3 Things Your LinkedIn Summary MUST Say

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Your LinkedIn summary is 2,000 characters of prime real estate to genuinely differentiate yourself among the three million member online community.

1) Make it personal.

Before you even get to the details of the work, show yourself to be a human being interested in a genuine human connection. The interviewer is not a criminal investigator, and you are not sitting under the hot police lights. It’s not an adversarial relationship, but a collaborative one. The interviewer is looking to support and advance his organization’s goals, and so are you – that’s what you have in common.

Find additional areas of mutual interest by researching the person interviewing you. Nearly everyone has an online presence in social media. Perhaps you’ll come across a personal blog and discover you share a hobby or pastime. Another possibility is uncovering the interviewer’s whitepapers and articles about the future direction of the company or the industry at large.

2) “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!”

The days of the printed newspaper are (almost) over. However, the concept still holds true: find out news about the company and weave that into your interview. This strategy is far superior to looking at the company’s website, which likely doesn’t keep up with the news. Furthermore, most of your competitors are merely relying on the “about us” and “company history” pages.

Search Google news to see what the business is working on, about to launch, or just delivered that won industry recognition. In the interview, use what you’ve discovered to speak to the company’s pain points and hot buttons. Align your particular brand of skills and expertise with the priorities in the organization right now.

3) Be the man (or woman) with a plan. – Read How to Be The Man / Woman and the complete Careerealism article

How to get the most out of your LinkedIn recommendations

The use of technology has changed not only the way we do business, but also the job-search process. Today, many job seekers are foregoing formal letters of recommendation and instead are asking for recommendations they can include on their LinkedIn profile.

Before you begin soliciting LinkedIn recommendations, take a deep breath and get strategic in your efforts. What’s important to recruiters and hiring managers isn’t the number of recommendations, it’s the quality that counts. For example, one of my clients was excited to show me that she had obtained a recommendation on her LinkedIn profile:

Recommendation (co-worker): “Brittany is fabulous and I really enjoyed working with her at ABC Company.”

The problem? The recommendation was too short and didn’t include specific information that would be helpful to a recruiter or hiring manager. The best way to get high-quality LinkedIn recommendations is to treat them similarly to obtaining formal recommendation letters:

10 Places To Promote Your LinkedIn Profile

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Think of your LinkedIn profile as the hub of your online identity. All of your online content should lead to your profile, and your profile’s purpose is to guide readers to call you or request your resume.

When you think of your LinkedIn profile this way, you’ll see why it’s critical to secure a custom URL for yours if you don’t already have one. You can achieve this at no cost by logging in to LinkedIn and navigating to Settings > Edit Public Profile > Create Custom URL.

Once you have a custom LinkedIn URL, what do you do with it? How can you share it with others to help drive traffic to your profile and interest to your resume?

1. Your Email Signature File

Arguably the most important place to include your LinkedIn URL is in the signature file of your email host. This feature can be accessed from your email system’s settings page. Note that I’m speaking of your dedicated job search and career management email address here, not your employer, business, or personal email account.

  • The simplest email signature is your name, of course, but if you’re using this email for job search and career management purposes it really should contain more information such as:
    • A title or positioning statement
    • A tagline or power statement
    • Your personal contact information
    • Your LinkedIn URL along with links to other key social networking sites.
    • A link to your blog or Twitter stream, if pertinent and appropriate.
    • You may wish to consider including a photo.
  • A great app to use to create a good-looking email signature is Wisestamp.

2. Your Bio Or Marketing Brief

Because resumes are highly specific and focused tools these days and are generally highlighting your qualifications for a specific role rather than a range of possible positions, they aren’t effective networking documents anymore. Bios or marketing briefs are better suited for networking purposes (a bio presents a third-person narrative description of your brand and career story, while a marketing brief provides a richer array of information about your candidacy, impacts, and goals). Most job seekers will need one or the other, not necessarily both.

  • Since the task of either of these documents is to lead the reader to learn more about you, it’s appropriate to include your LinkedIn profile URL. It can be embedded as a link or listed in full address form.
  • You can also insert a QR code leading to your profile.

3. Your Business Card

Depending on your job search geographic targets, you may or may not need to do local or regional face-to-face networking as part of your search. If you are, consider making or securing a business card not affiliated with your current or most recent employer.

  • Use a positioning title that echoes the one used in your LinkedIn profile headline.
  • Include all of your contact information along with URLs to social networking profiles, including LinkedIn.
  • You can use a QR code which leads readers to your LinkedIn profile if you like, though I would also recommend listing your URL in non-QR code form as well, since many folks do not have a QR reader or functionality.
  • Don’t forget to highlight your core competencies and career brand on your business card as well.

    Places 4-10 and the complete Careerealism article