Recent changes to the LinkedIn profile page have now elevated your summary to the top of the page. When LinkedIn recently redesigned the profile they hid contact information such as your personal websites and Twitter handle, thus moving the summary closer to the top of the page. When someone clicks on your profile they will immediately see your summary.
Just as on your resume, the top third of your LinkedIn profile has become prime advertising space; so spend some time on it. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your summary.
1. Tell your story. Jason Alba, author of ‘I’m on LinkedIn—Now What?’ recommends writing your summary in the first person narrative to keep readers engaged. He also suggests using PAR stories, (P = Problem, A = Action, R = Result) to showcase your accomplishments rather than just pasting your resume. The latter is downright boring and doesn’t add anything to your profile.
2. What is it you love to do? If you can’t articulate what drives you to be your best, then you won’t be able to convince others to connect with you. Again, you can use PAR stories to highlight your accomplishments and talk about what excites you about your work. This helps recruiters too when they search for qualified candidates.
3. Help others understand the WIIFM Factor. Alba, who has devoted much of his business to assisting professionals craft compelling LinkedIn summaries, says it is imperative that you help your readers ‘connect the dots’. To do this, describe an accomplishment, then follow it up by completing the following statement, “and what that means for you is that I can _____”. For instance, a senior finance executive might say something like, “I’ve built and/or reengineered financial operations for mid-sized and start-up companies, Fortune 50 corporations with operations in multiple countries. I can easily adapt my financial expertise to a variety of industries and help companies just like yours optimize their ROI.”
Recruiters and hiring professionals are using LinkedIn more than ever to qualify candidates. It’s time to update your summary so that it is working for and not against you, even if you are not in a job search. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.