They say first impressions are everything. What you decide to write about in your LinkedIn Summary is going to be that all-important first impression to a potential employer. Looking beyond your job title and that spiffy picture you have up, the summary should, in a nutshell, make a complete circle from what you have done so far to your future career path. Don’t feel the need to tell your whole professional life story; rather, let your character shine through. Remember this is a professional social media site, but it is still about you. Let people get to know what you’re about, and what makes you the unique professional that stands out.
Utilize a nice, easy writing style to ensure maximum comprehension by the reader. LinkedIn provides a maximum of 2,000 characters to complete your summary; use them wisely! If you are actively searching for a role don’t be afraid to indicate that. Additionally, you should provide an abbreviated list of your core competencies so people viewing your profile can truly understand what skills you bring to the table. Make your summary a powerful one so that it truly represents who you are, what you have to offer.
Another very important profile component people tend to overlook is having a unique URL. Searches on LinkedIn are done by real names, and because there are many people with the same name, your URL will never automatically be your actual name. Instead, you are assigned a URL that is a combination of your name and a whole series of numbers. Not very professional looking, but that’s okay because you can change that.
If you have a rare(ish) name you might be lucky enough to pick a URL using your name. If someone has taken your preferred URL name, you can try putting in your middle name or initial. Additionally, you can opt for extra branding–add a higher-level degree (MBA, PhD) or even a geographic location (NYC, ATL). The goal is ensure your new URL is more memorable and easier to share. Customizing your URL doesn’t only look better on your profile, but it also demonstrates your technology knowledge. Having a unique URL looks more professional and you can even add it to your business cards. Changing your URL is easy enough; directions for how to do so are below:
- While logged in to LinkedIn, click on “Profile” and then “Edit Profile”
- Click “Edit” next to your current URL positioned underneath your profile picture (some people may need to click “Contact Info” and then “Edit” depending on certain LinkedIn settings).
- On the next screen, scroll down slightly and look on the right-hand side of the page. You will see a box that says “Your public profile URL” box. Click the “Customize your public profile URL” link.
- Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
- Click Set Custom URL.
Note: Your custom URL must contain between 5 – 30 letters or numbers (please do not use spaces, symbols, or special characters).
Now that your Summary is complete and you have a unique URL, let’s discuss the power of the SME! Not sure what that even means? Stay tuned!
Until next time, it’s YOUR career: ReFresh. Revive. Renew.
By Sarah van Windt – Communications & Business Development Intern