Your LinkedIn summary should be a well-written teaser that draws the reader into the rest of the profile. If a potential employer doesn’t see anything that grabs their attention from the profile, it’s not likely that they will keep reading further. This is why the summary is so important.
So what should you convey in the summary in order to keep the reader with you?
1) Your passion. Your LinkedIn profile summary should communicate the fact that you are enthusiastic about what you do. If your summary sounds very humdrum and dry, you won’t be able to convince employers who are searching LinkedIn for qualified candidates that you are passionate about your field.
2) Your area(s) of expertise. Whatever your area of expertise is should very apparent in your profile summary. Because you can only have one LinkedIn profile, you have to decide what the focus of that one profile will be.
3) Characteristics that are substantiated in the rest of the profile. Just as you would on a resume, you can describe yourself in the profile summary. You can talk about yourself as award-winning, results-driven, collaborative, team-oriented, etc. But it is critical that you support these descriptions with actual examples that substantiate your claims. For example, if you describe yourself as results-driven, you need to give specific examples of results that you have achieved for former employers. If you describe yourself as award-winning, of course you need to actually cite your awards.
4) Demonstrated ROI. Business people are very familiar with the term ROI. It means return on investment. But maybe you have never thought about demonstrating the ROI that a company would receive from hiring you. So how do you do this in the profile summary? Since space is limited in the summary, you can mention one or two of the following points and then give more detail in the experience section: 1) Mention a very strong, quantified accomplishment statement. 2) List a prestigious award. 3) Talk about what you are known for in your field. (For example, if you are known as a turnaround specialist, you can mention that in the summary.)
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