If you’re not a writer, the idea of writing a couple of paragraphs to go front and center on your LinkedIn profile may seem daunting – or even anxiety inducing. What if I don’t talk about myself effectively? Will someone read it and think I’m completely incompetent? What if it hinders me from getting contacted by recruiters? Fret not! We have answers to common questions that will help you write a LinkedIn Summary worthy of a second look from your network!
Should the focus of my LinkedIn Summary be my current job/employer or me as a professional?
The answer is always you. When we asked our CEO and President, Debbie Crandall, this question, she stressed the importance of using that space to highlight your personal brand. Simply put, “People want to connect with people.”
The truth is, if someone really wants to engage with a company, they can (likely) find their LinkedIn Company Page. On the LinkedIn Company Page for Parker, you can easily find information about open positions, the Parker culture, and news about the company. The company already has that space (and several other spaces) to advertise and show itself off. Your summary is one of the key places you have the opportunity to show off and build your personal brand.
That being said, you don’t have to completely ban your company’s name from your summary. Feel free to say something like “In my role as customer service representative at XYZ Inc., I have really been able to exercise and grow confident in my quick thinking and problem solving skills.”
Should I write a LinkedIn summary in the third person?
Definitely not, unless you want to sound like Elmo, maybe. Treat this as if you were introducing yourself to someone in real life. Using first person sounds more polished, and a heck of a lot less awkward.
Should I list skills or proficiencies at the end of my LinkedIn summary?
While we think it’s really important to highlight your skills and proficiencies, just rattling them off at the bottom of your summary doesn’t do much. Where and how did you use those skills? For how long? Instead of leaving these questions on the table, work those keywords into your statements within the summary itself, your skills & endorsements section, and (most importantly) in your job history. You’ll still have the benefit of adding important keywords into your LinkedIn, so you can be found by other LinkedIn users. More importantly, it will be more meaningful and valuable than a hodge-podge of skills tacked on at the end of some paragraphs.
Do you have a good example of what a good LinkedIn summary looks like?
We’re certainly do! In fact, because we like to practice what we preach, most of the Parker Staffing team have strong LinkedIn summaries. Check out the LinkedIn summary of our Senior Recruiter, Gayle Luchini. We love that Gayle’s summary starts with an anecdote about her mother’s career before segueing into her own.
“My mom was a career secretary (and has since retired). She is someone that I have always looked up to and admired for what she did for a living. She was always professional and dependable and made a difference in people’s lives.”
Gayle briefly mentions Parker, but it isn’t until the second to last paragraph. This helps her keep the main focus on her personal brand and what it is she does best. To captivate readers, Gayle closes her summary with a simple question: “I believe we all have a story to tell. What’s yours?” It’s powerful, it’s introspective, and it works!
So when the time comes to write a LinkedIn summary for yourself, think about the message you want to send. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll have a strong summary in no time! Happy writing!