Written by: Vidhya Padmanabhan
Graphics by: Gabby Krause
How writing your LinkedIn summary can help you cut in line in the job market
Writing your LinkedIn summary can be the most important step you take to get the ball rolling towards your career. Whether you are on the lookout for your dream job or waiting for the next amazing career jump, writing your LinkedIn summary can lead you to your goal. Finding a job has radically changed in the last decade. Gone are the days when people looked for jobs in newspaper classifieds. We are slowly transitioning from filling in job applications online.
Today, LinkedIn summaries cut the long wound road and take you straight to that first interview with the recruiter. In fact, LinkedIn summaries have reversed the job seeking process. Instead of candidates hunting for jobs, now employers are hunting for the appropriate candidates! LinkedIn has definitely changed the way businesses hunt talent. Therefore, a polished LinkedIn summary is your front of the line pass to crack the interview, and as a result, land your dream job!
Why LinkedIn summaries
If you still have any doubts about why or how LinkedIn should be your professional hub, then this article, “LinkedIn attracts recruiters” is a great place to start. LinkedIn is a huge professional web that connects millions of professionals around the globe. Most importantly, a large number of LinkedIn users are recruiters who can open the door to your next job. Today’s job market is nothing like what it was a decade ago. The digital age brings with it opportunities that no one would have imagined a few years back. Consequently, the long process of sending out resumes and cover letters are fading away. These are now replaced by your LinkedIn summary and profile: your one-stop shop for all the info a recruiter would need to start the interview process.
Who can benefit?
Everyone! Yes, just about anyone looking for a job can benefit from a dazzling LinkedIn summary. There are all kinds of job seekers. It doesn’t matter if you have recently graduated or you are a professional with years of experience looking for another opportunity. Whether you are a military spouse dealing with frequent moves and gaps in your resume, or a stay at home parent waiting to enter the job market after a sabbatical, LinkedIn summaries can get your ball rolling in the right direction. No matter what your situation, if you want to take your career to the next level and don’t know where to start, then writing your LinkedIn summary is the first step.
What makes a LinkedIn summary dazzle?
- Your opening hook. Hooking recruiters and potential employers within the first few lines are crucial. Remember, most recruiters don’t have the time to go through every little detail. They scan through numerous profiles and only linger on those they find that are interesting and at the same time match the skill set they are seeking. Projecting your inner fire in what you do is a great way to start your LinkedIn summary and hook recruiters.
- Prove your talent. Time to open your brag bag for a bit. You don’t have to start a long speech about your entire list of accomplishments starting from high school. Highlight your main skills and talents that make you stand out in your field. What value can you bring to the table that can benefit employers? Uploading links to your portfolio or uploading media showcasing professional achievements are great ways to showcase your talents.
- Add a little bit of you. As much as it is essential to talk about yourself professionally, it is of equal importance to also write a little bit about who you are as a person. Adding your personal interests and hobbies will complete the entire package. Keep in mind that along with skill sets, recruiters also try to sense if you will be a cultural fit for the company. Among thousands of similar looking summaries, it ultimately boils down to who you are as a person. What makes you stand out in a sea of qualified candidates?
Things to keep in mind
Think of your LinkedIn summary as an answer to that famous question, ‘Tell me something about yourself.’ The foremost thing to keep in mind when writing your LinkedIn summary is to keep it brief. Ideally, three paragraphs are more than enough. A crisp and concise summary makes the desired impact compared to a long drawn history of yourself. Besides, you need to catch the attention of potential employers within a few minutes, which is all they have to scan your summary.
Who you are as a person matters. There may be thousands of people with the same academic background and years of experience. What makes you stand out is your X-factor, your unique identity. Think of your core values and how you can bring that into the workplace. What are your unique accomplishments or soft skills that set you apart from the herd?
Edit and check for typos and mistakes. Read your summary several times to make sure it is grammatically correct and error free. It helps to have it read by a fresh pair of eyes to see if it feels natural and friendly. Short paragraphs and having more white space keeps it easy on the eyes.
If you were a recruiter searching for candidates in your field, what words would you use to search for them? Research keywords that pertain to your career and sprinkle them sensibly when writing your LinkedIn summary. However, too much keyword stuffing will result in your summary sounding artificial, so moderation is key. If you want to know more about keywords, this article is a great read!
The main idea behind writing your LinkedIn summary is to showcase your professional prowess with just a hint of yourself as a person. Adopt a casual and natural tone as if talking to a friend. Revisit your LinkedIn summary every three to six months to update it and keep it relevant. Finally, once you write a well thought out LinkedIn summary, maintenance should consequently be a breeze! As an extra bonus to make sure the job search ball really rolls into your court, check out “crucial job search tips” by David Miller which will definitely move you in the right direction. So what are you waiting for? Get the ball rolling!