Written by: Vidhya Padmanabhan
Graphics by: Gabby Krause
HOW WRITING YOUR LINKEDIN SUMMARY CAN GET THE BALL ROLLING IN THE JOB MARKET
Gone are the days when people looked for jobs in newspaper classifieds. Filling out online job applications is becoming outdated as well. There is a much better way to reach out to potential employers than wasting hours upon hours of filling out online job applications and playing the waiting game to hear back from them. Whether you are searching for your dream job or waiting to make your next amazing career jump, writing a head turning LinkedIn summary can help you reach your goal. Finding a job has radically changed in the last decade.
Today, LinkedIn summaries offer you the ability to jump straight to your first interview with a recruiter. In fact, LinkedIn summaries have reversed the job seeking process. Instead of candidates looking for jobs, employers are on the prowl for just the right 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
LinkedIn should be your professional hub, you can get a better understanding as to why by reading this article, “LinkedIn attracts recruiters.” LinkedIn is a huge professional network that connects millions of professionals around the globe. It’s like Facebook for the professional sector. The most important aspect is that a large number of LinkedIn users are recruiters who can open the door to your next job. With LinkedIn, the long process of sending out resumes and cover letters is on its way out. Now, your LinkedIn summary and profile are a one-stop shop for all the info a recruiter would need to start the interview process.
WHO CAN BENEFIT?
Everyone! Yes, anyone looking for a job can benefit from a dazzling LinkedIn summary. 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?
You got to hook them. Hooking recruiters and potential employers within the first few lines is 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. It may sound overwhelming, but you don’t have to be a novelist to write an attractive summary. Just show them who you are and what you do. Below is our super-secret formula for writing a stellar summary.
Your parents probably told you no one likes a braggart, but we do! Use this opportunity to toot your own horn for a bit. You don’t have to start a long speech about your entire list of accomplishments starting from high school but be sure to highlight the skills you possess that make you stand out in your field. In a few words, demonstrate how you have achieved results. Let them know the value you bring to the table that can benefit their company. Upload links to your portfolio displaying professional achievements. These are all great ways to showcase your talents. Quantify your achievements if possible. The best way to do that is to cite the problem, describe the action you took and show the result of that action. This is much more impactful than simply making a list of your skills. This shows potential employers that you know how to think critically and get their problems solved.
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 profile.
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 is a great article to help you learn more!
The main idea behind writing your LinkedIn summary is to showcase your professional prowess sprinkled with a hint of your personality. 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? Write your LinkedIn summary and get the ball rolling!