7 Mistakes People Make with Their LinkedIn Summary
Your LinkedIn Profile Summary is one the most important bodies of text available on the platform and it is what sets LinkedIn apart from other social media platforms.
With 2000 characters (including spaces) you have the chance to make an impact on your audience and interrupt your prospect’s buying journey while setting yourself apart as a Trusted Advisor.
However, the majority of LinkedIn profile summaries I view fail to even get off the ground. Here is why?
Talking about personal characteristics
Every day we are bombarded with information and the only way we can handle it is to filter information based on ‘How is this relevant to me?’ If I have no idea what you do and have never met you, your personal characteristics are irrelevant to me. When someone visits your profile you have their attention, but the value comes in holding their attention and appealing to their core needs and wants.
Describing your Job Function
Similar to telling me your personal characteristics, outlining your job function provides a very raw insight into a company that as a buyer I just don’t need. It does very little to position you as a service provider I want to engage with.
Detailing Your Work History
How you transitioned through your career is easy to uncover because of the Experience section. Walking me through your career from start to finish in your LinkedIn Summary is irrelevant information and likely to leave me confused. Where is the line/sentence/paragraph that tells me what you do today and how I can engage with you? As our minds work fast to find conclusions I may jump to the wrong one as I scan-read. Expecting your prospect to read that much before understanding you is asking a lot.
Telling me your introducing a new product and then don’t say what it is
If you’ve taken the time to update your profile post starting a new company and you’re free to announce the new product/service, then why not outline the benefits of the product, who it will interest and what you’re looking for.
Using the word NOT
During one LinkedIn Profile Review, I asked the guy to tell me about the Search Engine Optimisation work that he undertakes. He got annoyed with me and said it very clearly says on his profile that his work is ‘not Search Engine Optimisation’ – Can you see the problem? As we scan-read we look for words that stand out. With three words beginning with capital letters, it is hard to spot the ‘not’. Precise reading would, of course, illuminate this, but visitors to LinkedIn behave differently and won’t read in detail until a quick scan has revealed, ‘This is relevant to me and worth my time’.
In the item above example, the words ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ were also placed at the end of the first line on a new paragraph putting it in a prime place to be seen. Again this was another distraction as it is a prime position when scan reading. Recently I met a guy at an Expo and offered to review his profile. Face to face he had spoken to me passionately about his WordPress theme and websites he produces. However, when I viewed his profile I was confused. A prominent paragraph began, ‘As a creative director and film producer…’ – did I have the right person? Yes, I did. However, this was his past career and not the one he was currently doing. His reason for writing about it was to add extra insight and value into why he is good at what he does today. However, its placement on the profile was prominent, was not in context and at the point he was telling me, he hadn’t even pitched what his company actually does. The words were distracting and misleading.
Not telling me what to do next
I might be really engaged with what you’ve written and really interested in working with you, but if you haven’t told me exactly how you help people (this can be covered in more depth in the Experience entry for your current position), I will wonder what step to take next. I might want to reach out but because I don’t know what you’re offering I am going to be hesitant reaching out – maybe you don’t want me to? Maybe I’ll ask the wrong thing and look stupid? So make sure you say exactly how you help people.
Take it a bit further
If you have a sales team customizing their LinkedIn profiles to speak in the authentic voice is important. You’ll find each member of your team is passionate about a different aspect of the product/service and has a unique take on how it resolves a customer’s issue because of their past experience:
Utilities this to write the profile and add a snip of insight and information that a prospect may not know.
Doing this will engage the prospect in the ‘conversation’ and spark new thoughts on how to buy the product or service. By offering to connect with a prospect and answer questions no matter what size, you can quickly position yourself as an open, friendly and valuable source of knowledge your prospect can trust. Achieving this will put at the top of the list when they are ready to buy.
- The key to writing your LinkedIn profile is to understand exactly how people move through the platform and their mindset.
- Consider the outcome you want from your profile
- What does a prospect need to know in order to feel comfortable taking that next step with you?