Over 8 million Australians are now using LinkedIn. In such a cluttered online space, how do you make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the rest? Write a better LinkedIn summary than your neighbour, that’s how.
When it comes to getting hired, getting business, or getting known, knowing how to sell yourself online is the skill that will set your apart from the competition.
Each of us has a unique combination of background, skills, approach, knowledge and experience. And yet, I read LinkedIn summary after summary that does nothing to convey what makes that business professional distinct from the last.
It’s hard to put into a few sentences a professional make up that has taken a lifetime to develop, but don’t worry! Below is a little bit of free social media training for you; a two-step simple process you can start right now to help you write a better LinkedIn summary and set you on the path to expert personal branding…
photo credit: Carl Heyerdahl
How To Write A Better LinkedIn Summary
STEP 1: Evaluate your Experience
In order to write a better LinkedIn summary, you need to take the time to cast your mind back over the various jobs and projects you’ve completed during the course of your career, and evaluate your experience.
Why? Because this process will shine a light on the skills, knowledge and expertise that are unique to you and will be valuable to your future employer, client or customer.
For each previous position, ask yourself:
- What job was I hired to do? (What was the position description?)
- Why was I placed in this position over somebody else? (If you can, ask the person who hired you.)
- What role did you play within the team? (How did you help others in their job? Ask teammates if possible.)
- What results, commendations, or awards did I obtain? (Think outside the box; results can come in many forms.)
- What did I learn along the way? (Formal training, but also any skills or experience you learned that were new.)
Include your current position and at least two other positions. But consider which positions are actually relevant to your current professional goals.
For example, if you spent 3 weeks washing dishes in a cafe while taking a career break, ask yourself if that experience is relevant to the direction you’re now taking. Ask yourself: What does this experience add to my professional profile?
If you learned new transferable skills while in a position that might not immediately seem relevant, make sure you highlight those points when you include it in your experience.
Try to use keywords in your Experience and Summary sections that are likely to be recognised by LinkedIn as Skills. This will boost your LinkedIn SEO and improve brand visibility for your personal brand and also your employer.
STEP 2: Smash your Summary
Now you’ve evaluated your experience, you’re better equipped to smash your summary!
Your LinkedIn Summary is your elevator pitch. After your optimised LinkedIn Headline, these are the first words people will read about you, so make sure you grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read more.
People know when they’re being sold a story, so be genuine. For instance, don’t claim to be passionate about team building if there is no evidence in your experience to back it up.
Based on your experience evaluation, ask yourself:
- What’s unique about my background that has a positive impact on my work? (Think family history, childhood experience, geography, social circumstances…)
- What are my top 5 skills?
- What values do I demonstrate on a daily basis and why? (Ask colleagues for idea generation.)
- How do I approach my work? (Strategic or creative, or both? Collaborative or single-minded? Do you enjoy your work?)
- What knowledge do I have that I can put into practice or teach?
- In what challenging, unique, or valuable situations or environments do I have experience? (Team leadership? International?)
- What are my professional goals or ambitions?
End your summary ensuring the the reader has a strong idea of who you are. Then send it to a colleague for their feedback, before putting it live on your LinkedIn profile. Remember: People buy people; ask yourself, would YOU buy you based on your LinkedIn summary?
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