Did you know LinkedIn has been around longer than Instagram, Twitter, and even Facebook? Though the platform is often overlooked in terms of personal sharing and usage, its value as a professional networking tool has never been greater. As we spend more time online as a society, and even more so during quarantine, it’s not a bad idea to polish up our profiles, including our LinkedIn Summary.
What It Is
Just below your profile photo is an open-ended text box for you to share with others an overview of your professional life. Your LinkedIn Summary is the perfect place to show prospective employers and connections your skills, experience, work history, and strengths, so preparing yours thoughtfully is incredibly important.
What to Say
You’re the boss of your own profile, which means you get to decide what highlights of your career you want to share. While your job title is important to you, it might not be relevant to those outside your industry. Instead, describe what you do in simple terms: remember, easy-to-understand is best. Leave the business-specific jargon for interviews and inter-industry networking. People love to hear what drives you, your interests, your professional pivots, and your sense of humor.
How to Say It
Like with any sales pitch, if you don’t grab your audience in the beginning, you’ve already lost them. Skip the small talk and cut to the chase. Use buzzwords employers look for, but write how you talk. Like with other social networking sites, first person is best. If you wouldn’t say it to a new contact at a meeting or conference, don’t say it in your summary. People usually skim here, so leave plenty of white space. While a bulleted list can be perfect here and there, don’t use them as a crutch.
It’s been said many times, “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media; the question is how well we do it,” and for good reason. If you’re a working woman open to business opportunities, your LinkedIn Summary is a strategic way to tell others about our professional experiences, goals, and talents. Don’t neglect this opportunity to make social media work for you.