In our increasingly digital world, maintaining a social media presence is important. This is true in terms of our personal lives—and the workplace is no exception. LinkedIn is home to almost 313 million people online. This represents an incredible ability and opportunity to seek people out and learn more about their job-related skills and experiences for networking opportunities or for hiring purposes.
As a frequent LinkedIn user, I find the platform fairly easy to navigate through, to set-up an account and everything in between. But I feel I speak for everyone when I say that writing your LinkedIn Summary is hands down the most difficult process on LinkedIn. I see the Summary as the ultimate do-or-die first impression for someone. I may have been President of the United States, interned at Google or even hold a patent for the iPhone 7, but if those things aren’t highlighted in my summary, they won’t be immediately visible. So, for all of you users who are stumped, here are a few tips to keep in mind for creating a fool-proof LinkedIn Summary.
Never leave the Summary section blank
First and foremost, even if you are at a loss for words, don’t leave the Summary section blank. A LinkedIn profile without a Summary is like forgetting to introduce yourself or writing a paper without an introduction paragraph.
Mix it up
Avoid writing bulky paragraphs. People who visit your LinkedIn page are looking to learn more about you, not read your memoir. I suggest opening your Summary with a bold statement in the beginning. For example, open with a quote that means a lot to you, or a sentence that summarizes who you are. This is the time and place to write your elevator pitch.
Don’t be afraid to include:
- Bold fonts
- ALL CAPS
- Lines— to — separate
The point of your summary is to engage visitors so they continue to look at your page, not bore them with useless information or brag about how awesome you are.
Take advantage of the file upload option
The ability to upload files to your Summary section is a fairly new feature on LinkedIn that everyone should use. In my personal Summary section, I have uploaded my portfolio and my resume. By uploading your resume or other relevant files to your Summary section, I believe it gives you a leg up on the competition. Not only will your Summary be engaging, but also visually appealing. Not to mention, when first applying for jobs after college, several employers commended me on my portfolio file on my LinkedIn page!
Give a call to action
A basic rule I like to follow whenever writing anything persuasive is to give a call to action at the end and your LinkedIn Summary shouldn’t be an exception. What exactly would you like the reader to do after finishing your Summary? Examples include:
- “Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
- “Sign up for our organization’s weekly e-newsletter for valuable advice on social media marketing.”
- “Visit my blog for weekly tips on digital advertising.”
- “Please connect for further networking opportunities.”
Don’t sell yourself short when it comes to LinkedIn summaries. Let readers know who you are by telling your story! Feel free to check me out on LinkedIn to see what my Summary section looks like.
Do you use any of these elements in your LinkedIn Summary section? What advice do you have for writing a knock-out Summary? Let me know in the comments below!