LinkedIn rules Google, which means it's via your LinkedIn summary that many prospective employers will first encounter you. If you're keen to make a good first impression, getting it right is of the essence. Here are four hacks to get you moving.
1. Write in a personal style
The best way to stand out from the crowd is by injecting an element of your personality into your LinkedIn summary. Avoid technical jargon, cliches and boring, predictable language. Instead, write in first person and try to mirror the way you speak. Are there any quirks about you that are fun, appealing or demonstrate your work ethic? Don't be afraid to include them. For example, "I start every day with an ocean swim, so I'm fresh when I get to the desk."
2. Include your extraordinary qualities
Do you have an extraordinary skill? Have you achieved something incredible? Whether it's work-related or not, don't leave it out. Prospective employers want to know what's different about you. For example, "I once wrote an article about monkeys that inspired 20,000 social media shares" or "I walked across the Nullabor Plain to raise money for my favourite charity."
3. Use no more than 3-5 pithy paragraphs
Long, verbose paragraphs are off-putting. Make sure your LinkedIn summary is no more than 3-5 paragraphs. You don't need to use all 2,000 characters. Each paragraph should make one important point and be separated on either side by a blank line. Replace complicated words and detailed descriptions with simple, clear words and phrases. Use dot points where appropriate, so key information is easily accessible.
4. Include your values
Your values can be just as important as your achievements. Start by brainstorming: what qualities in yourself, in other people and in a work culture do you deem essential? Are you a whizz-bang creative thinker? Do you have a good rapport with groups? Are you fast, always on-task and efficient? Don't try to be everything to everyone: narrow your values down to three, if you can.
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