magine you were trying to get a job fifty years ago. You would find a job listing in a newspaper, set up an in-person interview, and walk in with your resume to introduce yourself to the company.
Today, LinkedIn has taken the place of the newspaper, your resume, and even that first meeting. Your presence on LinkedIn matters. In fact, 87 percent of recruiters will vet your candidacy by visiting your LinkedIn profile.
How to Write a Killer LinkedIn Summary
When setting out to write your summary, remember how LinkedIn users will interact with it on your profile. When someone goes to your profile, they’ll scan your title and location, see your photo, and notice if you have under 500 connections. After that, they’ll likely turn to your summary to get to know you. It’s the equivalent of a public cover letter: it gives your contacts a sense of who you are before they read what you’ve done.
Before you start writing your LinkedIn summary, you should do two things. First, search for leaders in your field, and check out the key terms they use to describe themselves. These keywords will help your profile appear in LinkedIn’s search results. Then, ask yourself these questions, and jot down any surprising things you discover:
Summaries don’t need to be long, but you might want to take a moment to plan and write yours. Here are a few tips to make your summary shine:
1 Write your summary in the first person. Unless you’re a celebrity or public figure, we all know you wrote it yourself.
2 Keep it short. Don’t say something in five words that could be said in two. Also, shoot for four to five paragraphs of no more than a sentence or two each.
3 Proofread everything multiple times. Read your LinkedIn summary out loud to make sure it sounds natural and eliminate mistakes.
Authenticity and creativity are the hallmarks of a great summary, which is why most LinkedIn summaries feature distinct sections. Make sure you nail these to make your summary perfect.
Writing an engaging opening line is key to drawing in potential employers, clients, partners, and contacts. To find your opener, just think: what is the first thing someone should know about me?
If you’re still stumped, try these tips for great first lines, and experiment! If you set a timer for ten minutes, you can probably write fifteen different opening lines. Then it’s just a matter of choosing the one that suits you.
After your first line (or first few lines), you’ll want to explain in the best way possible why you’re a rising star in your field. Remember those keywords we collected above? Now is the time to use them. Tell your readers what you’re passionate about, what you’re good at, and why these things matter.
After you’ve written three or four concise paragraphs, wrap it up. As you’re closing out your profile, consider the action you want your profile-viewer to take. Do you want them to email you if they’re interested in becoming a client? Do you want them to message you with job opportunities? Do you want them to tweet funny cat memes at you?
Whatever action you want people to take when reading your LinkedIn, list it at the end of your profile. In most cases, a simple “Message me with” or “Email me if” will suffice.
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