One of the keys to a LinkedIn Profile is that once you get someone to it you need to quickly catch their attention and retain their interest. The tool developed by LinkedIn to do this is the summary portion of your profile page. Many make a huge mistake with their summary thinking, possibly because the profile looks so much like a printed resume, that the summary should be a brief overview of their career. As such they mistakenly write a paragraph with a few clichés anticipated arrogant statements.
In order to keep the potential future customer or employer interested in scrolling down your page you need to entice them. Every novelist, marketer, and reporter knows they only have a few sentences, translated into seconds, to capture a reader so they engage the person’s interest with humor, mystery, or some sort of compelling statement of a problem or solution.
Using this thinking write your LinkedIn summary in a story- telling format.
“When an insurance salesperson wrote to the St. Petersburg Times about the boy selling newspapers in front of the Publix Market across the street from his office, ‘Watch that boy, he's going places,’ neither he nor I could have imagined what that journey would be.” (see the full summary here)
Isn’t this more interesting than the old “Accomplished business executive with proven leadership yada, yada, yada” statements?
When writing this opening my goal was to capture the interest of someone that really cares about people and their development. To this point it talks about a young paperboy before his career even starts. It is a launching point to additional summaries of each job in the resume portion of the profile.
“The global marketplace caught my interest as a way to provide protection from regional or national economic downturns,” I write for one of my past positions, continuing the novelistic approach. “Although the construction industry seemed far removed from retail and manufacturer an opportunity to meet this challenge became available.”
In the totality, the LinkedIn profile gives a mini-biography of my career to date in such a way as to allow the reader to understand me much deeper than they would comprehend bullet points – if they had stayed on the page long enough to get to the bullets.
Since adopting this approach profile views have increased five-fold and contacts from the increased viewership has been up nearly ten-fold. Part is due to the way key words can more easily be added in this type of writing when using LinkedIn’s keyword suggestions.