Writing a LinkedIn Summary
Your LinkedIn summary is a pivotal element in your personal branding. Your LinkedIn summary needs to be compelling and reflect the experience and value that you can bring, all within the 2,000-character max. Your LinkedIn summary is very likely to be read and you really want to capture the attention of the people that will read it. Your summary is the first impression that many recruiters will see and having a perfunctory summary or not having one at all could be detrimental to your job search.
How Recruiters Use LinkedIn
Most recruiters today begin their search for candidates through Google (or LinkedIn directly) and will typically see your LinkedIn profile summary in the top of the search results listed under your name. Assuming that you have a professional headshot picture and compelling headline, your summary is where a vast majority of viewers will spend the most time examining a person.
Unlike your resume, your LinkedIn summary is best written in the first-person singular form. For example, if your resume summary states “Talented financial professional with a strong background streamlining operations to increase bottom-line profits,” your LinkedIn summary should read more like “As a talented financial professional, I have a strong background streamlining operations to increase bottom-line profits.” Essentially, you are using the first-person singular “I” instead of generic language. This makes the LinkedIn summary more personal.
Tell A Story
When crafting a LinkedIn summary, you want to know your audience and who you are directing the information to. The audience will usually be the same as with your resume: a recruiter, a human resources professional, or a hiring manager. There are basically two ways to present your LinkedIn summary: 1) a professional summary (similar to your resume) or 2) a creative story about your background. Both ways are acceptable, with a professional summary being more conservative and a creative story being more liberal; therefore, it is important to know your audience. If you are applying for a conservative type of position (such as an IRS Auditor), you would be better served using the professional style summary. However, if you are applying for a Marketing Director at a start-up company, you would be better off using a more creative and personalized summary.
Although both resume and LinkedIn summaries may be similar, LinkedIn summaries are more effective if they are keyword optimized for search engines based on the roles you seek and are currently working in. One way to incorporate the most relevant keywords is to review several job descriptions for the main job title you would like to have. Then, identify the keywords that are consistent among the various job descriptions. These should be included in your summary. Finally, you want to list examples of how you delivered on the specific keywords.
Good LinkedIn Summary Examples:
Example#1 – Here is an example of a professional LinkedIn summary that is short and sweet:
As a results-driven financial professional with a strong track record of streamlining operations to dramatically increase organizational effectiveness, I have acquired comprehensive knowledge of SAP-HR system architecture/change management processes, contact center management, and employee/manager web portal maintenance and improvement. I possess an influential leadership and mentoring style emphasizing accountability and developing people to achieve performance excellence.
Additionally, I am multilingual in Spanish, English, Portuguese, and French. I have technical proficiency with SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Payroll, EPIC Systems, Microsoft Office Suite, and am Microsoft Project 2016 Certified. Both colleagues and senior leadership have repeatedly recognized me for my superb organizational capacity and proven ability to manage multiple demands. I am seeking to continue my expertise where I can add value to any organization that I work with. I am willing to relocate and travel as required. Please feel free to contact me with any potential opportunities.
Example#2 – Here is an example of a creative story about a person’s background:
Information Technology (IT) is a dynamic field that is constantly evolving and rapidly expanding. I am highly passionate about IT and have devoted my life to continuously learning through education, training, and working in multiple corporate environments. I am fortunate enough to have worked with various companies to help streamline their operations that has a direct impact on their bottom-line organizational performance.
What I’ve learned over the past decade from helping numerous organizations is that each company has its own distinctive set of challenges and that there is no “one size fits all” solution. I pride myself on my uniqueness and have a distinct advantage of specializing in data warehouse architecture/implementation, which means that I am able to gather/analyze business requirements, architect the necessary technology agnostic framework, then plug in the required technologies to successfully deliver the final product.
Earning my Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Science from Utah State University greatly complemented my Bachelor of Science (B.S.) from Nagarjuna University in India, which offered me the opportunity to study both domestically and abroad. Additionally, I also hold certifications in Oracle Business Intelligence Applications 7 for ERP Essentials and Suite 11g Essentials. My continuing education allows me to have crucial knowledge that provides me with an even greater understanding of innovation at work, leadership, technology, and business strategies. As a ceaseless learner of how my specialized knowledge truly impacts businesses, I have achieved several major objectives including:
* Spearheading a six-person team to consolidate data on OBIA as a single source of truth to power executive level finance and sales decisions
* Markedly increased cost savings and performance by utilizing ODI as the Extract-Load/Transform (E-LT) tool to define SQL based processes with auto-generated data flow templates
* Transformed significant PeopleSoft ERP and 3rd party data, resulting in reducing previous load plans from nine-hours to four-hours by tuning SQL queries to execute in under 30-seconds.
* Authored a functional guide on the use of OBIEE and a best practices document on sound reporting strategies
I have comfortably managed scope, schedule, contractual deliverables, and plans to deliver data integration projects. My history in working at multi-cultural settings has positioned me well to overcome communication challenges in a manner that complement my negotiation and relationship building skills. My own success rests on being a dependable partner to my clients and on anticipating their needs. I am open to seeking new challenges and endeavor to assist companies with their business intelligence needs.
The first example is more reflective of a resume summary and concisely highlights the value the candidate could bring. The second example is more comprehensive and written in a narrative style that provides a story of the candidate.
Your LinkedIn summary is a key element in your professional banding and is very likely to be read by recruiters, so you really want to capture the attention of the people that will read it. Ensure that you incorporate the primary keywords in your summary that reflects the job you do and position you are seeking. Your LinkedIn summary is the first impression that many recruiters will see and having a cursory summary or not having one at all could be deleterious your job search.
Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. When Maria is not working, she enjoys reading and spending quality time with her family.
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