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How to make your LinkedIn summary stand out

Your LinkedIn summary is one of the most important pieces of personal branding you have out there. When looking for a job, it is one of the first things that recruiters and prospective employers read, so it is important that it does you justice, and helps you stand out from the crowd. When it comes to LinkedIn summaries, it is often hard to know where to start, and what to include. To help you alleviate your writer's block, and get your LinkedIn summary in tip-top shape, we have put together the following tips:

Know your audience

Make sure you know your audience - which as a job seeker will predominantly be recruiters, HR professionals and hiring managers. Recruiters and HR professionals use keywords when searching for candidates, so it is important that your summary (and also your job title for that matter) includes terms that your target audience will be searching for. Think about the job that you want, and what keywords are associated with it, and have a go at incorporating these into your summary. If you are not sure what words to include, look at position descriptions and other people's profiles who have the job you want.

Get your LinkedIn profile content

Now you have established your audience and the keywords you need to use, start to put together your content. Think about your most important achievements and accomplishments, and jot these down. If you can, include quantifiable outcomes, and how the achievements added value to your company. You also need to include in your summary some information about your values and passions. Think about your operating principles and the things that motivate and energise you. Try to avoid overused buzzwordsthat many people use in their profile and clichés that often do more harm than good. Think about what GENUINELY makes you better than everyone else. It is sometimes hard for us to see our own talents and strengths – if you are having trouble, ask someone you know well or a colleague at work. Make sure you keep it personal and include things in your profile that make you YOU. You need to ensure your profile is a true reflection of who you are and not a generic spiel that could be transferrable to any person in your position. Lastly, if you can, include some external validation. This may not necessarily be in your summary but via the skills/endorsements section of your profile. Feedback from others on your performance/skills is invaluable for recruiters and prospective employers, as it backs up all the positive things you have been saying in your profile.

Put it all together

Now it is time to put your notes into a compelling story. It is completely acceptable to write in either the first or third person ie: “I am a Network Architect with over 10 years of experience” vs “John is a Network Architect with over 10 years of experience” – decide on your approach and stick with it. Get settled somewhere where you can focus, and get ready to put all your notes into action. Make sure you start with something enticing that draws the reader in and gets their attention. This could be a question or a statement, or even a few words that describe you – keep it short and sharp. Now it is time to tell your story. Put all the content that you put together in step 2 into a compelling narrative about you. Remember – make sure that you keep it personal, use examples and quantify results and outcomes where you can. Close with a call to action – tell your audience how they can best get in touch with you, and invite them to get in contact. Lastly, add images, videos, and examples of your work as more proof of what you have done and what you can achieve. Visuals and examples are powerful tools that help recruiters and potential employers see your strengths and talents.

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