LinkedIn is a great tool for professional networking; however, many people make the mistake of treating LinkedIn like an online résumé repository and don’t take advantage of its versatile personal branding features.
One of the most useful, yet ambiguous, features of your LinkedIn profile is the summary section. The summary section is to LinkedIn, what the “tell us about yourself” question is to an interview: a slight daunting, nondescript place to share… something.
But it doesn’t have to be daunting. I’ve written a ton of LinkedIn summaries for people and there are a ton of great ways to introduce yourself to your new professional connections. Just keep these goals in mind.
Your Goals in the Summary Section
1. Explain why you care about your work: This could include a life philosophy, some of your personal values, or just a run through of your favourite parts of your job.
“I believe that traveling is the key to improving our world and the people in it: this is why I love working in the tourism industry!”
“I have always loved working with numbers and watching sports so naturally, sports analytics was a perfect fit for me!”
2. Share your journey: Give them a little taste of how you got to where you are now (don’t worry about a full career run down; save that for the “Work Experience” section). Explain why you made any major career moves and point out any notable moments you’ve had.
“I was working in marketing for a retail chain but after a life-changing vacation to Southeast Asia, I realized my calling was to help other people experience the same joy of discovery and exploration that I had. That’s when I made the transition into Tourism Marketing.”
“I was keeping in touch with a former colleague who was loving his job in sports analytics and I found myself daydreaming about joining him. Luckily an opportunity at his company came up and I was able to make the move. I’ve been loving it ever since!”
3. Get personal: Don’t be afraid to speak colloquially or mention interests outside of work. Don’t use slang, but don’t be too formal or rigid either. And mentioning hobbies and interests can round you out nicely as a person and may spark a feeling of connection or intrigue between you and a potential employer.
“When I’m not inspiring others to visit their dream destinations, I’m usually planning a trip of my own. In the couple years I’ve been to Barbados, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, and about half of Europe. I’m planning a trip to Dubai at the moment so if you have any recommendations, shoot me a message!”
“Outside of work, I play a lot of rec-league sports including softball, soccer, and basketball. I also coach my niece’s t-ball team with my sister in the summers which is a blast! I’m still looking for strategies to get them to stop picking the dandelions in the outfield, so if you have any tips, let me know!”
4. List your specialities: We’ve been very personal to this point. They’re listening, they’re interested, they probably like you. Now’s the perfect time to hit them with your value added!
“Speciality Skills Include:
Digital Marketing Campaign Generation
Visual Identity Development
Social Media Audience Engagement (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest)”
There you have it folks. Now you’re completely ready to write yourself an amazing, engaging LinkedIn summary. If you want me to give you any feedback on yours, just send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!