Now that you've defined your LinkedIn Headline or at least the idea around it, it's time to write your summary paragraph.
On your LinkedIn profile, your summary is the section below your name and headline. It's important for a number of reasons. First, it's above the fold, which again, is what the user sees when they land on your page without scrolling. Second, this area is optimized for search, both by search engines and LinkedIn itself. When recruiters are searching for candidates, they are looking for certain skill set keywords. You want to make sure the keywords for the jobs you want are in your summary paragraph. Finally, as I said in the lesson before, your summary is sort of like your professional manifesto. It's aspirational and lets everyone know what kind of work you are passionate about.
The goal of the summary is to CREATE A TWO SENTENCE INTRO THAT ELABORATES ON YOUR HEADLINE.
Why two sentences? Because that's how many words you can fit into your summary "above the fold" before the user has to click "show more information." It's important to front-load these sentences to entice whoever is looking at your page to seek more information.
Tell potential employers WHAT YOU DO but ALSO WHAT THE RESULT IS. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to demonstrate what the results of your efforts are.
We've talked before about how the summary space is keyword optimized, meaning that you should fill this space with words that potential recruiters are searching for. Making a list of keywords is really helpful in this case.
If you're having some trouble coming up with keywords, here's a little hack for you. Collect some specific jobs you've been considering. Look at the job description. Then copy and paste these job descriptions into an online word cloud tool. The words that appear largest in the word cloud are probably the keywords recruiters are looking for.
So, here's your template for your LinkedIn summary:
Whether it's "keyword" or "keyword," I thrive on "keyword" and "keyword."
The results are "keyword" and "keyword."
Ok, I know that seemed a little vague. So let me give you an example. I know that clients or recruiters are looking for digital product managers who can execute complex plans and deliver results that drive the bottom line. For example, my summary is:
Whether it's a website, online content, or virtual products, I thrive on executing a large-scale digital strategy. The result is memorable digital experiences that generate revenue and build stronger, lasting brands.
Again, remember to use keywords. Maybe your skills are building SQL databases, web development, or pharmaceutical sales. This is the place to start getting very specific on the type of work you enjoy.
If this is still seeming a little intangible, don't worry. I got you!
Here are some templates for varying industries. Of course, you will have a better idea of what you offer and focus on day to day, so just consider these examples a generalized jumping-off point.
If you work in sales, you could say:
Whether it's outbound or face-to-face sales, I thrive on developing client relationships to ensure they receive the product or services that they need.
The result is increased revenue and relationship development.
If you work in marketing or design, here's an example headline:
Whether it's online content or digital products, I thrive on the creative, collaborative process.
The results are delightful digital experiences and increased revenue.
If you work in engineering or tech, an example would be:
Whether it's building database queries or software, I thrive on creating product solutions that users can't live without.
The result is higher product sales, more accurate data, and better-informed strategy.
If you work in finance, here's some language you could use:
Whether it's online banking or wealth management, I thrive on guiding clients on investing their money more wisely.
The results are increased year-over-year gains and peace of mind.
If you are an educator, here's an example:
Whether it's teaching students better writing skills or reading comprehension, I thrive on tapping into a student's potential.
The results are more confident language skills and better preparedness for the world outside the classroom.
If you work in healthcare, here's some language you could use:
Whether it's diagnosing a disease or recommending better life choices, I enjoy helping people improve their health.
The results are saving lives and building healthier communities.
I encourage you to take a few minutes at the end of this lesson to write a couple of versions of your LinkedIn summary. Once you have a version you like, I recommend posting it not only to LinkedIn, but also across multiple platforms to create a cohesive personal brand.
Places you can re-use your LinkedIn summary are your resume, on interviews, or on other social media platforms.
I've provided a solid road map, but crafting a great summary may take some time. You can always post a summary and tweak it later. Your summary paragraph can be a work in progress.
In our next lesson, we will showcase your career highlights to demonstrate past wins and create talking points without seeming like you are bragging.