I’ve noticed when I’m helping someone with their LinkedIn profile, that the summary (now called the “about” section) is usually the last section they fill out. The summary is the only thing missing to get them to their All-Star status! Sound like you?
- Quick side note – what is All-Star status and why is it important? All-Star status is what LinkedIn considers a completed profile. By reaching All-Star status, your profile is 40% more likely to receive new connections and 3x more profile traffic from searches. LinkedIn is basically rewarding you by having the main sections filled out – they want other users to be able to get an idea of who you are and why they should connect with you. If you have All-Star Status, you will see it in the “your dashboard” section when you view your own profile. If you don’t have it, you will see a strength meter such as the image below. When you hover over the bar, LinkedIn will suggest which section of your profile to fill out next to bring you closer to All-Star status.
So why is the summary section usually the last to get filled out? What I hear from my clients most often is that they don’t know what goes there or that 2,000 characters looks intimidating, so they just haven’t gotten to it yet. Well now is the time to get to it and use this space to your advantage!
I love this article from Forbes that shares that your summary should be 70-80% professional and 20-30% personal. I use this rule of thumb with my clients and it always works well! Personal information doesn’t mean your marital status, address, etc. but rather something you wouldn’t usually put on a resume. A story about how you got to where you are today, what are you passionate about, what keeps you waking up in the morning, what do you enjoy doing outside of work, what are your strengths/secret sauce that you’re known for, where are you looking to go? Answering these questions is a great starting point to get your summary section filled out. You can always revise it over time, and you should.
The summary is also an important place to highlight transferrable skills and include keywords so that you’re found by recruiters and they can reach out to you about your next position! Especially if you are currently out of work/looking for work or looking to change career fields, telling a story about your strengths and skills will show that you can move into the new area you’re interested in. More on transferrable skills in this blog post!
Another way to show transferrable skills and add keywords to your profile is by taking LinkedIn learning courses. Sign up for your free month today if you haven’t already! Think about it: say I want to change careers to a marketing manager. I don’t have marketing manager anywhere on my profile because I don’t have that experience. But if I take a LinkedIn learning course on skills you need to help you become a marketing manager, now when recruiters are searching the keyword marketing manager, you are more likely to come up in the results and be contacted. Taking LinkedIn Learning courses also shows what you have an interest in and that you’re committed to professional development.
Don’t forget to add in your summary what people can reach out to you for or why they should reach out to you, and include your email address. (If you want to be easily contacted!) Now is also a good time to make sure your LinkedIn profile URL is customized. I see far too often on resumes, personal business cards and email signatures that people are using the long, LinkedIn generated URL. Show you’re LinkedIn savvy by customizing it. This is also very helpful to do if you have a common name, or a long name that’s easily misspelled. Make it easy for people to find you! This step by step on the LinkedIn website can help you get it shortened and customized in seconds.
I know the summary section will help make your profile memorable, encourage people to connect with you, and attract the opportunities you want. Let me know if you have any questions or need help crafting something!