Do some competitive research and check out how your LinkedIn summary compares to others with similar job titles to yours and you will soon realise that almost every one of them reads like a CV.
Does this approach make you stand out to an employer? The answer is simply no.
There are many reasons why this doesn’t make you stand out from the crowd – the most obvious being that the employer has probably read all this information on your CV and will have seen the same regurgitated information on hundreds of other profiles. Employers are looking for additional information on your LinkedIn summary – something that you haven’t already told them.
What is the difference between a CV and your LinkedIn profile?
Before we get into specific LinkedIn summary examples, the biggest difference is that your CV can be tailored to specific job positions for different industries whilst your LinkedIn profile MUST appeal to a variety of sectors and roles.
Let’s start to change the way we write our professional profiles by looking at some brilliant LinkedIn summary examples:
Use of keywords
It may not be obvious but the use of key words within your profile will get you noticed. A website uses key words or tags to optimise their search engine (SEO) results on the likes of Google – in a similar way LinkedIn will provide results when an employer for example, searches for particular job titles, specific responsibilities or skills within the ‘search’ tool LinkedIn offers.
Here is a LinkedIn summary example which highlights all key words. For this section we have used a marketing professional as an example.
Since 2010 I have been working in the marketing industry. My experience in both web and traditional advertising, promotions, events, and campaigns is extensive. I have worked on integrated campaigns for major clients such as Lloyds bank, Virgin, Marriott hotels and other leading hospitality providers. Throughout my career have been recognised with several awards which is something I am extremely proud of.
Until recently, I led marketing for ABC Ltd as Brand Manager and focused on a TV advertising campaign for a global animal nutraceutical company. In this role I was involved with B2B marketing, although I have done extensive B2C work in the past. Successes included creating an events campaign that generated enormous media coverage and was key to the successful launch of a new product in 2016.
The words highlighted are key statements and words that employers will search for when trying to find the right candidates for their position.
A tip: Having recognised and reputable companies named within your summary may be something a competitor of your current employer may look for in their employee to ensure they have been trained efficiently or that they have the correct knowledge.
Show your personality
Sometimes employers don’t want the most qualified candidate, they want someone they can train and influence so that specific skills can be learned in a way that suits brand standards or in-house styles. In which case, they are looking for people with a relevant background, great work ethic and common sense.
We suggest using one paragraph to bring out your personality at the end of your LinkedIn summary.
I am a well-established member within my office and throughout my work place. Colleagues know me as a trusted member of the team who can take on a challenge and adapt my approach to different situations. Working directly with clients means I must prioritise my work to meet their needs. When working with other people I know that the client comes first, I always ensure that the end result is the best decision for them no matter my opinion. Instead, I research my clients thoroughly to ensure I understand their business completely before making any decisions.
This shows the employer that you are trusted, adaptable, approachable and can research effectively before making any decisions. Although you want to show your personality, you must do it in a formal way such as the above…mentioning you like to drink a full bottle of red before heading out to the local pub on a Friday night to socialise may not be the best way to showcase your personality.
Showing who you really are as a professional is definitely tricky, especially when we advise that you should only do it in three paragraphs. We suggest structuring your LinkedIn Summary within three short paragraphs – the first being the longest.
Before clicking the ‘see more’ tab as a visitor to a LinkedIn profile, you can only see the first 220 words written in a summary on a desk top and on a mobile device only the first 92 words are shown. This means you need to get the most important information about yourself in the first paragraph. Start off something similar to: ‘Since 2010 I have been delivering a range of innovative marketing projects to businesses across the globe…’ This gives them a good idea that you are in marketing, you are contemporary, and you work globally. It also keeps you in line with your key words for LinkedIn SEO purposes.
Looking for a career change?
Changing your career can be tricky but the key is to make your LinkedIn summary simple. Explain what you have done and then use key words for the new type of industry you are looking to work in.
Here we look at an example of someone coming from a graphic design background wanting to go into software engineering. This could be a big leap however, still possible if you position yourself correctly.
“Virgin is a fast-paced environment which I thrive within. Working as a graphic designer at Virgin for seven years allowed me to take on new opportunities. I have learned how to adapt my skills to wear different hats depending on the project I am working on. As Virgin owns lots of different companies I could be running a project designing literature one day and the next developing and programming websites. As a company Virgin offers training programmes which I have been fortunate enough to benefit from – I have learned new skills in software engineering, digital media and programming.”
By adding in statements such as ‘learn how to adapt’, ‘develop skills’ and mentioning the types of skills you have developed will open a lot more doors than you think via LinkedIn. It is key to show that you are interested in ‘other areas of the business’ – this is because it shows you are not stuck to just graphic design.
Hopefully there are a few tips and examples for you to get your LinkedIn summary looking far better than before. If you would like to some further advice, you can contact our social media management team by clicking the link.
Author: Dave Williams
Dave Williams is the founder and director of onefoursix; a digital marketing agency based in Northampton. After setting up onefoursix in 2011, Dave has gone on to grow it to one of Northampton’s finest agencies. His expertise include social media, user experience and SEO.
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