Guest blog: How to Write a Great LinkedIn Summary

linkedin-911794_960_720LinkedIn has become a powerful force in recruitment, with the number of members exceeding 470 million worldwide. The social media site for business is now a useful resource when it comes to recruitment. It helps candidates find great opportunities through the job search function, and it gives prospective employers a way to scope out the talent in a new and different way.

And head-hunters use LinkedIn in the same way they use their personal network connections. If they have a great role and they are looking for the perfect person, they will search LinkedIn and make contact with members who match their search criteria.

So, it pays to have a LinkedIn profile that stands out. One of the best ways to achieve this is to have a great LinkedIn summary. The summary is the section that appears after your image and headline. This should engage the readers’ interest, but make them want to get in touch. Here’s how you can make that happen.

Plan First

Before you start writing, spend some time thinking about what you want to say. Your summary shouldn’t just be dry information, or a list of your accomplishments; those are all included later in your profile. Instead, you want to use your profile to let recruiters know what is special about you as a candidate. If they’re looking through dozens of profiles of people with similar qualifications and experience, why should they stop and hire you?

This could include things like:

  • Your most recent or significant accomplishments
  • Your values, and the things that you are really passionate about
  • Your unique selling point – the thing you do or bring that no one else can
  • Some interesting facts and figures that say something about you and your qualities

Once you’ve got all you want to include and all you want to achieve, come up with a running order for the information.

Draw Inspiration

It can also be useful to take a look at other people’s LinkedIn summaries, to get an idea of what you personally like, and what you think works well to create a response from readers. Take a look at what colleagues in your network have put, and also look higher up the food chain. What is your boss’ summary like? What are the summaries of people who already do your dream job like?

It’s also worth looking at job advertisements for the roles you’re interested in. They will be peppered with the key phrases (and keywords) which you will want to put in your summary.

Getting Started

The most important line you write will be the first one. It needs to make the reader want to learn more. Opening lines are something that professional writers invest a great deal of time in, so it’s worth thinking about what makes a great opening line and learning from that.

If all that isn’t enough inspiration, here are some of the summaries that LinkedIn like the most, and you can’t get much better recommendation than that!

Also, keeping in mind that only the first 220 characters are displayed to viewers on a computer, and just 92 for those viewing on mobile. You need to capture enough interest by that point to make readers click, ‘See more’.

Writing in the first person is best; think of this as an answering machine message, waiting for those who are interested in you, professionally. It should read that way, for example: ‘I am an experienced project manager, who breathes fire in her spare time.’

This is Me

Ultimately, it’s your summary. While you should take inspiration from other people, your summary should be a pretty accurate reflection of who you are, what makes you a great candidate and what you are looking for from life. Tell people who you are and let them come to you!

Sarah Dixon writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs.

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