The 4 Step Guide to Writing a Powerful LinkedIn Summary
So you’re looking to revamp your LinkedIn profile and start growing a valuable network of people? Well, you’ve come to the right place! The LinkedIn summary is becoming an increasingly powerful weapon in your arsenal. A lot of its importance can be attributed to the fact that many first impressions are now online, so people know all sorts about you before you’ve even met!
If you’ve got a meeting lined up or even a phone call with someone you’ve never met, the likelihood is that you’ll Google each other; and your Linkedin profile often comes up at the top spot on a google search.
If your LinkedIn profile is the top result when people search for you, and your summary is the first thing they read, it needs to be a good one!
But how to go about writing it? Well, firstly you need a plan! Follow these steps for a killer LinkedIn Summary:
Step 1 – Understanding your Audience
Your summary needs to impact and influence the specific types of people you are looking to connect with. For example, if you were looking to build relationships with skateboarding apparel brands in Brighton, your summary would have a very different tone than if you wanted to work with Corporation Tax advisors in Switzerland.
The key things you need to think about regarding your audience are:
- What do I want them to KNOW about me?
- What do I want them to DO?
- How do I want them to FEEL?
Once you can answer all of those questions you can start to write the bulk of the content.
Step 2 – Preparing the bulk of your content:
It can feel overwhelming trying to find the right way to present your summary because it is done so differently by so many. But here are my tried and tested segments to include to provide a really comprehensive and engaging LinkedIn Profile:
- Wins – Write out some of your biggest achievements in terms of how you create value for businesses, the community, or yourself. For example, “I led our company’s first Youth Training Programme, going into local schools and providing young adults with skills, knowledge and practical experience of the workplace that they can use when they leave.”
- Passions – Write about what drives, engages and inspires you, in both your professional and personal life. For example, “diversity and inclusivity, helping startups build their brand, scuba-diving.”
- Quantify – It’s all well and good saying that you can do this and that, but people love to see some measurable facts and figures to back-up your claims. For example, a HR Professional could say “I reduced employee turnover by 22% through developing and delivering a new employee engagement initiative.” Or an Operations Manager could state “I saved the business an average of £74,000 per quarter, due to the reorganisation of delivery vehicles and their routes.”
- Different – Write out a couple of the things that make you, you! How do you work that is different from your peers, and how does it help the business? For example, “I start all meetings by making everyone do a freestyle rap to get all of the creative juices and enthusiasm flowing.”
- Validation – Here is the easy part, you don’t have to think of anything. Just use references from others, or accolades you’ve been awarded that support everything else you’ve just mentioned. For example, “Graduated from the University of Sussex at the top of my class.” Or “Callum is an exemplary employee who’s led the sales team from the front, resulting in all-time sales highs year on year.” – Bill Gates, Microsoft
Step 3 – Write out the text
Using the above format you should have powerful, relevant and personal information ready to create an equally impressive LinkedIn Summary. One of the last things to decide is whether you want to write it in the first or third person. For me, I prefer to write in the first person; it provides a much more personal and genuine touch, and everyone knows you write your own LinkedIn Summary so it’s a bit pretentious to do it in the third person.
Only the first 2 lines of your summary are initially visible on your LinkedIn page (even less if you are viewing on mobile), so you need to have an opening sentence that will entice people to read on. Here are a few examples of opening lines that encouraged me to read on:
Craig Japp – “After the realisation set in that I will not be making it as a pro footballer or Wimbledon great (I wasn’t even close), I spent many evenings trawling the local press and digital job boards seeking the dream role that was just out of reach.”
Paul H. Simon – “No one is good at everything. As much as you may be in command of your core offering, chances are your messaging or online community engagement activities don’t quite make the grade. Not a great writer or editor for your own materials? You’re certainly not alone.”
Shaquille O’Neal – “During 19 seasons in the National Basketball League, I drove success on and off the court. I developed partnerships with global brands, pursued my academic interests in business and leadership and became the only current or former NBA player to hold three degrees: a bachelor’s, a master’s and a doctorate.”
So now just write your summary whilst incorporating all the sections previously mentioned. Remember it has to be authentic and genuine, so if it takes a couple of drafts to get right that’s fine! Don’t use up all 2000 characters though, because you need some space to write all the keywords that people will use to find you. Keywords are the terms that people will search for, and you want to make sure you include them in your summary so you will come up at the top of the list. So create a “Specialties” section at the end of your summary where you list your strengths such as Social Media Consultant, Entrepreneur, Undertaker…
Step 4 – Integrate some Rich Media
You now have a great LinkedIn summary, but we can make it even stronger with one final addition – rich media. LinkedIn lets you integrate media such as videos, documents or images into your profile, meaning that you can back up your claims with further evidence. If you worked on a presentation you are really proud of or want to include a short video explaining your services and how they add value, then integrating this into your profile is a fantastic way to stand out!
Hope you enjoyed and use this guide to bolster your LinkedIn profile! For even more LinkedIn goodness take a look at our LinkedIn Traning Course.