Do you make these 5 common LinkedIn Summary mistakes?

Advice is everywhere. How do you know if you are making mistakes? Let’s discuss five of the most common LinkedIn Summary mistakes.

Mistake # 1: No LinkedIn summary at all

Yes, frequently when I look at LinkedIn profiles or even when coaching a new client on LinkedIn, I find there is no summary. Don’t miss this valuable opportunity to capture your audience with an introduction to who you are and your goals! LinkedIn gives you 2000 characters to describe your value. This is definitely a problematic LinkedIn Summary Mistake!

Mistake #2: Making your LinkedIn Summary sound dry and boring

Often I read LinkedIn summaries sounding like the beginning of a bad resume or even worse, a job description. If you are using resume content make sure that your content is well-written and compelling. Resume writers often speak of resume stories. What we mean by this is tell what you did in a succinct bullet point to inform the reader what problem you faced, how you solved it, and the results of your solution. Whether you call this CAR, STAR, KPIs or something else, you are looking to tell a future employer or client, what value you bring.

Mistake #3: Keyword stuffing is a prime LinkedIn Summary Mistake

Stuffing your LinkedIn summary with keywords is ineffective unless you explain how you provided value as defined by the keywords. Litanies of keywords help with search engines but to give greater value to the human eye, explain your value.

Mistake #4: Globs of Words with no formatting in your LinkedIn Summary

Admittedly, LinkedIn doesn’t give you much in the way of formatting but you can find ways to enhance your summary readability. One formatting option is to separate paragraphs and use a keyword to identify the topic with capital letters. There is no bold, italics, or even different fonts in LinkedIn so CAPITALIZE.

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In addition, you can also use bullets throughout your profile. If you cut and paste a bullet from a website, you offer some distinctive formatting in your profile. Susan Joyce discusses the options and gives you resources in this Job-Hunt article: Eye Candy Adds Interest to your LinkedIn Profile.

► ◾ ◆ are potential options.

Mistake #5: Failing to tell your story

What an opportunity the LinkedIn Summary offers to allow you to share what makes you you! We began one client’s LinkedIn profile with the story of her career transition:

As I strategically planned my career, I mapped out a path that at its core evolved around healthcare. I started as an engineer designing products for patients. As I grew in my career, I recognized the benefit a clinical role would be to my larger understanding of the total healthcare picture.

As we continued in the summary, she expanded on where she had been, the value she provided, and what differentiates her.

Whatever LinkedIn strategy you deploy, capitalize on it by using the LinkedIn summary area to better tell your story. I am a resume writer who primarily writes LinkedIn profiles as part of a job search strategy. However, you will find that the tips above will also help you improve your profile. However, if you are a sales professional, you can let clients know your value in your LinkedIn Summary. If you are a business professional, use LinkedIn to find qualified professionals to interface with to keep you at the peak of your profession.

Are you ready to transform your job search with a stellar resume and intriguing LinkedIn profile? Check this out.

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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