If you are a job seeker and are not using Linked In properly, you are missing out.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 364 (April 2015) million members in over 200 countries and territories around the globe. Employers and recruiters including myself use LinkedIn on a daily basis to find the right talent. We don’t limit our search to people who are looking for a job right now either and often approach passive candidates.
However, if your profile isn’t completed, keyword reach or optimized, employers won’t be able to find you.
The section of LinkedIn profile that is often neglected is your summary section.
Here’s some advice on how to improve it so that your profile attracts more attention.
Don’t waste space on mundane and over-used phrases
There are certain, very dry and mundane phrases that I’d recommend you don’t use on your LinkedIn profile or your resume/CV.
These include ‘self-motivated team player’, ‘I can work on my own initiative and as part of a team’ or ‘exceptional communicator’. These phrases do absolutely NOTHING to make you stand out from others, and you are only wasting valuable space which you could use to showcase your achievements instead.
Have a look at an example of a poor summary section:
I am an ambitious individual who is looking to broaden my career path. I enjoy contributing new ideas, I am self-motivated and an excellent team player. I work well under pressure and understand the importance of time management.
If all the candidate can say about themselves is that they work well under pressure or are self-motivated, this is not going to make them stand out from other candidates saying the same thing and therefore they are unlikely to get much interest from recruiters/employers.
Create your USP
Your Unique Selling Proposition is a one sentence/paragraph explanation that gives the potential employer a quick overview of who you are, what you are looking for, and most importantly, what you can do for them.
You want your summary to stand out – this means you should include some achievements and make sure you quantify them as much as possible. If you are a sales person who’s achieved 120% of your target for the last 3 years, mention it. But you don’t need to be in sales to have quantifiable achievements – however you do need a clear reason as to why people would want to engage with you.
Have a look at a summary of my colleague Joshua Waldman from the US – you immediately know who he is and what services he provides:
I am the author of the best-selling book, Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies, which has sold over 10,000 copies in the US and abroad.
I’m frequently quoted by Forbes, Mashable and International Business Times for advice on using social media to find jobs.
When I am not writing articles or books, I enjoy presenting to students on finding a job online and training their career counselors on winning strategies so they always feel ahead of the curve.
I’ve given over 100 talks and trainings to organizations such as University of Southern California, American Chemical Society, Texas Christian University, DeVry and many, many more.
You can also share a list of your responsibilities and accomplishments in current and previous positions. Mention what you specialize in, what sort of clients you’ve been working with or what technologies you’ve been using.
Make sure that you flesh out as much information as you can for each relevant position that you’ve had. Marketing Director at Expedia provides a great overview of what he’s accomplished during his time with the company as well as a list of his specialties:
An internationally experienced Marketing Director with a proven track record of success within blue-chip organizations including Microsoft, Sony, BBC, LG and Expedia.
Has led significant marketing programmes that have delivered tangible benefits to companies across Europe, Asia and the US.
A well-known commentator on marketing industry issues, a Business Leader within The Marketing Society and a Member of both the CMO Council and IDM.
Andrew’s achievements include:
- Reinvigorating the Expedia’s brand, taking it back to number 1 share position in the UK, and driving share gains across Europe – making it finalist for “Marketing Society Brand of the Year”.
- The development of Sony Ericsson’s global brand strategy, positioning and identity.
- Taking a leading role in driving Sony Ericsson’s brand preference ranking globally from 6th to 2nd in 3 years.
- The relaunch of the LG brand in UK and Ireland, establishing it as a credible Tier 1 player.
- Award winning marketing initiatives for Microsoft MSN, Windows and Office in the UK.
Use the right keywords
Use the keywords within your profile summary section that are used in job descriptions that you are interested in.
For example, I was recently looking for someone with online partner marketing experience, search engine marketing, e-commerce and travel experience. The profile below attracted my attention as the candidate mentioned the keywords of interest to me in the Specialties in their Summary section:
I have carried out search engine optimization for quite a few Blue Chip clients. Whether it be e-commerce websites, charities or information sites, I have an ability to deliver. Very recently, I have engaged in Enterprise alongside the Amazon Affiliate scheme, installing and designing blogs within niche and broad markets generating income.
I have an extremely good knowledge of internet marketing. I am an expert in my field having years of experience with niche markets. Google has allowed me to monetize what some people would call an ‘already capitalized market’. My ability to process how the internet works, allows me to deliver clear information to a visitor, it has given me great insight into how a good page should be written and designed.
The role of an SEO Consultant for a local computer business involved both expert technical knowledge in the field of web development & an in-depth understanding of search engine technologies and optimization. My optimization skills include excellent technical problem solving, project management and communication skills.
Make sure you that you use keywords in the Specialties section that are relevant to jobs you are applying for as well, e.g.:
Digital PR, search PR, PR monitoring and analysis, social media, media relations (online and offline), copywriting, trade marketing, pan-Euro co-ordination, travel and e-commerce PR).
However, don’t stuff your summary section with keywords. Simply use effective keywords and phrases where they fit so list your areas of expertise using descriptive keywords.
Remember, writing a good LinkedIn profile summary gets you noticed and will attract the right people to your profile. You get more connections and ultimately, more opportunities to advance your career.
Margaret Buj is an Interview Coach who’s helped hundreds of professionals across Europe and the US to get the jobs and promotions they really wanted. Margaret also has 9 years of experience recruiting for a variety of positions at all levels across Europe and in the US, primarily in technology and e-commerce sectors. For her free video course ‘You’re HIRED!’ and 3-day ‘How to win a job interviews’ e-course, please visit http://interview-coach.co.uk