A well-executed elevator speech is a powerful business tool. During the time it takes for an average elevator ride, you need to sum up what your company makes or does and get your listener excited about it. Know what else serves the same purpose as you elevator pitch? Your LinkedIn Summary section.
After all, your LinkedIn summary typically shows up near the top of your profile. So it’s obviously one of the first things a person sees when looking at you.
It has also gained much higher importance since LinkedIn’s latest revisions to the app and the desktop version. The first 80 to 140 characters (with spaces) of your Summary are now displayed near the top of your profile when it appears on the app. About 280 characters (including spaces) are shown when viewed on the desktop.
Putting Your LinkedIn Summary to Work
Your Summary is the perfect place to market and brand yourself and your business. It should:
- Act like a cover letter for the rest of your profile
- Include your most strategic keywords
- Move your readers to action
It can include up to 2,000 characters, and I suggest you use every one of them. Use a word processing program, do a spell-check and character count, and then paste it into your profile.
Following these suggestions will help you creatively tell your unique business story and improve your chances of being found by the right people.
1. Briefly describe the types of jobs you have had and any major accomplishments. Don’t waste this space with all the details. That’s what the Experience section is for. But if there’s something you want to summarize or highlight, do it here.
2. Briefly describe any of your business relationships or experiences that resulted in superior outcomes.
3. Describe what makes you, your company, and your products unique.
4. Describe your perfect customer, vendor relationship, employee, etc. If you’re a job seeker, describe your perfect job.
5. Include a direct quote from an impressive customer testimonial or letter of recommendation. If you want to share the entire testimonial or recommendation, include the quote in your Summary and then direct the reader to the complete document in the Add Media section below your Summary.
6. Talk About you help people and/or companies accomplish their goals—and if you’re a job seeker, explain how your skills, experiences, and proven results can be used to improve a prospective employer’s business. This screenshot shows how I use this strategy on my profile.
7. Use a significant portion of your Summary section to share forward-thinking ideas and thoughts. Outline new markets or new job opportunities you are considering, Also include the type of relationships that could assist you in that effort. In other words: Don’t just duplicate the Experience and Education sections that revolve around your history.
8. Include a specific call to action so the reader knows what to do next. My article So You Viewed My LinkedIn Profile…Now What? will give you loads of details on call-to-action strategies for your profile.
9. Consider adding a Specialities subsection at the bottom of your LinkedIn Summary. This is similar to the formal Specialties subsection we had in past versions of LinkedIn. So this is a great way to highlight some of your most important keywords. This also improves your chances of ranking higher based on the LinkedIn search algorithm.
10. If you feel comfortable doing so, also include business-related contact information.
Your LinkedIn Summary is a vital part of your profile. It’s the first thing people see. It introduces you to the world.
With a little help, you can make it stand out!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Power Formula.
About the Author: Wayne Breitbarth is the CEO of Power Formula LLC. An experienced businessman, speaker, and author, Wayne shares his passion for social media with 40,000+ business pros. Through private business consulting and presentations to audiences including Inc. Magazine and also the American Marketing Association, Wayne makes LinkedIn simple. Wayne is the author of the best-selling book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. Connect with him on Twitter.