First impressions make a difference, and we only get one shot at them. We’re often taught that in the real world, people make opinions of us in a matter of moments and it’s crucial to get started on the right foot.
The same applies for LinkedIn profiles. A B2B network used by over 350 million professionals around the world, LinkedIn is a space to showcase our professional expertise and build a digital persona of ourselves with a business angle to it.
The equivalent of a first impression on LinkedIn, is the Summary. A space to showcase our professional expertise and build a digital persona of ourselves with a business angle, it’s a section that shows up right beneath the basic information on our LinkedIn Profile and allows us to tells our profile visitors a thing or two about ourselves, our past experiences and what we stand for.
The people most likely to visit our profiles are those that would like to hire us, work with us, work for us, or approach us for professional advice. In all of these cases, we have something tremendous to gain and don’t want to miss out on any potential opportunities. So how do we make a great first impression on them?
It’s all about how we craft our LinkedIn Summary.
1. Tell a Story, But Don’t Keep Them Guessing
Tell our professional story, not a personal one. Start with the space we work in, how long we’ve been working in it and what our specialties are. Then continue with the projects we’ve worked on, clients we’ve worked with and the results we’re able to showcase.
Next, add a personal spin to our professional life. Talk about why we like working in this space, what we’re looking to do next, and how we set ourselves apart from others.
2. Dump the Jargon, Keep it Short
Remember, LinkedIn is about business communication. The more succinct and to the point it is, the better. Avoid using business jargon and industry buzzwords to sound like we’re in the know. It’s a potential turn-off.
3. Use Multimedia to Make a Point
One of the niftiest features of LinkedIn is the ability to add videos, documents or links to presentations or resources to our Summary, that talk a little more about us, or the work we’ve done. This adds a great amount of authenticity to the statements we’ve made about ourselves in the section.
4. Don’t Oversell
Keep the information factual, and honest. Don’t overstate our abilities or our involvement with a client or a project, because if it doesn’t match up to our experience, we might lose credibility in the market.
Impress people just enough to want to get in touch with us, which should be our objective – and once they do, we can always tell them personally a little more about our work and ourselves, and answer specific questions which will allow us to bring out more about our work and cover more ground.
Have any points you’d like to add or questions about LinkedIn Summaries? Share them in the comments below!