LinkedIn is the number one network for professionals. It is the place to see and be seen. A good summary profile is a gateway for people outside of your immediate network to discover you, so you need to create an engaging and memorable persona.
The summary profile might seem daunting at first glance with its many sub-sections, but once you know what you want the world to see, everything else comes naturally. That is why the first step is to define your persona. Start by writing down adjectives and keywords you associate with. Narrow that down to three key aspects that set you apart from the guy next door. String those attributes together coherently, and you have your brand.
Steer clear of hard attributes, and instead highlight your soft skills. These soft skills are a part of your intrinsic capabilities, and are transferable across industries, making them more relatable to someone from another sector looking to connect. For example, instead of saying you are great at organizing events, highlight your exceptional project coordination skills.
Once you have your professional persona locked down, it’s time to optimize your summary profile. To do this, you need to find out the popular keywords. There are a few ways to go about this. One way will be to check out the top professionals in your industry. Extract the keywords they use on their profile, and keep them in mind for your own. You can also search for your job position, and see what recruiters are valuing in their talent hunt. Make sure these keywords appear in your profile. Leave out all the buzzwords. Be specific in describing who you are, what you do, and why they should connect with you. Your keywords should help you achieve the above, not make your summary profile heavy with irrelevant spam words.
Once you got them to your profile, you have to make sure they stay on and read more. The headline is your hook. Combine ONE key aspect of your brand with TWO industry-specific keywords, to briefly describe yourself. This should offer an insight into what your summary will later deliver. Make sure your headline answers a fundamental question: Why should they read more about you?
Once the potential connection is in your summary profile, you need to engage them directly. Go for a first-person, conversational tone in your summary profile, as that makes you more relatable, and less distant. Treat the summary profile as your audition tape, and answer three critical questions. Who you are, what you do, and why should they connect with you. Remember to use those well-thought-out keywords we have selected at the beginning of the exercise to center your summary, as this not only optimizes your profile for searching but also keeps your thoughts and persona coherent across the profile. It makes you a lot more genuine when they see the consistency in your profile.
Now that you’ve told your story, and gotten them interested, be sure to leave a way for them to get in touch. Your contact information could make a world of difference, as someone who is yet to be a connection isn’t allowed to direct message you on LinkedIn. Leaving your contact information in the summary profile offers a lower barrier to communication, as some potential recruiters might want to reach out, yet stay off the connection track for a while more.
Last but not least, remember to customize your profile link. Not only does this make you easier to find, but it also shows how thoughtful and meticulous you are. Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage, then View profile. You will find an Edit public profile & URL on the right rail. Under Edit your custom URL in the right rail, click the Edit, then type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box. Remember to save!
Potential connections only want to read about you if you have an attractive profile. There are hundreds of profiles that they sift through daily, and you need to make sure yours pop from the very first glance. That is your first, and most vital, step to success on LinkedIn.