Social media has long passed the concept that it serves only for entertainment or casual networking. Employers are hunting down quality recruits based on their social media profiles and job seekers do their best to appeal to prospective recruiters.
JobVite did the math with a terrific study back in 2013. According to their analysis, 94% of the recruiters use social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) to look for future employees. LinkedIn sits comfortably one the first place with 94% as the top social network for recruting, compared with 65% for Facebook and 55% for Twitter. And speaking of results – 92% of the recruiters have actually hired through LinkedIn against only 24% for Facebook and the measly 14% for Twitter.
So there you have it: LinkedIn matters. And you know what matters the most in LinkedIn? Your summary.
Your LinkedIn summary is your personal elevator pitch. You have those sentences to capture a prospective employer’s attention, intrigue them and make them decide you are their kind of employee.
Thus said, writing a summary is not an easy task. Sure, you can just write down a resume or CV-like block of text, but that won’t really do. It all boils down to a unique approach, enticing storytelling and some call to action from your side. Let’s take a look at some tips to ensure you have a well-structured, professional summary which will net you job opportunities.
#1 Always write in First Person
First person summary example from Eduardo Saverin, the Co-founder of Facebook
You are the storyteller. Not “John”, “Mary” or someone else. Your summary contains your own achievements and it would be quite unnatural for you to use a Third Person perspective. There’s also the psychological impact of using First Person – you engage with the reader more intimately, in a conversational manner that connects better.
Don’t make the mistake of sliding in a distance between you and the recruiter. Let them imagine you’re just in front of them and making a personal introduction of your professional skills and experience.
Are you still not sure why it’s better to write in First person, instead of distancing yourself by using a Third person narrative? LinkedIn themselves have shared some insight on how First person usage is actually superior. You can check the post (which is pretty interesting) here:
#2 Telling a story instead of listing facts
No one likes boring, simple facts without some additional context. People love shared experiences, especially if they are written about in a distinctive, enticing way. Have your own way of storytelling, be authentic and lively in your summary. Put everything in a certain context and link your experience together, weaving a story. Let the recruiters know about the issues you’ve encountered throughout your professional life and the solutions you’ve come up with. Start with a hook in the first sentences and fascinate them to such extent that they will wish to read all of these 2000 words you’ve written.
When telling a story…
#3 Don’t be afraid to brag a bit
Got any professional highlights or accomplishments that are worth a mention? Mention them. In fact, don’t let success slip by casually – focus your story around them. After all, this is your professional summary. There’s no better place to let the recruiters know what you do well and the achievements you’ve accumulated throughout the years.
Emphasize on your success, but don’t overdo it. It’s cool to be confident, but there is a fine border between being confident and being self-centered or arrogant.
#4 Throw in some keywords
You know the importance of hashtags in Twitter or Instagram for example. LinkedIn has no hashtags, but it relies on keywords. So if a recruiter is searching around a certain niche, there is a great chance he or she will notice you if you’ve included those niche’s prominent keywords in your summary.
You can conduct some test searches to see what other people from your niche have listed in their summaries. Don’t rely on keyword stuffing! Instead let keywords flow naturally across different parts of your story.
#5 Leave your contact information & induce a call to action
I can’t stress this enough as I’ve seen many people skip this. Including your contact information in your summary spares so much hassle for prospective recruiters. People lead hectic lives and it’s better if you make it a bit easier for them. An easy way of contacting you means more job-related talks and bigger chance for you to land a job.
You can choose what to leave as a way of contacting you: an e-mail, a phone number, another social network profile or whatever you wish. Just be sure that you give people an option to actually reach you. When doing so, don’t forget to include a call to action. Don’t just leave these details there – inspire people to take action. Take a look at these two examples. It’s clear which ones is better, right?
My e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Getting worried about those sales that never come? Reach me at email@example.com and let’s have a talk about skyrocketing your business.
In fact, if you do follow these tips, they will definitely help you write a better LinkedIn summary. Instead of a dry, CV-like template, you’ll have an intriguing story that not only draws in the reader – but also causes a call to action. Which, hopefully, will make landing jobs way easier for you!
If you like this tip and want to see more ideas, check out our Social Media Marketing Tips.