LinkedIn is the largest social networking website for professionals. Everyone from corporate CEOs to college students make up LinkedIn’s community of more than 259 million users. Here we dive into 4 steps on how to enhance your LinkedIn background summary and thus stand out from the competition.
Of all the social media websites on the Internet, LinkedIn is most likely to help you land a job. But that’s only if you have a LinkedIn profile that appeals to business owners, hiring managers and recruiters. You, along with a number of other applicants, blend in with the competition.
Your LinkedIn profile should be treated with the same attention to detail as your resume. There are several benefits of creating a strong LinkedIn profile – the most important benefit being that it could lead to the ideal position you’re looking for in your career.
LinkedIn profiles include the following information:
Although you have the opportunity to include much more on your LinkedIn profile, these are the areas that most users focus on filling in on their profile.
Of all these sections, your Background Summary is arguably the most important. Unfortunately for many (and fortunately for you sitting here reading this), the background summary is often overlooked.
The Background Summary is the first thing most people look at when they view a LinkedIn profile. That makes this space very valuable if you know how to make the most of it. Below you’ll find a few simple ways to you can make yourbackground summary a job lead magnet.
4 Steps to Enhance Your LinkedIn Background Summary
Step 1: Explain your unique skill set quickly and clearly right at the beginning
Where have you built up the most professional experience? In what area does your expertise lie? What can you do exceptionally well?
These questions help you to figure out your unique offering to a company. It’s extremely important that you understand exactly what makes you the best employee for whatever type of position you want. Being able to clearly express this is what will attract an employer or recruiter.
There’s somewhat of an art to this.
Although you should be specific with the attributes that make you the perfect job candidate, it should not be too wordy. Keep it as concise as possible.
Also remember to think of your unique skills and/or attributes in relation to how they will help an employer.
Here’s an example.
If you want a job in customer service, the beginning of your background summary may read something like this: “My capacity for high quality service and conflict resolution – conducted in signature timely and friendly fashion – pacifies even the most irate customers.”
Your background summary should be in first person, so it’s okay to brag a bit about yourself right at the beginning of this section.
Step 2: Make the most of the 2,000 character limit by using strong verbs and quantifiable evidence
First, we should address what’s meant by “strong” verbs.
Strong verbs are action verbs, or dynamic verbs. They detail action(s) taken. The following are examples:
For each example, there is a clear action.
These are the kind of words you need in your background summary. You want to make your capabilities crystal clear for people reading your profile.
Along with using strong verbs, you must be ultra-specific about the results that come from your great work. That’s what it means to provide quantifiable evidence.
Quantifiable evidence is measurable. It’s easy to prove based on past or consistent performance.
That’s what potential employers want to see!
This is an example of quantifiable evidence:
“Over two years’ time as a billing clerk, I upheld a 100% accuracy score for 350+ claims filed daily.”
Quantifiable evidence does not always call for the use of numbers to prove your productivity and skill. Here’s another example:
“Based on my consistency in building rapport with customers, I contributed ideas for updated scripts at the call center manager’s request.”
There are no numbers, but it’s a specific explanation of how talent benefit the company. When you illustrate your value as an employee, you’re more likely to be contacted about job opportunities.
Step 3: Make your background summary easy to read
LinkedIn allows you to use up to 2,000 characters to showcase your professional self. Use all 2,000 characters, but make it easy to read.
You do that by breaking up long paragraphs and using short sentences.
Don’t worry too much about not sounding intelligent or competent enough. That’s where your quantifiable evidence comes in to save you.
Short sentences and paragraphs actually make your background summary more interesting.
If you need an example of short paragraphs and sentences, you’re already looking at it. This article has both.
This article is easier to follow than an article with long, block paragraphs and sentences that never end.
Don’t you agree?
Use the same technique to make your background summary on LinkedIn easy to follow.
Step 4: Finish with a specific request
This is the final step to enhancing the most important section of your professional profile. This is where you get to tell readers what you want from them.
Write your background summary as if the reader is the boss at a company where you’ve always wanted to work.
Right at the end, make your closing statement(s) a command. This is commonly known as a “call-to-action.”
Here is an example:
“If your office is missing a friendly but firm receptionist to handle the busy flow of traffic, email me today at email@example.com.”
If you want a certain type of job, ask for it at the end of your background summary. Then provide your preferred contact information.
That keeps the reader from having to search high and low for a way to get in contact with you… and they’ll want to if you write an attractive background summary.
One last thing. Always mix in your personality when writing all of this for your background summary.
Your LinkedIn profile may initiate the connection, but at the end of the day, it’s YOU who’ll have to attend the interview. It’s YOU who’ll be the new hire trying to figure out how to impress your boss.
But no worries.
If you can put together a great background summary on LinkedIn, you’ve got it in you to perform well on the job. Good luck!