Evangelia Leclaire
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Did you know that in a Google search for your name, your LinkedIn profile will usually rank within the top three spots?

 Out of all your social media profiles, it’s no wonder that LinkedIn is prime real estate for you to position yourself to engage with recruiters, employers, or clients. There are loads of strategies and tactics I teach on how to leverage LinkedIn for networking and job search opportunities, but before you apply them, you need to make sure you have a profile that sticks. So, for that reason, we’re going to focus solely on eight tips to create a standout LinkedIn Summary.

Your LinkedIn summary needs to give viewers a great first impression and motivate viewers to scroll down to read more about you. You only have a few seconds to make a lasting impression on viewers, so think about how you want viewers to perceive you and what you want them to do after reading your summary. Since you have the opportunity to craft a summary that sells, you’ll want to be deliberate in giving insight into your personality, your values and your qualifications. It needs to engage and entice your target audience them to connect with you. Here are eight ways you can accomplish that with a standout LinkedIn summary.

1. Pass over the passivity.

Since LinkedIn is a platform to build professional relationships, write your summary in the first-person, active voice to portray yourself as relatable and approachable. A summary written in the third person reads as professional, but also in some cases, as too bland and impersonal. You want your summary to stand out and invite the reader into your world.

2. The first few lines are key.

Leverage the first few lines in your LinkedIn summary to explain what you do, who you help and the value, results or transformation you provide. This first statement serves as a hook to bait your target audience and an anchor to keep them on your profile. These will also be the lines that show up in a Google search, so you want to make these attention-grabbing. All that precedes will support what you have written in the first few lines. Describe the scope of your experience and the impact of your work.

You could get creative and colloquial with these, but for I tend to err a bit on the side of professional.

Example 1:

"I’m a sales operations leader experienced in implementing data driven solutions that, driving sales force productivity, and increasing revenue."

Example 2:

"I’m a product design strategist with 10+ years of experience collaborating with product development teams to design apps that drive massive reach, engagement, and monetization."

3. Quote without qualms.

In crafting a compelling LinkedIn summary, include a quotation or statement that’s relevant to your overall purpose or motto in business. Or, as in the example below, your quote of choice could also give perception into your values and how well you work with others.

 As an example: “If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.”  ~African Proverb

4. Make it meaningful.

Provide two to three highlights from your experience. These can include success stories, brief testimonials, a statement with adjectives of how others describe you, or some key achievements or challenges you’ve overcome. When describing the success of your work, try to explain how it makes others feel and the results that transpire.

As an example: “My clients come to me with complex challenges and narratives. I have a knack for distilling information into an effective learning and development solution that’s broken down into manageable phases and a streamlined format.”

5. Make it personal.

Give readers insight into your personality, more specifically who you are in and outside of work. You can even preface your statement with “When I am not working, I am...” or other variations of that.

As an example, “When I’m not on the job, I enjoy exploring new trails while mountain biking, training for the next Spartan Race, and planning my next hiking adventure.”

You may want to include some quirky traits or idiosyncrasies you carry into the workplace to help set you apart. As an example, “I’m a master of mnemonics and help my teammates remembers almost anyone’s name.”

6. Optimize your descriptions.

Include a list of relevant keywords to describe your skills. Your summary is also where you can add keywords to optimize your profile and increase your ranks in a recruiter’s search for qualified candidates. It’s more common to include these toward the bottom of your profile summary. 

Here is an example of how to build up that:

"I’m able to write copy for creative deliverables and brand assets including marketing and advertising campaigns, press releases, presentations, websites, newsletters, print ads, blogs, social media posts and more."

"Specialized Skills: Copywriting • Concept Development • Content Marketing • Content Strategy • SEO Copywriting • Blogging • Creative Writing • Brand Storytelling • Marketing Campaigns • Editing  • Technical Skills and Productivity Tools: MS Office • WordPress • CMS • Adobe InDesign • AP and Chicago style manuals • Typography"

7. What’s your end goal?

Always include a compelling call to action. What do you want the readers to do after they read your profile? Here are a few examples I worked on with my clients:

Example 1:

"Check out my portfolio which ranges from large-scale consumer and web-facing products to native mobile apps, both iOS and Android (link to website)."

"To learn more about my services, message me over at [email protected]"

Example 2:

"In need of delivering cohesive branding and content across multiple marketing channels? Searching for cutting-edge technologies to streamline your workflow and scale the scope and impact of your services?"

"Message me at [email protected] to explore ways in which I can support and add value."

Example 3:

I’m always looking to expand my network and build my design experience. If you’re an industry professional or a recruiter, let’s connect and explore ways I can support and add value!

Message me here or over at [email protected]

Example 4: 

To learn more about how I can add value to your business, message me here over on LinkedIn.  I’m always open to exciting new projects, collaborations, and creative challenges.

8. Simplicity is the solution.

Include characters, symbols and horizontal lines to make your profile easier to read. When used appropriately, bullets, character and other symbols can help your profile pop and can be visual calls outs to certain key pieces of information on your summary. Don’t over do it. You don’t want your profile to appear too busy or unprofessional.

Here are the ones that I most commonly use when revising my clients LinkedIn profiles:

Checkmarks: ☑ ✓ ✔ √

Arrows and Pointers: ☞ ► ➤

Phone: ✆ ✉ ☎ ☏

Writing and Email: ✐ ✎ ✍ ✉ ⌨

Quotes: ❝ ❞

You can simply run a Google search and get creative on how you use characters to add a visual appeal to your profile. Also, now that you have insight into the framework I use to create profiles for my clients, go ahead and take a shot at writing or rewriting your summary. You’ll be surprised by how easy it is once you follow these simple tips.

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Evangelia is an expert career coach at The Muse and founder of Career Ready Set Rock, an independent consultancy for millennial women, moms and moms-to-be who want to make more moves, money and meaning in their lives and careers. Although Evangelia swears by strengths assessments and action plans, at heart she believes that the greatest life blessings and lessons come from being present, surrendering and having faith.