BusinessmenThere are different kinds of LinkedIn profile – it all depends on your role.

Are you job-hunting?

Are you an employee?

Are you a business owner?

Each of these situations means a different approach to completing your profile.  For instance:

  • If you’re a business owner you’re probably not interested in being head-hunted, but it’s surprising how many people have completed their LinkedIn profile as a CV or resume.
  • If you’re an employee your boss probably wants you to promote the company and be a conduit for new business, but you wouldn’t create a pure marketing profile as you want to present your skills effectively, just in case someone sees you as a perfect match for your dream job.
  • If you’re job-hunting you want to make yourself attractive to potential employers or head-hunters without looking too needy.

The key to success is to write your summary in a way that ticks all the boxes for your objectives for LinkedIn.

Summaries should be written in the first person – after all it’s a personal profile (Company pages are a different ‘animal’).  Writing in the third person sounds strange as it sounds like you’ve hired someone else to write about you; it can come over as a bit pompous.

As a job-hunter you want to highlight your achievements (not write a long list of skills or responsibilities) – and to write with energy so it captures people’s attention.  So not:

I am a skilled communicator and an excellent people manager.

Instead, try something like:

When I work in a team my teammates love that I can explain things clearly and conversations are both lively and focused.  Managing a team is always a challenge – there are so many different personalities, skills and attitudes to harness – it’s a role I’ve really enjoyed and my team have delivered amazing results on a wide range of projects.

Be creative – and be human – at the end of the day employers hire people, not just a skill set.  Don’t be afraid to show your personality.

As an employee you’re walking that line between showing off your skills and promoting your current employer.  However, enthusiasm for your role and the products or services your company sells is always attractive – both to potential customers and people looking for good staff.

As a business owner your summary should fulfil a marketing role – and be written with that in mind.  Present your business, rather than yourself.  Use a layout that attracts the eye and talk about benefits rather than features.

If you want to make LinkedIn work harder to promote your business join us on one of our LinkedIn Free Strategy sessions or  sign up for the step-by-step webinar series to get some ideas that will turn LinkedIn into a Lead Generator.