You finally did it! You completed your LinkedIn profile:
Licenses and certifications? Check.
Volunteers experience? Check.
Skills and endorsements? Check.
Profile Summary? Ignored.
Let’s face it. Writing a LinkedIn summary can be incredibly difficult. However, it is one of the essential steps in completing your LinkedIn profile. If you include your LinkedIn address at the top of your resumé, your summary may even be THE first thing employers see, and as we all know, you don’t get a second chance to make a good, lasting impression on recruiters. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be a professional writer to create an impactful LinkedIn summary.
Here are five easy steps to make your LinkedIn summary more impactful:
What better place than your summary to “hook” your readers? Try to engage with them and grab their attention in the first three lines: this will compel them to click the “See more” button and explore your profile. You can do so by incorporating a personal hook such as a clever question, a strong statement, or an interesting fact about you.
A unique LinkedIn summary should make you stand out. However, an astonishing number of summaries start with a super-generic, borderline cliché profile that is neither relevant nor industry specific. A word of advice: avoid general sentences and overused phrases, as they dilute your message. Also, avoid overused buzzwords such as “experienced,” “motivated,” and “creative”, as they do not attract recruiters to your profile.
LinkedIn being a social media platform, a personal touch is required. Using first-person pronouns in your LinkedIn summary (e.g., “I am resourceful”, not “Jessica is resourceful”) will make you seem more engaging and approachable.
Organize your content
Just as every school paper (or resumé!) requires structure and organization, so does your LinkedIn summary. Make sure it is clear, focused, logical, and effective (a reflection of your mindset as a professional). Break up your information into clear and concise blocks while steering clear of long paragraphs. This will allow people to easily skim through your summary and obtain all the necessary information.
Proofread like a pro
Lastly, learn to proofread. Make use of self-revision and spellchecking applications such as Antidote (free through uOttawa library services), Ginger (free) and Grammarly (free). Don’t let avoidable typos discourage employers from browsing your profile. Go the extra mile and consult your “peer-review committee” (a group of trusted classmates, colleagues, friends, or relatives with an eye for details), and kindly ask them for feedback. It’s always easier to spot mistakes in someone else’s text!
Good luck, and let’s see that summary magic!