With the recent changes to the LinkedIn profile causing a seismic shift in the social networking universe (kidding! totally exaggerating), I thought I’d take a minute to comment on one of the things that has now taken center stage as a result of the change; your LinkedIn profile Summary.
An opportunity to share your POV
I’ll start by sharing what a first-person narrative is and why it matters.
The Summary section on your profile is one of the few places where you get to share your point of view (POV), which means you are the narrator and can give this section your “voice.” It’s not a cover letter or bio written by your corporate communications department, a copywriter or maybe a LinkedIn profile makeover consultant. This is your opportunity to speak normally and give people a sense of who you are and what makes you tick.
Pretend you’re in an elevator (or having coffee) with a FOAF (friend of a friend)
I think it’s safe to say that you can even consider the Summary section a place to share an online version of your elevator pitch, which is supposed to be a quick, succinct summation of what your business is and who you are in relation to it. I know that’s a simplified version of one, but let’s just go with this. Approach writing the summary as if you’re speaking to a friend of a friend so you don’t sound as stiff as you might with a complete stranger or prospect in an elevator. (This is what I tried to do in mine below, but it definitely needs a bit more work.)
Also worth noting is that when LinkedIn redesigned the profile they hid the website links and other contact info (Twitter handle, email, etc), which essentially shifted the Summary section up, so it’s more visible than ever. Here’s a screen grab with the Contact Info section opened below:
I recommend spending some time working on your Summary so you can take advantage of this valuable “real estate.” And, please stop referring to yourself in third-person so you can begin sharing your unique POV with those that visit your profile in the future.
Please comment here if you’ve noticed any other changes to the profile layout that will affect us all going forward.