6 Secrets For A More Powerful LinkedIn Summary | Personal Branding Blog - Stand Out In Your Career


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  • 6 Secrets For A More Powerful LinkedIn Summary

    If you are like most LinkedIn members, your LinkedIn summary isn’t very clear or compelling.

    In a recent article, I shared a step-by-step process on how to create a powerful LinkedIn headline. Here are 6 secrets for creating a powerful LinkedIn summary:

    1. Start smart. Before you write your LinkedIn summary, you need to be clear on why you are using LinkedIn. Are you seeking a job in a new field? Are you happily employed but simply looking to build up your personal brand? Are you looking to strengthen your professional network? Are you looking to land new customers for your business? Chances are you probably have several goals. However, most LinkedIn users haven’t given much thought to who they are trying to impress or why they are using the site, which is why most LinkedIn summaries are not very clear or compelling. As the late, great Stephen Covey would say, “begin with the end in mind.”

    2. Highlight the problems you solve. No matter why you are using LinkedIn, your summary should expand on your headline by telling the reader which problems you solve. In other words, discuss who you help and how you help them.

    3. Provide evidence for your credibility. Assume that people reading your profile will be skeptical. Anyone can claim that they are a “visionary” or that they have “superior communication skills.” Highlight 3-5 of your most relevant, impressive achievements as “evidence” for your value.

    4. Tell a story. The best LinkedIn profiles also have a human element to them and elicit emotion in the reader. Potential connections, employers and customers want to know why you do the work you do (or why you want to work in a certain field, if you don’t work in it yet). When you have a compelling reason/story behind your chosen career path, you appear even more interesting and credible. It’s even better if you can highlight some obstacles you overcame in your life/career in conjunction with your story.

    5. Be accessible. Include your contact information. At the minimum, EVERYONE using LinkedIn should include their email address in their summary. For those who disagree, why are you using the site if you’re not open to connecting with new people? The minimal risk of being spammed far outweighs the potential reward in being accessible to anyone who wants to connect with you. This is especially true if you are looking for a new job or working in any sort of sales capacity.

    6. Do NOT write in the first person. Summaries written in the first person sound very pretentious, especially when you are discussing your achievements. Use bullet points or write your summary in the third person.

    P.S. You can check out my LinkedIn summary here.

    Author:

    Pete Leibman is the Founder of Dream Job Academy and the Author of “I Got My Dream Job and So Can You: 7 Steps to Creating Your Ideal Career After College” (AMACOM, 2012). His work has been featured on Fox, CBS, and CNN, and he’s a popular Keynote Speaker at career events for students and at conferences for people who work with students.

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    9 comments on “6 Secrets For A More Powerful LinkedIn Summary
    1. avatar
      EXPERT

      Love this post, Pete! You nudged me to replace my so-so profile with one that’s so much stronger than what I had before. My new summary:

      #1 Publicity Expert on Google helps businesses, nonprofits & PR pros get thousands of dollars in free publicity

    2. avatar
      EXPERT
      Phil Pallen says:

      Good things to think about, but I disagree with number 6.

      Summaries written in third-person sound pretentious on LinkedIn – it’s common knowledge that you individually run and maintain your own profile. Why distance yourself from the reader and pretend like it’s someone else writing about you?

    3. avatar
      EXPERT
      Marc Miller says:

      Pete,
      There is one thing we disagree on. I believe the summary should contain your “Brand Story” and it should be written in 1st person. It is my story and I am telling it.

      I tell clients to go get help in writing their story because the worst person to write your “brand story” is YOU!

      You can check out my summary at http://linkedin.com/in/mrmiller

    4. avatar
      EXPERT
      Kimberly says:

      You can also check out brandyourself.com. This site is a great way to help you improve your searchability. I am not affiliated with the creators.

    5. avatar
      EXPERT
      Jackson says:

      Putting your email address in your summary is a breach of the terms of service.

      • avatar
        EXPERT
        Marc Miller says:

        Jackson,
        You are correct. I tell job seekers to put a call to action in the headline. Which could be putting your e-mail, phone # or website in the headline. Does this violate the rules? Yes. Should they do it anyway. Yes, particularly if are unemployed this is a low risk way of getting a recruiter to contact them.

    6. avatar
      EXPERT
      Megan says:

      It’s great to see that you dont follow your own advice regarding#6!

    7. avatar
      EXPERT
      Jack says:

      Dear Pete,

      6. Do NOT write in the first person.: “After working in the NBA, I decided in 2009 that I wanted to train students”. Form you linked-in summary.

      2. Highlight the problems you solve.: I don’t see any on your summary.

      For the rest you follow your own rules.

      Cheers :-)

    8. avatar
      EXPERT
      Pete Leibman says:

      Many readers have contacted me about writing in 3rd person vs. 1st person. My stance on that has changed slightly since I wrote this article. I believe 1st person is more appropriate when telling your career “story” (i.e. why you do what you do). However, I still prefer a bulleted list for discussing achievements rather than going through your achievements in 1st person as well. This is how my current profile summary is designed. You can view it at http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/peteleibman

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