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1 TIP FOR A STRONGER LINKEDIN PROFILE: A SUMMARY THAT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU

October 09, 2015
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THAT’S RIGHT, IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU.

The LinkedIn summary section of your LinkedIn profile should address three main points: 1) a conversational way to present who you are, 2) the ‘pain point’ your reader may be experiencing, and 3) how you resolve that pain point.

The first point is most effective if it grabs the readers’ attention about who you are. Use a headline at the top of the summary section, which is bold and hooks your reader. Then pull from your personal story (everyone has one, by the way) and capture what motivated you to go into the career you’ve chosen or the business/service/product you’ve created. Consider how your story plays into that and make it conversational so that it captures your voice and style. Try to keep this first part of the summary within a paragraph or two at the most.

The second part should address the pain point your reader may have. If you’re a job seeker, this is the area where you want to present the challenges a potential employer might have and could be solved with your specialized skill-set. If you're appealing to potential clients or customers, then they want to see what it is your company, business or organization does to resolve their particular problem.

Think about it, when you want to learn about a person, you don’t want to hear their lengthy list of skills or, if they’re a business person, you likely don’t want to hear their sales pitch. You want to know how they can solve your problem or challenges.
For those of us who’ve been in business for awhile, you're probably familiar with the 60-second “elevator speech.” (An elevator speech is essentially a brief, verbal explanation of what you do. You’d practice it so that when you’re at a networking event you’re prepared to explain what you do when asked.) When networking today – either online or offline – the elevator speech is brief and to the point. It’s a combination of who you are, what you do, and how you can solve something in about 30 seconds or less. (No, no one is timing you, but shorter is better.) Focus on that one thing you do or are highly skilled at vs. generalizing about how you “do it all.”

Many people on LinkedIn still think a cut and paste version of their CV or resume is sufficient. It’s not. Your profile should be solid, well-written, and your summary can be a place where you can add that human side of yourself. Let your myriad of skills live in the experience section. They’ll serve you best there.

What unique and effective ways have you used to make your LinkedIn summary stand out from others? Please share.

[HELPFUL TIP: After you’ve addressed the possible pain points in a compelling way, this is also an appropriate place for a brief bulleted list of their challenges. Providing a list is effective in the overall formatting of your summary as it breaks up the copy and doesn’t make your summary seem text heavy. Readers tend to scan so listing highlights, for example, can be more attention grabbing and eye-catching.]