We encourage our clients of course to leverage LinkedIn for their job search, networking efforts, and to build their professional presence in their industry. Unfortunately, many professionals don’t know how to best leverage LinkedIn. One of the common questions we get is, “What should I include in my summary?” Here are some of our top tips:
Your summary can be personal, written in first person. This allows new connections and recruiters to connect with you on a personal level. Avoid using the template sentences that LinkedIn will provide for you. Instead, think about your passions, what you want to accomplish in your industry, or something else that people will connect with.
If you are job searching, you will also want to include keywords in your summary that will make it easier for hiring managers and recruiters to find you. Take a look at some of the job positions you are interested in and determine what common keywords are referenced. What keywords would describe you as a job candidate relevant to those positions? Include them in your summary.
When job searching, remember that your LinkedIn profile and your resume are your personal marketing materials. You want your materials to complement each other, not be copies of each other. Avoid writing the same summary for LinkedIn that you have in your resume. Try and provide something new in your LinkedIn summary that adds depth to your professional image and boosts your credibility. Ask a trusted friend, colleague, or your coach to review your job search materials to make sure they aren’t just copies of each other.
If you are building your network or your professional presence, we recommend including your branding statement. Your brand represents the value that you are able to consistently deliver to those whom you are serving. While all professionals should have a personal brand, studies have shown that less than 15% of business leaders have a solid and defined personal brand.
If you aren’t sure what your branding statement is, take some time to think about who you are as a business professional. What are your values, interests, and passions? You will also want to answer the following three questions:
- Who do you serve or provide value to?
- What unique value do you provide?
- How do you deliver and what are the results you provide?
Your branding statement should include the answers to all of those questions.