
- What are my skills? Just bullet point these, you will use these later!
- What are my significant accomplishments? Not war and peace, just the ones you’re most proud of – professionally and personally if you like
- What are my values and passions? The things that inspire you and you believe in
Your Elevator Pitch
Once you’ve prepared your opener now it’s time for your elevator pitch.
The reader needs to be walking away with a great understanding of who you are and what you do both on a professional and a personal level.
You’ll see in my Summary I give a clear explanation of my experience and what I do BUT I also include what I like to do outside of work to give a touch of the ‘the real me’ – I interject that with a bit of light-hearted humour and try to show my personality.
Remember, this is an Elevator Pitch it is not ‘War and Peace’ so don’t write reams and reams of information here, 2 or 3 paragraphs will be enough.
Here’s a quick ‘example’ elevator pitch I used previously, short, sweet, to-the-point.
If we bumped into each other in the lift, I could tell you who I was within 15 seconds ideal!
Call to Action
To close your summary, make it clear what you would like the reader to do next.
In my summary I very clearly ask the reader to contact me if they’re a senior treasury professional seeking a new challenge or are generally looking for market advice and guidance.
I then explain to them how they can contact me.
Whatever action you want people to take when reading your profile, make sure this is clear.