Think about what you do when you visit the LinkedIn profile of somebody you’re interested in. You will probably glance at the photo; check the headline and then scroll right down to the summary, almost everybody does.
It’s vital to get your summary into shape so that it reads well; promotes your personal brand and offerings and perhaps even more importantly will be interesting enough that people will wish to continue reading the rest of your profile.
LinkedIn has an excellent relationship with Google so be sure to include keywords in your summary this will increase your SEO which will help you become more widely recognised. There are certain paragraphs you should have in your summary…
The first is the Grabber. This should be a statement that engages with your target market, for example the first sentence of Mike Ames’ Grabber is ‘Whatever you feel about the activity of selling you cannot ignore it’. Think about your client’s problems or topical news around your area of expertise. The whole point is to make the visitor of your profile stop and become intrigued by you so that they carry on and read the rest of your profile.
The second paragraph is the pigeon-hole paragraph. The purpose of this paragraph is to explain what your job role is, who you work for and who your target market is for example, I am a ‘Job Role’ at ‘Company Name’ working with ‘Client Base’.
The next few paragraphs can me mixed and matched as you see fit. Quotes from recommendations you may have are excellent to add to your Summary. Just a line from a few quotes will reinforce that you are good at your job and as the recommendation has come from someone else it carries more weight than if you said it about yourself.
You could also include a beliefs paragraph where you describe your beliefs and values that you live and work by. This is a difficult paragraph to write if you don’t currently have them but if you do then try to avoid the clichés, you may well put your client first and not stop working until the client is satisfied but these will do very little to endear your potential client. Instead try rewording the clichés into something that essentially has the same meaning but is phrased differently. If you have a belief that you are known for that some consider to be a cliché you can sometimes get away with it by using the sentence ‘Although some consider it to be a cliché, I truly believe…’
Another paragraph could also be a list of 3 or 4 recent achievements that you are proud of in your career. You will know how much detail to put in. Eg: ‘Organised the new property for a major UK bank in a deal for over £15 million….’ However do be careful when using your client’s names, some may be ok with it but it is always wise to check first.
To actually edit your summary go to Edit profile, down to the summary section and select ‘Edit’. You can write your summary directly into the box but we recommend your write it in a word processor programme like Microsoft Word or Apples Pages that allows you to spell check the document and then copy and paste it across later. When you are happy just hit ‘save’.
Your summary should encapsulate all that you wish your clients to know whilst letting the person you are come across. It is sometimes useful to get someone else to read it one you have drafted it out as more often than not they will remember something about you that you have forgotten. Remember your summary is about you, not your company.