Your Profile is your “home” page on LinkedIn. It helps new connections or potential followers decide whether or not to connect and interact with you. It’s where people on LinkedIn will get information about you, and the information in your Profile is what LinkedIn will use to help you get found when someone searches on LinkedIn.
The “Summary” section of your LinkedIn Profile is just what it sounds like – it’s a place for you to summarize all of your experience. It is a mini bio of sorts, and the rules for creating an effective Summary on your LinkedIn Profile are the same as the rules for your website bio.
The Summary is an opportunity for you to define who you are and what you do in a global way – not compartmentalized into sections, like the rest of your Profile. Consider it a chance to give your “elevator speech.”
Although you can rearrange your Profile so the Summary field does not appear at the top (see LinkedIn Tip #3: Rearrange Profile Sections), I recommend that you keep it right at the top and take advantage of the space LinkedIn provides in this section to give LinkedIn users and potential connections a snapshot of your professional expertise.
Make it interesting
Your summary and experience sections should not read like a flat, boring resume. They should be interesting and entertaining. Inject some personality. Make your experience come alive. Use stories or examples to illustrate what you do for clients or to provide additional insight.
LinkedIn has great SEO “juice” on the regular search engines like Google, but it also has its own powerful built-in search engine. Business owners and other professionals use LinkedIn’s search feature to find and connect with professionals they want to do business with. If your Profile (and your Summary) doesn’t include the keywords they’re looking for, you won’t get noticed.
Speak your clients’ language
Don’t fill your bio or about page with industry jargon and legalese unless you’re sure that your clients understand and appreciate it. If they don’t talk that way, you shouldn’t talk that way in your Profile. Use the language your clients use to describe their legal problems.
Provide information of value for potential contacts
Your LinkedIn Profile is about you, but it is not written for you – it is written for the people you want to read it (or even better, to contact you after they read it). And that means it must address what is important to them – what they most want to know. And that isn’t necessarily the same as what you think they should want to know. Put yourself in the shoes of your potential client or your best referral source and ask yourself what you would need to know before making a decision to hire you, or what would motivate you to pick up the phone if it was included in your Profile.
(LinkedIn has made several changes to its platform in the past several months that you might want to explore. Follow my LinkedIn tips to learn how to get the most out of LinkedIn)