LinkedIn is one of the most heavily-used professional social media sites available. The channel, now at nearly 350 million users, offers an opportunity to showcase your education, past experience, and volunteer opportunities while connecting with other professionals.
I was recently contacted by a marketing professional looking to beef up her LinkedIn profile because she was considering career opportunities that required a LinkedIn page link as part of the application!
She asked how we can help her profile feel less like a resume and better showcase her strengths. While items like past experience can be a little dry, I advised her to use that space to display measurable results she achieved in her past positions. I also told her to be sure to list these qualifications in the skills section of her profile (of which a user can have as many as 50).
I believe the best way to make your LinkedIn profile stand out is to write a strong summary. A LinkedIn summary is what gives pop to your profile! If I had to recommend a formula for a summary, it would be to: personalize, humanize and summarize. Some suggestions could include:
- Write the summary in first person (using “I”)
- Share what you do, specifically how you help your customers/clients or how you contribute in your current role
- Tell people what makes you unique.
With this last suggestion, you could tell a story, share something fun about your personality or perhaps something colleagues or customers say about you. You could also mention your overarching career goals.
In preparation for this blog, I reviewed a few dozen LinkedIn profiles of people that I know. The best one, by far, is Erin Alls, a California-based real estate broker. She shares what makes her different, she tells a story, and she ties in her experience with how she helps her customers.
The beauty of a LinkedIn summary is that you can craft your professional message in a way that makes you memorable.
I enjoyed reading the profile of good friend and colleague, John Webster, because I like his candid-approach to what he does. Short and sweet, Amma Johnson's profile tells me everything I need to know about her career aspirations.
In my quest for memorable summaries, I was surprised by the number of people who did not have one. In fact, about one-third of the professionals I know had no summary. Unfortunately, I also read quite a few summaries that look like they were copy/pasted from a 'career objectives' section of a resume.
You should rock that summary, folks! This is your chance to shine. If you're not sure what to write or you simply don't have the time, we can help. #Strella Social Media offers a summary writing service. And, for a limited time, we're offering this service as a special rate of $97. Click here for details and purchase information.