Tag Archives: LinkedIn summary

10 steps toward a successful LinkedIn strategy (Part 1)

In our neighborhood no one knows which side of the street to park on when there’s a snowstorm, which prevents the plows from clearing the street properly. The result is a cleared path the width of fish line. My wife and I have deduced that this is because there’s no strategy in place.

business strategy woman

What does the dire condition of my neighborhood during a snowstorm have to do with LinkedIn? Simply this, like a neighborhood without a strategy for a nor’easter, your LinkedIn campaign will not succeed.

Do you have a strategy for your LinkedIn campaign, or is it like the street I live on which requires a snowmobile to negotiate? If you lack a strategy you’ll spin your wheels, get frustrated, and possibly give up on a valuable tool that has the potential to create job opportunities. A plan includes the following:

1. Dedication. I’m a bit of a lunatic when it comes to LinkedIn. One of my colleagues once said I need an intervention and he wasn’t joking. I’m on LinkedIn for an average of one hour a day, 365 days a year—yes, this includes holidays. I’m not advising you to spend this much time on LinkedIn.

However, a dedicated strategy is necessary to stay on your connections’ minds. This is why I tell my LinkedIn workshop attendees to dedicate at least four days a week of activity, or for the more dedicated, everyday. Try to share at least two updates a day.

2. Know what you want to do. Are you zeroing in on a specific occupation in a specific industry, or are you willing to take anything? The former is the correct answer. With this in mind, you’ll be able to determine who to best network with. If your goal is to work in public relations at a university, you should connect with people at universities, not retail.

3. Write a great profile. This is a big order and a blog post itself, but having a profile that attracts employers and other visitors to your site will take a strategy. You’ll need a photo that brands you—the days of a suit and tie might be history. Write a branding title that immediately describes what you do, as well as your areas of strength.

Your Summary should tell a story, your Employment section describe quantified accomplishments, and don’t forget using the Media section to highlight your talents. A major part of your plan should be Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that includes the correct keywords to raise your profile to the top of the first page.

Read How to brand yourself with the new LinkedIn profile.

4. Update often. This is how you communicate with your LinkedIn community. I get looks of disbelief when I suggest to my LinkedIn workshop attendees that they update once a week. They ask me what topics they should updates about. First, I tell them, share articles they’ve found on the Internet.

Other topics can include seminars or conferences you’re attending; interviews you’ve had; advice pertinent to your industry; a great book you’re reading; a happy landing; even a good quote or two; and, of course, a reminder you’re looking for a job. Just keep it professional and refrain from negativity.

5. Connect with other LinkedIn members. No two LinkedIn members are alike; some prefer to keep their network intimate by connecting with people they know and trust, while others will connect with anyone who’s willing. My suggestion is to have a strategy and be faithful to it. Connect with those who you can help and who can help you—a lot like personal networking.

Expand your horizon. Include people in your occupation, industry, and various levels of employment. There are like-minded people in different industries, so don’t be afraid to invite them to your network. Who knows, maybe opportunities will arise from the most unlikely people.

Read How to brand yourself by connecting with others.


Read part two of this article. In it I’ll discuss five other components necessary for your LinkedIn plan. You need a plan to be successful on LinkedIn.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it!

Photo: Flickr, Sandy Huang

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The 39 most important words in your LinkedIn Summary*

By now I’m sure you’ve noticed that the new LinkedIn profile Summary has been dramatically altered. You’ve noticed that it no longer has a section header and that it is included in the Snapshot area, where only two lines are displayed—or approximately 39 words. If your visitors want to see your whole Summary, they’ll have to click “See more.”

LinkedIn flag

What you might not know is that you must revise your Summary, at least the first 39 words or so. And you should do this quickly. Furthermore, you’ll need to develop a branding statement that grabs the readers’ attention with those 39 words. Failure to do so essentially renders your Summary nonexistent.

This sounds harsh, but the reality is that your Summary is not the one you wrote a year, two years, or three years ago. The folks at LinkedIn are sending a clear message that its new, slimmed down profile has no room for the expanded Summary of old. Too bad.

With the expanded Summary, your value statement/s could be seen at a quick glance, particularly if they where placed within a HIGHLIGHTS section; or if you set them apart with “THE VALUE I DELIVER.” In other words, they couldn’t go missed.

What if busy hiring authorities only read those two revealing lines of 39 words to decide if they’d read the rest of your profile? It’s live or die then. Some hiring authorities have indicated that the profile Summary is something they’ll return to. Why not entice them to click “See more”?

Writing an eye-catching opener

Here are some eye-catching openers from my connections.

Take the direct approach with your call to action. Bobbie Foedisch lets her visitors know how to contact her right off the bat and follows with a branding statement, telling visitors that CCI drives business results.

Bobbie Foedisch
★ (E) bfoedsich@cciconsulting.com
★ (M) 610.457.2561 | (W) 215.527.0237
★ (S) bobbie.foedsich

CCI’s Services Span the Employee Life Cycle, Optimizing Human Capital to drive business results.

There’s no hiding her contact information; she wants to be contacted and is making it easy to do so. Perhaps job seekers should take the same approach.


Talk about your industry. A former client of mine, Gerald Schmidt, begins his Summary with a statement of how new technologies are relevant to product development, and that he’s a player in this arena.

New technologies have the power to transform a business, especially when brought to market in the form of new products and services. That is what I enjoy doing.

Read the rest of his profile to see his major accomplishments. They’ll blow you away.


Show you can help. Sarah Elkins is a storyteller coach who has a strong passion for helping people gain success through telling their stories.

Improve Your Communication Through Storytelling <> Coaching, Workshops, Keynotes <> No Longer Virtual <> I am a consultant, coach, and speaker, and I can help you improve your communication through proven storytelling 

This is  a clear statement about the services Sarah provides for helping people tell their stories.


Say it with confidence. Laura Smith-Proulx is an executive resume writer who makes a very strong opening statement.

Powerful Results for Executives ● http://www.AnExpertResume.com LINKEDIN EXPERT ● FORBES COACHES COUNCIL ●FORMER RECRUITER Become the #1 candidate by partnering with the top TORI-winning executive resume writer. 

Laura’s goes on to tout her achievements. She is one who believes that achievements should be stated up front. I agree.


Use humor. Selling snow to an Eskimo? This is how Donna Serdula explains the difficulty of trying to sell oneself. A little bit of humor can grab a viewer’s attention.

➡ It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, it’s not easy to write about yourself! You can manage complex projects, sell snow to an Eskimo, or lead exceptional teams but sell yourself? That’s HARD! Besides, who can find…

Donna’s statement rings true for many job seekers and salespeople. Her opening makes people want to click “See more.”


Start with your story. Mario M. Martinez is a CEO and founder of Vengreso who had a dream. His dream came true, and he wants to help you succeed.

Almost one year ago, I had a dream. That dream came true on June 20, 2017, when I announced the 7-way merger of the world’s top Digital Selling minds now under one brand. Vengreso is committed to one thing – your sales success! 

I like Mario’s message of meeting a goal and dreaming big.


Start with a quote. Brian Ahearn, Chief Influence Officer, let’s Robert B. Cialdini, PhD speak for him. This is a very effective way of demonstrating his value.

“When Brian Ahearn speaks, people listen. That is so because he knows his material thoroughly, and he knows how to present it superbly. The upshot is that the genuine insights he provides are not just immediately….”

I tell my clients that others’ words can speak louder than theirs. Brian starts with a bang to draw viewers’ attention to his Summary.


Have a strong branding statement like Michael Spence. There’s a lot of strength behind Michael’s 26-word opening statement.

I help executives accelerate growth by improving employee experience and increasing productivity through technology, training, and outsourcing partnerships. I’m motivated by creating win:win relationships and putting…

I read the rest of his Summary and was impressed with the statement: “My teaching roots proved to be a great tool, equipping me to train and boost the intellectual capital, skill development, and performance of others. ” 


The situation is more dire on your smart phone

The bigger challenge is writing a Summary opener for LinkedIn’s app. First of all, visitors only see approximately 10 words. And secondly, they have to know to tap on these words to open your Summary.

So now LinkedIn users have to ask themselves, is the Summary on their computer adequate for their smart phone app? Give it a spin to find out.


*How I came up with the number 39 words

39

My Summary opener contains 39 words. I’m sure the ones I included above contain more or less than 39 words, but mine fails to reach 40.

I empower job seekers to land rewarding careers by delivering today’s job-search and LinkedIn strategies, as well as blogging on these topics. If you’re unemployed, you don’t need to be told how difficult being out of work can be….

When I wrote my 39-word opener, as soon as LinkedIn truncated the Summary, I thought about my contribution to what I do. Although I couldn’t quantify my results with job placement numbers, I tried to think of the most powerful verb I could, “empower.”

 

Photo: Flickr, Coletivo Mambembe

Photo: Flickr, BullyRook

3 reasons why the LinkedIn Summary is key for career changers

I often come across job seekers who need a career change. They’ve had enough of their former career and want something more rewarding. I should know the feeling, as I have changed my career three times.

LinkedIn Flag

The LinkedIn profile is designed much like a chronological résumé, and there’s nothing you can do about it. The order goes: Summary, Experience, and Education. The more extraneous sections follow.

The Experience section is typically the most important one of the big three. The Summary is also important, but LinkedIn’s recent move to truncate it, as well as remove its header, leads one to believe that LinkedIn has demoted it. Wouldn’t you agree?

1. Career changers, listen up!

If you’re changing your career, your friend is not the Experience section. Rather, your friend is the Summary section, which is now truncated in the Snapshot area. It’s in the Summary where you will express your value to potential employers, not the Experience section.

Summary

This said, it’s important that the first two lines of your Summary (outlined above) entice viewers to read the rest of it. If or when LinkedIn returns to the complete Summary, this may not be as important.

2. Career changers can’t rely on the Experience section alone

Your Experience section will consist of responsibilities and accomplishments that don’t necessarily match those of your new career. You need to showcase the skills and experience that will make your transition almost seamlessly.

A typical chronological format wouldn’t work with your résumé, so why would it work with your LinkedIn profile? Presenting a chronological document would require the employer to search for your relevant skills, like a needle in a haystack.

Therefore your message needs to be delivered before the Experience section, and it needs to be delivered clearly.

3. This is where the Summary comes to the rescue

How do you show your value on LinkedIn? The answer is quite simple; you showcase your value in the Summary section, and you focus mostly on the accomplishment statements that highlight relevant transferable skills.

Take this career-changer scenario: you’ve been a public relations manager in technology for seven years but want to change to a program coordinator in the nonprofit.

The ability to make this change might seem like a leap to some, but with strong transferable skills, e.g., program coordination, communications, leadership, and outreach, you have a great chance of making this happen.

Using this career-change scenario, your Summary will include an introduction, three or more paragraphs describing your strong transferable skills, and a conclusion stating your career goals.

Intro (with strong opening statement)

THE VALUE I DELIVER

I develop programs that consistently increase participation by 80%. My enthusiasm for working with colleagues to produce results for the organization is evident by my willingness to collaborate on multiple projects. 

Learn how I’ve demonstrated skills in program coordination, communications, leadership, and outreach.

Value-added body (strong transferable skills in all CAPS)

PROGRAM COORDINATION

I’ve demonstrated strong program coordination, as demonstrated by supervising events and services, including work allocation, training, and problem resolution. Further, I’ve Increased sales leads 150% from Q1 to Q4, 2016, by creating a community outreach event.

COMMUNICATIONS

My president trusted my writing abilities to the point where she stopped proofing the ghost articles I wrote. As well, I wrote press releases and spoke at trade shows with no supervision. Currently I write a blog addressing marketing strategies.

LEADERSHIP

Within two months of becoming the MARCOM writer, I was promoted to public relations manager, where I oversaw a staff of five. I also communicated directly with the director of sales in weekly meetings. I was acknowledged by the VP of marketing as a “natural born leader.”

OUTREACH

Read what the VP of Sales at XYZ, Inc said: “Tom has opened new territories that have resulted in increased sales. He is extremely adept at creating relationships with important partners, VARs, OEMs, the Media, and most importantly our customers.” Jack Jones

Conclude with career goals

CAREER GOALS

With strong transferable skills to bring to your organization, I am excited to contribute as a versatile program coordinator. I have proven experience in program coordination, communications (both written and oral), leadership, and outreach. I can be reached at (email) and (telephone number).


As a career-changer, the Summary is the most important section of your profile. Simply writing a brief Summary and relying on your Experience section will make it more difficult to help employers understand how your previous experience can be transferable to your new career.

3 reasons why you need a strong LinkedIn Experience section

recruitersWhile I’m amazed that some people don’t have a LinkedIn Summary, I’m just as befuddled by folks who don’t see the value of a strong LinkedIn Experience section. When employers and visitors see a profile that lacks details in this vital section, the letdown is like air escaping a balloon.

Here’s the thing, a stunning Summary is great, but when your Experience section comprises of bare essentials, such as your titles, company names, and dates of employment, you’re LinkedIn profile lacks the punch that propels you to the top of the list.

Many believe the Experience section is the most important part of your profile, as it includes your years of experience, accomplishments, a story of what you did for each position, and keywords for search engine optimization (SEO). So here are three reasons why you need a strong LinkedIn Experience section.

Your experience section needs to tell a better story. A quick fix of copying the content of your résumé to your profile is the first step in building your Experience section; however, you’re not done yet. You still have to modify your profile to make it more of a networking document. This means your point of view should be first person and, of course, include quantified results.

Take, for example, an accomplishment statement from a résumé I recently read: Trained 5 office staff on new computer software, increasing production by 75%. It has the action statement and a quantified result, but it lacks excitement, the excitement you get from a LinkedIn profile.

Instead: I extended my end-user expertise by volunteering to train 5 office staff on our new database software. All members of the team were more productive as a result of my patient training style, increasing the team’s output by 75%.

Your position doesn’t tell it all.  You’re a director, CEO, or CFO, so you think that says it all. Wrong! Executive Resume Writer, Laura Smith-Proulx believes the more relevant information, the better; particularly when you’re trying to differentiate yourself from other executives. She writes: 

“The key to a strategic message in your CFO résumé is to do MORE with the details – taking the hard facts of budgets managed, teams directed, or cost savings achieved to fold in personal brand messages.”

At the very least, your leadership as a director of an organization plays an essential role in its success. What is the scope of your authority? How have you helped the organization grow? Have you contributed to the community or charities? Have you turned around failing companies and made them more profitable? Remember, you’re representing the organization. Or perhaps you’re passively looking for another job.

The power of LinkedIn is greater than you think. LinkedIn’s search engine is extremely powerful. If you have the proper, and numerous, skills (keywords), your chances of being found are great. Don’t forget to emphasize the quantified accomplishments!

Businesses are looking to connect or employ people with expertise; and although you have what they need, without the skills listed your message isn’t crystal clear. An organization would like to pay you to talk about how you developed a fund-raising process that resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars, but your Experience section is nothing more than a place mat. Lost opportunity.

Suppose you find yourself out of a job and suddenly need to connect with others who can help you in a big way. Rushing to create an Experience section that warrants the assistance you need is a bit late and will lengthen your job search.

These are three reasons why you require an Experience section that is strong and worthy of your greatness. Your Summary is a great start; now you need to follow it with an Experience section to support it.

Next we’ll look at 4 reasons why your LinkedIn profile needs a strong Media section

The differences between the Summary sections of your LinkedIn profile and résumé–Part 3

resume linkedin

In part 2 of this series, we looked at the differences between the résumé’s Core Competency and LinkedIn’s Skills and Expertise sections.

One of the most noticeable difference between the résumé and LinkedIn profile lies in the Summary. Simply copying and pasting your résumé’s Summary to your profile without any further action is poor laziness and cheating yourself of a great opportunity to show your value to visitors and potential employers.

As well, this is a great opportunity to tell your story, express your passion for what you do, and show your creativity.

Today’s résumé’s Summary is taking on a more concise, yet informative, presence.  This is due, in large part, because people who are reading a large volume of résumés value brevity over verbosity. Whereas the LinkedIn Summary grants you 2,000 characters, the résumé’s Summary is usually no longer than 500 characters, preferably shorter.

Your Résumé. Brevity without fluff and clichés are key to the success of your résumé’s Summary. As the cliché goes, “You must say more with less.” The goal is to express your overall value and promise for future success. Consider the following Summary that is three lines on paper and approximately 280 characters:

Senior Accountant with cross-functional expertise in all phases of accounting, including electronic processes
Manager—up to 18 staff—increasing productivity through clear communication and expectations
Operational skills in high-volume environments; consistently increases annual discounts taken in excess of $100K 

Some believe a Value Proposition should replace the typical Summary. Here is an example of a Value Proposition that immediately states one’s value.

Throughout my career, I’ve been hired to increase productivity by at least 50% at companies that required someone who identifies problems and attacks them with an eye on a quick and effective resolution.

My leadership style is fair, while also placing a demand for excellence on those who embrace a cooperative environment. Those I mentor have commented on my ability to see opportunities and act with conviction. (412 characters)

LinkedIn Summary. The LinkedIn Summary allows you more real estate to tell your story and/or state your immediate accomplishments. It’s your decision whether to enjoy the complete space allowed (my Summary is 10 characters short of the maximum) or be more concise.

I reiterate,  it’s a mistake to simply copy and paste your résumé’s Summary to your LinkedIn profile, as it should be:

  1. More creative and personable; remember LinkedIn is for networking and should read almost like a conversation.
  2. Be written in first or third person point of view, though first is preferred by most.
  3. Written with paragraphs, resembling a story format—or bulleted statements, resembling quantified results and easier to read.
  4. May be the only major section fully read by visitors, if your Experience section simply states your title, company information, and dates of employment.

One of my favorite examples of a LinkedIn Summary is from Louise Kursmark, a professional résumé and LinkedIn profile writer. Her paragraph format begins with:

I wear a lot of “hats” in the résumé/careers field, having honed my expertise during a long career as a résumé writer, career consultant, speaker, author and trainer.

EXECUTIVE RÉSUMÉ WRITING My expertise and my passion! I work with executive clients worldwide, creating highly strategic career-marketing documents that communicate credibility, expertise and value.

WORLD-CLASS RÉSUMÉ TRAINING As founder and director of Résumé Writing Academy, I have guided dozens of professionals through a rigorous training and testing program to sharpen their strategic thinking and writing skills. Our students truly EARN the prestigious ACRW designation!

Louise continues to use most, if not all, of the 2.000 characters allowed for a profile Summary. The content of this excerpt  begins with an overall statement of her career achievements and talks about her accomplishments in her writing and worldwide training.

On the other hand, Martin Yate, author of the Knock em Dead series, prefers a bullet-formatted direct impact approach to writing his LinkedIn profile Summary. Here is an excerpt of his Summary:

DOCTORS SAVE LIVES, I MAKE THEM WORTH LIVING, this what is I do, this is my life:
I have been delivering résumés, job search and career management advice for 27+ years; and LinkedIn profiles and SEO for the last three years.
Ive helped people get their first jobs after graduation and helped them climb to V.P. level in Fortune 100 companies and now I’m helping their children climb the same ladder of success. If you want better control of your career I can help.
If you are facing career challenges, I write the most effective résumé/LinkedIn profile you could ever own, and I GUARANTEE you’ll get INTERVIEWS IN 30 DAYS.
80% of companies use LinkedIn to recruit, so your profile needs to tell a convincing story and it must rank high enough in recruiters database searches, to be found. I can create a profile that is both credible and visible.
PROVE THIS TO YOURSELF: Do LinkedIn searches for LinkedIn coach, Linkedin profiles, Linkedin profile writer, LinkedIn SEO, LinkedIn writer etc and youll find me at the very top in every one.
Do the same test for a variety of résumé writer or career coach terms and you’ll get the same results…. at the very top in every one.

Unlike Louise, Martin has a little space left in his Summary, but both Summaries far exceed the character count you’d find in a résumé Summary. One thing for sure is that their Summary style effectively describes their story and expertise.

Readers of résumés want quick and easy. Visitors of your LinkedIn profile want a networking document, not a rehash of your résumé. Don’t disappoint the readers and visitors on any count. In the next post, we’ll look at the differences between the Experience sections of the résumé and LinkedIn profile.

If you’re on LinkedIn, put effort into it

In my LinkedIn workshops I ask how many attendees are on LinkedIn. Some reluctantly raise their hand, clarifying they’re on LinkedIn but haven’t touched it in years. I tell them we’ll do something about that, because otherwise it’s a waste of time.

Alison Doyle of About.com wrote an honest article entitled “Don’t Waste Your Time On LinkedIn.” Let me rephrase: If you’re going to be on LinkedIn, do it right so you’re not wasting your time and the time of others who visit your profile, including employers who are searching for talent.

What I like about her article was that Alison tells it how it should be. I also like the article because she confirms what I’ve been telling my LinkedIn workshop attendees about not engaging in LinkedIn in a half-baked way. It’s better they hear the truth then spend the time starting a profile only to forget about it and take up space on the many servers LinkedIn use s to host over 120 million users.

“If you’re not going to do it right, there is no point wasting your time (and everyone else’s) on LinkedIn,” Alison writes. “LinkedIn is ‘the” site for professional networking.’”

Amen. Furthermore, she explains that when she is invited to connect with people on LinkedIn and goes to their profile to glean information on them, only to find their title or, worse yet, a “Private Profile,” she’s not likely to connect with them.

I sense her frustration and understand the reason for writing her article. She’s absolutely correct. What motivation would I have for connecting with someone who is unidentified? And for you employers, why would you pursue someone who has a profile that gives you very little information in terms of their skills, accomplishments, and related experience? The answer to both is a resounding none.

The bigger dilemma. This leaves the LinkedIn newbies with a dilemma. Should they join LinkedIn and put themselves out there if they’re not going the make the investment needed to succeed in networking on LinkedIn—let alone identify themselves? The truth is a poor LinkedIn profile will do more harm than good. Here’s why:

No photo will send a message to employers and potential networkers that you have something to hide—namely age. Whether we like it or not, LinkedIn wants us to be visible. While business people have no reason to fear age discrimination, jobseekers might. Jobseekers simply have to bite the bullet and have faith that their age will not hurt their job search.

An undeveloped Snap Shot is the quickest way to turn someone away from your profile. I’m referring to more than the photo; there’s the name and title, as well as potential blog or website URLs, that visitors see when they visit your profile. A developed Snapshot includes a full name with a descriptive title. Don’t be vague and announce yourself as a “Public Relations Professional,” when you’re a “Strategic, bilingual HR leader/business partner who achieves strong results through innovative solutions.”

The Summary section is often neglected by people who simply copy and paste their four-line résumé Summary statement. Folks, we have 2,000 characters with which to work. Let’s use them to craft a creative, descriptive Summary that states our value proposition and showcases our attention-grabbing skills and experience. Have fun and use the first person narrative, or even third person narrative if you’re accomplished.

The Experience section is also an area where visitors like to learn more about your identity. Simply listing your job title, company name, and dates of employment says, “I’m too lazy to give this any effort.” This laziness will get you nowhere. List three, four, or five major accomplishments for each job.

The last section I’ll address are recommendations, which do a tremendous job of telling visitors who you are through the eyes of your former supervisors, colleagues, vendors, partners, etc. Ask for and write at least five or six recommendations. This is especially important for jobseekers who need to deliver a quick punch.

Alison Doyle’s article had a little bite to it—I imagine because so many people with poor profiles asked to connect with her. I took a gamble and asked Alison to be in my network. Within half an hour I was accepted and also invited to join her group. Thank You, Alison. I’m glad I passed the test.

Don’t neglect this components of your LinkedIn profile; the Summary

To make your LinkedIn profile appealing to employers, every section of it has to stand out. I wrote an article on the LinkedIn photo and branding headline and how they can contribute to your personal branding. Now I’ll address one of the most important LinkedIn sections, the summary. In my mind this section is neglected by far too many people, greatly reducing their personal branding potential.

Let’s look at three points to consider when branding yourself with your LinkedIn summary.

Don’t recite your résumé summary. Some jobseekers, against the advice of Professional Résumé Writer Tracy Parish, use their summary as a dumping ground for their résumé’s summary. In other words, they copy and paste the summary from their résumé to their LinkedIn summary. Is this utter laziness or poor branding? Both.

Tracy writes, “The summary section on LinkedIn is probably one of the main places people miss out on a great opportunity to showcase what they have to offer. This is NOT the place to copy and paste your résumé, and it’s not the place to skimp on critical information. As a jobseeker, it is critically important to create a ‘Wow Factor’….”

One major difference between the two summaries is the number of characters allowed on LinkedIn and the number of characters your résumé’s summary should contain. You are allowed 2,000 characters for your LinkedIn summary. So use them! On a résumé this number of characters would take up three-quarters of a page, much too long for a two-page document. A proper number of characters for a résumé should not exceed 1,000 if written well.

You have a voice with LinkedIn. You’re given more freedom of expression on LinkedIn; use it! Be creative and make the employer want to read on. This is what effective branding does, which includes your voice. It should be some of your best writing and can be written in first person or even third person.

Most pundits lean toward first person, as it expresses a more personal side to you. A summary written in first person seems to invite others into the writer’s life. To me, the first person voice is more natural. Look at Jason Alba’s summary written in first person. It is personal and makes you feel like you know him. Jason is the author I’m on LinkedIn, Now What??? and founder of JibberJabber.com.

Not many people pull off the third person voice well. In my opinion, the third-person voice can sound stilted; but if done right, it can make a powerful branding impact. Dan Schawbel is one person who makes it work, primarily because he is a reputable branding expert. His summary brands him extremely well.

Decide how you want to deliver your personal branding. How you brand yourself through your summary depends on the type of work you’re pursuing, your skill set, the story you want to tell, what you want to reveal about your personality, and other factors.

Darrell Dizolglio, a Professional Résumé Writer who also writes LinkedIn profiles, says it depends on his clients’ talents and career goals. “I have found by helping hundreds of clients over the years that the greatest results come when you use the LinkedIn summary to open yourself up to multiple opportunities/positions, while your résumés can zero in on just one position very effectively. Naturally, you can/should have multiple targeted résumés out there at work for you. However, you are allowed only one LinkedIn summary per person.”

If you want to state your accomplishments in the summary, this can be an effective way of grabbing potential employers’ attention. This is the “Wow” factor of which Tracy speaks. Some prefer to use the work history section for presenting their accomplishments, and, in fact, the history section should be all about accomplishments. Save the mundane duties for your Job Scope on your résumé.

Wendy Enelow , author of numerous job search books and a world renowned Careers Industry Leader, gives us her take on using the LinkedIn summary for telling a story. “If I’m working with a client who has a really great career story to tell, then I’ll definitely use the LinkedIn summary to tell the story. Perhaps they were promoted 8 times in 10 years with IBM, or moved rapidly from one company to another based on their strong financial contributions to each organization.”

Martin Yate says it all with his summary. He combines an out-of-the-gate introduction of himself, with a little bit of philosophy on the direction of your job search. Martin is the author of the Knock ‘em Dead series. Here’s a snippet from his summary:

“I make it my business to teach you how to navigate [the career search]. Over the years, it’s become my mission to show you how to survive and prosper through the twists and turns of a 50-year career. Whether it is in a book, on the radio, during a webinar or a video – my goal is to provide advice, actionable takeaways, and integrated strategies, because you have no time to waste and just one chance to get it right!”

As for my summary, I decided to use more of a philosophical/functional approach, describing my strongest skill areas. I put most of my effort into the summary section of my profile but don’t skimp on my work history. While every section is important, it is a heinous crime to neglect the summary section of your profile. Next I’ll talk about the work history of your LinkedIn profile.