Write a killer LinkedIn summary in 3 steps

Few people feel comfortable talking about themselves. These three steps make sharing your accomplishments on the social network as easy as can be.

In this new world of work, people connect with you online before they meet you in person. Digital profiles have become essential to career success. It’s critical that your virtual brand match your real-world persona.

If you must choose one digital profile to perfect, make it your LinkedIn profile. It’s often the first place people visit when they want to learn about you.

Even if someone starts with a Google search, he or she will likely end up on your LinkedIn profile; it’s usually one of the top three results Google displays.

A stellar LinkedIn profile isn’t just nice to have-it’s an essential personal branding tool.

And the bar is high for marketers. People viewing your profile assume that if you can market a product, you should be able to market yourself.

After people see your headshot and read your headline, they’ll check out your summary. It should pique their interest.

The three steps to create an authentic, differentiated, compelling summary:

1. Create context

Before you write your summary:

  • Know your audience and how you want them to feel after reading your summary.
  • Know what you want readers to do once they read your summary.
  • Know what you want the summary to say.

2. Collect content

Think of your content under the categories described below, then fill in the buckets:

Accomplishments: Write a sentence for each of your most important accomplishments. Sum up the value you created.

For example: “Launched the first fully integrated social media campaign for our B2B products; built and led the marketing team with the greatest employee satisfaction and longevity in the organization …”

Values and passions: Include your principles (non-negotiables) and the things that move you.

For example: innovation, creativity, collaboration, team sports, travel, etc.

Strengths: The things you do better than anyone else.

For example: “I inspire teams to exceed client expectations by focusing on a vision and shared mission,” or “I can persuade even the most dubious product manager of social media’s importance.”

Differentiation: Things that make you stand out.

For example: “I like to challenge the status quo, and I say things in meetings that make people stop and think,” or “I use my international expertise and passion for travel to design truly global advertising campaigns.”

Quantifiable facts: Include numbers with your accomplishments.

For example: “I’ve climbed five of the tallest peaks; I’ve lived in five countries and speak three languages; I’ve implemented marketing campaigns that led to $500k of additional business with a 20 percent cost reduction.”

Validation: Any quotes, awards or accolades you’ve earned.

For example: “Graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts; named one of the top 10 marketers to follow on Twitter.”

3. Combine and connect

First, decide whether you would like to write your summary in the first- or the third-person. Either is acceptable. Choose what feels right.

Second, kick off your summary with a provocative statement, headline or question.

Third, weave elements from the categories above into a compelling narrative that touts what makes you great. Combine content from the different categories throughout your summary to make it more interesting.

Close with a call to action.

Bonus: Use visuals

After you upload your new summary, bolster the text with multimedia.

LinkedIn allows you to add video, photos and documents to reinforce your words and provide more proof, depth and meaning to your story.

Below are the compelling LinkedIn profiles of five marketers. (Disclosure: These profiles were identified by my company, Reach, and Anne Pryor, Deb Dib and Randi Bussin, who are certified social branding analysts.)

  1. Samuel Usem: Marketing evangelist at Blue Earth Interactive
  2. Stephanie Solakian Goldstein: Marketing and client development executive
  3. Joao M. Rocco: VP of global luxury and upscale brands at Accor
  4. Doug Dib: Catalyzing innovation and ROI in professional services marketing and business development
  5. R. L. “Kirk” Kirkpatrick: Interactive and multi-channel marketing strategist

Now it’s your turn. Will your summary get you noticed and encourage people to get to know you?

A version of this article originally appeared on MarketingProfs.

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