I recently attended a LinkedIn conference and the presenter expressed the importance of having an outstanding summary. The summary is essentially your “elevator pitch”- unfortunately the majority of people are missing the importance of branding the summary and telling “their” story.
Your summary should be written in first person and should appear as if you are talking directly to the reader. This really helps to draw their attention and helps to tell the story of “you.” You don’t need to keep the summary completely work related; you may also want to list your hobbies. An example would be, “I love to travel, try new foods and go hiking, and I’m ready to go the distance and up for a challenge!!”
Keep it current
People often make career changes and they may update their employment history, however their summary remains the same. When your position changes, so should your summary- you really need to make this your sixty second sales pitch…what you can say that sells “you.” If you switched positions and you stepped onto an elevator and a stranger asked you what you do, would you say the same thing as you did at your previous employer? The answer is, “No.” This is why it‘s so important to reflect those changes in your summary as that is where potential employers look first.
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Your summary should tell a story. Every story has a beginning, middle and end. The beginning of your story really lays the ground work and sets the stage; the middle should give a brief overview of your job experiences, supporting the beginning; the end needs to tie everything together and tell your goals and objectives… it needs to relay that which you are trying to achieve.
I think this is the coolest part! This allows you to showcase your talents…those little things that a paragraph just can’t convey. For example, you could add a link to your summary that takes the end user to a video or a link to some of the work you have done. This is really important for someone in the creative world to showcase what they have done, so have fun with it.
What does your LinkedIn summary say about you? Try not to leave out any important keywords, as this is the way a Recruiter will find you. Now go and have fun creating your summary…what’s more fun than telling a story? Especially when you’re the main character!