A few years ago, I posted an article about writing the perfect LinkedIn summary. A lot has changed since then. LinkedIn has made many revisions and updates, and lately, they launched a whole new interface. Also, the world of work has developed even more into a place where the free-agent mindset is necessary for success. So it’s time for a significant update to my last post on this topic.
Before we get into the methods of crafting a brilliant summary, let’s begin with why your LinkedIn summary is so important for your success:
- LinkedIn is usually the first place people go when they are looking to estimate you in a professional position.
- If people search your name on Google to learn about you, your LinkedIn profile will likely show up in one of the top places in the search results. Since 78% of Google clicks go to the top three results, those who begin at Google will end up at LinkedIn.
- For most of us, a LinkedIn profile is the most extensive bio we have online. Your LinkedIn summary will likely be seen by more people than any other social media bio. This added exposure gives you an outstanding opportunity to catch the attention of decision-makers — but only if you have a relatable summary.
A valuable LinkedIn summary does three things:
- It shows the connection. It attracts the right audience who are crucial to your career success, letting them know what you’re about so they can decide if you are related to their goals.
- It differentiates you from competitors. With so many people presenting the same services as you, standing out is important.
- It makes people want to learn more about you and eventually interact with you one-on-one. Of course, this means congruence with the real-world you is essential.
I have had the chance to help a lot of professionals describe their story in their LinkedIn summary, and what I write here is the proven process we use. It’s a simple method that makes your summary shine:
Step one: Set the scene
First of all, you should decide what you like your summary to say and want you want visitors to do. These questions will help you set the scene for your summary:
- Who is your target audience? Who are the most important influencers and decision-makers in your world?
- What do you want them to know or do?
- How do you want to make the visitors feel?
Write our responses to these questions so you can begin gathering your raw data.
Step two: collect your content
You may feel overwhelmed by the different choices for writing your bio. I recommend organizing your content into these seven buckets:
Skills: write a few sentences about what you do to provide value for your team, brand, and internal or external customers. (I’m the content manager. I have a team of best and brightest writers. I brought them together to write about the most important updates in the world!)
Victories: write about your achievements in your career. Be sure to describe the value you brought. (I saved my company $100k by using a better and cheaper version of blogging software.)
Passions: values and passions. write your operating principles and the things that inspire or energize you (for example, “diversity, creativity, and developing win-win relationships” along with UNICEF.”)
Your superpowers: Explain the things you do better than anyone else – the talents that allow you to be a hero for your colleagues (for instance, “I make team conferences fun and productive, making everyone feel involved; I have been told I am the best listener”).
Interesting stats: Mention things you can quantify – and don’t limit yourself to just the ones that are work-related. (“I climbed four of the tallest peaks; I speak two foreign languages and travel to at least eight new countries every year”)
Validation: Cover all those things that help you prove what you say about yourself such as awards and accolades (for example, “Graduated from the University of Harvard; was awarded an innovation fellowship by the Association of Advanced science”)
After completing your content category collection, take a look at them and try answering these questions:
- Is there anything missing?
- Is there anything irrelevant?
- Is it aspirational and authentic?
Make any adjustment, deletion, and additions to your raw content and then prepare to share.
Step three: showcase your story
Before writing anything, give yourself a “permission to suck.” we put a lot of pressure on ourselves while writing, and if we lower the expectations of our first attempt, we can typically improve, edit, or recreate something that’s really quite satisfying.
I recommend crafting your summary in the first person for these reasons:
- Everyone understands you wrote your own LinkedIn summary, so drafting about yourself in the third person looks a bit insincere.
- Writing in the first person creates communication between you and your audience, and that’s the best way to develop a relationship.
- The first person version of your bio seems more like storytelling and less like recording your accomplishments — and the LinkedIn summary is all about storytelling.
Comment us below and tell us about your methods of writing a good bio on social media.