With some 300 million members worldwide and 15 million in the UK, LinkedIn is the main professional networking site for most of us, especially if we operate in B2B marketing. As a 2014 Daily Telegraph article explained, '...it might seem pointless putting every single detail about your education and working history online at first – but handled the right way, even the tiniest piece of information can lead to surprising connections and opportunities.'
As ever, first impressions count when writing a LinkedIn profile. And that's where your picture and LinkedIn Summary are so important. Knowing how to write the Summary is a key part of how to write an effective LinkedIn profile. There's a knack to writing a great summary, but not everyone has the skills, the time or the inclination to do so. If that's you, I can help...
Below is the top of my LinkedIn profile, including the Summary. Notice the key characteristics of the summary, in particular how, though it's about me, it is written for the reader:
Notice how the summary is broken into a few short paragraphs, laid out to make it easy to read. And there's no waffle. I've also judiciously included identified SEO keywords and phrases to help people searching for someone like me. But I haven't overdone it and 'stuffed' the summary with keywords.
So there you go: a few important LinkedIn Summary tips and we've barely started.
Now here's an example of a LinkedIn profile summary that I recently worked on for a client. In the first 'before' copy, few of the above points have been included.
Now look at the 'after' version and see how to write a LinkedIn Summary that incorporates the aforementioned must-haves.
As well as being simply 'better written', the best LinkedIn Summaries work with the rest of the profile to ensure that people get the truest possible sense of who you are – important if they're going to connect with you. Remember that it's the Summary and Specialities sections that will really sell you.
As Sonja Jefferson and Sharon Tanton say in Valuable Content Marketing, 'Not filling these in is like going to a party and sitting in the corner not speaking to anyone.' I couldn't have put it better myself – bear this in mind throughout your LinkedIn profile writing.
Of course, even a good LinkedIn Summary isn't a substitute for thoroughly completing the other parts of your LinkedIn profile and getting plenty of recommendations from connections. It is, however, the first thing that most prospective connectors will read, so it needs to be engaging. And remember that if you omit your LinkedIn Summary, the first thing anyone will see is your experience – you'll miss a valuable opportunity to sell yourself.
If you can see the difference in the LinkedIn Profile Summary examples above and want help with your summary, please contact me.
Call me now on 01242 520 573 or email me
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