A Strong Summary Makes a Winning LinkedIn Profile

The summary section of your LinkedIn profile appears just below your activity at the top of your profile. If hiring managers make it as far as your summary, they’re essentially asking you to tell them more about you. So here’s your chance to make an impression. Whatever you do, don’t bore them. Only after reading your summary do hiring managers look at your experience and education.

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A good profile summary has these three characteristics:

  • It’s short. Keep your summary between five and ten lines on the screen, or three to five sentences. When read out loud, your summary shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds to read. (And, yes, that means you need to read it out loud with a timer.)

  • It’s concise. Your summary isn’t the place for bulleted lists of your accomplishments, but it should quickly tell viewers more about you.

  • It’s unique. Avoid jargon, buzzwords, or clichés.

  • It’s a narrative. You’re welcome to use first person pronouns in your summary. Rather than referring to yourself in the third person, like you would in a résumé, tell your story with I and my.

In the United Kingdom and Europe, these rules are a bit topsy-turvy (so to speak). Profile summaries here are longer and more often told in the third person, like a résumé. Try out several versions and use the one that gets you the best results.

Your profile summary is the first place you get to elaborate on your personal brand. And your brand should focus on the value you offer the reader. So feel free to use a clear and well-crafted value statement in this area of your profile. Go through one of the three methods for writing a value statement and then update your LinkedIn profile summary with the results.

With LinkedIn’s new profiles, you can now upload multimedia files to make your profile more visual and interactive. These objects appear as thumbnails just below your summary and work experience. You can either add media files directly to your summary or upload them to your Experience section. Whatever multimedia element you load into an experience rolls up to the Summary section automatically.

Consider adding one of these types of media elements to your summary to help you tell your story:

  • Images

  • Video

  • Audio

  • Presentations

  • Documents

  • Portfolio

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