What's in Your LinkedIn Summary?

How many of you use the summary feature on your LinkedIn profile or even know it’s there?  (I’m not trying to be funny, I hear this all the time from people.)
If you do have a summary, how do you use it?
Do you have clear statement of the value that you’d bring to an employer or a client?
Or, do you tell a meandering life story that ends with a plea for a job?
If you’re the latter then you should read the rest of this article.
Even if you’re the former then you still may want to read this article as a refresher.
The LinkedIn summary on your profile is prime real estate.
2,000 characters coming right after your name and headline which start above the fold, it doesn’t get much better than this!
Furthermore, your profile with its summary is located right in the middle of the largest and best commercial social network on the planet!
Most of us couldn’t afford to get this type of exposure on the Internet outside of LinkedIn.  (And, if we could afford it then we probably wouldn’t need a job in the first place!)
Let’s discuss the writing of your summary.
First, some of the controversies about writing a LinkedIn summary.
My favorite is the argument over whether it should be written in the first or third person.
I’m agnostic on this one because it doesn’t really matter!
(I know I’m going to get flak on this one!)
Why do I say this?
I say this because I’ve yet to meet someone who’s said, “I’m not hiring him because despite having a strong profile he used the wrong person in writing this.”
I have heard people say, “I’m not going to waste my time meeting him because his LinkedIn profile is a mess (i.e., no summary) and I don’t think he’s serious about a new position now.”
Likewise with the unending debate over full paragraphs versus bullet points in the summary.
For both of these issues, I have the same thing to say:  A well-written summary with strong content will always be read.  Anyone who won’t read your summary because of person or bullet points in the summary you don’t want to get mixed up with!
Your story in your LinkedIn profile should be about the value you bring to a prospective employer or client.
You should use good grammar.  Although, the rules can be bent slightly to keep the tone conversational.
(This is another one that I’m going to get flak over!)
Your writing should be clear with no jargon and appropriate use of acronyms.
Your LinkedIn summary is not your resume.  Don’t try to rewrite it.
Your writing should be positive and upbeat.  Never plead!
The purpose of your LinkedIn summary will vary depending on your situation.
A summary written for an individual seeking a new position will be different from someone who is self-employed and looking for new business.
Write accordingly!
Don’t forget to use your keywords!
You went to all the trouble of identifying them so don’t let them go to waste.
Use all your primary keywords in your LinkedIn summary and as many of your secondary keywords as appropriate.
Don’t keyword stuff!
Your summary is as important as your name and headline on LinkedIn.
A good headline is wasted if your summary doesn’t live up to its promise!
Also, don’t be afraid to change and test your summary.
A strong LinkedIn profile is an important component of an effective social media program.
The summary is a crucial part of that LinkedIn profile!
If you need help then don’t be shy about asking for it!
I’m always willing to help you out!
That’s it for now!
In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!
I look forward to any and all comments that you may have.  I will reply to any comments made to this blog post as promptly as I can.
I do this for a living and if I can be of any assistance to either you or your organization, please feel free to call on me.  Our initial discussion will be of no charge to you.
I can also be reached at conpsweeney@someddi.com.
My Twitter handle is @conpsweeney.
Stay well!

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