Before recruiters take a dive into reviewing your LinkedIn profile or resume, they first look at the Summary section. Typically it’s the top section that briefly summarizes and highlights your key strengths for the job. It’s what many professional LinkedIn writers and resume writers will refer to as prime real estate on the piece. This is where readers will go first and it’s your opportunity to directly market your offerings. It’ll ultimately keep the reader intrigued to find out more or decide to move on to the next candidate.
Given the importance of having a Summary on your LinkedIn profile and resume, here are tips to writing it and ensuring recruiters remain captivated:
Don’t use the same Summary for your LinkedIn profile and resume
Whether you apply for a job only submitting your resume or LinkedIn profile, recruiters first look over the Summary section to see if you make a good match. They’re looking for relevance in terms of a match to years of experience, specific skills, industry relevance, and any other career highlights that impress. During this information gathering period, they may also take a quick glance at other information available on you. Don’t waste the opportunity by plugging in the same exact Summary on both pieces. The point of the recruiter looking at other sources is to find out new, additional information. Think of it as having more than one marketing tool to help you get your foot in the door.
Adjust your writing style for the LinkedIn profile and resume
The LinkedIn profile and resume are two different style platforms. A LinkedIn profile is meant to have a more conversational tone where a mini-biography is acceptable for the Summary. You’re writing in the first person point of view and can use the word ‘I.’ It’s understood that the LinkedIn profile is more of a personal piece to your professional highlights and experiences because it’ll also show who you’re connected to and recommendations and endorsements you’ve received from others. The resume is more traditional where you want to keep information formal and brief – 4-5 lines at most on the Summary. You also write in the third person point of view so that the information comes across as objective and factual.
Avoid packing it all into one block of text
For your LinkedIn profile summary, while it’s okay to have a mini-biography you want to keep it to 3-5 “short” paragraphs. Keeping lots of white space between paragraphs will make the information easier on the eyes to digest.
For your resume, stick to key selling points – 2-3 at most. Work with bullet points or stick to a short summary paragraph with bullet points to highlight the key messages. Anything that comes across as a dense paragraph or a laundry list of bullet points opens the chance to losing the reader’s interest.
While your resume Summary should be shorter than your LinkedIn profile Summary, in both instances, it’s critical that you do not over pack the section. If you do, what you end up with is a hard-to-read summary that most recruiters will just skip.
The path to applying for a job can vary in so many ways with the doors to social media wide open today. It doesn’t matter whether you submit a resume via email, go through LinkedIn to apply with your profile, or by other means. Just remember it’s necessary to present a Summary that clearly conveys you have what the employer is looking for. For more tips to crafting a killer opening, read: “How to Craft a Killer Resume Opening.”
At some point in the process, most employers will look at multiple sources of information to ensure they all come together in showcasing your real professional talent. There’s many ways to communicating that message and different ways to brand that message, so make sure you are utilizing each outlet to present a similar overall message. And don’t be afraid to diversify the way you communicate that message because each outlet is different and it’s a new marketing tool to help you secure your next job opportunity.