There’s a fine line between professionalism and being an absolute bore, and according to career blogger Jenny Foss, most people are too cautious when it comes writing their LinkedIn summaries. This is unfortunate, she says, because these online profiles have become powerful tools for helping people find jobs, and if you fail to tell the world what a smart, funny, engaging, creative person you are, you’re wasting an opportunity.
Luckily, Foss has penned a piece for the Daily Muse titled “4 Key Elements of a Killer LinkedIn Summary.” Read on to see what Foss recommends — then sign into your account and give that language a little spicing up. This is “you” you’re selling — make it an attractive product!
1. Tell an Engaging, Original Story — According to Foss, you should never write some boiler-plate intro that begins with a phrase like “detail-oriented business analyst.” Instead, she says, “take the opportunity to showcase who you are as a professional and what makes you interesting, memorable, and extraordinary. Begin with a captivating hook and then reel the audience in with your authentic narrative.”
2. Don’t Fear the First Person — You’re telling your story, so why wouldn’t you use “I” and “me?” The conversational tone will play better with potential employers than the stodgy third-person thing.
3. Think About Your Audience — Who are you trying to reach with this summary? If you’re looking for a job in a certain field, think about what hiring managers want to hear. Maybe you’re more interested in finding new clients or catching the eye of a recruiter. Either way, you’ve got to a golden opportunity to craft the message accordingly. “Remember that your entire LinkedIn profile is a marketing document, one that showcases your professional strengths to a specific audience,” Foss writes.
4. End with a Call to Action — At the very end of your summary, be sure to tell the reader what to do next. While you can’t really say, “Hey, I’m looking to change jobs — hit me up!” you can hint about being on the lookout for new opportunities. Foss suggests writing something like this: “I’m always looking for a new problem to solve, so if you’ve got a doozy you need hand with, feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com.”